To build a successful blog, all you have to do is regularly put out great content that your customers will love.
Eventually, this will attract traffic to the blog and Google will reward all your hard work with first page status.
All of which will lead to higher sales (if you’re blogging to sell stuff) or a humongous database of subscribers (which you can sell when you see fit).
The problem is that no one can tell you how long that’s supposed to take. How many posts. On which niche subjects. Even what the optimum post length is.
But that’s okay because you have to carve out your niche and gain blog cred.
And no one points out that EVERYONE ELSE is taking the exact same approach.
But you can live with this because you’re open to every new fad from clickbait listicles to snazzy infographics.
Or that the only way to get the traffic you need is to get a tonne of premium quality backlinks and on the first page of search results.
But that’s cool too. You believe that if you build it – one post at a time – the backlinks and Google love will flow.
But there is one HUGE flaw in all this:
Your customers can’t help you create a successful blog.
And now I’ll tell you why.
The greatest lie about blogging – an inconvenient truth
Let’s say you sell toilet roll. Handmade dog collars. Or flog HR consulting.
Your blog will be variously aimed at adults who buy toilet roll; dog owners; and HR Directors.
And your content will be about the benefits of your toilet roll over everyone else’s; how cool your customers will look walking your dog wearing one of your collars; and how you help HR Directors finally get on the top table.
But how many people who buy toilet roll dog collars or slave away in HR – and read your blog – will take the time to write about what you do – and link to it?
Try this another way. Think of your customers and ask yourself:
Do they run websites in your industry? No.
Do they have a blog with an audience interested in you? Nope.
When they read your blog, will they share and link to it? Err, no.
Will that make Google put you on the first page? Bugger.
The fact is that your customers – nice as they are – look for you on Google. Buy your stuff. And move on – until they run out of toilet roll, a dog collar snaps, or they want a promotion.
They might read the odd post. Might tweet it. But they will never play an active part in making your blog or your business a success.
And even if they wanted too, they couldn’t anyway. They don’t have the means or the numbers or the link credibility.
Which should kind of make you sit up and think: what am I doing?
Actually, you should be thinking: WHO should I be blogging to then?
You should only blog to other experts in your niche.
Now, this is going to be hard to accept because none of these people will ever actually buy what you’re selling, but bear with me.
By other experts in your niche, I’m talking of respected industry influencers; journalists and professional bloggers; and people who own useful links pages or guides to your niche that are respected by everyone – including your customers, potential customers, and Google.
The people Brian Dean (undisputed SEO Jedi of this approach) calls simply, the ‘Linkreators’.
People who pass our pop quiz with flying colours:
Do they run websites in your industry? Yep.
Do they have a blog with an audience interested in you? Yes.
When they read your blog, will they share and link to it? Sure.
Will that make Google put you on the first page? Cool.
So why aren’t you writing to them?
I know. Because you fell for the greatest lie about blogging ever told: that the customer comes first.
But now the blindfold has fallen. Now you know that if you really want your blog to:
a) Get shared
b) Get talked about and actively linked to
c) Get ranked by Google on the top of the pile to reach new customers and
d) Sell more stuff and kick your competitor’s butt
Then none of that will happen if you don’t stop writing to your customers and start writing to the people who have the power to make your blog successful.
So go out and find them. And if you don’t know where to start, I’ll tell you next week.
Until then, take a blog break.