It used to be that you could put a post up in your blog that would magically attract visitors. Now, posting an article on your blog might get you get a trickle of visitors if you’re lucky.
And that really sucks. Because you worked so hard on your article. Heck, you even turned off your phone and missed watching one of your favorite YouTube channels go live.
You try this maybe two more times at the most, and, after getting virtually nothing in return for the hours you spent searching Thesaurus.com for just the right word, you throw in the towel. After all, when it comes to the internet, it’s no longer the wild, wild west.
My question to you is, are you expecting too much from your content?
Or not enough?
3.5 billion people worldwide search Google each day. And most of what they’re searching for are solutions to their problems.
It makes perfect sense that, to reach these 3.5 billion people (or the 100,000 people or so searching in your niche), you should write content that solves their problem - or at least moves them toward a solution.
So let’s look at what that type of content strategy might look like.
Putting keyword research and SEO aside — yes, these are important, but not as important as writing content that readers love — what should you be writing about?
If people are searching for solutions, then you should be writing about a solution, right?
Write a post that solves a problem in your niche. And, solve it better than what’s already out there.
Now, keyword research, SEO, domain authority and guest posting on high-authority blogs all help people find your article (which is a subject of another post), but for now, let’s talk about what happens when someone finds your article.
In whichever way a potential customer finds your article, s/he will decide, based on your headline, whether or not to read your article. Therefore, you need to write a headline that not only promises a solution, but piques their curiosity enough to click the link.
Once you pull your readers in with a headline (phew!, that was hard work), your work is just beginning. Now you need to grab their hearts. To do so, begin with a story. A story doesn't have to be on the level of a blockbuster movie. Rather you just need to tell an authentic story of how you or your client struggled with and overcame this problem.
After you tell your story, teach your readers how to solve the problem themselves. Deliver on your headline’s promise, and offer a solution that is so good that it draws people to want to find out more about you. And, if your lead magnet is a perfect match to the problem and solution that initially grabbed your reader’s attention in the article, your reader will give you her best email in exchange for it.
You may be thinking, “If I give the reader the solution for free, why would she pay me for anything else?”
I have two answers to this.
One, you’re not giving away your whole solution. You haven’t built a business around a problem that can be solved in 750 words. Rather, in your article, solve a presenting problem — a smaller problem that, once solved, entices your reader to seek you out to solve larger problems.
For example, if I were a dog trainer, I could write an article on how to get your dog to sit on command. Once the article solves that problem for my reader, he may want guidance on additional dog tricks. He reads my bio and sees that I’ve been training dogs for 15 years, and I’m the best-selling author of “Yes, You Can Teach an Old Dog New Tricks.” He goes to my website, if the article is hosted elsewhere, and learning that he can get a PDF version of my book for free, drops his email address into my funnel.
Your content marketing acts as an initial funnel to get your perfect clients into your business funnel. We can call it a pre-funnel.
Problem -> Headline -> Story -> Solution -> Lead Magnet
To write the perfect post, choose a problem you can solve, write an intriguing headline that entices your reader to click on it, begin with a story that tugs on your reader’s heart, teach your reader how to solve the problem, and then offer her a lead magnet that is a natural next step on her journey.
Second, your ideal client will be the one who pays you. Your ideal client wants more than a 750-word solution, and most (if not all) people will not do the change work necessary without having skin in the game. Skin in the game usually translates to the accountability that comes when money is involved.
As you probably know by now, I don’t train dogs. In fact I’m the dog un-whisperer. My dog knows no tricks, and likes to wait until we get back inside to do his business (too much information?).
But what I lack in dog training expertise, I make up for in planning, writing, and marketing captivating content. The problems that people have in my niche are manifold — after all, words serve as our online conversation starters, and our online sales people. You get the words wrong, and your relationship with your perfect customer never gets off the ground. You get the words right, in your articles, web copy, landing pages, lead magnets, emails, and sales letters, and there’s no limit to the number of people you can influence and serve.
If you want to serve your audience, then you need to talk to them, whether in written or spoken words. The thing about written words is that they’re indexable by Google. When you write online content, you are communicating with your audience, and the more you communicate, the higher your content ranks, and the higher your content ranks, the more people you communicate with.
Are you expecting too much from your content?
If you expect results quickly and are easily discourageable, then most likely the answer is yes.
Or not enough?
If, on the other hand, you want to serve more people, nothing is more important than the content you generate.
Know that you’re in it for the long game. Put in the consistent and sometimes painstaking work of putting out regular content, creating and refining funnels, crafting lead magnets, and launching the products that your clients need.
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