Blog for your potential clients, not your peers
Some business owners and entrepreneurs get into blogging because they think blogging in itself will make them a lot of money. The business is all about the blog. So you set out to create the most popular blog possible. You blog about what you know. You teach people. You share your knowledge. These are all good things!
But there is a trap. If you are not careful, you will end up teaching your peers and not your potential customers. You are trying to make money out of your blog rather than out of your business.
I have been there. I have developed BeFused.com into a popular blog in the Drupal space. I teach others what I know. I wrote a book and sell that on BeFused. And I market my Drupal services there. People I meet in the Drupal world often know me because of my blog. This is all great. But the problem is, the content is aimed at other web developers. Web developers might buy my book, but they are not going to hire me to do web development! I'm writing for my peers not my potential customers.
A better road
For most of us, a blog should support our business. For me, my business is working with clients to create awesome websites that make their business better. The clients pay the bills, not my peers.
The content we create should be aimed squarely at the group of people who are our target clients. We should be helping them solve problems they have in their businesses. We should be positioning ourselves as the go-to people to solve these problems. If you can help solve a clients problem with free content, then you move up the trust ladder in their minds. They are more likely to pay you money for your services.
Your blog as a business owner is a vehicle to deliver better quality prospects for your business. But always remember, it is a just a vehicle and not the business itself.
What content do you create?
You create content that helps solve problems for your potential customers. Easy right?
Ok, so it is not so easy. First, you need to know what problems your potential customers have or what kind of topics they are interested in reading.
Start off by keeping a notebook (virtual or physical) and jotting down problems, issues, or anything else that can inspire a blog post when talking to your clients or prospects.
Find places online where your clients and prospects hangout (forums, Facebook groups, blog comments etc) and observe what they are saying. Again, jot down problems they are having and questions they are asking.
If you keep your eyes open, you will see that everyone already has questions that you can help answer.
Then, as you publish more content, you will find out which content is more popular. This leads to related and follow up content that you can create. If you build an email list as well (and you should), you will start to get questions from readers in your inbox. This is more fuel for your blog.
A bit of both
You don’t necessarily need to stop blogging for your peers altogether. Blogging for your peers is a great way to build your reputation as an expert. It can also lead to referrals from your peers who recommend you to people they know. So keep doing that, just not only that.