“How do I get more people reading my blog?”
That’s a question we got from a Strength Faction Family member, we’ll call her Jane (not her real name). Actually, it’s a question we get from a lot of trainers. But Jane in particular wasn’t just writing to write and put another voice out there, she was using her blog as a component of marketing to build her business. The problem was, it didn’t seem like anyone was reading her writing—honestly it was a little bland and lacked the elements of engaging writing. (We’ll talk about that in just a hot second.) We gave her a little coaching, some actionable tips, and now we see her blogs getting liked, commented on, and shared on Facebook.
Blogs are a great way to educate your potential client base and do that thing that all the kids are crazy about these days—grow your brand. But here’s the thing, every Tom, Dick, Harry, Lisa, Melissa, Wendy, Eduardo, Jasmine, Monique, Alex, and Toni have a blog now, too. Differentiating ourselves isn’t as easy as it was even just a few years ago.
So, how do we elbow in some space for ourselves in such a crowded room? And, beyond just making space, how do we actually get noticed and get people reading our work? As it goes with most areas in which volume is reaching wide, we go deep on quality. In doing that, we give people great information while also writing engaging content that people want to read.
Let’s talk tips on how to do that.
Think in Heroic Terms
Everyone wants a hero they can identify with. Someone that we aspire to be like, or that we can look at and say, “Well, damn, that’s me!” We want to see characters confront their problems, overcome the, and ultimately be successful. It’s engrained in us—the hero’s journey is a cross-cultural phenomenon that dates back to just about the dawn of human history.
At the beginning of this article, we introduced Jane as the hero. She wants to be a better blog writer so that she can successfully grow her business and live a better life…but can she do it? That’s the question that gets answered in the post. When you start thinking, and writing, in heroic terms, then you answer a few questions with your blogs:
Who’s the character?
What’s their problem?
What’s the plan that solves their problem?
What was their ultimate success?
Jane wanted to write more engaging blog posts to grow her business, but she wasn’t sure how. A few coaching tips on how to engage her readers with stories, let her personality shine, and write consistently helped her improve her reach and get more blog/social media engagement.
That’s the hero story we just framed for you. We’re guessing you’re a lot like Jane—we all are. Having a hero to follow helps us engage with the content that we’re attempting to learn.
Does that mean that every post you write has to be written in strict story format? Nope, it sure doesn’t. But If you keep the questions that we listed above in mind as you write, you’ll create more engaging content that people are more apt to enjoy, learn from, and share with other people.
Don’t Be a Stiff (Unless You are One)
This strange thing happens when people sit down to write—their personality vanishes. Back in the day we had this boss. He was a super smart dude, knew training really well and could talk about it with anyone. He oozed charisma when he talked, and people loved to listen to him. But as soon as he sat down to write, he turned into the “I know sciency big words” machine. He stiffened up and his writing lost all accessibility.
Now, if he were writing for a bunch of folks in lab coats, he probably would have been fine. (However, even scientists like to see a little personality.) But he wasn’t—he was writing for other strength coaches as well as potential clients, and the stiffness of his writing made all of the good ideas he wanted to share impenetrable. Nobody gave a shit.
Writing is an opportunity for us to connect authentically with the people we want to influence. People want to be able to relate to you, not just the information that you’re trying to teach them. So, write your blogs conversationally, as if you’re talking with someone you already know, or that you’d like to get to know you. Then, before you hit publish, run it through this quick question filter:
If a person read this, and then met me in person, would it make sense? Would I seem like the same person in my writing as I am in real life?
If your answer feels like yes, rad. Publish that shit.
If your answer feels like no, re-work your writing until it feels like you.
Here’s a snippet of reality you probably already know—you’re not going to hit a homerun with every blog post. Some of them are going to suck—and that’s ok. But you have to play the game to get good at it. And the consistency of the habit will give you better direction with you’re writing. Not only will you get better, but you’ll also have a better idea of what you’re good at writing about. (That usually coincides with what you like doing and writing about.)
Set up a schedule and stick to it. Pick a day, or days, a time, or times, that your blogs will go out and release them on those days and times. This will help with people knowing when to pay attention and expect to hear from you. It will keep your writing habit consistent. And it will also seduce your muse. Coming up with new content can be tough, but sitting your ass in the chair and writing when you know you have to publish something will pull an idea out of you. We’ve seen it work hundreds of times.
Thinking in heroic terms crafts content that people that can connect with. Rather than just reading another blog, your readers will be captured by an engaging story that educates them. And as you tell your story, be true to you. If you’re loose, be loose. If you’re a bit tighter and more rhetorical, be that. Authenticity is the glue of good writing. Finally, keep stepping up to the plate and swinging with consistent content. The muse attends to those that continue to show up.
Take action on these three tips ASAP. You’ll improve your writing. You’ll improve your reach. And you’ll be in a better position go use your writing to accomplish the goal that you’ve set for it.