7 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Starting a Funeral Blog

funeral blog starting

Doesn’t it seem like everywhere you turn, one more funeral home (or any business for that matter) is getting on social media or starting a blog?

If you’re annoyed by all of this “blogging this” and “social media that” chatter, I have bad news for you: this chatter won’t go away… maybe ever.

That’s right – business blogging is here to stay.

Some speculate that blogging could even replace newspapers as the preferred medium to read news for people of all ages!

If you’ve read this far and think I’m crazy, try giving this post on why you should be blogging a read. I promise, you’ll be back here in about 5 minutes reading about how you can get started with your funeral blog.

Still don’t believe me? Then check out these stats below:

A few statistics on the value of blogging:

– There’s an 88% difference in the number of monthly online leads between B2C (business to consumer) companies with blogs and those without.
– Companies with blogs get 55% more visitors to their site than those that don’t blog (more visitors means more potential revenue).
– Blogs are leveraged as a marketing tool for 40% of American companies.
– 71% of people use blogs as information sources when making buying decisions.

So it’s pretty clear that every business needs a blog – the question is, how do you get started?

When you set out on a road trip, you make sure to take a map and your GPS, right? If you’re planning to start a funeral blog, you also need some direction. Your funeral home’s blog has to fit in with your overall business strategy, which means there are several strategic issues you need to address.

Before your funeral home gets started with blogging, here are seven questions you must ask yourself:

1. What is the goal of your funeral home’s blog?

As I mentioned in the post “7 Reasons Your Funeral Home Needs to Start Blogging, Now”, your funeral blog could help you:

– Humanize your brand and build trust
– Boost your SEO efforts
– Showcase and sell your services
– Help your community
– Do market research
– Boost website traffic
– Drive sales
– Position you as a thought leader

While there are many things you want your funeral home’s blog to do overall, it’s important to stick to 1-2 important goals for your blog. For every post you write, ask yourself “How will this blog contribute to our primary goal(s)?” The key is to stay laser focused

2. Who is your intended audience?

It’s not enough to say your audience”anyone who will need to plan a funeral service” – that’s almost everyone in the world! In order to truly understand the audience of your blog, you’ve got to create personas for them, which are “fictional representations of your ideal customers… based on real data about customer demographics and online behavior”.

In order to create a persona, you’ll need to do research, conduct surveys and interview your target audience. Then, you’ll use that information to answer these questions:

1. Background information: What is the persona’s societal role and job? What about their education and hobbies?
2. Demographic information: What is the persona’s gender, age, income and location?
3. Goals: What are the persona’s primary goals in reading your blog? How can you help them achieve these goals?
4. Challenges: What problems/challenges is the persona trying to solve by reading your blog? How can you help them solve them?
5. Messaging: What kind of voice would your persona find engaging (professional, conversational, informative, emotional, etc.)? What is their state-of-mind when they visit your blog? What would offend them during their time of grief?
6. Quotes: Come up with a few actual quotes your persona would say. For example, “I don’t have the time to plan my loved one’s funeral all by myself. How do I ask for help?”
7. Elevator pitch: In one sentence, how would you describe your blog to your audience?

While creating a persona for your blog involves making a lot of generalizations, the goal is to get a more in-depth, personal look at your blog audience so you can better understand their needs. To get started creating personas for your funeral home’s blog, use this free template (compliments of Hubspot).

3. What blog topics do these personas want to read?

Now that figured out how to truly understand the audience of your blog, you’ve got to figure out what they want to read about. In order to find out the kinds of information they want to read about on your blog, try the following:

– Ask your secretary, fellow funeral directors, or yourself what kinds of questions your current and potential families are asking. This will give you a good understanding of the answers you should provide them through blogging.
– Ask your social media audience if there’s anything they’d like to learn more about – whether it be funeral planning, grief tips, funeral personalization, etc.
– Do keyword research (we’ll cover this in a later point) to figure out what your intended audience is searching for online.
– Plug this Qualaroo Insights tool (they offer a 14-day free trial) into your funeral home’s website to ask your website visitors what they’d be interested in learning about on your blog.
– Go on Quora and research questions people are asking related to the funeral profession and write blogs that address these questions.

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4. Have you completed keyword research?

Despite recent changes in Google’s search algorithms, monitoring keywords is still a great way to figure out what people are searching for (and therefore what topics your blog should cover).

Keywords are not everything, but they can be helpful if you are just getting started. One of the best tools for doing this is the Google Adwords Keyword Tool, which will help you get started with narrowing down possible blog topics.

Tip: When conducting keyword research with Google’s tool, be sure to set the Match Type (in the top left corner of the screen) to “Exact” to get the best results. Also, be sure to only pay attention to “Local Monthly Searches” rather than “Global Monthly Searches” when researching keyword search volume.

 

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5. Are there other funeral home blogs targeting your audience?

If there are, check them out to find out what they’re writing about, what response they’re getting, and what elements of their blog seem to be successful. Take your competitive research to the next level by using these four free tools to research blogs similar to yours.

Once you’re done with your research, can use that information to find your funeral home’s competitive advantage that will set your blog apart. This will be key in finding  the true benefits and value your blog will have for your readers.

6. Who will be writing your blog posts?

Let’s be clear: the best person to write your funeral home’s blog is you. After all, you know your business (and industry) inside and out. Caleb Wilde writes his own blog and has done a great job attracting a large audience through his confessional, personal approach.

But that’s not always practical, so if you can’t commit to writing regularly, or don’t feel you have the writing skills, then you’ll need to hire professional writers. For more information on hiring professional writers, check out the post “How to Hire Writers for Your Blog” by well-known blogger, Darren Rowse.

7. Can that person commit to blogging regularly?

The only thing worse than no blog is a neglected blog! Blogging regularly is the only way to achieve your funeral home’s blogging goals. Ideally, you should be blogging once a week, but research suggests that the more you blog, the more traffic and leads your blog will generate.

In fact, the chart below shows that blogging twice a week (as opposed to once a week) will result in nearly 100% more leads from your blog!

 funeral_blog_leads_chart

 

If anyone at your funeral home can’t find the time to blog, hire a committed in-house or freelance writer or reach out to guest bloggers to help you with your blogging efforts!

The two things you can’t start your blog without

If you’ve made it this far into the post, you must be ready to jump on the blogging bandwagon! But before you even click “X’ and get started your funeral home’s blog strategy, here are two things you can’t move forward without:

#1: A professional website

Without a funeral home website, your blog is like a tree falling in the middle of the forest – no one will hear it! Ideally, your blog should live on your funeral home’s website, so make sure your funeral home has a professional website that truly represents the people, values and mission of your firm.

Your website is where people do research to make purchasing decisions, but your blog is what sends them there (remember those stats we quoted earlier). Together, your website and funeral blog can be your greatest marketing tool. Some website providers offer blog integration services, so be sure to contact them before trying to integrate your blog with your website on your own.

#2: A social media presence

Once you’re ready to start blogging, you’ll need to have a channel to share your content with the world. Social media is the perfect tool to do that. But long before you start blogging, your firm should start building your social media presence. That way, by the time you’re regularly publishing posts, you’ll have an audience hungry for your blog content!

Here are some awesome resources to help you get started with social media if you already haven’t:

– 4 Secrets to Successfully Marketing Your Funeral Home on Facebook
– 5 Social Media & Funeral Marketing Examples You Can Actually Use
– How to Enhance Your Internet Presence With Social Media (eBook)

 

We hope this short guide helped put you on the right track to starting your funral blog! Stay tuned for our next post that will cover the basics of putting your blogging plans into action!

So, what do you think? Are you ready to get started blogging for your funeral home? If not, what are your hesitations? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

 
 

P.S. Want to boost your blogging efforts with a website that automatically integrates your funeral blog? Click here or call 800-798-2575 extension 5 to learn more about funeralOne’s all-in-one website platform, f1Connect!

 
 

Joe JoachimABOUT THE AUTHOR

Joe Joachim is the CEO and Founder of funeralOne, the first global solutions firm leading a movement of change for the funeral profession. For the past 11 years, he’s developed game-changing solutions that help funeral professionals increase the value of their service offerings, connect with the families of today, and become more profitable. funeralOne’s solutions include: website design, aftercare, funeral eCommerce, and personalization software.

 

Joe Joachim

funeralOne

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  1. Thiago

    Excellent tips. I’ve a close friend who does funeral services in St. Charles IL, but has felt rather uninspired lately. I think this will help him a lot.

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  3. Krystal

    Thanks so much Thiago! I’m glad you found these tips to be helpful. Hopefully they’ll give your friend some inspiration for his blog!

  4. Thiago

    Well, he seems to have put some things together since I showed this to him, so I’d call it a success!

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