The two discussed a variety of topics in the interview, but what stood out to me was the strategy Leo used to grow the audience for Buffer. He knew that it was unlikely for Buffer to get promoted in the App Store. So he instead focused on creating a blog that would attract target readers.
He knew that the people likely to use Buffer were also likely to use Twitter. She he started writing hundreds of posts with tips, stories and how-to’s about Twitter. He started attracting an audience and Buffer became a popular app for sharing content and updates on Twitter and other social media sites.
In this post we’re going to take a deeper look at how the Buffer blog strategy has changed and what they’re doing now to continue to attract an audience by blogging.
The Original Buffer Blogging Strategy
Leo discussed in the interview that in the early days he focused on publishing as much content as he could.
As mentioned above, the content focused almost exclusively on Twitter. Leo knew the audience he wanted to target and he knew what they were reading and looking for online.
So he put the two together and started writing about it. He provided answers to the common questions his target audience was asking online.
People that liked using Twitter and wanted to get better with how they used Twitter found the articles, found them useful and also became aware of how Buffer could help them improve their entire social media strategy.
This concept is something we do with our blog and something we do with our clients’ blogs as well.
When you’re just starting out you have to identify your ideal reader and figure out what they’re reading about. From there you look for parallels with what the reader wants to read and what you can offer.
For Buffer, it was writing about Twitter.
After writing just about all they could regarding Twitter they had to make a slight change.
Broadening The Scope Of Topic
As Buffer got bigger they started getting traction with their blog they knew they couldn’t just write about Twitter. They had covered many of the basics. They continued writing about the updates and the changes, but they broadened the focused.
They started writing about all social media including Twitter, Facebook, etc. They also wrote about managing social media and all those types of things.
But from there they even broadened the focus more.
By skimming their recent posts you’ll see that Buffer now covers a wider range of topics:
- How Stress Can Change the Size of Our Brains and What We Can Do to Lower it
- How to Stop Procrastinating by Using the “2-Minute Rule”
- How To Make Positivity a Habit: 4 Simple Steps to a Happier Everyday Life
- 18 Tips and Tools for Managing Email Successfully
- The Power of Meditation and How It Affects Our Brains
We have articles on email strategy and stress management and figuring out ways to work better.
Again, the focus here is on topics that the ideal reader cares about. The tie-in with Buffer is that if you’re reading about how to handle stress and how to manage your online marketing you can do those things with Buffer at least in a small way.
Some managers stress about social media. It’s hard to share items all the time. Buffer helps with that.
How it also ties in is that you’re connecting with your ideal reader. You’re helping them with something. You might not be talking about what you do, but the introduction is important because you know that at some point they’re going to care about what you’re doing.
It’s like how you might meet a friend of a friend at a get together to watch a football game. You get to know the person by discussing football and sports. Eventually you learn that the person is a carpenter and you just happen to be looking for someone to build you a new patio deck.
You’ve established a relationship with them and you trust them so you hire the person.
Blogging and content is about connecting with your ideal reader on the topics they care about and introducing your brand to them.
High Frequency To Low Frequency
It’s important to note that Buffer started blogging with a very high frequency. They were posting all the time, but now they’re posting about 3-5 times per week and they’re still doing well.
The more you can write the more content you have for your readers to find. As you start to build you can change the strategy to write maybe more in-depth posts on a broader focus of topics.
Buffer is about 18 months old or so. They grew their business with content in that amount of time to where they are now.
Starting Small And Broadening
Leo suggests that it’s best to start small with the topic like he did with Twitter and to expand from there. I think that’s good advice. As you start with your blogging strategy it’s easier to keep the focus small on a topic that your audience cares about most and something you know about the most.
Making Mistakes And Learning
We all wish we knew things about doing everything, but the truth is there is always a learning curve. That was the case with Buffer. They tried all kinds of content marketing type stuff and it didn’t really work. They tried guest blogging and a few different things, but the most effective in the long run was blogging on their own blog.
The Buffer blogging strategy is a good one. They’ve tried different things, but eventually stumbled on something that really works well.
Take these key points away from this post:
- Identify your ideal reader/customer
- Write about a small topic they care about
- Write as much as you can at first
- Broaden the focus to become a source of knowledge
More Posts Like This
Here are some other blogging strategy analysis we’ve done on GBW:
- The KISSmetrics Blogging Strategy
- The HubSpot Blogging Strategy
- The John Deere Blogging Strategy
- The Woot Blogging Strategy
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