One of the biggest challenges for creating a high quality blog post is figuring out what you are going to talk about. In this post, we will look at how to create a blog post quickly using a message map system. This is a little bit different from most of the writing processes that are out there, but it will help you quickly identify what should go into your post once you get an idea. It’s a simple system that I developed when I was doing a lot of public speaking in my early 20s.
Every week I would have to go and speak in front of an audience that was anywhere from 300 people to sometimes well over 1,000 people. I would speak to these groups several times a day and in some cases I was asked to speak at the very last minute with maybe 10 or 15 minute’s notice. In the beginning it was very tough for me, especially since I wasn’t very comfortable in front of the room. I’m sure most of you can relate to that.
Coming up with something to talk about and being able to deliver that in a very short amount of time was a talent that I learned the hard way, by repetition hundreds of times.
What I started doing was creating little bullet points that I would use as talking points from the stage. I then was able to get out there and deliver the speech. I did not know then what I know now and if I did I could have used a message map to be able to quickly and efficiently build out an even better little script or template that I would be able to use in the different speeches I was giving.
Instead, I crashed and burned often until I learned to use this system. I have since adapted this to creating my blog posts in a very efficient manner.
Create A Message Map Of Your Blog Post
As we get started now what I want to show you is the process I use to go through and build out a blog post. It’s a variation of what’s called a message map. There is an interesting blog post that was done by Alistair Croll, one of the authors of Lean Analytics, and he goes through the process of building out a message map. There is a 6-step process that he outlines, the steps of which are listed below.
- Identify the stages of the sales process
- Define the stakeholders
- Identify the motives and objections
- Overcome Objections
- Reinforce Motivations
- Create the right collateral for each stage
I am not going to go through this process, but understand that this is a variation of building out a message map. If you are not familiar with that process, I recommend you read his blog post after you are done here.
When you are building out your message map there are a couple of things you want to be able to do. First, you need the main topic of what your blog post is going to be about and then from there what I do is create several different bullet points that will support the main message.
Keep in mind who the blog post is going to be for. For a cheat sheet, this is where you go back to looking at your buyer personas you created for your marketing template and for your content marketing editorial calendar.
I will also go and research for third party sources online backing up my blogging points. This is in addition to doing some keyword research and figuring out what specific things people are searching for so I can include that type of verbiage when I go through and create a blog post.
The process is so simple that I can outline it for you in 3 bullet points.
- Create a headline for your blog post
- List out 3-5 supporting bullet points
- Find third party validation for those points
The secret is always keeping in mind who the blog post is for and what type of language they are using.
Real World Examples Of Quality Blog Posts
I wanted to share with you a few examples I have found on the web of people I think are doing this in a very good way. They may not be using this system specifically, but how the blog post gets formatted could easily get put into this type of system.
The first example is over at Copy Blogger. There is a post called “How To Find More Content Ideas Than You Will Ever Be Able To Create” by Peter Shallard. There is a clear message in its headline and the post supports that message with 3 supporting bullet points outlining greater details, always keeping in mind the defined audience that the post is targeting.
Overall this blog post not only gives you a clear understanding of what he is trying to talk about, but it lays it out in a logical sequence.
For our next example let’s head over to Search Engine Journal. This particular post is called “Generating Leads Via Content Marketing” by Elie Ashery. Once again, he has a clear headline to define his blog post and this author tackled it just a little differently. What he did was took you through a logical sequence or process with different questions to ask along the way.
He figured out what questions you would be asking, then he gave you the answer, leading you through the process of how to actually create and generate leads using content marketing. Overall, he had a clear path with a very specific subject that he defined with his leading questions, always keeping in mind that defined audience or who is going to be reading this.
Now let’s head over to Pro Blogger. If anybody is familiar with Darren Rose over there, he is a prolific blogger and he has been doing this for quite a while. Because of that he was able to create his blog post called “How To Write Great Blog Content” where he went back and referenced older blog posts that he had already written.
He defined his process and the logical format it was going to be in, so it is a very simple flow to follow and it is basically leading you down through a treasure map with different stops along the way, each one providing additional resources with a previously written blog post.
Now, if he was going to write another blog post that was specific to this, he could use this particular post outline as a template to write an even longer post with additional steps along the way, even though he has outlined in greater detail each step of the process by diving deep with each of the blog posts he has referenced.
He is always keeping in mind his audience, but this is an easy way for him to go out there and use his existing content to create additional content, all doing this with a message map-type format.
Blogging Templates To Download
Now that we have had a few examples and we have seen the idea in action a few times, it still needs to have some type of format to it.
The format I try and follow is the one that was put together by Derek Halpern over at Social Triggers called “The Perfect Blog Post“. You can see I keep a picture of this up by my monitor so as I am doing my blogging I can try and follow this format.
Now you have a template for your blog post and you have had some examples you can see and link to as well as a clear process to go through using the message mapping system.
The last thing I want to leave you with is the template that I use, Blog Post Message Map Template. It’s an Excel document in which I put together all of my bullet points and my main topic and any reference materials as I’m surfing the web that I want to use within my blog post. It becomes an easy document for me to reference as I am going through and creating a blog post.
Let me know what process you use to write great blog posts. Leave a message in the comments below.