Blogging is one of the most useful and effective forms of Sustainable Marketing®. In addition to giving your company a platform to update your customers about new happenings, product launches, or new services, it drives conversions and generates leads. Blogging is also an integral component to building brand awareness and loyalty—if you have the right things to say, and you say them frequently enough.

And, for most business owners, therein lies the rub: what do you write about and just how in the heck are you supposed to find the time to do it?

While producing high quality content on a regular basis for your blog might seem like a rather monumental task—after all, you're already busy running your business, let alone writing about it—the process, if approached correctly, is actually quite doable. You might even find that it's a very fun way to interact with your customers and build your business.

The key to producing high quality content on a regular basis is nicely summed up in one word: consistency.

If you sit down to try and write an entire post in a day, you might get through it… at the expense of neglecting the other areas of your business that need your immediate attention. This is perhaps the biggest pitfall that aspiring content creators fall into—once or twice they'll put their full effort into writing a post, realize that it just takes too much time out of a day, and then give up.

Before you know it, it's been two years since they've updated their blog.

A better way to tackle posts is to "chunk" the process out over the course of an entire week. Rather than burning an entire day, the effort necessary to create great content is spread out. You don't have to neglect anything to get it done, and your blog will be very active.

In this guide, we'll be going over exactly how to do this so that you can post high quality content once per week, week after week.

If you need a little motivation, think about this: over the next year, your blog could have 52 high quality posts.

Think that would have a positive impact on your sustainable marketing results?

You bet it would.

Before we dive into discussing how to write, we need to quickly touch on a very important topic first… what to write about.

Deciding What To Write About

There are countless ways to come up with topics to write about, some better than others. Over time you'll likely discover a method that works best for you and your unique situation. If you're stuck for now, we'd like to share with you one of the most effective ways to write content that not only provides heaps of value to your target audience, but brings you new leads and customers.

Start by asking yourself two questions:

1. What is the single most important action a visitor on your website could take?
2. What questions do your customers ask you the most?

Hopefully the gears are starting to spin a little for you already, but let's examine both of these questions and learn why they're so effective for discovering what you should be writing about.

The first question, "What is the single most important action a visitor on your website could take?" is so important to answer because it helps you craft content with a purpose. For many business owners, this action could take the form of having the reader…

Pick up the phone and call your business
Purchase a product
Stop by your brick 'n mortar store
Fill out a form on your website (e.g., to sign up for your email marketing list)

…And much more.

Once you know what you want your readers to do, you can craft content around those topics—or at the very least, include a strong CTA (Call-to-Action) in the post. Many bloggers have found that inserting CTAs in the middle of your posts as well as at the end of your posts are effective when combined.

Bottom line: your readers shouldn't have to guess at how to contact you or take the next step in becoming your newest customer or client.

The second question, "What questions do your customers ask you the most?" is highly specific to your industry and line of work—but odds are you already know of a few. Sit down in front of a blank piece of paper and start writing them all down. Start with the most common ones first, and then work into the more detailed questions.

Answering these questions will almost certainly tie into the most important aspects of your business. But remember that the point of content marketing is to market your products and services. So alongside these questions, it will be helpful to have a list of your products and services—consider where and how they would tie into potential post ideas. Focus on the ones that create the most revenue for you.

This process will provide you with a long list of questions to answer, i.e., topics to write about. It will likely be enough for several months worth of content.

As you write a new post every week, you'll find that you continually generate new ideas and think of new questions that your customers are asking you. Keep a running list of all of your ideas, weed out the so-so ideas, and keep the great ones.

If you ever "run dry" on ideas, consider asking your customers if there's anything they'd like to learn more about or see you tackle in your next blog post—you'd be surprised at how responsive your customers will be, plus you're showing that you genuinely care about their input.

Finally, plenty of tools exist to help you get ideas for effective topics. Learn the basics of keyword research, "spy" a little bit on your competition (checking out their most popular posts is a smart move), and see what other industry leaders are writing about.

Toward the end of this guide we'll discuss a few different styles of content to help you present your topic ideas in easily readable, entertaining ways.

In the next section, we're going to talk about how to write for different levels of understanding, which should also help you generate some ideas.

Writing for Different Levels of Understanding

As you're likely quite aware, not all of your customers have the same level of understanding regarding your business, industry, or the products and services you may offer.

Think about it like this—does a mechanic expect everyone he or she works with to know everything about how their car works? Some of them might, of course, but a good portion of their customer base is probably at the beginner or intermediate level.

For this reason, it's smart to craft content that appeals to all different levels of understanding. Some of your posts should answer the very basic questions, while others might delve into the more advanced, deeper topics.

Let's take a moment to examine each:

Examples of good beginner topics:
Trends and styles
Why XYZ is important
DIY vs. hiring a professional (if applicable to your industry)

“Beginners” are usually people who have found your website while searching for the solution to a problem they're having (another great reason to answer those common questions your customers come to you with). They want to improve, fix, or otherwise get started on doing something that relates to a service or product you offer, they just don't know how. You're there to tell them everything they need to know.

Beginner content should be written in an approachable, easy-to-understand way. A great way to determine for yourself if content is beginner-friendly is to ask yourself the following: "If I knew nothing about XYZ, would this make sense?"

Examples of good intermediate topics:
"How to" guides
Trends and styles
Top 10 examples of XYZ

Intermediate-level blog posts should still be approachable for readers, but you can write them with the assumption that the reader has some level of understanding. Begin to explore more detailed or "niche" topics within your field, but don't go too far into the nitty-gritty.

Intermediate readers are often quite valuable—they know enough about the topic to perhaps believe that they need whatever the product or service is, so they're doing deeper research or thinking about how your business might benefit them. They aren't quite ready to buy yet, but if you give them the final push, you may end up with a new customer, client, or lead.

Examples of good advanced topics:
Specific, detailed information about an aspect of your industry, services, or products
"Before and afters"
Case studies

Advanced readers are usually even more valuable than intermediate-level readers—but this doesn't mean that all of your content should be for advanced readers. Remember to maintain a good spread of topics that appeal to all levels of understanding.

In any event, the reason that advanced readers are often “ready to buy” is because they have a specific problem and, if you can show them in your post that you're the one to solve it, they'll have a much higher chance of converting into a customer than, say, a beginner who isn't quite sure about your service or product just yet.

Don't neglect these different levels of understanding and you'll be casting the widest possible net.

Styles of Content

If you're stuck on thinking of how to lay out your posts, there's a number of different styles you could choose from—but remember, the best "style" of content is the kind that converts readers into customers. Do what works best for your business.

With that in mind, popular styles of content include:
“How to” guides are effective especially when they tie into a product you have. Detailed step-by-step instructions are effective selling tools when you're offering some of the components or services necessary to accomplish the goal.
Comparisons are powerful—“ABC vs. XYZ” gives you a way to show why one group of people may prefer one product or service over another. These can be things that your business offers or a method to show why you're superior to your competition.
List-style content, such as “The Top 10 Reasons Why…” or “7 Unusual Uses for XYZ…” can also be eye-catching tools to promote your products or services.

Whenever possible, keep your content unbiased. Yes, you're there to sell your products and services, but if your writing style is transparent and unbiased, you'll show that you're there to give your readers genuinely useful information—the sales pitch is just a byproduct.

Next, we're going to explore how to dedicate about 30 minutes to 1 hour per day to create quality content using the 5-day blog post strategy.

The 5 Day Blog Post Strategy

Day 1
Day one is completely dedicated to deciding what you want to write about. If you've followed this guide up to this point, you should already be brimming with ideas. This is the day you dedicate to picking one—and once you decide, stick with it. No changing your mind mid-week!

Day 2
After you've picked a purposeful topic, the second day is only for outlining. First, come up with an enticing and relevant title.

After you have a title, build out the body of your post. It should include an introduction paragraph, subheadings, and a summary of the post—this is a great place to put your CTA and tell readers what their next steps should be.

Day 3
The goal for day 3 is to write the post itself. You've got your topic, you've got your outline, now just start filling it out. Nail the introductory paragraph down with an eye catching hook, expand on your points with subheadings, and don't forget to complete the post with a strong call-to-action.

Day 4
On day 4, spend some time looking for supporting media for the post. This means that you should gather or create images, infographics, videos, and anything else you can think of that would support your post and make it as useful and thorough as possible.

Day 5
The final day has arrived: you've had an opportunity to sleep on it, now read through your post one more time and give a little more polish before it goes live. It helps if you read through it out loud. Correct any grammatical or conceptual errors. Add or remove areas and enhance the content wherever possible. Once you're sure that you're pleased, now it is time to hit the publish button.

Congratulations, you've written a well thought out, high-quality blog post in only a week—and you only spent a little bit of time every day to do it.

Final Considerations

Writing a new blog post every week can have an incredibly positive impact on your online presence. As we've outlined here, it doesn't have to be difficult or eat up too much of your time. Do your best to spend only 30 minutes to one hour per day on each of the steps.

For most people, the best time for working on content is first thing in the morning. This way all of the other important tasks you have to tackle won't be affected and you'll still end up with a great post every single week.

Remember: consistency is key.

If you're not sure how to improve your marketing in a cost effective way, grab a copy of our Sustainable Marketing® ebook. After reading it, you'll have a better understanding of the small incremental steps you can take that will lead to big results over time.

We can help you carry out each item that was discussed in this article. If you are interested in working together, call (970) 744-3611 or send us an email so we can talk about what that would look like.

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Warren Diggles
President and Creative Director
Warren Diggles - President/Creative Director

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