One of the popular marketing content services we provide is writing blogs for a company’s website or guest posts for trade magazines. This saves our clients a lot of time. Many want to write, but the day-to-day gets in the way. Others have a lot to say, but maybe don’t feel comfortable with their ability to translate that in writing.
No big deal. That’s where we come in. Everyone on my team is a writer, and we get seriously excited about helping our clients develop great marketing content. But we’re often asked: How is it that we can write blogs for someone else? How does the ghost-writing process work?
I thought I’d share our approach in the hopes that it could help you refine your own internal processes for generating content.
1. We identify “sweet spot” topics.
When we work with a client, we develop a content marketing plan based on their goals and value proposition. Content themes emerge from that plan; for example, one content theme for a client that provides technology products or services may be “Best Practices in Technology Implementation.” Based on that, we would identify specific blog topics, such as “Getting Buy-in from Your Team.” That may or may not spin off into multiple pieces.
We also use keyword research tools like Wordtracker and ahrefs to find which keywords searchers are using to find information related to these themes and topics. We keep these target keywords in mind throughout the process, balancing those with what we know will resonate with our clients’ prospects. That results in SEO-friendly content that ranks well on search-engine results pages, gets clicks and gets shared.
2. We interview the experts and do the research.
This is the most important step. We identify an expert or experts within a client’s organization who can speak to that topic. Everyone on your team has expertise in something; we pull that knowledge from them and put it on the page in the best format to share with your customers.
We start with a phone interview. Many times we’ll just jump on the phone and talk for an hour. Because we come to the interview with a list of general topics to discuss, there’s very little preparation our clients have to do. We’re experienced in the art of the interview, and will ask the right questions. Some of our clients choose to just approach it as a conversation, and some come prepared with an outline. We’re good either way.
We always record our calls and then transcribe them so nothing is missed. And if we realize later on that there are gaps we need to fill, we simply get back on the phone or ask a quick question or two via email.
I personally love these interviews. I always learn a lot from everyone we work with.
We supplement these interviews with any resources the client already has on-hand, as well as external resources, such as surveys or other reports.
3. Create a blog plan based on the conversation.
Our next step is to go through the transcript of our phone conversation and identify more specific blog posts or article themes. For example, if the interview centered on getting buy-in from your team to a CRM system, one blog post that may emerge from the conversation may be, “How to Identify a CRM Champion on Your Sales Team.”
I’m always surprised at how much content we can create based on a one-hour interview. I had an interview the other day with a client, and we covered probably four or more blogs’ worth of content in a little over an hour, which can all be repurposed down the road in other formats. (Read about how to repurpose new or old marketing content.)
We then share our plan. We always provide a topic or even suggested headline, and a short summary.
4. Upon topic approval, we write.
As soon as the client says “go,” we write. We usually go through a couple of drafts with feedback, and each piece of content goes through multiple edits by our team, as well. If we have to jump back on the phone to fill any gaps, or reference past material, we do that again.
That’s it. It’s that simple. We try to make things as painless as possible. As our relationship with the client progresses, and we become more familiar with their expertise and value proposition, creating new blogs grows easier. In many cases, our client’s old whitepapers, presentation recordings or other existing content is all the fodder we need to create new blogs.
If you have any questions, please reach out to me at [email protected].