Beginner’s Guide to Blogging 5/10: The Wheel

Blogging isn’t going out of style any time soon; with the ascent of content marketing, blogging, podcasting and video are on the minds of marketers and PR professionals all the time. In this 10-part Beginner’s Guide to Blogging series, we’re going to explore what makes a blog great and give you some structures and frameworks to help make blogging easier. Take from it what works and leave behind what doesn’t work!

Beginner's Guide to Blogging Series:

The Wheel

The wheel is a blogging structure that comes from computer networking, from the idea of a hub-and-spoke network model. In the center of the wheel is the hub, or the main idea. Each connection to the main idea is a problem that the main idea solves.


To start a Wheel blog post, you start boldly with the central idea. The idea is the big picture, the thing that could solve a lot of problems. Once you’ve presented the idea, you immediately confront yourself with the first of many problems the wheel can solve.

By the end, the amount of proof you’ve provided of the efficacy of the main idea should be self-evident; the hub has addressed every problem on the spokes capably. You finish off your blog post briefly recapping how the problems brought up have all been solved by the main idea.


Let’s say you sell roasted coffee, as an example for a wheel post. As a disclaimer, LOLBeanz and Todd and Jim’s Roasted Beans Coffee Company do not exist. They’re for illustrative purposes only.

Main idea: This revolutionary new blend of coffee from Todd and Jim’s Roasted Beans can satisfy any coffee lover. LOLBeanz coffee blend is roasted extra bold for people who like a rich, satisfying flavor, but blended from very low acid beans that make it the perfect fit for sensitive stomachs.

Spoke 1: Some of you might say, “I don’t like a strong coffee.” LOLBeanz is ground finely, so you can throttle back on the amount of coffee you use without sacrificing flavor. If you do that with a regular coffee, you’ll get coffee-colored water at best.

Spoke 2: What if you have someone in the home or office who has a weak stomach? LOLBeanz is roasted from a proprietary blend of 23 different coffee varieties all selected for their low acid. LOLBeanz brews up a wonderful cup of flavor, but none of the stomach-upsetting acid.

Spoke 3: Some of you prefer a roast that can be used for espresso instead of regular coffee. LOLBeanz is roasted to a full city roast, which means that it’s a great fit for espresso lovers. Plus, if you only have an espresso machine, the blend is mild enough that you can add water to make an Americano so smooth, your friends will think you brewed a fresh pot of coffee just for them.

Spoke 4: If you’re eco-minded and love to throw your used coffee grinds in your garden, but you want to make sure you’re truly organic, not to worry. Every bean in LOLBeanz is certified organic, which means it’s good for your garden.

Spoke 5: Thinking about the rest of the world? LOLBeanz is not only certified organic, it’s also fair trade certified and certified carbon neutral. You can feel good about every cup, knowing that the farmers producing it have been paid fairly and that you’re not ruining the planet with a ton of carbon for a pound of beans.

Conclusion: If you want a rich, hearty cup of coffee every morning that does good for you, your stomach, your friends, and your world, pick up a bag of LOLBeanz today at any participating retailer or online.

If the wheel did its job, you should be wanting a cup of coffee right now, and if LOLBeanz were real, you’d ideally be clicking a Buy Now link.

Use Cases

The Wheel differs from structures like the Kennedy or the Franklin in that you’re expressly challenging your main idea over and over. Every possible objection is handled in advance, making it ideal for blog posts and pages that need to sell.

In the next post in this series, we’ll take a kid’s game and turn it into blog fodder.

Christopher S. Penn
Vice President, Marketing Technology

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Posted on October 15, 2014 in Blogging, Content Marketing, Strategy

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About the Author

Christopher S. Penn is an authority on digital marketing and marketing technology. A recognized thought leader, author, and speaker, he has shaped three key fields in the marketing industry: Google Analytics adoption, data-driven marketing and PR, and email marketing. Known for his high-octane, here’s how to get it done approach, his expertise benefits companies such as Citrix Systems, McDonald’s, GoDaddy, McKesson, and many others. His latest work, Leading Innovation, teaches organizations how to implement and scale innovative practices to direct change. Christopher is a highly-sought keynote speaker thanks to his energetic, informative talks. In 2015, he delivered insightful, innovative talks on all aspects of marketing and analytics at over 30 events to critical acclaim. He is a founding member of IBM’s Watson Analytics Predictioneers, co-founder of the groundbreaking PodCamp Conference, and co-host of the Marketing Over Coffee marketing podcast. Christopher is a Google Analytics Certified Professional and a Google AdWords Certified Professional. He is the author of over two dozen marketing books including bestsellers such as Marketing White Belt: Basics for the Digital Marketer, Marketing Red Belt: Connecting With Your Creative Mind, and Marketing Blue Belt: From Data Zero to Marketing Hero.
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