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

business.

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

content you produce.

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 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 

unprofessional.

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.

what not to blog about be careful with your content

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

yourself.

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

  • Broken links

  • 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

qualities:

  • Value and relevance

  • Accuracy

  • Completeness of thoughts or ideas

  • Engagement

  • Organic search capabilities (SEO)

  • Brand consistency

  • Ideal  audience

  • 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

traffic goodbye.

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

critical.

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

you waiting for? Get rid of it.

Take the time to analyze your content to maximize your marketing

efforts. Don’t waste time promoting bad content.

Final Thoughts

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

purpose.

Take a long hard critical look at your content. Are you doing it right?

Let me know your thoughts below.

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