On A Blog Roll!

By on September 18, 2017

Finding great blog content that your customers will find entertaining and interesting is easy, says professional content writer Rose Crompton. Here’s how…

Scenario: your whizz-bang digital marketing company have been badgering you about having a blog on your site. They tell you to post a blog article at least once a month. Scenario two: you’ve been savvy enough to do a bit of digging into how to market your ecommerce business for free and stumbled upon heaps of professional marketers and content writers harping on about blogging as an affordable and important way to engage with your customers.

In both cases the professionals are right. You need to have a blog and you have to update it regularly. Not only does Google reward sites that have fresh and original content (great for SEO), blogging also builds audience and brand loyalty. A recent survey on content marketing trends in Australia for 2017, carried out by the Content Marketing Institute, revealed that 71% of early-stage businesses are focused more on building long-term relationships with their customers and audience, than on getting quick results from content marketing. This means content in the form of emails, blogs and social to build that relationship. By blogging, you’re not necessarily going to get a direct sale from it straight away. Blogging shows your audience who, incidentally, will become your customers, that you are an expert in your field. Blogs add authority and trust and are more of a slow burner means of marketing.

But I dig it. You’re a store manager. Retail, not writing, is your speciality. Want to know what one of the biggest complaints I hear from clients? “I have no idea what to write about.” And staring at a blank page, even as a professional content writer is intimidating.

I’m here to tell you that you do have heaps to blog about. That as an expert in your field you have the knowledge, and I’ll arm you with the skills, to discover inspiration in every corner. You don’t have to fear the blog. By the time you’ve finished reading this, you won’t be short of ideas ever again.

Seasons & Festivals

When jotting down blog topic ideas in a word doc or spread sheet, begin with what you know: start with seasonality content. You plan your stock levels around the seasons, right? So plan your content around it too. For the adult industry, Christmas and Valentines are the big ones. Gift guides are a must for these, so put them into your content calendar straight up. Do you order more of a certain product especially for this holiday? Maybe it’s a best seller? Then hey, do a blog about it and why it’s a customer favourite.

Next, consider what else your customers are likely to do during the year and content you can work around this. For example, the summer season: travel-friendly sex toys, or ways to have sex and keep cool in a heat wave. When you’ve done the obvious, take a search around for other ‘National Days’. There’s a day for everything these, erm, days, so see which ones could be relevant to you — Orgasm Day, National Kissing Day, Bondage Day, the list goes on. Remember, not all content has to push product. You’re there to be a voice of authority and build a relationship.

Evergreen Content

In 2013, Google introduced Hummingbird. In basic tech terms, Hummingbird is a search algorithm. When someone puts a question into Google, the algorithm trawls billions of websites to find the closest matching answers. Sites that contain a good answer are returned first. Often, these are “how do I…”, “what is the…” or “[keyword] for…” queries that are typed into Google and your audience want answers to. In the biz, we call these evergreen questions, which results in evergreen content because the topic of the article isn’t time sensitive, so will always be relevant.

To make sure you’re blog is returned as one of those top search results, be specific in the ‘what’ or ‘how’ that you’re answering. As a result, your evergreen content pieces will be longer and require more research and information given.

In a bricks and mortar store, your customer would ask a sales assistant these questions. Making sure your customers know how to get the most out of the items they buy from you is good customer service. This absolutely has to be the case for ecommerce too, but in place of a sales assistant are your evergreen blogs. Where normally you’d get a lovely member of staff talking your customers through how to properly clean and care for their vibrator, you don’t have that online. But don’t sacrifice that relationship: provide them that key information by writing a how to guide on your blog.

Go through your website and consider your more complex products. Think, ‘Would a customer ask me “how do I use that?” If the answer is “yes”, then do a guide on it.

Google is your friend   

Have you noticed that when you start typing something into Google it tried to predict the next word? Sometimes annoying, but useful for content marketing. Put very simply, this is a list of the most searched phrases relating to the key words the user is typing into the search field. More importantly, it’s an instant way to generate great content ideas that your audience are already searching for.

For example, if I type in ‘lingerie for…’ a list of four search queries instantly come up. ‘Lingerie for women’ is the top result, so you can bank on it that this search term is put into Google a lot. Use that as your title for your next blog. Look to see what others have come up: ‘lingerie for wedding’. Great! How about a blog on white or light blue lingerie that you have in stock? Or wedding lingerie with a kinky twist?

Take it a step further and complete the search. Let’s use, ‘lingerie for women’ as the example. Pop it into Google and hit return, then scroll to the bottom of the result page. See that header, ‘Searches related to…’ and then a list of other similar key search terms? BOOM! There are five or six more content ideas for you. Pick out the ones that will work and add them to your content calendar.

Use these clues as a way to read your audience’s needs. You don’t have to second guess what they want to read. The information is right there for you.

Get tooled up

Typing search terms into Google isn’t the only way to find blog inspiration online. There are heaps of tools out there that specialise in generating SEO content ideas that your audience are actually looking for. Google Keywords is one, or SEO Moz is another popular keyword and phrase search engine that will return the most searched for questions, which you can then blog about.

Without wanting to give away all of my secrets, one of my favourite sites at the moment is answerthepublic.com.

This site is so easy to use and can provide dozens of potential content ideas. All you have to do is put in one of your keywords, say what country or state you’re in and hit enter. It will come back with all the who, what, how, when and where questions that users – potential customers – are actually searching for. Answerthepublic.com works by returning results that are based on search volumes of what the audience in your specified country or area are looking for. So you can be really specific and provide content your audience want to engage with (extra evergreen content). More importantly you’ll then have reams of blog content ideas. Not all of them will be appropriate, but may spark further inspiration.

Strip the papers

One of my daily tasks when I started out as a magazine intern was to strip the papers. What this meant was going through all of the dailies and looking for news stories that could be turned into features for the magazine. We’d strip them from the paper (by neatly cutting them out) and then write a note on how the angle could be adapted for a bigger feature.

Do this whenever you get the chance, because the news can be a great source for topical content ideas that your audience or will be interested in. Not only will this give you something to write about, but it will make your content timely, show you update your blog regularly and you may even hit on something viral, gaining more hits and traffic through your blog and funnel into your store. Whether it’s a shock announcement of a new FSOG casting, or a news report on a man that built a house out of dildos (or whatever), keep an eye on relevant news.

Get your news online? No worries. Print off or bookmark any stories you think have a good hook. Or set up a Google news alert with your keywords and then you’ll get any relevant news sent directly to your email.

Customers are a curious bunch

Listen to your customers. Whether it’s on email, Facebook or the comments section on your You Tube channel, take the time to read and look at the questions your customers — or similar audiences on external, but relevant forums — are asking. This is first-hand evidence of the information they want to find out, so don’t dismiss or ignore it. Read what they are discussing and work out how you can turn that into a blog post so that they have to visit your site to get a well-informed answer.

Read what others are doing

This does not mean, ‘read what others are doing and then rip off their article’. But there is nothing wrong with reading competitor websites to find inspiration. Ok, so your competitor has written a blog on beginner bondage rope knots. Rather than copying them, or writing about the exact same subject, you could blog about keeping your lover safe when using bondage rope, the best books for beginner Shibari, or how to tell if you’ve tied the knots too tight. Source your own research if it’s required, or talk to an expert in the subject to add extra authority to your blog and give it another voice.

From that one competitor post idea, I’ve managed to think of three or four original ideas of my own. This allows me to compete with relevant content and hopefully hit a few keywords on the way.

A word on how often to post

Now you’ve got heaps of ideas and places to find inspiration it’s important to think about when to post. There’s no need to go overboard. People are busy and there’s a lot of content out there all vying for people’s attention. Make your blog count. It’s better to do one or two really well written, thought out posts a month, than spam your blog with useless content that your audience isn’t going to read. Keep it relevant. Always keep your target audience in mind. And if you don’t find an idea interesting, the chances are your audience won’t either. So scrap it and stick to a few solid ideas rather than posting for postings sake.

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