As I talk to business owners about the benefits of blogging I get asked all the usual questions: what platform should I use? What should I write about? Should I have multiple authors? What about guest blogging? etc. There is one question I never get asked:
What should I do before I start blogging?
You should do to things. This article will cover the first one:
Who Is Your Audience?
Think about who will be reading your blog. Actually, think about who you want to be reading your blog.
If you want IT admins to be reading your blog then write for IT admins. If you want CEOs to be reading your blog then write for CEOs even if that's not who your initial readers are.
Your target market may well require that you write for two audiences:
- The Decision Maker
- The Key Influencer
The decision maker often is not an expert on your product or the problems you solve. He/she will rely upon the key influencer who is the expert. You will need both heads nodding yes to make the sale.
What Do They Want To Know?
The chances are very good that your new readers encounter your blog while searching for a solution to a problem or other related research. What do they want to know? The best blogs are ones that educate their audiences. You are an expert in your field. Share that expertise.
What is important to them?
Your has some great wiz-bang features. Your buyers however seem to be interested in only a subset of them. Sound familiar? Usually your reader has a problem they are trying to solve. Focus on their problem. Your objective is to demonstrate that you really do understand their problem and all its implications.
All this information can be gathered easily using buyer personas. A buyer persona is an imaginary figure (who often even has a name, like 'Sarah') who embodies all the important characteristics of your ideal buyer. The best way to develop good buyer personas is to have conversations with your customers. Have conversations that are open-ended and gently-guided. Let them talk. You'll be surprised what you learn.