I wanted to tell you about two blog posts I have written that both got very different results for me. The first was a rant, and it was an engagement bonanza. It currently has over 70 comments, got around 600 ReTweets, and on the day it was published, traffic to the blog was over 900% above normal.
The second post had far less fanfare. It only had a handful of retweets, and even fewer comments. Traffic barely moved on the blog the day it was published.
And yet that second post was the one that has so far led to over $22,000 in consulting projects for me. The 1st post was ranty, and it was designed to get a discussion started. And boy did it ever! But it wasn’t written for potential clients. It was great for engagement, but not for creating new business. At the time I didn’t realize it, but when I was writing it I wanted engagement, but I didn’t think about whether or not that engagement would be with potential clients.
The second post came about far more innocently. I was tinkering with Feedburner one night, and I discovered a feature that helped me better understand my blog’s traffic. I decided to write up a post that contained this and a few other tips for helping bloggers better understand their traffic and subscribers, by using Feedburner.
The post was later found by an agency owner that was using Google to do research for a project, and she contacted me about joining them on a project, which I did. I later worked with them on a second project, and I was also referred by that client to another client, and continue to work with both of them. So that one post that was aimed at helping potential clients, got me real business, while the 1st ‘ranty’ post got a lot of people excited and a great discussion on my blog, it wasn’t aimed at potential clients, and so far hasn’t gotten me a penny in business.
I point these two examples out to encourage you to think carefully about who you are writing for. It’s wonderful to get engagement and I always love and appreciate comments and RTs from readers. But at the end of the day, you have to understand who it is you need to connect with. I could write a ‘ranty’ post here every day, and possibly get more comments and traffic than I do now.
But would it get me any more business? Probably not, because the clients that I want to connect with want to read posts that will help them better use social media and grow their businesses, not rants.
And to be fair, there’s nothing wrong with writing a ranty post every once in a while. I’ve done it here before, and no doubt will again in the future. But what I’ve learned is that engagement is great, as long as you are engaging with and writing for the ‘right’ people.
Who are you writing for?