Blogging For Business, Turning Your Ideas and Experience into Thought Leadership

Blogging For Business, Turning Your Ideas and Experience into Thought Leadership

When it comes to marketing strategy, content is king. You hear this over and over and over. It can take the form of video, audio, written content, or a combination of all three. How do you know what to focus on or what to say? 

When I speak about turning your original ideas, unique perspectives, or specific experience or expertise into thought leadership, you’ll see me talking specifically about writing. You can apply these strategies to any kind of content.

To that end, creating content—writing a blog—is a great way to connect with customers, answer questions about your products and services, and drive traffic to your website. And—spoiler alert—a well-executed blog can include transcripts from your other content to make it more accessible while creating a catalog, if you will, of all of your guest appearances right on your site.

Moreover, your blog provides essential building blocks for other areas of your marketing strategy and creates a solid foundation for your business to thrive. How on earth do you know what to talk about or share?

That’s exactly what we’re diving into here. Additionally, we’re covering the benefits of blogging.

 

Is Blogging Really Worth It?

In a word—yes. Even if it means you only have time and energy to publish once a month (or even less frequently)…

Even if your audience is small…

And even if you’re not even sure where the heck to start, blogging is worth it for these three reasons:

 

Reason #1: Blogging Generates Leads

Creating a website is fabulous. You’ve got to find a way to get people there — and that starts with a robust content strategy. Yet even with that in mind, driving traffic to your website is only half the battle. You still must engage visitors with your content and convert them into leads. One of the most effective ways to do this is by creating calls to action in your blog that people actually want to click on. For example, you might include an informational brochure or offer a coupon code to customers who choose to provide their email addresses.

For every blog post you publish, Google indexes another page on your website. This is important because this recent Hubspot study revealed that increasing the total number of indexed website pages also increases lead generation. However, this does not mean you should aim for quantity over quality. Au contraire

 

Reason #2: Blogging Improves SEO

Blogging is so much more than picking a topic and writing a few words. There are many technical aspects to writing the kind of blog that drives results. Keyword research is a core strategy of content creation. 

If you write the best blog in the world but have no reach, then you are working for your website instead of the other way around. Conducting keyword research places your content in front of those who are most interested, which is imperative for SEO. Average time spent on a page significantly impacts SEO and SERP result ranking. Longer visits mean higher engagement which drives SERP rankings up.

Speaking of SERP rankings, did you know that including links is one of the best things you can do to jump to that number one spot? A senior strategist at Google recently revealed that link building is one of the most essential criteria for SEO ranking. The more you post, the more topics you cover and pages you have, creating more opportunities for your links to be clicked and shared.

In addition to external links, this also creates an opportunity for you to create links to older, related content on your blog or backlink. Backlinking builds your domain authority and establishes trust with clients that you are a reputable source.

 

A word to the wise on SEO, SERP, and link building:

Don’t fall victim to writing exclusively for SEO. Google and its brethren are getting smarter and prioritize high-quality informational content over keyword packing. Focus first on what you want to be known for and second on optimizing your content for SEO. 

There’s a big difference between thought leadership content and SEO blogs. And while there’s certainly some overlap, understanding your goals will help you understand how to prioritize your content.

(If you need help getting clear on what you want to be known for, consider my Content Trees Workshop, which helps you understand the content side of your business and plan a year’s worth of content in one sitting.)

 

Reason #3: Blog Content Can Be Recycled

Backlinking isn’t the only time blog content can be revived. A good blog generates content for other areas of your marketing strategy with little to no extra effort. An excellent example of this is social media. In this study of online reading habits, results demonstrate that about 50% of users visiting an article source navigated to the source from a social media post.

This marketing strategy kills two birds with one stone. You can use your blog to create content and grow your social media presence. Conversely, you can also use your social media to drive traffic to your blog. 

 

Turning What You Know Into Thought Leadership Content

Figuring out what to write is the hard part. However, so many of us find that we can talk about topics we love all day long. And specifically, we can talk about things we have a great deal of experience in—that we are saying to people frequently. To that end, we can turn our deep expertise in anyone filled into valuable content. 

The challenge? It’s hard to know what is just “junk” rattling around your head and what is valuable for others. 

 

The “Podcast” Solution

One of the best ways to start diving into this is to pay attention to what you say that resonates with people. Whether this is in 1:1 casual or business conversations or speaking on a podcast or live video broadcast, there’s so much we have to share—all of us.

What’s particularly interesting is that while you had to learn all the things you do over the course of time, you’ve become nose-blind to them. Because they have become an integral part of who you are, what you do, or your approach to things, they become background noise. Because it’s at the heart of what you do, you fail to realize how the little things might blow someone else’s mind. Taking this approach means getting other people to reflect back to you exactly what you’re saying that’s interesting.

 

Your Personal Brand

Creating a personal brand is an interesting endeavor. It’s one that I recommend everyone does whether you have your own business, you hold a leadership position in a company, or you’re looking for a career change. And essentially every other situation therein. 

So, how do you build a personal brand?

Building a personal brand starts with realizing that what you do is not what you think you do. It’s what other people say you do when you’re not in the room. So how do you learn what people are saying behind your back? One of the best ways to do so is to pay attention to how people introduce you, whether through email or in person. What do people say that you’re really good at? What do people say that you’re their go-to for? It’s fascinating to hear. 

For example, I have a colleague who I always introduced as my tech guru. However, after a while, she said to me, “I don’t want to be known as a tech guru. I want to be known as a course strategist.” So I had to change my perception of her.

And that’s the way that you start controlling the narrative. You say “This is what I want to be known for.” 

Another fantastic example is a woman named Eman Ismail. She decided one day that she wanted to be an email copywriter for million-dollar brands. So she claimed that title. She did the work to back it up by growing her skills, and she started getting million-dollar clients. 

So what can you learn from this? There are three steps:

  1. Pay attention to how other people introduce you.
  2. Decide what you want to be known for. 
  3. Evaluate the gap between numbers 1 and 2.

What do you need to do to get to your ideal state? Is there something you need to learn? Is it a question of commanding your expertise? Or is it something else? 

 

Defining What You WANT to Be Known For

But how do you know what you want to be known for? That’s a big challenge for a lot of people. When helping people build their personal brands, I ask them to evaluate what they want. Wave a magic wand, and it’s 5, 10, or 15 years from now. 

What does your life look like? 

Then I want you to consider what past you did to get here. What were the steps that you took?

It’s fascinating because it allows you to maintain a laser focus on what you want, and it makes the decisions so much more straightforward. 

So a couple of questions to ask yourself might be:

  • What am I truly passionate about? 
  • What legacy do I want to leave? 
  • How do I want people to be introducing me in 5, 10, or 15 years? 
  • If I could speak about any one thing, what would that speech be, and what would the stage be? 

It’s pretty heady stuff. 

I also want you to think about your core values. James Clear has a great list. You can look through and choose two to three that feel like they resonate with you. There are several different processes you can follow to get there, but ultimately, choose two or three and ask yourself:

  • What do they mean to you?
  • What do they mean to your clients?
  • To your friends? 

From there, it’s all about honing in on those things. 

It’s about figuring out how you want to make people feel. It’s a lot of fun and deep work that requires time and energy, but it’s always worth it. 

I want you to know this is not stuff you do in 30 minutes. So if you don’t figure it out right now while you’re reading this, that’s okay. And the other thing is that even if you figure it out, if you know who you want to be right now, you have permission to change it down the road. You have permission to change everything about your vision for the future.

 

Figuring Out Your Thought Leadership Content

This is the fun part for me. Strike that. It’s all fun. But this is where I get to make a cool analogy about trees. 

If you picture yourself—whether a business or as a person—you’re a tree. Fun right? You make up the trunk, and you’ve got all these cool branches representing the different areas you want to be known for.

Where most established trees have a lot of branches, the tree we’re talking about has four. We need to create some boundaries because boundaries allow for the greatest creativity. So four branches…what are four things you could talk about for hours? 

We’re talking about big picture categories.

For me and my business, it might be:

  1. Branding & Messaging
  2. Website Copy
  3. Marketing Strategy 
  4. Funnel Development 

Within those, I can come up with all these little sub-branches that are subtopics. And within those, I can break things down even further into leaves. This process is an exercise that I called Content Trees because you are turning everything about you about your business into a tree. 

If you want to learn more about the Content Trees approach, I have a workshop you can explore right here. Following this methodology can help you generate an endless number of topics. And, it also gives you a starting point to create thought leadership content that explores your approach to each of these things that sets you apart. 

There are so many things that you know so much about that you may not even realize. So the key is making sure you can draw it out or finding someone who can help you draw it out. If you’d like to discuss building a personal brand, I would love to chat with you further. Contact me to dive in.

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