How To Create A Great Blog - Part 3: Long Term Blogging Strategy
This is the third episode in our series on creating a great blog. In the last episode I talked about the importance of understanding your buyer persona's problems and then addressing those problems through targeted blog posts that offer valuable information for your buyers. If you are keeping up with the articles you will now have a list of problems that your customers are facing. If not, then why not go back and complete the list first.
Here's a quick recap of the 7 points that will be addressed in this series.
- Get to know your customers
- Understand your buyer problems
- Create a long term strategy to target your ideal customer
- Know your buyer's pain points
- Choose your keywords carefully
- Write great content
- Publicise well
Create A Long Term Strategy To Target Your Ideal Customer
So let's take another look at the buyers journey. The 3 stages are Awareness, Consideration and Decision.
Awareness - In this stage, the buyer has a problem and doesn't know how to solve it. They may start by searching for the problem they have.
Consideration - In this stage of the buyer journey, they may now be aware of your brand through their searches and are now looking to evaluate all of the different options. This is where you could compare products and solutions for the buyer.
Decision - In the decision stage, buyers are now looking to find out as much as they can about what your business has to offer. This is where you can really sell your product or service.
We have already made a list of problems our buyers are facing, and we will use that list to plan what articles we will write to address the awareness stage.
We now need to plan some content for the other stages.
In this stage, the buyer has now collected information to understand what their problem is and will have defined a goal. They will now be in 'research mode' to try and find out what the solutions are to help them accomplish their goal. This is going to mean searching for different solutions to the same problem. It may mean creating comparisons of the top solutions to their problem. It could mean looking at some common misconceptions when addressing their goal or describing the pros and cons or different ways to achieve the goal. A great example of this is the company Go Cardless who offer an online payment solution for businesses. They have created a whole series of guides to address the consideration phase of the buyer journey.
Let's go back to the wallpaper example by making a list of some of the articles we could create:
- Top 5 ways to remove stubborn wallpaper
- Should I use a wallpaper stripper or do it by hand?
- Comparison of Top 5 wallpaper strippers
- Should I pay someone to decorate or do it myself
Now is your chance to talk about the great features of your product or solution. You can describe each of the key features of your products and talk about how they offer a great solution to the buyers goals. Again, Go Cardless have done a great job of this by offering a whole section of their site to provide a beautiful and visual explanation of their service.
Oh, and if you're wondering how I found the Go Cardless example, I was looking at recurring payment solutions for my own business and started in the consideration stage by searching for my problem!
Once again, let's take a look at our solution and the articles we create. For this example, I've made up some features for the imaginary product:
- Extra large water container so you don't have to stop as much
- Stop damaging your plaster with our patented nozzle
- Our tool won't clog with old wallpaper paste
- Special adaptor for getting into awkward corners
Over to you for a bit of work. Get a piece of paper and write 2 headings - Consideration and Decision. Make a list of things you could address in each of the columns. Don't worry about the title yet - we'll get to that later. Just get down all your ideas.
Long Term Planning
Making a list
Nearly there! So you've now got a list of articles for all three stages of the buyer journey. Now let's figure out how often we are going to post the articles on your website. Be realistic - if you're on your own, then a daily blog post is never going to happen. Maybe start with once a month or once a week depending on what you can handle. (Personally, I aim for once a week). There is nothing worse than posting a weeks worth of great content and then nothing for 12 months! This damages your reputation and your brand. So let's go with weekly. We now know that we have 52 articles to write over the next 12 months. I would take all of those notes you've made and see how many you have got! If some things seem long, you could break them up into a series of posts about the same topic (like this one that you are reading now). I find it helpful to make the list on the computer so you can drag and drop the articles around to change their order. I personally use a free tool called Asana to do this for my own blog, if Asana isn't suited to you then here is a really good article comparing the many project management tools available.
Getting your blog post list in order
Once you have your list, start thinking about the order of your posts. You don't need to post them in the order of the buyers journey, but it may help to start with some of the awareness stage posts. You could take a particular problem and add posts in an order that takes the buyer through the stages and then go back to the start with your next buyer problem. It's up to you.
Once the order is correct, then start putting some dates next to them so you know when they need to be published. This will help you to remain structured and keep on top of your blog.
Knowing when to work on your blog
Plan time in your diary to work on your blog. Try to avoid writing one post at a time as it's easy to fall behind. Try block booking out time in your diary to write a series of posts. You could do this monthly so you only have 4 posts to write at a time.
A great blog relies on a great plan and a great strategy. You need to see the bigger picture about what you are trying to achieve with your blog and use it as a way to address your idea customers. There are other things that you may want to include in your plan such as seasonal offers and promotions but I'll leave that for you to add if you choose.
By now you should have a very real plan with deadlines. You will have a lists of the posts you are going to create and also a detailed 'Buyer Persona' for each of your buyers.
In the next article I will address one more issue in the buyer journey.