One of the best platforms to establish yourself as a thought leader or an expert in your niche is through blogging. Writing a blog pushes you to be a better communicator. You have to plan and strategize on how the idea or message you have can be communicated in a way that your audience can understand. What’s more, a blog is a global platform where you can influence your audience at scale and depending on what you blogged about the post can take up a life of its own, generating traffic over time.
You may be wondering if blogging is relevant for a business or a brand, yes, a blog is very important! It is a relatively easy, inexpensive way to craft quality communication that pulls people toward your company and product. By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract and drive traffic to your site, and attract more prospective customers.
Blogging with no audience is like winking to a girl in the dark. You are the only one who knows what you are doing, the rest of the world doesn’t. So how do you get your ideas across to your audience if you blog? This week I share 5 lessons from Afua Rida, winner of the Glitz Africa Fashion Blog of the Year 2015. Afua was kind enough to answer some questions I asked and share her secrets/tips to success. Her blog, Styled by Rida (www.stylebyrida.com) was started in August 2015
Set clear goals:
“I realized that designers in Ghana do not have a great platform to showcase their work. So I decided to take readers on my style journey while showcasing what Ghana and Africa has to offer. It also connects the consumer to the producer faster.”
i. A blog is a platform:
A blog is a platform for getting the attention of your audience and getting your message across. The attention of a consumer/prospect is very slippery and difficult to hold in today’s market. Communicating in today’s always-connected, information-rich world face is challenging. The consumer’s brain can hold only so much information before it becomes fatigued. People’s attention spans have become unavoidable scarce as a result. Brands and business are therefore fighting big odds to reach and engage their audiences.
Every brand or business needs the attention of its consumers first before their business can grow! Marketing scholars imply that prospects go through a linear stage of decision making before they take actions. A would be customer goes through these stages of attention, interest, desire and action before s/he decides to engage with your product/service or not.
Afua wanted to create a platform to showcase the works of designers in Ghana and so she chose blogging as a way to stand out and rise above the noise of traditional marketing communications.
ii. Have a clear goal:
She set out with a clearly defined goal: to take her readers on her “style journey while showcasing what Ghana and Africa has to offer”. Having a clear purpose and goal for blogging helps you to remain on track with your blog. It helps you in preparing your content and gives you direction and guidelines to successfully communicate with your audience.
iii. A white space:
When considering blogging, you can find a niche which your brand/business is passionate about to write on. If you would like to go with general topics then blog about something you have a unique perspective on. This is another way to stand out with the message you are communicating. There may be other blogs about the same thing you want to write about or are writing about. You can be unique, authentic and passionate in your approach. Share your perspective and add your creativity. As Afua puts it:
“Honestly I had no crazy strategy when I began. I loved certain products so I shared that and my style with my followers. That is what I have been doing since.”
Use Social Media
“Instagram is really that instant!! My followers grew slowly but consistently. I have been so grateful to be able to connect with followers all over Africa and the world.”
- Drive traffic to your blog with social media. Instagram serves as a bait which lures a curious audience which have been attracted by the pictures they see to “click the link in here bio” to find out more. See figure
- Know the social media platform that suits your business. Instagram is a visual social media platform and so suits Afua’s passion and business of styling and fashion very well.
- Social media brings a global audience to your doorstop. According to Afua, she has people across Africa and the world who are followers – in other words she has a global audience who consume her content via Instagram.
“I have been blessed to have companies who sponsor to have their products on the blog.”
- You can make money through blogging. One of the ways to do that is through affiliate marketing that is by promoting products in their posts. A word of caution – you should do this wisely and choose the products you promote carefully. Do not compromise the trust of your audience in a bid to make money.
The force behind a successful blog
“Being yourself is always important.
I also like to hunk my sense of style and love for colour helps as well!! Hahaha!
I am committed to helping the fashion industry in Africa so that helps with the consistency and determination.”
- Authenticity in the blogging sphere is very important. That is what will make your blog unique and keep your audience glued.
- Commitment and a genuine passion to deliver value to your audience is also key to successfully use blogging in your communication efforts.
Being very creative and innovative.
Always bringing something new to the table for readers”
When you post at a regular and consistent rate, your audience takes not and makes a date with you. It is like tuning in to listen to a favourite radio programme which airs at a particular time. You may lose your audience when they show up but you are not present.
Afua’s advice to a starting blogger or budding stylist is:
“Figure out what your story is. What exactly do you want to blog about? Who are your readers? Take it very seriously and be confident about what you are doing.”
Due to its interactive nature, blogging is a good source to deepen the connection with your customer. You can also build trust by being a source of information. Consumers like to be informed, and will appreciate you for teaching them things that are relevant to them.
If you enjoyed reading this article kindly check out the other awesome content on this blog. Have a fruitful week.