When you start a business blog you’re going to start with the most common customer questions.
These questions and your answers will likely relate directly to your business and the industry.
For example, a plumber might get a question like, “What Is The Best Type Of Toilet?” from customers. The plumber would then turn the answer into a blog post.
But after you blog for a while you’ll run out of these types of topics. You’ll have built up some good traffic, but in order to keep growing your content marketing program and your business you’ll have to broaden the scope of your blog topics.
There is a right way to do this and a wrong way. I’ve seen businesses do it well and I’ve seen others get a little off track. I think it’s alright if you experiment with certain topics and sometimes one or two posts her and there can get off topic, but if you get too far off topic too often you’ll start attracting the wrong readers.
Here are the steps we take at Ghost Blog Writers to broaden the focus of blog topics.
Step 1 – Complete Your Target Reader Profile
The best blogging starts with a detailed understanding of your target reader. At GBW we always ask our clients about their target readers. We hone in on who the person is, what they do and what they’re interests are. This helps us understand the type of content the reader is searching for online.
Over time, you’ll be able to tell the type of content your readers enjoy most on your site, but also look at other blogs and websites to learn about your reader. Look for other content that is popular.
As you get readers see if you can have comment conversations with them. Email them if you can to add more information to your profile.
When you have a profile for your reader you’ll always have a focus to your blog even as you broaden the scope.
Step 2 – Write About Related And Complementary Topics
We’ve found that’s it’s okay to drift off your specific topic as long as you’re discussing related and complementary topics.
Let’s go back to the plumbing example. Once the plumber starts struggling to find topics about plumbing they could expand the scope of their blog to discuss common questions people have about home renovations, home preservation and home maintenance. This broadens the scope of the blog while still focusing on an area where the plumber has expertise.
And the topic still relates to the target reader. Chances are that people searching for information on home remodeling will likely need a plumber in the near future. They’re likely to hire the plumber that helps them find with their questions.
Step 3 – Create A Mixed Strategy
The plumber we’ve been talking about will likely still have plumbing topics to cover. There are always changes in regulations or new trends in design to discuss. But if they aren’t coming as often as the plumber wants to publish posts then a mixed strategy will work best.
This is what we do with many of our clients. We’ll create a mixed strategy that involves direct topics combined with related and complementary topics.
For a real estate agent it might combine posts that cover home buy tips with posts that discuss the best places to eat in a city or new entertainment hot spots in the city.
As you broaden, make sure you keep a focus on your core topic. Always come back when you can.
Blogging is about reaching your customers during the early stages of the buying cycle. As you broaden your scope you’ll be potentially reaching them at the earliest stages of the buying cycle, but you can bring them down the funnel by capturing their attention and then getting them interested in your core topics.
Avoid Losing Your Target Reader
The biggest mistake I see businesses make is writing for the wrong reader. They broaden the scope of their blog and start writing for a completely different customer.
In our plumbing example it would make no sense for the plumber to start writing about SEO and social media. But I’ve seen it happen before. These are popular topics so you can get some traffic if you write about them.
But getting that kind of traffic won’t increase sales.
Don’t lose sight of your target reader. Focus on the topics they care about as you broaden your focus and you’ll be fine.