This is a playbook to building a business blog- and making progress – in a day. We’re writing this post as we build our Fulcrumizer site and blog.
The following platforms all work fine. There are plenty of resources on getting those done.
- WordPress- what we use because we’re used to it. Use the .org version, of course.
- Webflow– A great design-first platform that a lot of our clients are starting to use.
- Squarespace– Great tool for getting rolling, probably the fastest of all of the above, but the least flexible platform.
There are others that are fine to use as well, I don’t know- and won’t learn – them all because we have the box checked and that’s good enough for now.
#1: Decide On Your Business Outcome
Never blog because you “have” to blog. Never even blog because it “works.” (Though it very much works).
Have an outcome that you want for your blog. A real, live, measurable primary outcome you can measure in KPIs. Not fluffy.
When you point your efforts at an outcome you can measure the success of your efforts, and then you can solve for (and win) that X.
If you just do it to check a box, you’re lighting money and time on fire.
What We Are Doing:
Our blog will:
- Generate 20 high-quality leads every month.
- Be a place for us to codify and promote our ideas and differences.
With this as a goal for the blog we can then determine how much time we can invest here. We know what a high quality lead is worth and how much time is overinvesting.
Each lead for us has an implied value of about $500 so we can spend about 2 hours per lead at the moment.
Have Content Standards
The word “content” sort of sucks. It’s sounds like something you get under your shoe. That’s because the world is littered with content that says nothing, teaches nothing and is just the same thing everyone else is not saying and not teaching.
If we’re going to make something “content” it has to be valuable to someone else even if they don’t purchase from you. You have to give real live value, insight and leadership to the world. That starts with standards.
- It’s got to be realistic and contextual.
- It’s got to be hopeful – we want to build the world as it can and should be.
- We have to include the ‘nuts and bolts,’
- We have to have some sorta fun here. Jokes are welcome.
A quick aside: These are our audience benefits. We can work in what we want out of this a little later. But if we focus on delivering value for our audience, we can earn the right to have one.
Have An Audience Building Engine
One element of a blog is to have an audience-building engine in place. This means tools, some of them third party.
- Analytics: You need to know who is looking at what (and what is being ignored).
- Retargeting Ads: We’re not going to rely on organic and luck, are we?
- A distribution plan: Yes, every piece of content needs one. This will also include some ads.
- A way to capture audience ownership: Email, text, whatever you got, let’s use it.
- We’re starting with Google Analytics.
- We’re using Adroll and FB Ads for retargeting.
- We’ll list the distribution plan a little father down the page.
- We’ll start by using ConvertKit as the email system of record for us.
Create A Content Calendar:
A killer book is Meera Kothand’s One Hour Content Plan. She basically suggests that we do a calendar that breaks down what we want to write into a few topics and have sessions that break down the themes. It’s easier than doing each piece from scratch.
We also have to determine the amount of time we have for the blog, which is governed by what “business outcome” we want.
Our content calendar will be to post original content 10 times per month.
Have a Distribution Plan
We are going to roll out a “small, medium and large” distribution plan.
Everything we do will be put out on social channels and bosted to the tune of $30 bucks +/-. That’s enough to start getting eyeballs and to start getting people to retarget and to begin to accrue an audience and to have a page.
The “bigger” stuff will get promoted to other channels
Have A Multi-Channel Plan
Every blog post should become more content – and vice versa. We want to get our message out so we want to spend the time to find our audience where they are living.
What can we tweet? Should we make it into a podcast? Should we edit this?
Being available for our audience wherever they live is an important start. So we want to be ready for this with a process.
We also want to build conversion plumbing.
We want people to be working with us. So we’ll probably pick some messaging software to install.
We’re going to use LiveChat when we get to 10 blog posts and 100 visitors daily. No sense in spending sooner.
We’ll use Gravity Forms to interact with our CRM. We’re thinking of all phases of the funnel here, and blogs are great at generating:
- Top of funnel leads that need some help.
- Specific AF leads that need YOUR problem solved.
Build Some “Working First Version Pages”
These pages will exist to show what we’re doing & how.
- Home Page: What you’re selling in as simple terms as possible.
- Contact Page: A way for people to contact us, of course.
- About Page. A way for people to know what we do, who we are and what our values are.
- Jobs: We want to start thinking about getting applicants from day one and thinking about writing jobs posts.
- Support: If people need help, we want to start talking about our policies here.
How this is done in ten hours?
Each page has one hour to be completed. Each tool has 30 minutes to be installed.
20 minutes to get an outline and references.
20 minutes for a first draft.
20 minutes for tweaks and finalizations. And that’s it.
We don’t have time for endless tweaking, we’re getting something going. We are getting enough done right.
This will get the first project done at Fulcrumizer in about 10 hours and we’ll have a viable blog that produces 20 leads a month, or a lead for every hour invested.