12 Month BlueprintLocation. Location. Location. If you’re a fan of Jeopardy you will recognize that is the answer to the question: What are the three attributes of good real estate?

I point that out because it seems that content, content, content. is the new “black” for marketing.

I would never say that content isn’t important, it is. But the one thing I hear over and over again from customers is, I DON’T HAVE TIME! I HAVE A BUSINESS TO RUN YOU MORON! Or words to that effect.

What they are really saying, in most cases, is don’t just tell me I need content; but, show me how to do it so I can still run my business. OK, fair enough.

We have a solution for every worn out, over-worked, tired business person out there. It’s called blueprinting. Blueprinting? I thought that was for buildings. Well, it is; but we borrowed it. Let me explain what we mean in the context of developing content for your business.

The idea behind blueprinting is to map out a manageable set of steps each month based on proven areas of focus. The value in this approach is that it’s one that works for those businesses that have lots of tactical things they need to put into place, but lack a full time marketing person.

Over the course of the year you tick off items and make steady progress building a marketing system. All of the items that make the list are drawn from categories that make sense no matter when you get to them.

So let me give you an idea how this works.

Month One –(Any old month will do, just pick one and get started) Create a Listening Station. Set yourself up to actively monitor what is being said about you, to you, about your market, your competition, and by your customers.

Month Two – Set-up a Content Calendar. Do a little brainstorming, combined with some smart keyword research, and set up a calendar of monthly themes. This can be a mix of your own content, guest content, video, audio, and related content produced by others. The content created around these themes will become the backbone of your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) efforts.

Month Three – Get More Sharable. This month you are going to work on several fronts. You are going to audit everything you put out there and make it easy to share. That means adding social media buttons to all of your content, adding ways for people to share your emails, and adding sharing options to your printed and offline materials. In addition, you’re going to start exploring ways to share more of other people’s content.

Month Four – Create a Point of View eBook. This is the only task for this month – create an eBook that will be the backbone for your lead capture program. This should summarize how your company is different, and will create the foundation of trust building. This will also give your a tool to start establishing strategic partners for list swaps and co-branding opportunities.

Month Five – Clean Up Your Content Delivery Platform. It’s time to take a good hard look at what we used to call your website. This means your website, your email capture process, your contact process, your about us page, your on page SEO factors and your page load speed will all need attention.

Month Six – Become Serious About Landing Pages. This month you’re going to get serious about creating landing pages for very specific purposes such as signing up for your email newsletter, downloading your eBook, or attending a free educational online seminar. Once you learn the mechanics of what makes a good landing page you can replicate the process to test and personalize for a variety of occasions.

Have you made it this far? If you have, I have an eBook that gives you the entire 12 month process – and it’s free. I’m not even going to ask for your email.

But, I will ask that you read the eBook and then let me know what you think – the good, the bad, and the ugly. I need to mention one other thing. In the section on Listening Stations we mention Google Alerts and Google Reader, and yes, I know Reader is destined for the ash heap and Alerts doesn’t work as well as it used to. There are other alternatives available and even more coming up, so don’t write and tell me about that. But, do click on the link below.

12 Month Blueprint