Whether you’re a new blogger, a lapsed blogger or a blossoming blogger-to-be, you may struggle with the very concept of how to write a blog post.
I suggest you start with the “how to” post. It may be the quickest route to building a connection with the prospective clients who need you.
After all, they have a problem to solve. If you help them do that, consistently, it will solidify you as an expert in their eyes. When they’re ready to invest in a more in-depth solution, they’ll remember you.
Writing a “how to” blog post – Pack your bags!
To write the most effective “how to” blog post, I want you become a tourist amongst your target market. Here are my seven suggested stops:
- Know the locals – Who is your ideal client? Create a client persona that is detailed enough for you to imagine you are speaking directly to him or her.
- Understand their plight – What is the problem your ideal client is trying to solve? Why is he or she looking for help? What impact is this problem having? If you are a member of your own target market, think back to what you wish you’d known.
- Pack light – We cannot solve anyone’s problem all at once with one article, but we can still help. By breaking the solution into bite-sized tools, we give our readers small successes they can build on. That feels good – and you made them feel that way!
- Put yourself in their shoes – Imagine that you are brand new to hearing about this solution or method. You don’t know the language, you don’t have any of the background materials and you don’t even know what you don’t know.
- Get them from A to B – Create a concrete set of steps that would enable a complete beginner to use one simple tool. Challenge yourself to stay in their shoes and resist the temptation to take them too far, too soon. Test it out on a real tourist (someone outside of your industry, or new to your industry).
- Wrap it up – Introduce your steps by addressing your audience (so your reader knows he or she is in the right place) and describing the problem and its impact. Conclude your post with a call to action to deepen the learning (an exercise to try, a question to reflect on or a way to take the next step with you).
- Jazz it up – Give your blog post a creative and descriptive title that uses the language your ideal client might type into a search engine.
Bonus tip: Presenting your directions as a list of numbered items or bullet points will make them easier to read and follow. Many people will only skim the list, so be sure each point is very descriptive.
Writing a “how to” or “core” blog post will demonstrate your expertise at solving the unique problems of your prospective clients. You’ll be giving them a small success they can feel good about – and that will make them feel good about you!
So grab your sunscreen, passport and “beginner’s mind.” Visit your target market as a tourist and discover everything you could be teaching them how to do.
How to Write a Blog Post, Part 2: The personal post
How to Write a Blog Post, Part 3: The thought leadership post
How to Write a Blog Post, Part 4: The connecting post