If there’s one mistake that new—and sometimes even established—business owners make, it’s this: failing to develop a clear vision of her ideal client.
Too often we think our service or product is “for everyone.” And while it might be true that everyone could use your help, it’s simply not possible for you and your brand to appeal to everyone. Your prices might not be in line with what some can afford. Your branding might not resonate with others. Your story may not touch everyone with the same sense of urgency.
And when you try to reach everyone, rather than narrowing your focus to your true ideal client, you dilute your message, making it even less likely that those perfect customers will find you.
But if you’re just starting out, it can seem an impossible task to know who your ideal client is. Start with these three points.
- Gender. Is your audience male or female? While men and women might both read and enjoy your content—and even buy your products—you will most likely find that your market is skewed heavily one way or the other. Men and women are different, and they are affected by stories and branding in very different ways, so what appeals to a man will not always appeal to a woman. Look around at some of the brands you buy, and you’ll quickly see how they form their messages to appeal to one or the other, but very rarely both.
- Goals. What does your client hope to achieve, and how do your products and services help to realize those goals? Whether she’s trying to build a profitable crafting blog so she can stay home with her children, or he’s working to create an online resource for muscle car fans, if you don’t know where they’re going, you can’t help them get there.
- His or her point in the journey. Is she a beginner or well along on the path? How you speak, how you write, what marketing methods you use, and even what prices you charge will all be determined by your ideal client’s level of sophistication. Whether you’re teaching beginning knitters how to cast on or helping couch potatoes train for their first 5k, their level of commitment (and willingness to spend) is far different from a long-time knitter who is discovering intarsia, or a runner working up to a triathlon. And you will not reach your market effectively if you don’t know exactly where they are and what they need at this point.
Of course, if you’re just starting out, you might not yet know who your ideal client is. That’s okay, too. But pay attention, because they will tell you. They’ll tell you through the products and services they buy. They’ll tell you by following you (or not) on social media. They’ll tell you by commenting on your blog and asking questions that are relevant to them.
Watch your interactions, study the businesses of those who contact you for help, and take a look at what your competition is doing, and soon enough you’ll have a clear understanding of who your ideal client really is.
Keywords are the terms your ideal client is plugging into Google or another search engine when she needs an answer. “Life coach in Alberta” and “business coach for virtual assistants” and “how to upload a book to Kindle” are all examples of keywords.
Knowing the keywords you’d like to be known for is critical for attracting “organic” traffic to your site, but that’s only one part of the equation. You also have to use your keywords strategically.
- Page Titles or Subjects
If you’re tempted to use cute, clever blog post titles, keep this in mind: The subject is the keyword field to which Google and other search providers give the most weight. Don’t waste that space with a clever turn of phrase. Instead, be clear and concise, and say exactly what your article or post is about.
Everyone today is in a hurry. We rarely read an entire article from start to finish. Instead, we “skim” it for the most important points before deciding if we want to invest the time in a more complete reading. If your post or article is more than a few paragraphs long, be sure to include sub-headings to give the skimmers an overview.
Not only are you providing time-pressed visitors a birds-eye view but sub-headings also tell the search engines what your content is about. Be sure to use your keywords strategically in your sub-headings so Google (and others) know how to classify your posts.
- Image Titles and File Names
Search for nearly anything on Google, and you’ll see images appear at the top of the search results. These images will almost always have file names and titles that correspond to the keyword you’ve searched.
You can—and should—make use of your chosen keywords by naming any images appropriately and setting the titles and alt attributes to clearly describe what the image is.
- Meta Descriptions
The meta description is the snippet of text that shows up below a listing in Google and other search engines. With WordPress, you can either explicitly declare a meta description with the use of a plugin such as WordPress SEO by Yoast or let Google decide what to use.
While the meta description itself has no weight when it comes to your search results placement, it can have a great deal of impact on whether or not someone clicks through to your site. Take care to write a compelling description that contains the keyword you want to be found for.
- Inbound Links
As you’re creating new blog posts and pages on your site, it’s a good idea to link from one to another. This serves two purposes: it helps readers learn more about a subject, and it helps the search engines find and explore other content on your site. In both cases, it’s helpful to use keywords as the “anchor text” for these links. It’s a clear declaration to both human and non-human readers that the content linked to is about a specific subject.
It should go without saying that including keywords in your content is important not only for search engines but for readers, too. But don’t make the mistake of using the same phrase over and over again. Doing so will turn your readers off.
Instead, use variations of your keyword throughout the text of your article. You won’t bore your readers, plus you’ll reinforce your main point with the search engines, which are now smart enough to recognize synonyms and rank your content accordingly.
Don’t worry if you don’t get your SEO perfect right out of the gate. It can take time to properly optimize a website for search—and some would argue that it’s a never-ending job—but do keep these 6 areas in mind for every post you make and your site will be much easier to find in a search.
The internet has an insatiable appetite for information. Billions of searches are conducted every single day looking for everything from how to bake an apple pie to why zebras have stripes. For anyone who conducts business online, these searches represent a steady flow of potential customers who are looking for what you have to offer.
A blog is an easy, cost-effective method of being found by the exact people who most need, want, and are willing to pay for your services. But only if you have a good strategy in place first.
Know Your Keywords
These are the search terms your ideal client is using to find answers to her questions. When you know what your keywords are, you can easily create blog posts that will:
•Attract the right visitors to your site
•Position you as the expert in your niche
•Make it easy for your ideal client to find—and get to know—you and your services
Write for People
While it’s important to know and use keywords in your blog posts, it’s even more important that you write your content with people in mind over search engines. Your blog should be engaging, informational, and even entertaining, but above all else it must be readable.
Content marketing—and blogging, by extension—is very much a numbers game. The more content you produce, the greater your results will be. That means setting—and sticking to—a content production schedule is a must.
For most websites, a weekly schedule is both attainable and sufficient to build a steady stream of traffic.
Keep Long-Term Goals in Mind
Blogging is not a fast business-growth strategy but it is excellent for long-term sustainability. Those posts you write this month will continue to work for you many years from now, bringing in more and more traffic and potential clients.
Use Good SEO Practices
Aside from keywords, great bloggers know there are many techniques you can use to bring in more readers, including:
• Link out to authority sites from within your blog
• Link internally to other, related content on your own sites
• Use graphics and sub-headlines to break up long text passages
• Take the time to write compelling meta descriptions
• Create content that other sites will link to
Get the Word Out
Each new blog post is an opportunity to be seen, so take the time to share your content socially, and encourage your readers to do the same. Share your post on your Facebook page, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and anywhere else your ideal client is likely to see it.
Mix It Up
Not every post has to be a 3,000 word article. Include other types of content as well, such as:
• Curated content
• Short opinion pieces
Have Fun with It
Above all else, have some fun. Inject your personality into your blog. Not only will you more easily attract your ideal client but you’ll enjoy blogging a lot more if you use your authentic voice. And the more you enjoy it, the more likely you will remain consistent as well.
Blogging is just not the act of combining words into sentences to later form paragraphs that sort of makes sense. It is rather the art of building content that is not only entertaining but factual and useful to the end user. If you are a blogger already below are things you could be doing wrong. If you are new to blogging bookmark this page, as you’ll need the following tips:
Almost 50% of readers want a 2 second load time, so ensure you use optimized images that don’t delay the page load time. Apply speed optimization techniques (your host should be able to help there) but, more importantly, pick up a hosting company that delivers both in terms of server speed and reliability. The servers of the best web hosts load pages for under a second and have an uptime of 99.9%
The title of a blog will either build the anticipation or the readers or kill their impetus to read. Create an ideal blog post title that is captivating and related to the article within 60 characters. Use H2 tags or H3 as preferred on subheadings; never use H1 tags.
- Titles that have 6 to 13 words receive the highest amount of traffic.
- On Twitter, the headlines that are about 8 to 12 words get shared the most.
- If Facebook is your preferred social marketing site, write headlines within 12 to 14 words.
Once your title attracts the reader, the introduction will determine whether you will keep their attention. Have short and comprehensive introductions that give a brief intro of the main article points.
The ideal introduction is 150 characters.
The article’s length plays a key role in Google rankings. According to Google surveys, the top article search results are articles between 2014 and 2036 words. More words create the necessary detail and authority on the subject discussed.
The ideal image density should be every 350 words. Expect a 94% increase in reader rate if you use images within your blogs.
A food blog can be a remarkable way for you to indulge your passion in food. Not only can you brainstorm and collaborate with like minded individuals but you can also make some money if your blog becomes popular. However, what is really difficult is making your blog stand out from the thousands of food blogs that are out there.
Food blogs are actually one of the 5 most popular blog categories with more than 12,100 searches a month! While the demand for food blogs is swelling like anything, the supply is beyond imagination. The internet is literally flooded with food blogs. So, if you are planning to start one, you better be prepared with some good skills and a lot of energy to make your blog popular. Here are the 3 most important things that you need to know before you begin your journey as a food blogger.
- A good cook is equal to a good food blogger, doesn’t work
Cooking is one of the most difficult yet loved form of art. A good cook can win the hearts of all! Mastering this art is also no cake walk. Extensive knowledge, experience and food love make a good cook. While cooking itself requires efforts, food blogging becomes a whole new thing. Some people get into food blogging simply because they are amazing cooks. That is definitely a pre-requisite but that is not all that is required.
You may love baking and nothing in the world could match your delicious cakes but that doesn’t guarantee you success as a blogger. This is because you need to have a lot of other skills as well for blogging. You should be a good writer to put your recipe in fluent words, you should know how to make your food presentable and get good pictures of them, you should have some knowledge of marketing and have a thousand other skills. You should be ready to cope with all of this before you start your food blogging journey.
- You need to work a good deal with technology
I know technology can be bothersome but when it comes to food blogging, there is no escaping from it. There are a lot of different aspects that require some technical knowledge and all you can do is work on it. Some of them are:
- You need to work with a sophisticated camera and some good editing software for getting good pictures.
- You need to know the technicalities of SEO to get a good search engine ranking.
- You should have some good knowledge of Social Media Marketing to spread the word about our blog.
- You should also have some proficiency with working with the blogging platform so that you can manage the themes, styles, templates and other things related to the blog design.
All of this requires a lot of interaction with technology. Though you can always hire professionals to take care of everything, it doesn’t sound feasible for a beginner. Doing it all on your own is the more affordable and convenient option.
- 3. Food blogging can be your hobby or profession, but never both
If all of this seems way too exhilarating to you, let me tell you something – it is not all totally essential.
Before you begin your journey as a food blogger, you need to answer this question –
What do you expect out of the blog?
Do you want to be a professional and earn money and fame out of your blog? Or do you want to just blog for the sake of it and share your knowledge with whoever is interested? Clarifying and thinking your goals out is extremely necessary. Only then can you make some important decisions that will have a strong impact on the results to come. Say for example, if you want to start a professional blog, having a premium blogging template along with your domain name is more advisable than going for a free one. However, if you just blogging for your interest, you don’t need to make any investments.
The point is that if you want to go professional, you need to show that dedication right from the start, working hard in each and every aspect. If it is just a hobby, you can go at your own sweet pace without worrying.
Tanya Sen quit her well-paying job to follow her dreams and become a writer. She is now creating and managing digital content to build relationships with organizations and individuals. An avid traveler, having visited more than 40 countries. She loves to cook and try different cuisines. She now lives in Goa, India.