Most business owners think that creating content and writing blog posts is a waist of their precious time. They think that they can do better and more useful things in order to promote their business and take it to the next level. Whenever I tell them that they have enough marketing content to last a year, the usual feedback is skepticism. The following is the typical response I receive:
“Are you kidding!? Everytime I sit down to write a blog post I end up staring at the screen for an hour without any good idea. I usually admitted my defeat and moved forward to other tasks I had to take care of. I don’t really have a topic I can talk about. Especially in a blog post.”
Sounds familiar? Alright, let’s play the “Have You Ever” game and continue from there:
Now, let me answer all these questions for you – Probably not! I am sure that you are very confident in what you’re saying to your clients and business partners. This is actually “instant feedback 101”. Based on body language, you always know when your clients are losing interest; and your automatic response it to change gears and move in the different direction.
I think you know where I’m going with this by now. You get my point when I am saying that you already have good content. Inlight of this new found information you have, all you need is a good plan and direction and you can start creating your own blogs.
When I was working at this amazing startup company, every time I wanted to write a blog it started the same way. I started by going over my recent emails and writing down all the major issues I used to solve for the company’s clients. The second step was to categorize these issues. I always liked to say, if you could put all the issues you solved into boxes, what would they be?
Let me set an example, Seltek Consulting’s main blog categories are entrepreneurship, business, marketing, social media and blogging.
If you are a chef or run a bakery your categories might be Healthy Cooking, Baking, Culinary Techniques, International Cuisines and Food Craft (Check out this Delicious Days blog for a great example). Or, if you are an artist your categories might be art, design, photography, illustration and craftsmanship.
Aim for five main categories. You will have a few more categories in the future of course, but this is a great starting point so you can get things done right.
Now that we are all set regarding the main categories for your blog, we can go back and think about those most frequently asked questions (A.K.A FAQ’s) your clients, customers, and prospects usually ask. What are the questions or objections you mostly receive in each section?
You shouldn’t over think it of course. Take a breather and start writing as many questions as possible for each category. Remember my work process? I went over my recent emails and wrote down all the major issues I used to take care for the company’s clients. I suggest you do the same and even create a spreadsheet or a simple document so you will have a list of all the topics. That way, you can always come back to it and have a great idea for a blog and just write about.
Always remember, don’t think of these topics as blog posts or anything more than just the questions you receive at this point of the process. You can also include the questions you wish your clients would ask you. Just go ahead and make the list, regardless the amount of questions in each category.
After you compile your own list, go to your employees or team members and ask them to do the same thing. Have them write down every question they receive in their department. Once everyone is done, you have a good chunk of content for a blog post!
Finally, write about what your clients need to know regarding any process related to them. For example, if one of the services you offer is a great support experience, then think about the questions, pain points, and education that needs to happen for those steps to be successful. What do your clients need to know in different steps of the process? What are the biggest issues they encountered or currently have (closed and opened issues)?
Again, you shouldn’t over think it. Take another breather if you need it and think about several of your favorite clients and ask yourself the following question:
This will give you a good starting point, but think about more questions related to your business and if you need to, go ahead and call them up and ask!
Now that you have a bunch of questions you created, take them all, add the FAQ’s your team created and put them together. At this point of the process, I highly recommend using a Google Docs so you can easily share it and everyone can add their own questions to the list in real time.
You came up with five categories and a few questions for each category. Let me fill you in, you just created enough content for a weekly blog post for the next year. Congrats!
You now have the foundation you need to start writing those articles. Each question from the list you made should turn into an article that fits best in your own perspective.
This is something I have encountered more than once, it’s always the same with clients. They have these great ideas for content, it’s basically all around them, but they are second guessing themselves when they start writing.
I saw this over and over and over again when I worded in different companies – The same scenario just keeps repeating itself:
They second guessed themselves when they started writing – Even when they knew the questions sounded great and were asked all the time.
After a certain period of time they actually started writing the blog posts while doubting people will not care enough to read them.
The blog posts were completed and just didn’t get published.
This saddens me because in the end, it didn’t matter how great the strategy was and the content ideas were; doubt won and the business owners stumbled once more.
One day, this led me to take on a different approach. I spoke to one of our clients and asked of him to make a recording for me. I asked him to record himself talking about “how he cannot write a blog post” and see if we can use it to create one (sounds like “inception” right?). I simply explained to him that this way, it will take the work out of it for you while keeping your words and authority. Once he did so, we actually got a blog post out of this new and different work process.
Since that very day three years ago, we, at Seltek Consulting, helped our clients reduce the time that takes them to publish weekly content. Literally.