The Golden Trident is part of my Divine Blogging Design, which is my signature blogging method. Now, those of you who are familiar with mythology may have seen tridents at some point. Certainly if you know anything about Poseidon, God of the Sea, you will have seen him running around, touting his trident. Even if you’re unfamiliar with mythology you will have almost certainly watched The Little Mermaid. Ariel’s father is essentially Poseidon, and he runs (or rather, swims!) about with a golden trident – a big staff with a three-pointed fork on the end.
In the Divine Blogging Design there are three absolutely vital steps that you really have to take. They are the power rods of the whole system, these steps are going to make your content shine. It will ensure you produce consistent content your readers will love, and it’s going to rapidly build your tribe.
Basically, it’s the shiz.
As it happens there are three steps, and three prongs on a trident. So I thought, “Hmm. I’ll call it The Golden Trident!”
These are the three things that you absolutely have to do when you’re blogging to make sure that you’re always writing for your ideal reader, that you will always, absolutely nail your content.
#1 – Your Ideal Reader
This really is the core of the Divine Blogging Design. It’s what it’s all about….
You have to know who you are writing for.
A lot of people really fall down on this. They think, “Well, I’m writing for business women,” or “I’m writing for mothers,” or “I’m writing for stay at home dads.”
It doesn’t matter who your target audience is, they are going to be a lot more specific than you think. They are going to like much more specific things than you expect. But more than that, there is a lot more to them than just the reason that they come to you.
Do they really want to read about the reason they are coming to you?
If you use me as the example, I’m a copywriter. That’s what I do for my clients; that’s what they come to me for, they want copy. But do they really want to read about copywriting?
Do they want to read about the process of copywriting?
Do they want to read about how you find jobs as a copywriter?
Do they want to know the ins and outs of grammar?
Do they want to know all the intricate things I have to know and learn as a copywriter? Probably not.
If they did, they wouldn’t be looking to hire a copywriter, they would be looking to be their own copywriter.
There is a very big difference.
If you think about your work and what you do, if you actually stop and think about it, depending on what you do, you will likely find that the things that you actually do day in and day out in your job are not the things that your readers want to know about. You’re trying to attract people who will hire you to do that for them. Why would they want to know how to do it themselves? If the goal is to attract people who want to do it for themselves, what would they need you for?
If you write about what you do, you will end up attracting people who want to know how you do what you do, and that might be a good thing if you’re a coach. But if you’re not very careful you’ll end up attracting almost the right audience, but not quite.
The results of that is you produce out all of this great content, but because it’s for the wrong audience you’re still not getting any clients. And we don’t want that.
You need to really know your ideal reader. Know exactly how they tick, what they want to read about, how often you should be giving them exactly what they want to read about, and how often you should be varying your content with other relevant topics. The Divine Blogging Design is based on character archetypes, which will tell you all of this information is fabulous detail.
#2 Q & T
The second fork on the trident is what I call Q & T. Quality & Truth.
Quality is a given. It’s a given that everything you produce needs to be extremely high quality. But have you stopped to consider that quality is not only about having well-written or well-recorded content?
It’s about the nature of the content you produce and how interesting it is on a week in, week out basis.
Think of it this way, how many blogs do you follow by people who are money experts, or PR experts? Week in, week out, they tell you about whatever it is that they do. One example I can think of is an absolutely brilliant PR coach that I follow, fabulous, fabulous woman, her content is absolutely brilliant. But week in, week out for about a year, every single post she wrote was the same.
After a few weeks I just stopped reading them, because she had said it all already.
She wasn’t giving me anything new, she wasn’t giving me anything different. She was still giving me exactly what I wanted as a potential customer, but because she was saying the same thing over and over in a slightly different way, I just completely lost interest.
You need to not only know what your clients want, and what they want to read, and why they’re coming to you specifically, you also need to know what else they want to know about. This will be related to what you do but adds a bit of variety.
The archetypes in The Divine Blogging Design help you to see which areas you should be writing about and how often to write about them.
In order to have really high quality content you also need to have versatile content. You need to have a variety of content. You need to switch it up every now and again. You can’t just have content that repeatedly tells people week in, week out, this is how you blog…this is how you blog…this is how you blog…this is how you blog.
Even if you really love blogging, even if you just live and die for knowledge about blogging, there comes a point when it’s like, “You’ve said this already! Give me something new, give me something different. For the love of God, switch it up a bit, would ya?”
This is exactly why on my blog I don’t talk about blogging every week.
Shocking, I know, but I don’t.
I don’t even talk about writing every week. I talk about entrepreneurship, how to cope with the various stresses and strains of being an entrepreneur, and various other things to do with marketing; I talk about loads of different stuff. All of it relates to what I do, and relates to what my readers are doing, but it’s not the same every week. If can’t be. If it is, you’re just going to lose people.
Be True To You…
Always be true to yourself in everything you write. There is no point trying to put on a persona, a front, or a mask when you write and record content because people will see right through it.
You will have one of two reactions to that kind of content:
People won’t connect with you at all, because they can’t relate to you and won’t really care about what you’re saying. And you might find it a bit interesting but it will be quite flat. It’s the equivalent of somebody talking to you in a monotone. Did you ever have a lecturer at uni or college who had a really droning voice. They spoke in the same tone for an hour solid and expected you to somehow pay attention. That’s the effect you achieve when you pretend to be something you’re not. Even if you don’t mean to, even if you try and play a really interesting character, it’s not really who you are and it will simply come across as fake.
Unless you’re a really, really good actor it’s just not going to work.
And at the end of the day, is it really worth all that effort? Going through all that effort to pretend to be somebody that you’re not on the off chance that people will relate to that more than they will to you.
The real you is fabulous, you don’t need to be anyone else!
When you are creating your content, be yourself. I wear my own clothes, I don’t put on business clothes and try and look posh and corporate because it’s just not me. I write as I would speak. I don’t use overly formal terms, phrases and expressions and I don’t really use academic language. I can write in academic language; I have an academic background. If I need to do it I do. But for blogging, that’s not really where I want to be, I don’t want to be in an academic, formal, overly precise zone. That’s not how I speak, and that’s not how I would talk to you if we were having a conversation. Blogging is essentially a conversation, and airs and graces just don’t work. You need to be a real, genuine person with quirks and flaws.
This is especially important if your branding is anything like my branding. If you have a personal brand, if your photograph is all over your brand, if you are really trying to infuse a sense of your personal ethos and passion and creativity into your branding, it is so important that you are yourself when you write.
If you try to be somebody else, it just won’t work.
The final branch on our magical, shiny golden trident is hustle.
I’m going to say that again: Hustle!
Here is a bit of a truth bomb for you…
Your content doesn’t promote itself!
The fact that you have published it isn’t enough to get it seen, because nobody knows it’s there. Social media is a brilliant way around this – it was literally made for content. You need to be promoting your content on social media, and I mean a lot.
Don’t send one tweet and think that’s it; that’s not it.
One tweet has a shelf life of about fifteen minutes. Fifteen minutes after you post that tweet nobody is ever going to see it again.
You need to be tweeting about a post, not once, but several times on the day that post it. I’m talking at least five times, ten if you can. Then on subsequent days make sure you tweet about it again. You don’t just have to do it on the day you publish, but the whole of that week, or that month, depending on how often you blog.
Also, it’s not enough that your followers see your tweets. The point here is to get more followers and expand your audience so you need to be hashtagging the living hell out of those tweets, with relevant keywords, to make sure people who don’t know you yet find you through your contact.
If you’re on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+, whatever, make sure you are posting your content, not just when you publish it but afterwards as well. For Facebook, don’t go nuts. Post it the day you publish it, post it again a couple of days later, and a week later. Have a schedule set up so that you know exactly how often you should promote each blog post, on each of your social media platforms.
If you can, automate it, that’s really, really important. It’s going to save you a shed load of time. Get something like CoSchedule, which lets you publish your blog posts to all your social media sites at the same time. Set up a template that you use for each of your posts, it will automatically populate the social media messages that you send out.
I’m telling you, it’s lifesaving.
If you haven’t watched it already, check out my Masterclass in How and Why You Should Be Using CoSchedule, that will explain it more.
Social media aside, what can you be doing to really, really hustle? And I mean it now, you have to hustle. Unless you already have a huge following on at least one of your social media platforms, social media marketing alone is not going to be enough.
A few other options to consider:
- Advertising – if you are already posting on social media the easiest way to do this is to use social media advertising, pay-per-click advertising.
- You also need to be guest posting. This is where you write full content, give it to somebody else, and let them post it on their site, and promote it on their social media, and put it in front of their audiences.
- The final thing I want to mention is PR. PR is so important. Guest posting is a part of PR but it kind of takes it to the next level and sees you doing things like posting for theHuffington Post, Tiny Buddha, and Mind, Body, Green, as well as other sites that take guest bloggers, and who have an audience that might be interested in what you’re saying. But, more importantly, they are have recognizable names that your audience will know and pay attention to. For example, when people hear that I’m a Huffington Post blogger, they know what the Huffington Post is, they recognize that as a major news distributor. And it’s a bit of a feather in my cap. Guess what? The more feathers you put in your cap, the better and bigger your cap becomes. It’s a bit like pirates – the bigger the hat, the better.
So my darlings, that is The Golden Trident:
- Know Your Ideal Reader – what is their character archetype, what does that tell you about them?
- Q&T – Quality & Truth. Give your audience quality, variety, and value. Be true to you
- Hustle your little ass off.
Are you struggling with your blogging? What’s bothering you? Let me know, I’d love to help!