The Importance of Intentional Blogging

In this episode, Angie and April discuss how to blog intentionally for better results.

The Importance of Intentional Blogging

 
 
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We get a lot of blogging questions from TpT sellers. And, since blogging is a great way to grow your audience and sell more products we are going to address one of the most popular questions we get. We are continuing the conversation in our mastermind group so head over to share your blogging tips and ask any related questions: www.growwithusmastermind.com.

One of the questions that we hear the most about blogging from TpT sellers is, “What do I blog about?” And, we totally get it. Choosing a blogging topic can be overwhelming because there are so many things that you can blog about. So, today is all about blogging with intention.

What is intentional blogging?

Intentional blogging is when you really focus on your main niche when writing your blog post. You blog about the things that you are an expert on and stick to it. You think about a call to action for each post and intentionally think about how you craft the post to encourage people to act on that call to action.

The purpose of writing a blog post can be to highlight a product, give away a free resource, make a push to get email addresses, or just giving valuable content for your target audience.

Both Angie and I used to just blog about whatever we were thinking about. We didn’t give it a lot of thought and there wasn’t a real strategy. But, if we are going to take the time to write a post and people are taking their time to come and read it, then we want to be purposeful about what we want to accomplish.

Blogging intentionally helps you make the best use of your time

I have plenty of old blog posts that I’m working through and trying to move towards having a purpose and a call to action. Blog posts can be good for getting traffic to your blog, but when you have little time to work with, you have to be really intentional about what the blog post is geared towards.

You want to have a goal for your blogs so you don’t just go on a random tangent. Angie shares that blogging doesn’t come naturally for her. So, when she is going to blog she wants it to be well worth her time and I couldn’t agree more.

How to blog intentionally

The first step to blogging intentionally that both Angie and I use, is to think of what we wanted to accomplish from our blog post. Ask yourself what action you want people to take after they read your post. Then, work backward.

For example, if you have a resource that has lost traction and sales have really dropped off, write a blog post about it. You could give teachers ideas on how to use it in their classroom and even create a freebie from it. This can help to boost sales again.

When we create new products, we spend a lot of time promoting them. But, then after a year or two, they start to lose their traction. I like to track my biggest sellers and then when I notice a big drop, I know it’s time to make some changes. This could be updating the covers and preview images and writing a really useful blog post that highlights the product.

When you look at the data and you’re freaking out because something isn’t selling, it’s nice to know that you can go and write a blog post about it and it will help it gain traction. This doesn’t mean it’s a quick process. Blogging is more of a long game, but it’s nice to feel like you have some control over it.

So, instead of sitting and staring at a blank screen trying to decide what to write, start by thinking about what you want to accomplish and work backward.

Create a 3 part blog post

Sometimes I split my blog post into three parts.

  1. The first post is about the topic. It might be a how-to type post or something like that.
  2. The second post is something like tips on how teachers are using the resource in the classroom or a “here’s what you can do with the resource” type post.
  3. The third post is a roundup of quick tips and social media tips people have made about the resource

Splitting it up like this is helpful because I get a ton of traffic out of it.

Answer common questions in your blog posts

Another topic to focus on in your blog is answering commonly asked questions that you get about your resources. You can either do a longer style FAQ post or create a really detailed blog post from each question that you get.

These are super helpful to have on your blog because any time someone asks you that questions you can direct them to your blog post. They get the helpful information they’re looking for and you get the extra traffic going to your blog where they can sign up for your email lists and discover your products.

Know what your audience needs

It’s a lot easier to know what to write about when you know what your audience needs. One of our former podcast guests, Jennifer Findley, is amazing at doing this. She knows what her audience wants, gives them a free resource almost every single time based on their needs, and has a massive amount of traffic to her blog. You can listen to that podcast episode here.

If your blog is set up properly, it will be easy for your blog readers to opt into your email list, find your social media accounts, and reach your store. You can also include links to your other blog posts to help them find even more information.

Focus on quality, not quantity

I used to try to write 5 or 6 blog posts a month. But, they really had no purpose or rhyme or reason. Now I focus on writing 1 or 2 posts a month that are quality posts. Then I spend time working on sending traffic to those posts. These do better than the ones that I used to write.

Angie has been doing the same thing and she can see her traffic increasing. Doing two posts a month keeps the flow going throughout the month is a lot more manageable of a goal.

Make a connection

The key to getting more traffic to head to your TpT store is to make a connection with your readers. Provide them with tons of valuable information and show them what type of teacher you are, or used to be. Sometimes as a teacher, you feel that you are the only person doing a certain thing or struggling with a certain thing so it’s great when you can connect with someone online that is in the same place as you.

Focus on connecting with your audience. Solve their problems. And, learn what they are looking for.

Plugins to help you blog intentionally

Tasty Pins

This plugin allows you to choose what pin and description you want to attach to your blog post. Then, when other people share your pin, the information that you choose gets attached to the pin. This allows you to control the SEO efforts that you have attached with your shared pins, which is huge.

Social sharing

You want to have a plugin that makes it easy for your readers to share your blog posts on their social media accounts. I use SocialBug, it’s basic, free, and it works.

Thrive leads

We both love Thrive Leads for opt-ins. It is so easy to use and creates such nice pages. While we love ConvertKit, we both feel this is a better option for this piece of building an email list. You can customize mobile options without changing the desktop version.

And, my favorite part is that you can create an opt-in and attach it to a category. Then, every time you write a blog post in that category, the form for the opt-in will automatically show up on the post.

I also have my developer working on a Shop the Post option that I’m going to include in blog posts. It will put a section within my blog post that will feature related resources that are in my store.

What to do after you write a blog post

You don’t want to just hit publish and call it a day. You need to promote your blog post once it’s created. There are a few ways that you can do this:

  • Send it to your email list – We have good clickthrough rates when we include blog posts in our newsletters.
  • Share it on social media – Put it on every social media account. Pin it in groups and tribes and then add it to Smarter Queue to be recycled again in the future. We have found the best groups to interact in are the ones that have about 10-15 people that all have similar audiences.
  • Run ads – We only recommend spending ad money on a blog post if you have a really strong call to action within the post. I’ve found that when I pay to promote a pin, it gets a lot of traffic even a year later when I’m not paying.

To sum it all up

Don’t neglect your blog. Blog posts are a great way to build your audience and drive traffic to your store. But, you have to be intentional on what you write and what you do with it after you publish it. Blog with a purpose. Know what you want to accomplish and then promote it and share it like crazy.

This summer we have a lot of exciting blogging information that’s going to be coming your way. So, stay tuned and make sure to join the MasterMind group to follow along.

 

 

 

 

Written by April Smith

April runs her business Performing in Education, LLC full time. Her main focus is on her Teachers Pay Teacher store, but she also has an online course for teachers and has written a book on project-based learning!