82 percent of companies actively use content marketing to grow their business

Great content is one of the most effective ways to drive business growth.

There are moments when you’re chock-full of motivation. Ideas leap out of your mind and straight onto the page.

Other times, you might spend hours trying to come up with a good idea, much less write your first sentence.

It happens to all of us.

However, blog posts are still the top asset to engage with your audience and generate leads for your business.

In fact, 82 percent of companies actively use content marketing to grow their business.

So what’s the one tool that can allow you to pack more power into each blog post so that generating leads isn’t like climbing a mountain?

Persuasion.

A persuasive blog post not only gets the conversation started, but it creates an appetite for your ideas and products, without you coming across like a sleazy salesman.

In this post, I’ll give you the specific formula I use to craft quality blog posts in under an hour.

Step #1: Create A Bank of Content Ideas

Truthfully, I have a difficult time coming up with great ideas — which is why I developed a process to get my creative juices flowing.

When you can’t think of what to write about, there are four simple ways you can come up with viral-worthy blog topics.

First, create a master spreadsheet to serve as your idea bank.

Analyze Your Products and Services

While blogging isn’t a direct sales tool, you do want to be intentional about choosing topics that are aligned with what your business offers.

This way you’re not blogging for the sake of blogging and are more likely to see a return on your time investment.

Consider each offer individually, and ask these questions.

What hurdles are preventing your prospects from saying yes?

Addressing the objections people have about your business is the best way to improve your lead generation efforts.

More questions to use when considering your products/services:

  • Why are you the best person to solve their problems?
  • Why not your competitor?
  • What’s the urgency?
  • Why is your product relevant now?
  • Why is your product the #1 solution?

Use these questions to brainstorm, and add the answers to your spreadsheet. You can then use the headline formula I provide later to create a custom headline.

Conduct a Competitive Analysis

We believe in making your competitors work for you and not against you — and one way to do this is to look at what is working for them.

We’re not saying copy their strategy. Rather, look at what content is ranking well and look for ways you can do it better.

Can you cover a different angle? Add more research? Maybe include downloads that make your content more useful.

Look At Customer Pain Points

It amazes me how many people neglect this step.

You want to tell an effective story, create hyper-relevant content, and be perceived as an authority.

Ignoring the people you’re trying to reach is not the best way to accomplish this.

It’s to get into the heads and hearts of your audience. Here’s where you can get that insight:

  • Blog comments
  • Quora
  • Niche Forums
  • Amazon book reviews (pay special attention to the negative reviews)
  • Facebook groups
  • Twitter search
  • Your own site search

What questions are your prospects asking? What objections do they have? What do they need help with?

Takedown these ideas word for word. The goal at this point is not to form a concrete hook but to generate ideas.

Step #2: Persuasive blog post

There are few things in the world that people hate more than being marketed to when they just want information.

If your readers detect even a hint of sleaze in your blog posts, they will make a dive for the exit button.

The only way to escape that unfortunate fate is to stop selling and start persuading.

1. Likeability: If your readers don’t like you, everything else is irrelevant. Naturally, people are skeptical of perfection. So be vulnerable, tell your story, and document the imperfections. Eighty-six percent of consumers say authenticity is important when choosing a brand to do business with.

2. Credibility: Your readers not only need to believe in you, but they need to believe in their own ability to produce results. That’s where providing easily consumable and actionable content comes into play. A great way to create more bite-sized content is to add images every 100 words or so. In fact, images can boost content credibility by 75 percent.

3. Urgency: You need to help your readers get over their tendency to procrastinate. The way to do that is to emphasize the urgency.

Why does the information in your blog post matter today?

4. Authority: Your authority is increased by creating comprehensive, data-driven content with unique insights. The more authority you command, the more people will bet on you to deliver the transformation that they seek.

5. Reciprocity: Attention is the currency in the online space. So when someone gives you their attention, you reciprocate by providing value with no strings attached.

Here’s how to ensure that your headline delivers a solid punch:

Rule #1: Be super-specific. Use numbers in your headline and avoid ambiguous words like amazingawesome, and great. There are other lackluster words that put readers to sleep, but these are the likely culprits.

Rule #2: Flirt, don’t reveal your total solution. If you uncover your solution right away, there’s no incentive to keep reading. Be mindful that there is a fine line between a curiosity-infused headline and desperate clickbait.

Rule #3: Invoke an emotional response. This Harvard study shows we make decisions on an emotional basis and only appeal to logic to justify these decisions.

By now, you already know that great ideas aren’t formulaic, but the vessel in which they are contained is.

Your headline is that vessel

Some rules for writing a hypnotic blog post opening:

Rule #1: Keep your first sentence short, snappy, and snackable. Short sentences boost content readability.

Rule #2: Aggravate the problem and use emotive language to paint a picture of your big promise

Rule #3: Use personal anecdotes and mini-stories to boost your credibility and authenticity factors.

One quick tip — make sure to use your target key term in the first 300 words. This indicates to Google (and your readers) what the topic is about and can help you rank higher in SERPs.

Bonus Time Saving Tip: Use a voice typing tool so you don’t have to physically type. Simply dictate your points and most voice typing tools will spell out the words with remarkable accuracy.

Conclusion:

Even if you’re a self-proclaimed terrible writer who spends weeks writing and editing one blog post, you can create a persuasive powerhouse of a blog post without consuming days of your time.

There will be moments when the process gets grueling, but when your traffic and conversions go up, you’ll know it was worth the effort.

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Cheers!