If you check most blogs across the internet, you’ll find that there’s not a lot of thought put into their blog content strategy. I’ve been just as guilty of this as anyone. When a blog post needed to go live on Monday, I would sit down on Sunday night (or worse, Monday morning) and think “Now, what am I going to write about?”
If you’re blogging for fun, that’s groovy – carry on with whatever makes you happy! But if you want to create an income and build a business, you have to have a better plan than “by the seat of my pants”.
I’ve been using a plan that helps you go through each of the 4 main elements of content strategy – Goal setting, Research, Creation/Distribution and Repurposing. By having an actual blog content plan, you’ll be able to maximize your use of time, better help your readers, and have a more successful blog. Everybody wins!
Step 1: Goal Setting – Why are you sharing this content?
Every single post, every single video, every single infographic, every single podcast – Every Piece of Content! – should have a reason for being. That reason should 1) benefit your readers, and 2) benefit your business. (Remember – your blog is a business).
What kind of purposes are we talking about? Try these:
- To educate or entertain your readers
- To help establish your authority or credibility
- To get more newsletter/list opt-ins
- To improve your relationship with your readers
- To drive search engine traffic
- To create viral traffic
- Selling or Preselling of a product
The goal of every piece of content needs to fit in with your overall blog/marketing strategy. Using my blog as an example – I want to help stay at home moms become successful bloggers. So every post I do should somehow be aimed at that goal, whether it’s teaching you how to create amazing headlines or talking about how to deal with the stress and isolation that can come from being home with kids 24/7.
Understanding the goal of your content can help you figure out the best way to present it – sometimes written content is best – other times, you may want to use images or video to explain a concept.
Make sure your content includes a call to action that supports your goal – “To help with daily time management, download our free menu planning printables!” Always tell your reader what you want them to do next, even if it’s just to leave a comment.
Step 2: Research
Not every post is going to take a ton of research, but nearly all of them will take some, so making sure you schedule time for it is important. Research includes everything from brainstorming ideas for topics to finding information that supports your content (so you can link out to it!).
Here are some ideas to help make research easier and less time consuming:
- Keep a list of content ideas; you can get ideas from
– Social networking
– Other blog posts
– Keyword research
– Blog comments
– FAQs on other sites in your niche
– Interactions with your readers
- Review your analytics, and see what traffic is bringing in the most traffic, as well as which is getting the best responses from your readers.
- Maintain a bookmark folder of other interesting articles, stats or information that you might reference in your content.
- Keep an eye out for places where you might share your content.
Step 3: Creation and Distribution
Not only do you need to create your content and get it posted on your blog – you need to make sure that it’s getting out and being seen. The best content in the world won’t matter if no one knows you’re creating it!
First – how much content do you need? Posting every day is not necessary, heck, it’s not even optimal. Remember the 80/20 rule: 20% of your time should be spent on creating, 80% should be on distribution/sharing. Are you writing all your content yourself, or do you hire a writer or use a VA? If you have a writer, make sure you’ve given them all the info they need so they can get the finished article to you by your deadline. If you use PLR, make sure you’ve got the topics you need. This is where having your editorial calendar planned out at least a couple months in advance really helps!
Don’t forget you’ll also need to create your post images, infographics or any other visuals you’re using.
Make sure also that you have your sharing schedule planned. Know when you’re going to be sharing across social media, and to what platforms. You may want to write a guest post or two on other blogs with a similar topic that can link back to your post, and you’ll need to add that to your schedule.
I use a combination of auto-posting and manual posting to social media – and I use a spreadsheet to keep track of it all. It seems easy in the beginning to just do a Facebook share, a pin and a tweet and feel like you’re done, but you’ll soon discover that if you really want traffic, there’s going to be a lot more to it than that. Using share groups can be a great way to get an initial boost of your post out there – but remember that reciprocating those shares is going to take up a lot of your time. That’s something that you can hire a VA to do once you start making money – it’s always good to invest part of your earnings back into your blog.
Part 4: Repurposing
A sure way to make the absolute most of every piece of content you write is to reuse and repurpose it. Just makes sure that you keep those initial goals in sight when you do so.
There are many ways to reuse your content. An article that you published on your blog can be rewritten and used as a guest blog. A series of articles on a particular topic can be published together as an ebook to give away or even sell. An article that got a lot of response on your blog can be made even more viral by turning the content into a video.
Other ways you can reuse content:
- As social media posts – not enough people are using Facebook notes and they rank really well!
- Quora is another site that allows blog posts – rewrite a post and use it there.
- As slideshows
- Turn a “how to” post into a printable checklist or info sheet
- Create an infographic
- Have a lot of posts on a specific subject? Create a “Best of This Topic” post, listing and linking back to them
- Turn your content into a webinar or live hangout
- Is there new information or changes to an older post? Write a 2nd post about the changes, linking back to the original.
If you’re a blogger who’s used to sitting down and writing by the seat of their pants, this can seem like a lot of extra work. But the truth is that once you make these 4 steps a habit, you’ll find yourself spending less time searching for ideas and figuring out what to do. Over time, you’ll learn what kind of content is connecting best with your audience and what shares bring the most results.