By: Lori Smith
Your content is your brand identity. It’s what you use to market your
business, and if you’re not careful, it’s how you can put yourself out of
Harsh truth I know, but a necessary fact to face if you want to build a
successful business. You have to be purposeful with every piece of
Your content is the most important asset in your business. It’s what
everything flows through – your traffic, your subscribers, sales, etc…
When your content is random fluff, and of no value to your audience,
then nothing will flow including your traffic.
If you want to succeed as a blogger, you have to have a targeted
content strategy. At the end of the day you’re not building a hobby,
you’re building a business.
I see bloggers all the time treating their blogs like a personal journal
or worse a poison pen. Don’t use your blog to write about your
personal issues. Your audience is not your therapist. And whatever you
do, refrain from using it as a platform to bash difficult clients or
discuss your dislike of other bloggers, even if you don’t mention them
by name. Not a good idea.
The bridges you burn today, may very well of been the ones you could
have crossed to your best client tomorrow.
Take a moment and think about how it will make you look to your
ideal audience. You remember them, the ones your content should
be about. You’ll end up coming across as self-absorbed, bitter or
If you want to make money from your blog, then start treating it like a
business, not your personal diary. Your audience doesn’t care about
content that’s irrelevant to them and their needs. But that doesn’t
mean you shouldn’t offer a little glimpse into the real you. You just
have to be strategic in how you do it.
A Word On Transparency
When it comes to online business, being transparent is a phrase that
gets thrown around a lot. Yes, it’s important. Humanizing your
business with personal stories is what fosters a connection with your
audience and helps you to stand out. But only when that story, has a
purpose and aligns with your message.
I believe some transparency is fine and part of good business, but
there’s a fine line between sharing and oversharing.
If you subscribe to this way of thinking, “If what I share in my blog
posts offends someone, then they aren’t my ideal client” you’re fooling
You have to stop and think before you share. A few things you should
ask yourself before you hit publish on your next blog post.
1) Is this information useful and relevant to my target audience?
2) Is this something my target audience will be interested in?
3) Is what I’m sharing something my readers can learn from?
If you answer no to any of these, then DON’T share it. It’s that simple.
But, what if you’ve already hit publish on a few questionable posts?
How To Tell Bad Content From Good
If you haven’t done a content audit in awhile, then you most likely
have some content issues.
What to look for:
Unnecessary, outdated or trivial content that’s not useful
Missing metadata descriptions
Content that’s not consistent with your brand
Weak calls to action
To uncover these problems you should conduct a periodic content
audit. You’ll want to measure your content against the following
Value and relevance
Completeness of thoughts or ideas
Organic search capabilities (SEO)
Consistent with business goal
So now you know how to identify bad content, but you’re still asking
yourself, “what harm could it really do if I write a post once in awhile
about my crazy family, who cares?”
What Bad Content Can Do To Your Business
You will kill your business because your audience cares. They want to
read content that addresses THEIR problems and provides THEM with
actionable solutions. If your content doesn’t do that, you can kiss your
Look there’s no way around this, so I’m just going to say it, society is
what it is. A lot of people will tell you that they aren’t judgemental.
This isn’t always true. I think it’s just in our nature to be at least a little
So think back to a post you read that was off-putting. Now, think
about how you maybe gave that blogger a second chance, but they
failed you again with another irrelevant or offensive post. Did you give
them a third chance?
As much as you’d like to write whatever you want on your blog, you
have to be conscious of your audience and how they might view it.
What you put out in the world will set you up for scrutiny and could
come back to haunt you, personally and professionally.
Readers who aren’t a fan of your off topic posts might try looking
around your site for the type of content that they are interested in.
But if they’re always having to weed through extraneous articles to
find the topics they want to read, they’ll eventually give up on you.
Here’s what you need to do to fix that.
Get Rid Of The Bad Stuff
A content audit is like a checks and balance system for your business.
It identifies content that doesn’t support your message or goals.
A complete audit is not easy. It can take a month or more, but don’t
let that scare you. It’s an endeavor that will pay off in more ways than
one. You will gain better brand clarity, improve your SEO, drive more
traffic, and increase conversions.
Hanging on to bad content for whatever reasons is not a good
strategy. It’s going to hurt your business at some point. So what are
Take the time to analyze your content to maximize your marketing
efforts. Don’t waste time promoting bad content.
Content is how you market your business. Marketing is what attracts
your ideal audience and turns them into loyal followers. Those loyal
followers can become paying customers. Yep, that’s right, it all begins
with your content.
At the risk of sounding redundant, content without a strategy has no
Take a long hard critical look at your content. Are you doing it right?
Let me know your thoughts below.