You’ve promised yourself you will get around to creating a content strategy. But here you are again, scratching your head and wondering what you will write about next! Fear not. In this post, you will learn how to create a simple content strategy for your blog.
So save your excuses already – you won’t need them!
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Why create a content strategy?
It’s very common when you start a blog to get carried away and just get started. You are so excited to start writing about your favorite topics, words come easily and content ideas flow.
However, 6 months down the line, you are all out of inspiration! If that wasn’t bad enough, you have very little traffic and are wondering if it’s all worth it.
When you have a strategy, you will find that:
- You don’t have to think about what your next post will be about
- Each post will have a purpose and be easier to write
- Your efficiency will improve massively
- You will be clear on your business AND audience needs
What are you trying to achieve?
Part of the reason we feel overwhelmed when we think about making a content strategy is we don’t have well-defined goals.
You may have one over-arching goal for your website (e.g. to make money) but some of the goals you have along the way could include:
- Brand awareness
- Building trust
- Lead generation via email capture or webinar sign-ups
- Social shares
- Increase traffic
- Increase engagement
Make some solid goals around what you would like to achieve on a monthly basis. You can then look at levels of traffic etc and check out what your most successful posts were.
If a particular topic bombs then it either needs a different angle or you need to drop it. If another gets most of your traffic, write more posts (or more in-depth posts) about that topic.
As the great Peter Drucker said, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”.
To make progress on these goals, however, you will have to consider what your audience wants and needs.
Who is your audience?
Knowing who you are writing for is critical if you are going to hit the mark with your content. Your blog exists to solve the problems of your audience. You might argue that your blog is your job escape plan
and it exists to make money!
But you will only achieve this if you forget about yourself and put your efforts into helping your audience to get what they want.
To help to define this, consider the following:
- What are they struggling with?
- What are their goals?
- What do you know that will help them?
- What can you share that they can put into action right away?
- What will they be able to do once they have followed your advice?
You will find more in-depth information about how to how to define your audience here.
Make a mission statement
If you are not clear on the purpose of your blog, you will struggle to stay on track. What is the purpose of your blog?
The purpose of this blog (for example) is ‘To help beginner bloggers get off to the best possible start’.
Come up with your own if you haven’t already.
How to get started
First of all, start with a handful of broad topics – pick 3-5. If you were in the golf niche you could break it down like this:
- How to play golf
- Golf clubs / equipment
- Golf clothing
- Golf holidays
Then look at the sub-topics that would fit under each broad topic. Think of what your audience needs to know about to make progress in this area. For example, under ‘How to play golf’ you could have the sub-topics:
- Golf swing
From these sub-topics, you can create blog post titles:
- Bunker shots for beginners
- 5 chipping shots for high handicappers
- How to improve putting speed
- How to choose a putter
- Why your putting / driving / chipping sucks and what to do about it
You should come up with lots of ideas as you dive deeper into each topic and sub-topic.
Use a keyword research tool to find low competition keywords to have the best chance of ranking. As a beginner you can start with free tools or you can snag a free 7-day Semrush trial and get all your keywords in a week!
Narrowing your niche
If you are in a competitive niche, it is a good idea to narrow down your niche. For example, in the golf niche you could focus purely on beginners, golf gear or even golf holidays. Use the exact formula shown above.
An important part of content creation is thinking about searcher intent. These tend to fall into 2 main groups as should your content.
- ‘How tos’ – People tend to search for ‘how to’ when they want to learn something. These are often people at the beginning of their journey to learn something (though not always).
- ‘Best’ or review-type posts – These are useful for when people are further down the line with their research and are now ready to make a buying decision.
Your strategy should aim to guide people from their starting point – i.e. looking for information, learning about the topic, gaining confidence, and making a buying decision.
Give each piece of content a goal. The ‘How tos’ will often be building trust but if you find a trending topic in your niche, you should also be looking for social shares.
What other content can you create?
The beauty of blog posts is that you can use them in other ways.
- Discuss the contents in a YouTube Video
- Embed the video on your blog to increase dwell-time on your website
- Share on social media
- Turn a group of posts into an Ebook or guide (to use as a lead magnet)
Find loads more brilliant blog repurposing ideas here.
Make up a simple calendar. Enter what days you will publish what posts. Detail where you will share along with any other plans you have for the content and you are off!
Once you have your strategy down, you will feel amazing! You will save so much time and energy!
Have you made a content strategy? Did you feel amazing and did it help your workflow? If so, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.
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