Content is King! This is an oft heard phrase in the blogging world, but what does it mean? And more importantly, what does it mean for you?
Well, simply put it means that you can have the best looking blog header, the most pleasing color combinations on your blog, all the latest and greatest widgets, RSS, and subscription sign-ups in the world, but if what you are writing about in posts is not relevant to your readers, then you might as well not even have a blog that is meant for others to read.
Harsh words, I know, but it's true. Let me ask you a question. How many times have you landed on a blog, and stopped reading after the first paragraph because it wasn't helping you out with the problem that caused you to start searching for help on blogs in the first place?
You are no longer blogging for yourself. You are blogging with purpose, and this type of blogging requires you to write like you are the reader. It's no longer what you feel like blogging about, but what your readers need to read. It's what they are needing help with.
How do I know this? Because 41.67% of you indicated in the poll in my sidebar you were interested in learning more about blog content (posts). And if I had to guess (which I do because I didn't ask about content particulars), I bet you want to know how to come up with topics to write about. I'm also going to guess some of you want to know how to write the content as well. [And I really didn't want to talk about content today, but I'm here for you.;)]
We'll work on the second one another time. However, the topics? That's easy. Take yourself and your needs out of the equation. Write like you are the reader. What does your reader need help with?
Your readers want to know if you are related to them and how. Therefore when blogging about a particular person in your tree, be explicit as to how this person relates to you and make sure you mention this relationship more than once. Also, be sure to have a surname page or post that not only mentions surnames from your tree, but at the very least the migration of this surname. 'Smith from Iowa' is not helpful. Remember: It's not about you any more, it's about your readers, which are hopefully potential cousins who will contact you.
Your readers are either members or potential members. Your current members and potential members do not want to navigate to a site that hasn't been updated since 2001. Make sure your site is fresh with even fresher blog posts. Relevant blog topics include: upcoming events, how to join, special projects, collections in your library, education, field trips, and just about any aspect about your society that you can think of. You are selling your society with each and every blog post. What makes you different than all the rest? Why should your readers join your society? What are the benefits to them? You'll notice that some of these topics are covered on other parts of your blog. That's okay. Some things need to be covered multiple times. They are that important.
Your readers are either clients or potential clients. You need to make a list of all the details of your specialty (specialties). Then you need to take each one and break them down into bite-sized teachable steps. If you know all there is to know about Johnson County, IL because you've done quite a bit of research there, then let your readers know this by creatively presenting an easy-to-understand blog post (or 2 if you need to break it up). Don't just tell them one of your geographic research specialties is Johnson Co, IL because you have 25 years experience performing research there for multiple clients. Save that for your bio. Show them what you can do there with an example in your blog post. However, don't forget that many of your potential clients do not know the first thing about researching so do not make it jargon-heavy. With a click of a button they can be gone like that. *snaps fingers*
Make sure you keep in mind your purpose with your blog and tailor your posts for that purpose. While content is king, if the subjects cannot understand what the king is saying, then the king becomes irrelevant. Long live the king.
BTW, specifically, what would you like more help with in regards to blog post content? Topics, structure, keywords, etc. We're going to cover everything, but I'd like to cover what you want to know about right now. Cuz it's all about you.