Rosie the Blogger
This one sure is.

Despite all that I know about the first rule of content marking, this corner of my website has been sadly neglected, making a mockery of my so called expertise.

What is this golden rule?

Create fresh and relevant content.

I have no problems with the “fresh” bit, as I’d be more than happy to write here and tell you about the daily minutiae of my life, but is that what you really want to read? No?  I didn’t think so.

I’ve struggled with the “relevant” aspect because for the longest time I wasn’t clear who I was writing for.  Am I writing for writers?  For business owners?  For bloggers?  All of the above?

Last week I attended a workshop on Online Marketing and once again I was faced with this question – who is my ideal client?  Finally, I was given a clear template and a little bit of time to fill in the gaps.

As I completed the template and worked through more steps in the Marketing Strategy, the content I wanted for this website changed in my head and I even gained more clarity about the products I wanted to make available to you.

While I quietly work on all those things in the background, I thought I might share with you the information you need to know about your client(s).  This information isn’t proprietorial or new, as I’ve come across it in various mediums over the last couple of years, but since it took me a few times to truly internalise it, you could find that reading it again here will be the trick to finally understand it and utilise it in your business.

Client Analysis

Client Name – choose a generic name that represents a specific client group, eg:  Business Betty, or Sample Sally.

Photo – think of an existing client or a well known person that represents this client group.

Background – basic details about this client’s role, their business, relevant background like education or hobbies.

Demographics – gender, age range, house hold income, urban/suburban/rural.

Identifiers – buzz words, mannerisms.

Goals – primary and secondary goals.

Challenges – what keeps this person up at night?  what problems do they face?

How we can help – how you and your business solve this person’s problems and challenges, how you help this person achieve their goals.

Common objections – identify the most common objections this person will raise during the sales process, eg:  cost, relevance, time.

Marketing messaging – how should you describe your solution to this person?

You might do this two or three times, once for each major client group, leaving you with a clear description of the two or three “personas” you want to do business with.  For example I quickly realised that writers were not one of my key client groups, but business owners are, as are bloggers.  I have two separate business streams to cater for those two, even though it’s not yet clear on my website.

Once you have these “personas” in front of you, clearly defined, it becomes much easier to not only write for them, but to develop your entire marketing strategy around them.  Don’t forget the photos!

What does this have to do with keeping your blog fresh and relevant?  Personally I find it much easier to write for an individual, such as those who ask me questions on Facebook or Twitter, or those I already work with, than a large amorphous group called “readers”.  Tailoring content to a specific group represented by a “persona”  is so much easier than trying to be everything to everyone.

However, the most important thing you need to do to keep your blog from being sad and neglected?

Be Yourself!

I have a personal blog where I write as myself, Dorothy, a sole parent to two boys and a business owner.  My writing there is more like therapy and it is purely me.  I don’t try to be anyone else, I don’t put labels on myself.

Starting to write here, I put a label on myself, “writer”, and decided that I must be all professional.

There is nothing wrong with being professional as long as you keep your heart in it.  When your heart is elsewhere, your desire to update your blog will quickly vanish.  My heart isn’t in being a “writer”.  My heart is in helping business owners and bloggers in whatever way my skills allow me.  Sometimes that will be through writing, sometimes through managing Facebook competitions, or dealing with PR.  My blog needs to reflect that.  So from now on I will write to you as a fellow business owner and blogger, sharing with you what I’ve learnt and what you want to learn.

What about you?  Is the blog sad and neglected, or fresh and relevant?  How do you keep yourself motivated?

Image by Mike Licht from here.