A common question I see asked over and over in the LinkedIn groups I participate is ‘I am going to start a blog and I am not really sure how to start. Help.’ I totally applaud these professionals who see that there is value in building blog content while at the same time questioning their intentions. What I mean is that many of us say we want to start a blog because we see other people doing it or hear about other people doing it. Just the other day I was speaking to my neighbor and she asked ‘what exactly do you do anyways’ to which I replied ‘I am a marketer who focuses on inbound marketing to drive traffic by creating content which includes writing for the corporate blog.’ Her response? ‘You blog? That’s so cool.’
In one discussion, I came across this response from Tess Robinson who shared:
A good mnemonic to use for blogging is PSA – Point (what point do you want to make?), Story (Can you weave an interesting (but not too long) story around your point), Application (how can your readers put into practice what you are telling them). This may not be quite so relevant for B2C but great if you wanted to pass on technical tips to your peer group.
I love the idea of the PSA and have not heard this acronym before (although I feel as though I learn a new one every day) so I thought I would share it with you and dive a little deeper.
P – Point
Any content you create or lead the direction to be created by an external resource needs to have a point and when it comes to your blog; you need to have a high-level point. This could include who you are targeting, what are you aiming to teach them or share with them and what do you want them to do with your content and/or on your site. Between the time you decide you want to start a blog and the time you put into setting it up, ask yourself ‘what’s the point I am trying to make’.
You can also apply this every time you write a post. Using your target audience and the goals of your blog as your guiding post, what is the point you want to make in a particular blog post? Do you have a point of view on a topic? Do you have something interesting to share?
S – Story
So you have a point that you want to make and now you have to create a story around it. Don’t go thinking about the format in the way that your blog needs to be a formal storybook, it just has to be thought of in a way that it has a beginning, a middle and an end. Make your point and stake your claim right up front and build your story around why you are saying what you are saying.
Recently, I wrote a post about a visit to the Desert of Maine. The story of how the desert came to be got me thinking about strategies that are either never defined or are defined and never executed upon. My point was that you need a strategy to be successful, at least to track and measure success (and sometimes failures) and the story was about the desert and why it all tied together.
A – Application
When we consider how our readers can apply something, we often refer to the obvious; something they can take action on immediately (how to calculate ROI of social media is a common example). But, I would also consider thinking about application in the way that your reader’s can take something out of your post. You provide them with the first few steps towards thinking in a new direction or reflecting upon something that they believe in.
Before you setup your WordPress account, register your domain and start building content, consider your PSA. Do you have a point? What is it and who do you feel will respond to it? What is your story? Why do you want to create and maintain a blog and how are you going to back-up your point? What is the application? How is your point & story applied? The application can be an action, a thought process, a response or a takeaway to be applied elsewhere.