You find yourself staring at a blank Google doc. Time: 12:22 a.m. It’s the night before you need to publish your weekly blog post.
You’ve got nothing. And you’re so tired.
Things are going to play out one of two ways at this point:
1. You write something to just get this off your list for another week. It’s not your best content, but it’s something.
2. You decide sleep is way more important and you skip another week of blogging. Soon weeks becomes months.
Houston, you have a problem with your blogging. Either of these approaches totally misses the point.
Why Are You Blogging Anyways?
It’s time for a quick recap. Blogging isn’t designed to be a repetitive task that tortures you week in, week out. Or to test your late night creative writing skills.
The point of blogging is to create content that connects with your audience. Content that people want to read and attracts them to your site. Most of all, your content is there to help move people along their journey in your business. Your goal should be to get the right content to the right person at the exact right time.
Once you’ve mapped out your customer experience, you’ll have a good start on figuring out what your clients really and truly need from you.
Typically your content should fall into one of three categories:
Inform: Answer what they need to know to take the next step. What can you teach them to get them to the point where they want to work with you? How can you deliver value so they grow to know, like and trust you?
Engage: Eventually you want your readers to go from just consuming information to being open to engaging further. What do they need to know to get to this stage? How can you engage and encourage them? How do you break down and eliminate objections?
Challenge: Throughout your customer’s journey, you’ll need to create content that stretches what they know, pushes them in new ways and opens their minds so they can go further. How can you challenge their beliefs? Inspire them to stretch themselves?
The idea is that each piece of blog content you create supports a business goal and, ideally, a step in your customer experience map. Now if that sounds like way more work, I’m not going to sugar coat it ﹘ it’s definitely going to take some work, but the point is to create content that actually helps you meet your business goals.
Blogging randomly on a hodge podge of topics does nothing to help you actually build your business, and if that’s your plan of attack, I challenge you to figure out if you should keep blogging.
Tough love, I know. But if you have zero love for your blog, give it no love and won’t hire someone to love it up for you, WTF is the point?
You’ve got options. There’s no rule that says you need to blog. By sucking at blogging, you’re doing more harm than good. You’re attracting the wrong kind of clients and likely not much else.
[clickToTweet tweet=”When you suck at blogging, you do more harm than good. #stopit @magspatterson” quote=”When you suck at blogging, you do more harm than good. #stopit @magspatterson”]
Fixing Your Blogging Problem, Stat
If you’ve decided to stop this late night blogging rubbish, it’s time to fix your blogging problem.
Here’s how to make that happen:
#1. Map Out Your Customer Experience
Yes, I know, broken record. But get busy. This matters. You can find the step-by-step process for creating a customer experience map here.
#2. Determine Your Big Business Priorities for the Next Six Months
Blogging gets a whole lot easier once you know what’s happening in your business. Yes, things change. And sure, you’re going to add something in or kill off your last brainwave, but consider this a starting point.
Ask questions including:
- What are you promoting, launching or selling?
- What are common objections to each of these products or services?
- What triggers people to buy?
- What do people need to know to make a purchase?
- Are you building your email list? What do they need to hear from you?
- What do people need to know about your business?
- How can you inject more storytelling and personality?
Start sketching out those answers and you’ll start to percolate with blog post ideas.
#3. Bring on the Content Storm
You’ve heard of brainstorming, right? Well, same idea, but for your blog content ﹘ so think of it as your content storm. You won’t need an umbrella but you’re going to need a little time to sift through all of your ideas.
Post-it notes are my secret weapon. Start by writing out ideas in line with your customer experience map, the categories and questions above. After that, start by sorting them into themes or patterns where you see them.
I find for a lot of my clients, having an overarching editorial theme by quarter or month helps them keep the blog content on track and doesn’t feel constrictive if a new idea comes up.
For example, if you’re a health coach, you may decide July is Summer Fun Month and focus on out-of-the-box workout and nutrition ideas all month long. This would help position you as someone who’s innovative and trustworthy, while both informing and hopefully engaging readers.
So, what’s it going to be? A little planning now to save you? Or keeping up with late night blogging hell and content that’s wasting space on your website? The choice is yours, blogger!
Introducing The Content Brewery
If you’ve decided you’re totally in for blogging, but OMG you need help, I’ve got you covered. I’ve brought together some of my most popular services in a single offering that I’m debuting this week.
The Content Brewery helps you create a master game plan for your blog and email content for six months at a time. Imagine, bringing in a pro (that’s me!) to help you sort through what to focus on for your blog, what your email opt-in should be and even what to write in those autoresponder emails you’ve been ignoring.
The Content Brewery is $100 off until June 30th. Limited spaces are available for Summer 2015.