2010 Blogging Plan: Part 2 of 5

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Filed under: Blog Topics, Marketing Tips 

Lion on a RockIn step 1 of your 2010 Blogging Plan we looked at overall business goals.  Before starting a blog, it’s important to clarify how it will fit in with the goals of your business.  How will the blog function as a tool for marketing? Will it help build a list of leads, promote a product or service, enhance web search rankings, build expertise, communicate with prospects and clients, all of the above, and more!??

That leads us to Step 2 of your 2010 Blogging Plan: Positioning.  

Now, ‘Positioning’ is a rather technical marketing term, and in a broader business context spells out 3 things:

  1. the buying criteria that prospects associate with you and your company.
  2. the core messaging on which all of your marketing is built.
  3. prioritization of which marketing strategies to focus on first.

To learn even more about Positioning than you thought you’d ever want to know, check out the bastion of definitive fact and information, Wikipedia.

So when it comes to marketing your business, your positioning statement is the foundation from which all your efforts emanate.  The same goes for your blog.  Blog Positioning answers these key questions:

  • Who is your target audience?
  • What problems or challenges do they face?
  • What solutions, benefits, resources & information do you deliver?

The First Question

Your blog will be easier to manage if you’re answers to these questions are clear.  Here’s an exercise that may help you with this step:

Take a piece of paper and at the top, write down the first question: who is your target audience?

Set a timer for 2 minutes and start making a list of every characteristic and attribute you think your reader posses.  What is their gender, age, marital and family status?  How educated are they?  Do they own a home or rent?  Where do they live and what kinds of professions are they most likely to be engaged in?

Furthermore, are they outgoing? Do they belong to a club, church or community organization? How about volunteer work?  Are they motivated by money or recognition?  And so on.

You’re beginning to build a profile of your audience. Sometimes it even helps to have in mind a specific person you know.  But don’t worry about being too specific at this point.  I’ve taken many clients through this exercise and there’s a common concern that the profile is too narrow, that it eliminates people.  But that’s not the case.

You’re moving toward clarity, for your own blogging and writing purposes.  If the gremlin in your head starts sputtering, “But, but, but….!”  Just thank him for the help, and ignore the voice and keep writing.

The Second Question

Next on that piece of paper, write down the second question: what problems or challenges do they face?

Take another 2 minutes and write about what frustrates them, and prevents them from getting what they want?  Think about your last few clients or customers.  Why did they do business with you?  What was the discomfort or pain they were tolerating.

Dig deeper into the feeling and emotion.  For example, rather than focus on how disorganized their finances were, clarify how the financial mess impacted their health, confidence, relationships, stress levels, etc..

The Third Question

Now, take that emotion and feeling and translate it into the solutions you provide.  Write down that third question: What solutions, benefits, resources & information do you deliver?

Take another 2 minutes and list all of the solutions your business delivers to your audience. You don’t just come come in and re-organize their accounting files, you provided peace-of- mind, financial well-being, improved relationships, confidence and sense of hope for the future.  Right?!  Right!

To recap of Blog Positioning:

  1. Who is your target audience?
  2. What problems or challenges do they face?
  3. What solutions, benefits, resources & information do you deliver?

Answering these 3 questions will help position your blog, and definitely ease the way in your writing.

In fact, I bet if you look back on what you’ve written in these exercises, chances are you’ve just listed out a whole bunch of potential blog topics, too!  BONUS!!

Next up: Engagement

2010 Blogging Plan: Part 1 of 5 – Business Goals

2010 Blogging Plan: Part 3 of 5 – Engagement

2010 Blogging Plan: Part 4 of 5 – Content Plan

2010 Blogging Plan: Part 5 or 5 – Measurement

Picture by George Stubbs from 1st-art-gallery.com


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