Your Blog and Bumper Guards

Your Blog and Bumper Guards By Deborah Kevin | #AspireMag

A couple of weeks ago, I took my teenaged sons bowling, which we hadn’t done since they were in single digits. We laced up those sexy rental bowling shoes, selected the best ball for our finger sizes, and dutifully typed our names onto the screen so everyone else could witness our low, low scores. (Wait! Isn’t bowling like golf where the lowest score wins? No? Bummer.) 

In the two adjacent lanes, a family of about twelve (no exaggeration) bowled. One lane was designated for the adults and the second for the kids. We could tell because the kids’ lane had bumper guards in the gutters. (Truth bomb: We considered getting the guards for our lane, too.) The bumper guard kept each kid’s ball in the alley and increased its likelihood of striking the pins. 

Which got me to thinking about the need for virtual bumper guards on entrepreneurs’ blogs. Bumper guards, also known as categories, keep topics focused and increase their success of scoring with ideal clients.  

And categories keep you from striking out with those you really want to serve. 

So what exactly are categories?  

A blog category covers topics you write about on your blog. Most blogs cover between five and seven categories, which make your category list like a book’s table of contents. Categories are broad and usually encompass smaller, more defined topics.  

Which comes first: the post or the category? 

Unlike the chicken-and-egg question, I can definitively say that blog best practices include pre-defining your categories before putting your fingers to the keyboard and posting. Why? Because deciding categories before writing makes your blog more organized and it’s easier to come up with topics. This makes posting consistently easier.  

And when I say “easier,” I mean easy like Sunday morning (from “Easy” by The Commodores). 

I’ll take mine with a twist 

Most entrepreneurs write their blog posts wanting their ideal clients to know something. But this thinking ought to be flipped around so they’re writing from a place of resolution of their ideal clients’ problems.  

So it is with categories. 

Instead of brainstorming a list of things you want your clients to know, try defining your categories using a list of benefits your clients receive from working with you. Why does this work better? First, you’re highlighting resolutions to their pain points. Second, it’s more likely that they’re searching Google for benefits and not general categories. 

Now you try. 

Pull up your blog page and review your categories. Is it time to refresh and streamline the list? If you decide to revise your category list, it’s best to go back in time and re-categorize old posts which fit into your new list. For those posts that don’t, simply un-publish them until they can be reworked into a relevant post. 

In this way you can keep your blog posts out of the gutter, increasing your changes to score! 

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Deborah Kevin About Deborah Kevin

Deborah Kevin (pronounced “key-vin”) loves helping heart-centered entrepreneurs attract their ideal clients and grow their businesses by creating and implementing a compelling blog strategy. A graduate of State University of New York at Geneseo, Stanford University and a Penn State University alumnus, Debby is an associate editor with Inspired Living Publishing and a former editor of the Little Patuxent Review. She’s a member of the Association of Writing Professionals. Her passions include travel, cooking, hiking, and kayaking. Her in-process novel, Finding Grace, is under revision. She resides in Maryland with her family. Visit www.DeborahKevin.com to learn more and to download your free eGuide, 5 Steps to Publishing Client-Attracting Posts.