“The back bone of success is hard work,determination, good planning, and perseverance.Mia Hamm
Do you have a plan for your blog?
In my previous post, I talked about creating goals for your blog and creating a plan to meet those goals.
I also talked about what it means to be a successful blogger.
Today I want to help you create a plan for your blog.
Do you remember what the most important part of your blog is?
It’s not your domain name, hosting provider, or keywords.
It’s your content.
Your content is the backbone of your blog and is the vehicle that will help you meet all the other goals that you’ve set for your blog this year.
Your content is not just limited to the blog post you write, but it also encompasses what you post on your social media channels, send to your e-mail list, and how you design your pins.
Having a solid plan in place will ensure that all of the content that you post has a purpose and moves you towards accomplishing your goals.
For that to happen we need to develop a content plan or content strategy for your blog.
What is a content strategy?
A content strategy is made up of the method(s) that you will use to make sure that your content lines up with your blogging goals.
Why Do You Need a Content Strategy?
Having a content strategy for your blog:
1. Keeps you focused.
Maybe it’s just me, but I have a tendency to come up with ideas and then just run with them.
For example, I wanted to try my hand at affiliate marketing and because Amazon Prime day was right around the corner I wrote a blog post about Arts and crafts deals on Amazon.
Now, this post did net me about 3 dollars from amazon, but my blog is not a deal finding site.
I would have been better served creating a gift guide for crocheters that I could have promoted during Prime Day and also used for the upcoming holidays.
2. Keeps you organized.
Am I the only that’s guilty of writing their blog post the day it’s supposed to be published?
I get so frustrated sometimes because I have to do keyword research, find pictures, and create Pinterest graphics all on the same day.
At least that’s what I used to do before I came up with a content strategy for my blog.
3. Keeps your message and brand the same across platforms.
If your target audience is female college students, then you want to make sure that what your posting on Instagram or Facebook is directed towards female college students.
This will ensure that you are attracting the right audience and that when members of your audience follow your blog there isn’t a disconnect between your blog and social media accounts.
When they follow you on Instagram they are expecting to find posts about college life and maybe a few personal post.
They’re not going to be expecting posts about parenting or how to take care of your dog.
4. Helps with promoting your blog content.
A good content strategy also includes ways to spread your content to the masses.
We can not take an,” if we build it they will come attitude” if we want to build a successful blog.
Ok, now that we know why we need a content strategy let’s get down to business.
How To Create a Content Strategy for Your Blog
Step 1: Start At The End
I think I mentioned to you guys before that I used to be a teacher.
Part of my job was creating lesson plans.
As part of the lesson planning process, we were always told to start with the end in mind.
What is it that I wanted my students to be able to do at the end of the lesson for that day?
Creating a content strategy works the same way.
What is it that you want to accomplish with your blog?
What is it that you want your audience to learn or be able to do at the end of your blog post?
Start creating your strategy by first looking at your goals for your blog.
If you read my last post then you should already have a content, traffic, and/or financial goal for your blog.
Step 2: Know Your Target Audience
After determining what I wanted my students to be able to do I needed to look at my audience for each class.
Where the student in the block gifted students, honors students, general studies?
Knowing this information helped me determine what kind of content I need to teach my classes.
As a blogger, you want to always keep your audience in mind when you are creating content for your blog and social media channels.
You want your content to resonate with your target audience.
As a new blogger, you might not have a very clear idea of who your target audience and that’s ok.
You can start by looking at your current demographics data for your blog.
Who’s visiting your site? Where are they from? Are they mostly men or women?
This will give you a good idea of who is already visiting your blog.
If you really want to build a successful blog with a loyal fan base that trusts you and are willing to buy from you, you need to create your ideal audience.
In other words who are you writing for?
Sit down with a sheet a paper and write down your ideal reader.
Use the following information to get you started:
- Marital Status
- Life stage (college student,parent, empty nesters,etc)
- What kind of work do they do?
- What issues are they struggling with (aka pain points)
- What’s their personality?
- What kind of things would they buy?
- Are they iPhone or android users?
- Where do they hang out on social media?
Some of this information will require some research on your end, but for right now just start with the basics (age, sex, marital status, life stage).
This will help you build a blog that attracts the right kind of readers that will become your loyal fan base.
Step 3: Plan your content
After looking at each class and figuring out who my target audience was it was time to get to the meat of the lesson.
How was I going to get my students from point A to the goal that I had set for them?
What information did they need to know? What activities would they need to do to reinforce what they learned?
What did they already know? What areas would they potentially struggle with?
When you write your content for your blog you should have these kinds of questions in mind about your target audience.
What do they need to know? What do they already know?
Does this blog post solve a problem or issue that they are struggling with?
Does it provide value to your reader in some way?
Your social media accounts are the best place to share personal stories about your kids or what you did this weekend and even those should be on a rare occasion unless your a parent or lifestyle blogger.
Brainstorm a few blog post ideas for next month.
I assume that if you are reading this post you already have a posting schedule in place.
If you are having trouble coming up with ideas look at upcoming holidays (traditional and nontraditional) and events that occur during the month.
Can you write a niche related post on these topics?
For instance, if your niche is finance and budgeting is there a post you can write about how to save money on gifts this holiday season?
Record these post topics on your content or editorial calendar.
If your a paper and pencil gal sign up to get my free business planner for new bloggers to record your blog and social media posts.
Step 4: Choose A Marketing Strategy
As a teacher, I didn’t have to do any marketing to get my students to show up to class.
But blogging is different you need to market your post in order to get people to come to your site.
Start with one social media account and then steadily add more as you become comfortable using each platform to market your blog.
If you don’t use facebook to market your blog. I highly recommend joining relevant Facebook groups to help promote your blog content.
Facebook groups can help you increase traffic to your blog and help you network with other bloggers until you start seeing the organic traffic results you want.
The key to content marketing is to find out where your audience likes to hang out and then promote your blog on those platforms to get the most exposure.
All of these platforms are free, but you can also pay to advertise your site on these platforms as well.
Marketing isn’t just for your blog post you can also use your social media channels to market your opt-ins and any free or paid courses you may offer.
Just remember that social media is the social aspect of your blog sharing other people’s content is caring in the online world.
Don’t be afraid to share other bloggers’ blog post or facebook live video.
Your audience will appreciate you sharing information from other sources and will make you more trustworthy in their eyes.
5. Create Your Content
Finally, you’ve got everything planned out and you’re ready to go.
Now you need to start doing research on your post and creating the graphics that you will need to put into your blog and social media accounts.
If done right your content strategy will attract the right audience to your blog and help you reach your blogging goals.
Coming up with a content strategy doesn’t have to be hard.
Honestly, as a new blogger, your content strategy doesn’t have to be perfect.
Your strategy will change with time as you learn more about blogging, but it’s still important to have a plan in place.
Your blogs content strategy should:
- be based on your goals.
- be based on your target audience.
- move your readers toward your goal.
- build trust with your readers.
- help you stay organized and focused.
Remember the 5 steps to creating a content strategy:
- Start at the end.
- Know your audience
- Plan your content.
- Choose a marketing strategy.
- Write out your content.
Now it’s your turn.
Do you have a content strategy for your blog? What do you think the hardest part of coming up with a content strategy is?
Please share your thoughts with me in the comment section.
If you enjoyed this post please like and share it.
Until Next Time,