Blogging for your hunting, outdoor or firearms company can be somewhat challenging. However, for those who take the time and energy to blog—there exists many benefits and clearly defined advantages for your business.
Call it content creation or blogging—blogs have been shown to increase website traffic by 55% (Source: Hubspot). Done consistently, blogging will compound over time into more traffic, more leads and more sales through your website. Blogging is one of the key components in an internet or content marketing strategy. Blogs power your search engine optimization and social media efforts to greater heights.
If you’re the type of person who sees the advantages of blogging and are committed to thought leadership, driving website traffic and to building your brand, this post will help you become a more effective blog writer in the hunting, outdoor and firearms industry.
1. Start with your audience
A lot of times, you may be blogging just for the sake of blogging. But this is where a lot of people go wrong. There is a methodology to blogging. For starters, you must understand your audience at the granular level to make your writing efforts pay off. A great way to get inside the heads of your prospects is to interview your current customers. Ask them why they value your brand, what keeps them up at night and what their biggest challenges are. For example:
- How to call in a hung up turkey.
- What is the best AR15 for home defense?
- How to become a better sports clay shooter.
- How to field dress your game quicker.
- What are cheaper thermal vision alternatives?
- Best places in Montana to look for sheds.
- What level of fitness do I need to hunt Bighorn Sheep?
By asking the right questions, you will be able to write the right blogs that capture your audience’s attention.
2. Teach them something
Just like this blog is attempting to teach you something—your blog should attempt the same. Like the examples shown above, the first and best way to approach a blog is to answer the questions you hear most from your customers. Compose a list, perhaps starting with your FAQS and turn them into 500-800-word blog posts.
TIP: Posts with 1000-2000 words or more are shared almost twice as much.
3. Pick topics based on your keywords
If you’re blogging on topics that don’t include your keywords you’re camouflaging your blogs. Keywords drive traffic to your website and show up in search engines where your prospective customers are. Pick topics that your customers are searching for. To find out what keywords you should be blogging on, you’ll need to take a closer look at your analytics. You may even consider using a paid keyword tool service like Moz, Wordstream or utilize your Google Adwords tool.
TIP: Write for humans, not search engines. Don’t stuff keywords into your copy.
Formatting is another factor you must consider. Your readers will typically scan topics and headlines before committing to reading your post. It’s kind of like channel surfing. To make the most of the one shot you have to grab your reader’s attention, your blog posts should take on a format like this to allow for easy scanning:
- Attention-grabbing headline
- Engaging image
- Share buttons
- Introduction and hook
- Introduce the problem you are solving and who the post is for
- Tell the reader what to expect
- Cite your sources for credibility
- Number your sub-heads
- End with a recap and conclusion
- Use a call to action to generate a lead or sale
By formatting your blog properly, you’ll increase the likelihood of getting it read.
Sharing is considered the “holy grail” in social media. It’s one thing to “like” or “favorite” a post, but a share has the potential to drive traffic and build brand awareness exponentially. When a person shares your content, it says something about them to their friends and followers. According to Mark Schaefer’s new book, the Content Code, people share content on the basis of making themselves look smarter or to communicate something about their interests and personalities. Sharing “ignites” your content that allows your brand to penetrate into new audience groups.
Make sure to add share buttons at the top of your posts and make sure the blog data automatically populates is the first step in getting your post shared.
If you start a blog, you must commit to blogging on a regular and consistent basis. By starting out strong and then getting sidetracked in 3-4 months, will hinder your efforts and leave your followers hanging. They’ll forget about you and eventually unsubscribe or tune out. If you’re going to commit to blogging, commit to it and stick with it. You can start out by committing to once a month and build up from there. The more you blog—statistics show—the more traffic you get.
7. End with a call to action
At the end of every blog post, you should end with a call to action. Whether it’s a downloadable offer, a video or even a call to purchase one of your products—make sure to capitalize on the momentum and interest you just created with your reader once they get to the bottom of your post.
In ending, when writing a blog post, start by knowing your audience, teach them something, write articles based on your keywords, format, make it easy to share, be consistent and end with a call to action.
By including these points in your next hunting, outdoor or firearms blog post, you’ll start seeing lower bounce rates, increased traffic, and more subscribers, shares, likes and favorites.
In this ebook, we give you some powerful pointers on how to generate content, optimize, promote and measure your blogging activities.
You will learn:
- Why you should have a blog
- How to generate blog content
- How to optimize your blog posts
- How to promote your blog
- How to measure your blog
- 4 business blogging practices
- Additional resources
By Josh Claflin, Brand Development, Inbound Marketing & Creative Strategy
Josh helps brands in the hunting, outdoor and firearms industry who are struggling to develop their brand; grow, stabilize or increase profits through their websites; increase revenue through online channels and enter the digital era of marketing.