The 8 Step Process for Sticking to a Consistent Blogging Schedule and Attracting Target Customers to Your Website! – with Dayne Shuda

Are you falling behind on your blogging efforts? Are you looking to systematize your content creation and marketing efforts?

In this interview, Dayne Shuda the founder of Ghost Blog Writers reveals his process for content creation. You will discover how you can build your own content creation engine to maintain a consistent blogging schedule and attract more targeted organic traffic to your website!

Dayne Shuda founder of Ghost Blog Writers

 

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In this Episode You will Discover:

  • Dayne’s 8 Step Process for Sticking to a Consistent Blogging Schedule and Attracting Target Customers to Your Website!
  • Why Dayne believes most businesses fail to keep a consistent blogging schedule.
  • How Dayne was able to increase the traffic to one of his client’s websites by 200% using content.
  • Why Dayne believes attracting 100 visits a day to your website is enough to build a good sized small business.
  • Why Dayne believes you need to know your target customer and who you are writing for.
  • Why Dayne believes you should create a target customer persona and write a description for them.
  • Why Dayne believes identifying customer questions is the key to attracting targeted traffic.
  • How Dayne finds relevant customer questions on forums and industry blogs to turn into blog posts.
  • Why Dayne believes in separating the writing of post titles and the actual content.

 

Noteworthy items Mentioned in this Episode:

  1. Copyblogger for headline ideas
  2. oDesk for hiring writers

 

Episode Transcript:

OWEN: My guest today is Dayne Shuda and he is the founder of ghostblogwriters.com, which is a team that you can depend on to deliver blog posts and get you targeted customers. So Dane, welcome to the show.

DAYNE: Thank you for having me.

OWEN: So Dayne, I’m glad you’re on the show because one of the things we want to do today is discuss what happens behind the scenes especially if the listener has decided, they see the value in content marketing and they want to create content for their blog. But there’s a process or a series of things that happens behind the scenes in order to create content predictably and have content on a constant basis on their websites to target and bring the right visitors to their site. So, let’s talk about, kind of give an intro of what they’ll be learning today as a result of listening to you?

DAYNE: Sure, we’re just going to talk about kind of the process I’ve developed and how others can use the same process or a variation of the process to create content. We’re going to talk about the discovery of your target customer or target reader for the blog. Talk about how you can come up with common or identify common customer questions and brainstorm titles from those questions. And then either write it yourself or identify someone on your team, or someone that can do the writing for you. And then we’re going to talk a little bit about coming up with a blogging schedule, which a lot of people call an editorial calendar. And then talk about uploading those posts. And then also how to monitor the kind of overall situation to make sure that it’s always on getting done on time. And then, also if you do hire a writer to do it, how to handle invoices and things like that.

OWEN: Great. So we’re giving the listeners kind of an overview of what they’re going to learn during this call. And so, before we get started let’s talk about maybe some mind-blowing results that you have actually gotten yourself, or even delivered to your clients.

DAYNE: Sure. So I got a couple of examples that I have ready here. The first one is for a website design company. They actually design websites for various different types of clients. But now, recently they kind of moved to the travel industry. And when I started with them it was like a lot of businesses, they had the basic 5-10 pages but a very static website. The owner had a blog area that she had uploaded a few post too every once in a while. And like what many blogs over time, the blog just became less and less frequent as far as post are concerned. Just like a lot of people you find it’s more work than you anticipated and it’s hard to keep up. So the website was very static, had very little traffic. So starting from just a small amount of traffic within I think it was about 6 months we increased the traffic over 200%. But again, that’s from a small number of traffic so it’s a high percent. But got up to a point where she was getting maybe 100 visits a day. And for a small business, 100 visits, when you think in terms of the overall internet and a lot of the big sites. That might not seem like a lot but for a small business 100 visits a day of very targeted traffic can be a very good thing. It can mean you’re getting a handful of inquiries a day even, and it’s just when it’s targeted traffic you don’t necessarily need a lot. So that was one example. Another one we have is a software company called Restaurant Engine. And we started working with them. They had already been blogging and doing a pretty good job of it. And we started working with them just to provide weekly posts. And within about 5 months, we looked at their organic traffic, which is search traffic mostly. And we had increased their organic traffic by just over 90%. So, that’s a couple of examples that I can share. And then I can also say for our own blog, our own website is kind of the final example. We started with no traffic about 4 years ago. And since then every year we’ve been able to double the traffic from the previous year. So it went from where we had none, to the next year we had a good number. And then the following year it doubled. And it’s continued to kind of take on that doubling effect. Again, it’s not a lot of traffic, but for our business Ghost Blog Writers, it’s really the only way we generate business. So again, like with the first example 100 visits a day is enough to kind of build a good-sized small business for us.

OWEN: Yeah. And I want to make sure the listener understands is that the goal here is not to generate a gazillion numbers visiting your site. The way that you’re going to learn the process of actually creating content based on how things going to teach you today is how to get the right targeted customer, visitors to your site. So as a result of you creating content that answers their questions you can actually turn them into customers. And that’s what we all care about. So let’s dive right into step 1 and where you say discover who your target customer really is. So let’s talk about that.

DAYNE: Sure. So this is the most important question that you should ask yourself when you’re thinking about your business or if it’s just a blog, you always have to think about who you’re writing for. And I like to share the example of the web designer, a very smart person, a very good web designer. But when she started her business she wanted to start her blog because she knew it. She had heard about content marketing and the success that people were having with blogging. So she wrote about things that inspired her. She commented on things that were happening in the website design industry. It might be things with Photoshop software or design trends. But what she was finding was that over time she was attracting readers and traffic but those readers were other website designers, which was not the person I was going to purchase her services. So, what I kind of helped her realize, and she knew it. But it was just kind of a habit she got into overtime and it can happen to anybody, especially when you’re just starting on blogging, because I just kind of helped her focus. “Okay, think about who your target customer is and then we can talk about the questions their having. But that’s the most important part is that your customer is not always yourself. And so you have to think about the information that they would want to kind of find when they’re searching online or things like that.

OWEN: Okay. So I guess step 1 is knowing who your target customer is. And I’m putting myself in the shoe of the listener now, what is the maybe 1 or 2 things that they might have to do to really help to figure out who their target customer is in order to write for them?

DAYNE: Sure. So my background, I used to work for a catalog company that would send out footwear catalogs to customers all over the country. And they had 8 of these catalogs, and each of those had a different customer. And for each catalog we had a very specific profile that’s listed out kind of description. It had things like the person’s age. We even gave the person a name. So you created kind of customer persona. That’s good. A lot of businesses do it. And I think it works really well in content marketing, blogging too is to go through the exercise of creating your customer persona. And a lot of businesses, even small businesses might have one, could look at one of your existing clients and just write a description for them. And you can kind of imagine them when you write each blogpost. It really helps. When you’re creating content you feel like you’re writing for that person. And even though you’re being specific you’ll reach a good number of your target customers by doing that.

OWEN: So paint a picture for they are, their problems, where you can find them, maybe how big their company are. So that when you’re writing, you’re writing as if you’re writing to that person specifically. And it might be that in the person’s case they might have several different categories of customers or several different groups of customers. So getting clear on who they are, I get that.

DAYNE: I have one other thing. So a lot of businesses will sell to other business. So what run into is they might say– Well my target customer is a small software company. And that’s good, but you always want to think about, just take it one step further and think, “Who’s the person that’s going to read this blogpost within that company?” So if you’re a B2B, even think about is it a manager, is it the small business owner. And so get specific even beyond a business to an actual person with a persona.

OWEN: Let’s use that example of the web designer. You know how you mentioned that she was writing, just talking about our own experience– kind of using a blog like a journal if I own it myself, not realizing that she’s not writing for her customers. So now that we’re telling the listener that they have to create a personal and discover who they’re supposed to write for. Who ended up being her target when you had helped her out? That way the listener can get like a concrete example.

DAYNE: Sure. So when we first started the persona was a small business owner and at present it’s a small business owner that owns a travel-related business. So we’ve created a persona for someone that owns– we’ve created three different kind of personas. One is for a person that kind of owns a local restaurant, another one is a bed and breakfast owner, and the other one is someone that might run the local chamber of commerce. And from those we can kind of get in our heads when we’re writing the blog posts just an idea for person that will find this information useful and then also still be interested in contacting her when they need website design, or email design, or things like that.

OWEN: Okay. And I’m thinking that this is also based on the actual– the list of best customers that she actually has. So you guys probably looked at who are the customer she has and the ones that are ideal. And then you figure out, “Okay, these are three different industries they fall into.” And then you decided, “Okay, within those industries who is this person that we’ll be speaking to.” I get that. And so, the next thing is you said come up with a list of common questions to blog about. Let’s talk about that.

DAYNE: Sure. Expert bloggers talk about this and I probably picked it up along the way. But also over the few years where I’ve been blogging, it’s just identifying questions that a person has in answering those questions seems to be the best method for attracting their interests, whether they’re using search, whether they’re using social media, whether they’re subscribing to an email. Or even if someone says, like a friend that have tells them in person, “Hey, I have this question, I found this blog post. I know that you have the same question. Here’s something that you’ll find interesting.” So, it’s just identifying questions has been the best way I’ve seen to generate traffic, and also that targeted traffic when it comes to kind of brainstorming ideas for blog post or something to write about.

OWEN: You mentioned also during the pre-interview that sometimes the listener who’s listening to us now might actually already know some of the questions that the ideal customers are already asking. Talk about that.

DAYNE: Sure. So just about a little over a week ago I had car trouble. And I don’t know a lot about cars. So I took my car to the auto shop, to the mechanic, and i told them what was wrong. And he kind of fixed up and afterward he got it all fixed up and I asked him a question. I think it was about– I think it was like how often– I need to get my spark plugs changed. And I was like, “How often do you need to get your spark plugs changed?” And afterward I left and then I thought about. I was like, well, if I was doing a blog for like an auto body but like a mechanic shop. Start a simple questions that they could answer that I would be searching for their customer, I might go online and say, “How, often should I change my spark plugs or what are symptoms that result from having bad spark plugs?” And so a lot of times you get these common questions when you’re talking to your customers and you answer them without even thinking about it. It’s kind of common knowledge to you because you’re so involved all the time. But you’re customer, it’s something that they’re not involved with the auto industry or whatever your industry is, to them the answer is very helpful. So you could help them with, like that mechanic that could help me answer that question, and then I still probably wouldn’t change those spark plugs on my own, but I would trust him to make the change and also to handle other repairs on my car.

OWEN: Yeah. And you also mentioned that in case the listener doesn’t have a ready list of questions that people ask that they can also check popular industry website, forums, comments, and so on to dig up these questions. Talk about that too in just a few minutes.

DAYNE: Sure, whenever we’re trying to brainstorm titles we try to think about things that we’ve heard recently that customers might have said. We’ll look on forums. We’ll search just for like the industry forums. We might look for auto mechanic forum, or car forum, or whatever the industry is forum. And usually there’s a lot of these communities built up. And they’re just full of people asking questions. And you can kind of look for the common questions, like popular questions that are popping up often, answer those. You can also look at industry blogs, other blogs. See which posts are getting a lot of comments, see if anyone’s asking, any other readers are asking follow-up questions in the comments. And so, those are all good places to do a little research and try to find what are the big questions that my target reader is having. And then you can kind of identify the ones that you can best answer with the blogpost.

OWEN: Awesome. And step 3 you said, “Use the common questions to brainstorm titles for the blog post.” Let’s talk about that.

DAYNE: Sure, so then you used to say it. So like with the auto mechanic example that just happened to me recently. The question I asked was how often should you change your spark plugs? So you can create a title from that. And it might be that. It might be how often do you change your spark plugs in your car. Or it might be 5 signs that you need to change your spark plugs. So you kind of flip it around and try to answer it without necessarily giving away the answer in the title when you’re creating titles. And there’s a few title formulas that work well for blog posts. We use a lot of “how-to” type posts, those seem to do well. We use lists. A little seemed to do well, but if you– I know on copyblogger.com they have a whole series of headline hacks, or headline ideas for posts. Just different formulas that will attract people’s attention. And all you’re trying to do is say, “Okay, I have this answer to this question”, and then you try to formulate a title from that information.

OWEN: Yeah, and one thing too that I think maybe listeners might be– Are there other resources that they can check that will give them kind of like guides on how to write titles? Because even after they’ve taken all the questions that people have asked them, they’ve compiled a list of questions, if they can like a cheat sheet or something on how to just makeup titles, do you have any resources you can share about those?

DAYNE: I like the ones that Copyblogger has, so I would search– I’m not sure exactly what it’s called on their site but if you search for like Copyblogger headlines, I’m sure the top result would be kind of their post or it’s a collection of post now I think. It may just have different formulas where you can kind of fill in the blanks with whatever the topic might be. So I would say the number resource that I’ve used to kind of come up with clever titles that will kind of pique someone’s interest, get them to click to look at the information.

OWEN: Yeah. And even when probably like a shop or whatever and you’re looking at all of those magazines they always get your attention. So maybe that might be another place to have a swipe file. In the grocery store you see a magazine. Keep the headline. You might be able to use it.

DAYNE: That’s a great idea. You have the magazines and newspapers, they’ve been working for 100 years on coming up with good titles. So those are excellent formulas to use.

OWEN: Yeah. And so the next step, step four, write the blog post, let’s talk about– In this case now, the listener already knows the value of content marketing and maybe they are swamped with other work. So the content has to be written and so this very step now is I guess teaching them how they can either get somebody on their team or find the writer to do it. So let’s talk about.

DAYNE: Sure. So what we look for in a writer, there’s a few traits that I look for. One is I think they have to kind of show an interest in writing without necessarily being paid for. So maybe someone that started their own personal blog or something like that where they kind of shown an interest in writing, and they do it on a consistent basis. So that’s kind of one thing I look for in a writer. Another is, I guess the best way to describe it would be that they have a curiosity. And I think that leads them to be a good researcher, which is very important when you’re writing blog post to be able to use the internet to find information quickly. And also finding relevant information, whether it’s a study or a news article that you can reference in your post. So curiosity would be another one. Another quality that we look for is someone that is very timely. With blogging it’s very easy to kind of fall behind a schedule. It’s hard to kind of keep yourself, whether it’s every week or even every month to get that blog post up. So it’s good to have someone that can kind of set their own schedule and do that very well. The last thing would be you always want to try to find someone that will at least have me be a little bit of an interest in the topic that they’re writing about. They don’t have to be an expert all the time. But a little bit of an interest, and they’re a good researcher they can write excellent blog posts on the topic.

OWEN: And I’m curious, do you have any resources that the listener can use to possibly go and find writers?

DAYNE: Sure. We’ve been kind of lucky at my company, but we just put a page up on our website and the writers kind of find that page. And they kind of put in their pitch as a writer, their resume, and we just try to filter out who we think would be a good fit. But I know you can look on freelance websites or things like that. But you can also look within your company. I’ve talked to a few small business owners where they didn’t even realize that maybe the person at the front desk, or maybe person working on there, in merchandising team or something like that has an interest in writing. And maybe does it on their own already. So I would look in your own team. You might not have someone that would be interested but you might be surprised. Otherwise you can look on freelancing websites to see if someone would be a good fit.

OWEN: I know a freelancing website, just so the listener can have an actual resource. They can check out oDesk.com and I would say look for people who have actually written and had good feedback and reviews. And then that way when you’re planning to hire them you’re only reaching out to those who have actually gotten great feedback before instead of just putting your job out there and having the whole world contact you. Only have those who have gotten great feedback writing and completing other jobs, let them get back to you. And so now, assuming that the listener has found somebody, we want to share some tips on how to draft the content. Because before the content is actually created as a process of actually creating kind of like an outline of what it will be and all that. So let’s talk about some tips that the listener should use on that.

DAYNE: Sure. So the biggest tip I have for any company, any person that wants to start a blog for their business or just one their own is to create we call the Schedule, but other people call it an advertorial calendar or a content calendar. So the biggest reason I hear for someone reaching out for a blogging service or their blog has kind of gone dormant is they don’t have time. And that’s true. A lot of people are very busy. But the tough thing with blogging is that brainstorming the titles or the ideas, and then doing the research and writing are two very big tasks. So, what I like to do is separate the [Unintelligible 00:24:15] and focus on the blogging schedule first. So what we do is we just create a simple calendar or a schedule, and we just use Google Doc spreadsheets that we can share with a few people. And it’ll have a cell or a column for titles. Next to that will be a column for notes. Next to that is a due date, a publish date, and then also on the side we list requirements for each post. And we try to fill this calendar out and keep it filled out about 1, 2, or even 3 months in advance. In this way the writer can just log-in with the calendar when they’re ready to write this week’s post or whatever. And they can see, “Okay, I have my title. Here’s a few notes to get me started on the right direction. I know it’s due on this date.” And they can just get-off and run. They don’t have to sit there and think, “Oh my gosh, I have a post due tomorrow. I need to think of something to write.” I think that’s where a lot of people get hung up is trying to get in a hurry to think of something to write about where a lot of people get hung up is trying to get in a hurry to think of something to write about where if you create a calendar separately ahead of time, that’s eliminated, you can just start writing once you see what’s on the calendar.

OWEN: I’m asking, the calendar– you had to first of all have thought of several different titles first of all, right? And then they had also thought about the frequency of how many blog post you want to create in a month, a week, or whatever. And then based on those answers the you now use that to fill-out the editorial calendar.

DAYNE: Yes. So a common situation for us a client will be looking for– We’ll first start, we’ll brainstorm some titles and we try to come up with maybe 8-12 titles that we think are good, and that they also think are good. So we’ll put those in the calendar. And then  I would say the most common frequency for that we work with is weekly. So then say we have 12 titles. We’ll add in due dates for 3 months using those titles. And then that’s kind of how we fill in dates. And so, we have a due date and then we also have kind of a publish date which I think we’re going to talk about next.

OWEN: Okay, So move into the next step, so after creating the editorial calendar. And I’m curious, you’re only using Google Calendar to do this. Or is there another tool that you use for the editorial calendar? I’m just wondering.

DAYNE: It’s actually just a spreadsheet. It seems to work the best, it’s very simple, you can share it, it’s on the Cloud so you can access it from everywhere. If the writer loses the internet from home or from wherever they usually work they can go somewhere  and they can still access the calendar. And if we make a change to a title or add notes, you don’t have to worry about the latest version being on your personal computer or anything like that. So Google Docs, it’s what I’ve used for– So I might be biased that way.

OWEN: Keep it simple is the most important thing.

DAYNE: It’s easy to set-up and does everything that we need it to do.

OWEN: Step 6 is create a post-scheduling procedure. Let’s talk about that, what do you mean by that?

DAYNE: Sure, the writer logs-in and usually they’ll see the due date. And they kind of memorize that, like every Tuesday they know they have post due. And next to it they’ll see the schedule date or the publish date we call it. And usually that’s about a week after the due date. And we like to leave that buffer in so that the client has the time to look over the post if they want to, let us know if they want some changes. Or if something happens with the writer, like if there’s something crazy going on, they lose their internet for a few days, there’s still a whole week to get in there and get the post ready. So, they look at the publish date and what we do is we try to have all of our clients use WordPress if possible, and we try to hire writers that have a little background in WordPress, but even if they don’t we create what we call a post scheduling procedure for them. And we just go through and we’ll take maybe the first post that we do for the client and we just go step by step exactly what the writer has to do to upload that post, format it, and schedule it on WordPress so that it will publish on that blog. It goes through step-by-step, it might seem very basic but what I found is you have to include detail, you have to include screenshots with annotations that kind of highlight certain things. And you just go step-by-step through the whole process. For the writer who maybe hasn’t used WordPress it might take maybe 20 minutes to kind of read through all the detail. And make sure that they’ve done everything on the list or the procedure. But after that it gets easier and easier. And it takes a while to create the procedure, but it definitely saves time in the long run.

OWEN: Yeah. And I’m thinking about the benefit of that now is that it allows the writer to always be able to– after the content has been created, be able to go through the series of steps to put the content on the blog, and maybe even publish it. And send it out to the email list. Whatever series of steps that you want that writer to go through after the content is created to actually get the content on the blog in front of your audience. This is where the procedure that you create comes in. Because you want them to know how to do it and do it the right way all the time.

DAYNE: Yup, exactly. But that’s exactly why we do it is to make sure that, that writer has all the information they need to get that blog post published on the blog.

OWEN: And I’m assuming, is it possible that depending on the type of blog post that maybe the procedure might be different. Correct me if I’m wrong. Because if you’re doing a blog post where there’s a list on how to post, or– I’m wondering, am I complicating things by thinking like this?

DAYNE: No, there definitely are nuances between the posts. So we create procedures for what would maybe be a general post, like a how-to post. But the writers are also given freedom within that procedure to say, okay, this is a list post. That means I should put numbers in front of headings, or this is a how-to post, I should include maybe a few more images or screenshots. So there’s little freedom as far as the type of post. And that just comes from– And we’ve had it bad in the procedures from time to time, so it might have a step, here’s how you do headings in general. But if it’s a list post make sure you include numbers. Or if it’s a how-to post make sure you include the image here. So there’s kind of a few if statements that we include in that procedure for those situations because posts are different from time to time. Especially early on when the writer is just kind of writing the very types of post for that client.

OWEN: Yeah, and so you said step number 7 monitor the progress of the content creation and production task. Let’s talk about that.

DAYNE: Sure. So we work with clients to get access to their analytics if we can, or just have them send over a few updates maybe, which posts have been doing well. So that’s one thing we like to track, is how the posts are doing and we can kind of see maybe which content is right, or which content is working. And we can kind of build new titles off that. But the other thing we monitor is how the writers are doing. And for us it happens very seldomly that a writer might miss a post. Usually I try to hire people that I know. So I’ll give them a test. Let’s say we have a first post due, it’s due on Wednesday and I’ll just leave it at that. I’ll give them information for the post but the due date is very important. I’ll tell them it’s due Wednesday. If they send it over Wednesday at 8 a.m. I  take that as a good sign. If they send it over on Wednesday at 11:59 p.m. it might be a sign that they’re going to be pushing the deadline each time or something like that. So when you hire a writer, give him a little test, see how they do on time because it’s so important with blogging to be consistent with your publishing. You need someone that can do it every week on a consistent basis. So the more effort you put in to kind of evaluating your writer upfront the less you’ll have to monitor them down the road. It’s kind of one of the things I like at as far as monitoring the writer’s ability, but also looking at the success of their posts.

OWEN: I’m curious, from the standpoint of creating a way for the listener to create a performance indicator to see how well their blogpost that they’re creating are actually working. So what are the key things that they should be looking for when trying to do that?

DAYNE: Sure. The very basics that we look at is traffic. And with blogging we look at overall traffic, we look at traffic that’s coming in to each different blog post, the blog posts overall. We look at the paths that visitors take whether it’s to a blog post, to maybe sign up for an email, or a blog post, maybe the home page. But we also look at things like organic traffic from search, organic traffic from social media. And so we try to make sure just that the overall traffic is increasing because the business might be– The business is usually doing other things. It might be advertising with PPC, or different ways to generate traffic. So it can be a little difficult, but if you look at the blog post traffic not necessarily one blog post is doing really well. But what I like to do is I like to look at collectively all the blog post doing. And what I found even with my own website is that the homepage, the services page, and the about page, those are the top pages. But if you add up all the traffic that each blog post, each post gets every day, it’s over the 50% of the traffic. It’s one post that gets that much but collectively those blog post start bringing a lot of traffic. Individually they’re not as popular as the homepage but without that blog traffic the homepage wouldn’t be getting as much traffic as it does.

OWEN: Yeah. And I think when I were to look at it too is that based on the type of the business that they listener has, the performance indicator for that very action of the blog post itself will be determined based on the type of business. For instance, if they were the type of business where they’re trying to generate leads to set an appointment with, yes, you’re bringing people to the site based on the blog post you have. But how many of those people are now actually converting into leads? Or maybe how many of them have signed up to get like the next step, maybe like a free course or something. So, what I’m trying to tell the listeners, figure out what the next step is, because the whole reason in the first place is to get them to your site based on your content. But then you have to figure out what’s the next thing they have to take based on when they’re on your site now to take them to the next step. So that could just also be part of your performance indicator on this point.

DAYNE: Exactly. For any business, if you’re not bringing in new clients or new customers, that’s your main key performance metrics. If that’s going up, you can kind of look at what you’re doing, whether it’s blogging, advertising, and see what’s responsible for him. But you have to pay attention to new inquiries that are coming in. And then see, like you said, what’s leading up to that. If they opt-in to a free course or something like that.

OWEN: And you also mentioned that the final step because you’re basically building a team of writers to help you with the blog post. The final step was payment and invoicing. This sounds obvious but it’s a step. So let’s talk about that.

DAYNE: Right. Well, when I first started out it was just me, but then I added one writer, and then two. That was pretty easy to manage, just look at posts they’ve written. But since it’s gotten bigger, you have to develop a way to figure out how many posts they’ve written so you know what to pay them for their month’s worth of work or how to often pay them. And what I found is that, this is another excellent reason to use a content calendar, editorial calendar schedule is, the celebrity month I go, and I say, okay, here’s the writer, I just look at the schedule, I say which posts were due last month, and I can see that it might be 4 post that were due. So then it’s very easy for me to create and invoice, I list out those posts and I use a software called FreshBooks for Accounting and that saves the writers information. How much they get paid per post, and I can just fill it in and have them send me an invoice as I wrote this post. And then I can double check it quick and then pay them. And it just makes the process pretty easy. So, I really lean on that editorial calendar, that schedule to get my information from– for the blog post but also for the invoicing and payments.

OWEN: And now I can even see why that is important especially when you’ve gone through the steps of creating the content promotion engine. But now, if you have all this ride as you’re continuously hiring more and more to join the team, it’s very important that you have a system in place to make sure that they get paid. Otherwise, you’re going to end up losing good writers that you’ve found in the first place.

DAYNE: Exactly. You want to make sure that you’re paying them to keep them happy. You want to make sure you’re paying them the right amount, there’s no complications with the payments. So, having that process down is important. So using the schedule makes it very easy. And then we just use PayPal for our payments and it seems a lot of writers use PayPal, they’re familiar with it, they’re comfortable getting paid that way. They can withdraw money very easily. So that’s what we use. I know there’s a few other options. But that one, again, is well-known. A lot of people use it so it seems to work well.

OWEN: Yeah, and coming to the end of the interview, what will say is the very next step that someone who’s been listening so far wanted to learn behind the scenes what it takes to put a content creation engine together. What will you say is the very next step that they would have to take in order to get started with building a process for the content creation?

DAYNE: First up is identify your target customer, create that persona for them. List out who they are, what they do, what their interests are, what their problems are. Give them a name, give age. All the details, anything that can help you understand that person. And the things that they need, that’s number one. From there, look at their potential issues, their questions that they might have. Those are the two big things to start with. And from there you can kind of see, “Okay, there is potential for a blog here. They have a lot of questions. My customer that I’ve sold my service too before. They have a lot of questions about the industry. I know I can answer them.” That’s good. And what books will you say gave influenced thus whole way of creating content for you, or resource that were you should start from there, you can determine if you’re going to write it or if you have to hire a writer and things like that. So–

OWEN: Good. And so what books will you say have influenced this whole way of creating content for you, or resources that you want to also share as well?

DAYNE: Sure. So, I’m a fan of the books by Jim Collins. Good to Great and Great and By Choice. I just think the lessons in there are good for any business owner, but also for, it’s  helped kind of setup the system for the content creation and things like that. I think those are just two inspiring books. Well, it’s several books I’ve read but I like to read autobiographies for rock stars, and one that I had is Sammy Hagar, solo artist, guy from Van Halen. He’s a very personable guy, he has high intellect it seems like, and he’s entertaining. And when I read his book and all these other book by rock stars or things like that, it was interesting to see their process for creating songs. It’s a similar process for getting inspiration for something, and then turning it into a song. I don’t want to say that writing a blog post is equivalent to writing a song but it’s–

OWEN: Yeah, but it is a process is what you’re saying. Yeah, that’s true.

DAYNE: Just reading their books, they’re very passionate about who their audience is. They gnaw the writing for the kid that’s washing dishes all the time, he’s struggling to make a living. And when Friday comes he’s ready to just relax and have some fun. And that’s who is writing the song for. So they’re very good at identifying their audience, and the problems they’re having. And maybe writing a song about that situation to make them feel good. So it’s a very similar process. So those kinds of books were inspiring. And the final one, I also like health books like, what I’m reading right now is called Grain Brain by David Perlmutter. And that’s just one that it has a lot of interesting things. And no matter what you’re doing, whether it’s blogging or anything that you go to kind of keep a schedule for, it’s important that you’re healthy enough and focused enough to be able to do the research and do the work.

OWEN: And so what will you say is the best way for the listener to connect with you and thank you for doing the interview?

DAYNE: Sure. Well, they can find me at ghostblogwriters.com. The information about me is there and social networks that I use the most are Twitter. I’m just @dayneshuda. And then on LinkedIn, you can find me Dayne Shuda. Those are the two networks that I use the most.

OWEN: Final question for you, was there a question that you were wishing I asked you during this interview. And if so, go ahead and pose the question.

DAYNE: I think we covered it all. I think [Unintelligible 00:45:19] is pretty good so I don’t think we missed anything.

OWEN: Good. And so, listening to this interview all this time to this point, I can definitely tell that you’re very interested in learning the process behind how do you actually create content. And so if you enjoy this interview I’m sure that you enjoy other interviews like this one. And feel free to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes. You can do that by going to sweetprocess.com/iTunes. And while you’re there feel free to also leave a review if you enjoyed this interview. Finally, one of the things we do in this podcast is we bring on entrepreneurs here to share processes they have that are already working for them. In this case, we’re breaking down a content production process for you. And if know other entrepreneurs that might value in this very interview, please share the interview with them. And finally, if you’re at that point in your business where you’re tired of being the bottleneck and you want to get everything out of your head so your employee know step-by-step what you now, then sign up for a free 14-day trial of SweetProcess. Dayne, thanks for doing the interview.

DAYNE: Yeah, it was a lot of fun. I hope people will be able to use the information. I think they will be able to.

OWEN: They will be. And we’re done.

 

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Here are 3 Steps to Take After Listening to the Interview:

  1. Create a process for ongoing content creation and systematize it.
  2. Identify your target customer and create a persona for them.
  3. Identify the questions your customers are asking and write content based on those questions.

 

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