A blogging content strategy is the ideal way to guide you with consistent content that resonates with your audience, is shareable, SEO-friendly, and reinforces your brand messaging.
Creating a content strategy for your blog will help you define exactly what kind of content you produce, the frequency of publishing, the ideal formats to use, what your audience want to read, what readers will want to share and what is going to work well on search engines.
To come up with an ideal content strategy you need spend some time researching, evaluating and planning.
I have create a four-step process to help you create a blogging content strategy. By the end of this exercise you should have a clear idea of how and what content you will produce for your blog that reinforces your blog’s brand and serves your blog’s core purpose.
How to Create a Blogging Content Strategy
Step One – Brainstorm
As with the previous exercises in my blogging series we are going to start with a good old brainstorming session. Grab yourself a pen and paper, or open up a fresh note document and answer the following questions and prompts.
1. What is your blog’s core purpose? (we worked on this here)
2. What is your brand’s value offering?
3. What are your brand key words?
4. Who are your ideal audience/readers?
4a. What do they care about?
4b. Who is your existing audience?
4c. Who do you want to reach specifically?
5. What are the key themes you like to blog about?
6. What content do you want to be defined by/remembered for?
Step Two – Assess
1. What are you top performing posts?
Open up your analytics program, the most reliable is Google Analytics, and take note of your top 10-20 posts. Consider noting the top posts by months, seasons, and even annually.
2. Where is your best engagement?
Look at the comments and take note of which posts resonate the most with your audience. Which posts encourage the most thoughtful, in-depth responses? Take note of any questions they ask.
3. What is being shared?
Take note of your most shareable posts. What has been tweeted, reposted, repinned, or shared on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram?
4. Check out the competition
First things first, let’s avoid any straight up copying. But do check out any competitors / peers in your niche or with your ideal audience, and note which of their content is resonating. What formats do they use? Are there any hot topics you can add further value to?
If you do end up being super-inspired by any fellow creators be sure to credit them in your work. A friendly shout-out and link back to them is good practice.
5. Survey your readers
You could create a survey easily using Google Form, Survey Monkey, or Type Form to ask your audience for their opinions. Ask your existing audience what they enjoy reading on your blog. Or perhaps what they are not so keen on. Maybe ask them what they think is missing or what they want to see on your blog.
Take note of what’s coming up seasonally within your niche.
They are loads of tools out there you could use to note the latest trends. Check out Google Trends or Pinterest for inspiration. Seek what questions people are asking on Reddit or Quora. Or even see what is trending on social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter – you could use a tool such as Buzzsumo for this. How can you jump on a trend and add your spin on it?
Step Three – The nitty gritty
Ideally you want to have a balance between formats, categories and themes. Write a list of categories and formats you want to create.
Create ‘content buckets’ or a way to theme or group your content. Ideally you will create variety on your blog by alternating between the ‘buckets’ of content you produce.
The best bit about creating content strategy is that it helps with consistency which means you can avoid that dreaded creator’s block, you can manage your way around busy periods, and you can maintain a sense of reliability for your audience. What kind of schedule do you want for your blog?
What can you realistically produce on a regular basis? Think about the resources you have available in terms of time, skill, tools and what you can outsource.
What kind of content really resonates the most with your audience?
You want to be encouraging and nurturing engagement with your audience so that they come back regularly to read your blog. The number one thing to do to encourage engagement is to listen. Listen and respond.
Step Four – Creating a Blogging Content Strategy
Now the brainstorm and research is done it’s time to create your content strategy.
Write a one-page (ish) document detailing and summarising your research from the above steps. It should read as an outline of intentions for how your content will look and be delivered.
This content strategy document will form a masterplan for your blog and content. It should include exactly what and how it will be delivered to your audience.
It might include the following:
- engagement levels
- frequency / schedule
- audience demographics
- and anything else that comes out of your reasearch
This content strategy should help you on the next step, and that is to create an editorial calendar.
Have you tried creating a blogging content strategy for your blog?
How did you get on with my four-step process?
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