An Interview with David Gadarian, Gadarian Digital
I recently attended a workshop conducted by David Gadarian, Owner of When blogging for your business there are real stakes involved, and making good business decisions usually involves a certain amount of complexity. The digital roadmap provides you with a repository for the past, present, and the future for describing your company’s digital identity. Developing your digital roadmap is critical because then the business can focus strategy systematically.
As we all know, the Internet is a really big place. A digital roadmap gives you a process to set out the pieces of your digital persona, while also considering additional elements such as the creation of measurement points to evaluate your successes and failures and to then make changes based on those measurement points.
The roadmap is a great document because it gives you a process to follow, to do things step by step while providing you with a very clear big picture view.
As the diagram indicates, development of your digital roadmap is a continuous loop process. Once completed, you then have the ability and need to adjust regularly based on results.
Many people will hire me after they’ve put up their website. They call me and tell me that their website is not doing anything for their business. That’s because they did not set up a plan, a digital roadmap. They need to understand and think through what they want that website to do for them, and how it is going to help them achieve their business objectives.
I understand you have recently published a book, Better Business Blogging. Can you tell me what inspired you to write this book?
The primary goal of the book is to help business owners think more strategically about business blogging.
The book started as an infographic, which saw some traction in the Internet. The reason I wrote the infographic is that I thought it was interesting. I then wrote a series of blog posts focused on parts on the infographic, and then, based on the feedback I received, I wrote about business blogging strategies that could propel blogging tactics.
With the book, each business can take their own approach towards developing their various strategies and then move forward to dive deeper into the development of blogging tactics to propel those pieces. The book operates as a business blogging primer that will allow each reader to create their own unique and distinct approach to business blogging.
If a business person is just starting out blogging what recommendations do you have for him?
Start by writing. Look at blogging as a process – the more you do, the better you get at it. That effort develops in a lot of different ways – you become a better writer for your customers and business, you become a better digital writer, and become more sophisticated over time, eventually developing and evolving other strategies such as
The biggest obstacle I’ve observed by the business owner or professional is letting the fear of blogging overcome the blogging, and the best way to overcome that is to just start writing.
The second biggest obstacle I’ve observed is time management.
What would be some ways to start writing?
A good way to start might be to outline a bunch of ideas, in a digital realm-develop a mind map by placing a bunch of ideas together. Once you get a big list of ideas, then focus down on either the ideas that are the easiest to write about or the ideas that you think are the ones that will provide your readers the most value.
Telling your story is a great opening strategy that also has broad applications on all aspects of what you blog about. A big takeaway for stories is that it allows you as the business owner to define yourself, and separate yourself from competitors. Stories can show personality – how you approach your practice area; and your writing style reflects your personality. All these aspects have a big impact on how a reader will respond to you.
By the way – in my book I offer up a series of free worksheets to help support the ideas in the book including this one of helping to craft the story of your business. The worksheets are free to access even if you have not purchased the book.
How can blog post readers respond?
This is a great question and one that really plagues many business bloggers, particularly as they begin the business blogging journey. From a blog your readers can comment and share, or they can take more direct actions such as contacting you, buying something from you, or they could click on an ad on your website.
If you’ve done a good job persuading them that you are trustworthy, they might subscribe to your newsletter
On the other hand if you have not done a good job with a particular blog post they can leave your website (not a great option), as you are not the only one blogging in your space.
What can you tell me about blogging segmentation?
Within most businesses, you probably have a variety of segments that you serve, often defined as personas (here is a link to David’s free Better Business Blogging persona worksheet.) In your blog you can write toward specific personas; these can be defined by demographic metrics, psychographics such as what is happening in a buying cycle of a particular customer, seasonality, or segments based on where you are in your business cycle; for instance, you could focus on tax day, or other events that are calendar sensitive.
So for example if you provide car repair, one segment of your buyers might be winter readiness (so perhaps you’d have a few posts about winter tires and the need for new wipers), another segment might be on working moms, and a third segment might specific brands of car owners (Honda, BMW, Ford etc.). An entirely new segment might be on car owners with automobiles no longer under warranty. As you can see there is quite possibly some cross-over between your segments.
Taking it further experimentation is a way to test the segmentation strategy. How do you attract readers – is anyone listening to me? Do these segments actually add value to your business? Have you defined the “correct” segments? And going back to the top, if you use these strategies they should tie back to your digital roadmap so that you are not guessing but instead directly planning out how to attack these ideas in ways that make sense for your particular business.
Without question readers are smarter and more discerning – the Internet continues to expand so readers now have access to more material than ever. As a business owner you have to think about how your readers are traveling around the entire internet (and not just your site) and to focus on being exceptional in your writing and marketing efforts.
David, thank you for a very informative discussion.
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