Or… How I became a blogger in my first year working at Lantern
I’ve always known that working at Lantern would be a perfect fit for my career, so when I was offered the position of managing editor, I jumped at the chance. To be honest, I think my years of blogging and my bachelor’s degree in writing made me a blogging expert before I started working here. I hope to learn a lot from my co-workers as well as my clients, but I certainly don’t know how much I will learn over the span of one year and how much I will grow in my career.
You see, I before a blog expert in everything our clients expect from us. I understand SEO, and can write naturally while still optimizing posts. I know power social media to promote posts and reach new eyes. I get interesting title, subtitles, and calls to action. I lecture people on the power of posting regularly. I’m not trying to honk my own horn here – well, honk – but I have got he.
What I didn’t understand at the time was that being a true blogging expert had nothing to do with having blogging skills. Yes, blogging skills are a necessary foundation for working with clients and writing content, but they don’t make me an expert. What has made me an expert over time is learning how and why everything works together as a whole, and then being able to translate those lessons clearly for my clients.
In the last year I have worked with many clients in various industries. They all have different intentions behind why they want to hire us, and many of them have differences blog sound, also. The bottom line is that my clients want to increase their revenue, and they know one way to do that is to use their blog to attract new customers through search. They’re just not sure how they’re going to get there. So they hired the Lantern team.
My three biggest lessons in my freshman year at Lantern:
1. The persona must be your new friend.
The key to becoming a blogging expert is to first determine who the potential customers are for each of our clients. In Lantern’s office, we called them personaand you are probably familiar with the term if you run a successful business.
This is not something we do quickly in team meetings or conference calls with our clients. Defining a persona is one of the most important steps to creating a content campaign. If you don’t know WHO You’re talking to, why do you even bother starting a conversation?
Remember, everyone who reads your blog is your audience. In some ways you want to be in touch with all possible readers. In another way, you want to target the most valuable and most monetizable readers and write posts aimed at them. When we create personas for our customers as part of Content RoadmapWe collect research, market data and analytics and provide you with guidance that will then inform your editorial calendar, keyword research and content.
Blog Expert Tips: Your persona really is your next prospect. Talk to them directly, and they will respond by asking about your product or service.[Tweet “Three lessons @reinventingerin learned in her first year at @lanterncontent about blogging.”]
2. If you’re not going to do research, don’t waste your time writing.
Now that you have identified your personas, you should research what motivates them.
What kind of questions do they have? What are they looking for on the internet? What do they already know, and what are they trying to learn?
The first step to researching is finding out what customers might be looking for. When we create BuzzAudit for new clients, we provide them with a keyword universe that shows exactly what people are searching for on the internet (related to their business).
This is a great tool for educating subscribers, as it will not only prove the types of posts their persona wants to read, but it will also show what their persona isn’t looking for.
Often, our clients come to us with a blogging topic they would like us to consider writing about. We are happy when this happens. But before writing, we will always research their ideas first. Because if we find no one out there actually searching for the topic they suggested, if Google tells us that 0 people are searching for it, the chances of getting new subscribers from that post are slimming down.
Still with me here?
Sorry. I hope you enjoy this blog post. Want a better company blog? Order the Content Roadmap and we’ll tell you who to write for, what to write for, how to write it, and even how to promote it. Your customers will thank them with their wallets. Learn more…
Let’s say one of our customers asks us to write a guide on how to make cold calls to potential clients. Well, we will research the topic to find the most ideal way to create content for them.
Did you know that the term “how to make cold calls” is searched about 260 times a month on Google. That’s 3,120 searches per year. And there are only 28,000 other pages online that write about the same thing. Anything under 100,000 is good enough for a new online business.
Sounds good, right? Well, if we stopped our research there, we’d be missing out on better keywords. The term “cold calling tips” is searched about 4,400 times a month, and has an annual search volume of 52,800 searches. And there’s even less online pages targeting that phrase (27,500). That means it will be easier for us to get a place in Google’s Page 1 search results. Wow! There is a big difference between the two.
Now that we’ve done our research, we can easily show clients why we should write posts with the second keyword, as opposed to using the first.
Blog Expert Tips: You may have a great idea for a post, even if no one else is looking for it. Don’t sell your content briefly, research and write posts that your customers might be interested in.[Tweet “How @lanterncontent turns content on your blog into sales in your pocket.”]
3. Write great content that will generate sales now and in the future.
We’ve identified your persona, done all the heavy lifting to research what these future customers are interested in, and now it’s time for us to write your content.
You’d think this would be the easy part, but that’s not necessarily the case. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned over the past year is how important it is evergreen post My clients are currently in search of new customers and increasing their revenue.
Think about it. If you write posts that are still relevant five years from now, you can catch new clients now – and keep repeating as long as the posts are live! Otherwise, search visitors may come along and decide quickly that the content is old, and click the “back” button on their browser. This tells Google that your content doesn’t meet their needs, and Google will remove your page from their top search results.
Oh, and I hate bursting your bubbles, but the research we talked about earlier doesn’t stop there. Now it’s time to write content, we spend a lot of time researching our topic. We will never share information that we cannot support with facts and figures.
Becoming a true blogging expert means that you take the time necessary to also become an expert on the topic you are writing about. One of my clients last year worked in the medical industry, and always wondered how I could explain – in detail – the content I wrote. I didn’t go to medical school, and of course I can’t do the procedures I wrote about, but I know where to get my information (in some cases, by interviewing it), and how to write it so that anyone who reads the blog can understand it too. There’s no point in writing if your readers don’t understand you.
Blog Expert Tips: Make sure whatever you write is optimized so people can find it in the future. Make sure the content isn’t time-specific so that when it’s discovered years from now, your readers will still remember it.
Looking back on my time as managing editor over the past year, I’m very grateful for all the lessons I’ve learned and been able to translate to my clients. Let’s face it, if you want to work with a shadow writer or a content marketing company, you want the people who take over your writing to be blogging experts, and not just blogging skills. Anyone can be a blogger. To do that, you just need to learn to write. But most bloggers are not marketers – they don’t know how to turn readers into loyalists, and buyers. Not everyone can be a blogging expert.
I am proud to work with a team that I consider all my colleagues blog experts. If you’re looking to hire a professional who really understands content marketing and blogging for business, contact us right away.
What do you think really makes a content marketer a true blogging expert? Let us know in the comments!