3 Lessons I’ve Learned As a Professional Solar Blogger

solar bloggerI’ve been a general blogger for about 8 years and a “solar” blogger for the past 4 years.

Over that time, I’ve done long-term projects, one-off posts, and daily writing for a host of solar PV clients around the world.

Each project is unique.  But the most successful campaigns I’ve worked on share some commonalities.

Here are 3 lessons I’ve learned over the years as a solar blogger.

1.  Give Away the Special Sauce – for Free

So many companies are overly protective of their products and services.  They understand the need to offer at least “some” useful information in their posts.  But they try to provide the bare minimum needed to keep people interested and coming back.

This is an understandable reaction.  After all, your competitors are watching, and you don’t want to share too much, do you?

My attitude is – give away the special sauce.  Unless you work in the clandestine services, there’s more benefit to over-sharing than under-sharing.

Here’s why.

You provide value to end-users (i.e. potential customers).  True, your competitors could learn some of your internal workings.  And some might even rip your content, reword it, and post it as their own.

But who cares?  With enough quality content, you establish yourself as a true authority within your vertical.  Everyone else is playing catch-up.  The goal is to keep writing and build up a huge portfolio of useful and relevant content that your target market wants to read.

This is why I freely share my writing tips and methods with the world.  Could other solar energy bloggers end up copying me?  Sure.  Many have.

The bigger danger for someone in my position is the risk of chasing away prospects.  If I teach readers exactly how I conduct keyword research or how I write press releases, this makes it less likely that they’ll ever contract my services.

But for every potential client who decides to use my tips without ever contacting me, I gain 3 or 4 paying clients.  These are readers who like what I have to say and reach out to me the next time they need help.

By freely sharing, everyone is better off.  Yes – even my competitors.

2.  People Actually Read What You Write

It doesn’t matter how niche your industry is – over a long enough time period, someone will eventually read your post.  And that someone could convert to a sale.

Don’t believe me?

Take my site for example.  I’m a copywriter who specializes in solar energy.  It’s hard to get more niche than that.  A Google search of the following keywords reveals:

  • “solar” – 633,000,000 results
  • “writer” – 407,000,000 results
  • “copywriter – 12,600,000 results
  • “solar copywriter” – only 617 results (no zeros in there – just 617 results).

“Solar copywriter” is searched so infrequently that Google doesn’t even have statistics for it in its Keyword Tool.

On any given day, I get about 2 visits for this one search term.  And almost all of these visits are to one of my blog posts – a very old post in fact.

Here’s the thing.

If I get just a 1% conversion rate with that single post, that means I’m getting a new client every 50 days.  A new client from an ultra niche keyword on a long-forgotten blog post that I wrote months ago.

Chances are, your niche is a little broader than mine is.  This means more potential traffic and conversions.  It also means more competition.  But this only highlights the importance of blogging as often as possible so you stand a better chance of outranking that competition.

Where am I going with this exactly?

The point is, blogging does work.  Write it, set it, and then forget it.

Each post lives in perpetuity and will continue generating traffic for months and years to come.  Think of it as an extra fishing line that you throw over the side of your boat and just leave there.  No maintenance necessary.  If you get a bite, great.  If not, you just haven’t waited long enough.

3.  Analytics & Tracking Matter

Ok – so remember when I said to “set it and forget it.”  Well, I just want to revise that statement a little bit.

You can forget about the blog posts that don’t convert.  Just leave them as is.  But periodically, you should go through Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools to research which posts are attracting the most traffic and which ones are converting the most visitors.

  • Traffic is easier to sort out.  Google’s tools can tell you which pages receive the most hits per month.  Google can also tell you the average time that readers spend on each one of your posts.
  • Conversions are a little harder to determine.  You don’t simply want traffic – you want actionable traffic.  Google can help out here as well.  They have a great feature called Flow Visualization that shows you the paths each visitor takes before reaching one of your conversion pages (i.e. contact form, sales page, etc.).

If you know which blog posts attract the most traffic and which ones yield the highest conversions, you can redirect your blogging efforts accordingly.  By expanding upon relevant topics and keywords, you can drive more traffic and achieve higher conversions.

More Lessons I Hope to Learn As a Solar Blogger

With 4 years as a solar blogger under my belt, I’ve learned a great deal.  But I also know that I still have much to learn.  Hopefully this will be an ongoing series as a I periodically update you on recent discoveries, tips, and insights.

In the meantime, happy blogging.

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