With so many fantastic blogs out there with amazing home pages that are really landing pages designed to pull you in, something didn’t quite add up for me.
Where to start with a blog?
After all, you only have 15 seconds to grab their attention or risk losing them forever.
It is really a simple concept.
Give them the answer within 15 seconds then draw them in further.
How many times have you gone shopping only to end up buying everything else except what you wanted in the first place?
Does happens to you more often than those times you went shopping and buying exactly what you wanted in the first place?
The Golden Door of Opportunity
In a sense, blogging is shopping.
The trouble begins when the site’s structure changes and the blog becomes an afterthought.
The problem became apparent after I read a transcript of a podcast that pretty much turned on the light bulb inside my head.
That’s what I was trying to do. I was focused on creating content to build an audience and then later, because I, at that time, had no products and services, I wanted to learn from the audience and figure out what they want, what they need.
Then create that thing.
This quote is from an interview with Brian Clark who is well known as the blogger behind the now-famous Copyblogger website. [ref]Interview with Brian Clark – Your Home Page[/ref]
In other words, it takes time for any blogger to figure out what that thing is.
Create The Answer First.
Your content is your product.
People visit your site because they are searching for the answer to their question. The very first product your visitors are looking for is information.
Where can I get (insert name of your product or service here)?
You need content to answer that.
It is not rocket science here.
A Rocket Science Lesson
These days, after spending trillions of dollars, we are seeing businesses and organizations launching rockets and figuring out an answer to their question.
How can we reuse the rockets?
As a result, we now can successfully return rockets to Earth to reuse again. There are still more questions but now instead of just launching a throw-away product, we have a reusable product.
In a lot of ways, it is like blogging. You have to find out what you can reuse as a product because that product (your content) is what people want over and over.
It is that content that allows you to move onto the next step.
How can we learn from our audience?
How many times have you gone to visit a blog find exactly the answer you are looking for only to be pulled somewhere else?
A rocket can only be launched from one place, a launch platform.
Your blog is your launch platform.
By default, WordPress sets up your site using the blog as the front page. This makes sense when you think about your audience searching for information right away.
After all, the front page is the number one landing site for every website.
When was the last time you entered the store through the side entrance?
One of the problems with a blog is that the posts are listed in chronological order.
And your audience only has 15 seconds to decide which door to go through.
It’s just a matter of finding out what your audience wants. You are the one searching for an answer to their question. What exactly “that question” is will remain a mystery until your audience reacts.
Maybe it is a comment. Maybe it is a question. Maybe it is a thought.
Stay the course.
Per the Cambridge English Dictionary, the old saying, stay the course means…
to continue doing something until it is finished or until you achieve something you have planned to do
In any case, by finding out what you want by starting with a blog on my home page with content that answers the questions you are searching for, I am one step closer to figuring out what you want.
Google your question and you will get millions of answers on how to do find what you want. The odds are pretty good you will google that question over and over. What is the one thing that you notice right away each time you google that question?
The first answer changes over time.
It might not be the right answer. Google doesn’t know for sure. That’s why search engines change their formula all the time.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer here. You will have to test different strategies out. There is a strategy that seems to work regardless of all the variations.
Stick your product first
WordPress offers a nifty feature where you can stick your post to the top of the blog feed every time, no matter what. Over time, the more people reading that one post, the more answers you will get to their question.
That’s why I am staying the course by sticking my post to the top of my blog feed. As my traffic continues to grow, the frequency of visitors reading my product increases. Eventually, how the visitors react will provide a clue to the mystery.
What do you think?
Do you start blogging with a blog on the front page or not?
I look forward to your thoughts on this matter. If you made it this far and react by either commenting or sharing this posts with your social networks, then you know you are one step closer to solving the mystery of the question, why start with a blog on the front page?