3 Critical Things to Know Before You Start Writing Your First Blog Post

medium_4959078165I tell all entrepreneurs, marketing managers and digital marketers who will listen to me, that the most important thing they can do for their business is to start to blog.

It’s  like saying “Walk 30 minutes a day, eat less sugar and you will live longer”.  You know its true, you know there are benefits to be had, you just need to get started.

Why blogging?   Because it’s  the easiest online marketing tactic to get started and your blog is the platform for everything that comes after.

The software and designs are free or cheap and there are a ton of premium resources to help you get started.

The sooner you start, the sooner you’re going to have to answer those pesky questions like “Who am I writing for?’, “What am I writing about?”, and most importantly “Who is going to write these blog posts?”

Also the sooner you get started, the sooner you will make mistakes and learn from them;  the sooner you will run into and overcome those nasty organisational roadblocks to publishing online, and the sooner you will learn how to get better at writing good content.

To help you get through this initial phase faster I’m listing my three key questions you should have an answer to before you start blogging on your business blog.

Know Thy Customer and their Pain

The best types of blog posts are those that answer customer questions.    So have a good idea exactly who your ideal customer is before you start writing content.  Understand the problems they face and the questions they need answers to and that will help tell you what you need to be writing about.

Know Thy Customer Journey

If you know the roughly the path a customer takes from

  • Discovering a product,
  • Researching and comparing alternatives,
  • Reading reviews to validate their thinking
  • To purchasing
  • And then to validating their purchase,

then you understand what content is needed to answer the questions they have each step of the way.

Informative news type blog posts are ideal for discovery and to introduce your business to a new prospect but when they get closer to the pointy end of the funnel, they are going to need more detailed blog posts, white papers, videos and case studies to answer their questions about features, functionality, reliability and risk mitigation to help get them across the line.

Know Thy Customers Researching Habits

Before you start creating content it helps to know how your prospective customer goes about searching for a solution online, who they trust and listen to for recommendations, the blogs and forums they go to for research.

Do some keyword research.  Understand the words they type into Google when searching for a solution to their problem or when searching for your product or service.

Knowing this information helps you write keyword targeted blog posts.  It lets you know where you need to be to promote your content and it helps you identify which influencers you need to be getting close to given their authority in your market place.

If you have these three things covered then you are 90% of the way to getting your blog out the door successfully.

More Reading

If you want to dig into this a little more I’ve found three other blog posts that you should read to help you get prepared to start a blog.  These are some of my favourite bloggers and authors.

photo credit: josemanuelerre via photopin cc