Some businesses have a sense that they would like to get a blog going for their business but they get stalled because never having done one before they think the process is a bit of a “black box.”
When you get right down to it, this is an editorial process much like newspapers followed back in the day when I was proud to be in journalism. It isn’t difficult to make a blog happen, but it does require some forethought and some solid organization. You could easily implement a similar process in your company and to show you how it works, I thought I’d share the process I generally follow with clients. I’ll use the experience of my client, “Jim,” (not his real name) to show you how it works.
Jim is the CEO of a business in the Greater Toronto Area and he and his team provide a service in highly competitive field. None of his competitors were blogging, or really doing much of anything online, which is not unusual in the manufacturing field these days. So he had a huge opportunity to differentiate his company in his niche. Jim was concerned about the fact that he had not focused on expanding his business’s online presence and we discussed a number of options for doing so. Budgets were tight and he was nervous. I thought a blog would represent a good first step for him—a way to get started with content marketing that wouldn’t take up too much of his time. Here’s how we went about it:
- Brainstorming. Jim and I met one frosty morning in late November when the Canadian winter was threatening its worst. Because I had already written new website content for his business, I already had a good handle on who Jim’s customers were, and what challenges they faced. In fact, we had developed a customer persona. We sat together for an hour or so and did some brainstorming around the kind of problems Jim’s customer’s face and how, specifically, Jim’s business solves those problems. I don’t always meet face-to-face with my customers, by the way. Some of them are too far away from my location to make it practical for us to get together. In those cases, we meet by Skype or telephone.
- Creating an Editorial Calendar. I next then took all of the information I had gathered from my conversation with Jim and created an editorial calendar for the blogging program. It listed the top six problems Jim’s customers face and it itemized three solutions Jim’s company provides for each (see below). It also assigned publication dates for each blog.
- Approval. I sent the editorial calendar to Jim for his approval. He and his General Manager were working together on the project so they both took a look at what we were proposing. They didn’t do much tweaking but they did make a few adjustments that they felt made the calendar more targeted and accurate.
- First blogs. We went ahead and drafted the first five blogs, based on information we already had about Jim and his company. That got us set up for a couple of months into the future and it meant we didn’t have to panic about whether or not we were going to meet our deadlines.
And there’s more – stay tuned for next week’s blog to read about the fifth step in the process of making a blog happen. And, in the meantime, if you would like some help with your blog, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s chat about what that might look like!