Step 1: define its purpose
Before you start building a content strategy for you blog, you need to determine its purpose – what do you need it to achieve?
For example: within my business, I want to be able to demonstrate that I have ‘skin in the game’, that I’m not just telling people to blog and blog regularly, but that I actually do it too. I also want to be able show I’m a credible copywriter and that I can actually do what I say I can do. And to prove my worth.
It might also be that within your business, you’re looking to push a particular product, service or offer. In which case, crafting a series of content that focuses on this will help you to promote it.
For example: within my business, I want to push top of the funnel content, like blogs, articles, case studies and white papers. So I focus my writing on these areas – again, strengthening my credentials.
Step 2: brainstorm
Before becoming a freelance copywriter, I started my career in the world of B2B marketing. Here, everything tends to be planned in quarters so you’re always thinking about what has to be done over the next 3-month period.
Your content strategy for blogging should be no different.
Once you’ve got your central theme, spend some time brainstorming all of the things you could write about around that topic.
For example: if I want to focus on my blogging service, I could produce content about blogging tips, how to repurpose content, measuring success, SEO for blogs, where to get blogging inspiration from…
Don’t limit your thinking. Make sure you consider all the periphery areas that overlap with your main topic. Being able to write about these areas demonstrates to your audience that you are a specialist in your field because you understand how your product/service fits within the bigger picture.
For example: if I’m writing about blogging, I should also consider content strategy, marketing strategy, SEO, online marketing, PR…
I read a fabulous book called ‘They Ask You Answer’, which is all about answering the actual questions your prospects/customers ask with quality content. I loved the idea and decided to incorporate it into my business. As well as being a really easy way of identifying the content you should be writing, it actually works at generating leads – after my first month of adopting the technique, I’d generated 3 good quality enquiries for my business.
Also, think about how to optimise your blog for SEO purposes. Take the time to research the keywords that people are searching on relating to the topic you’re pushing and consider the content you could write about the search terms.
Step 3: prioritise
By now you should have a lovely list of wonderful ideas. By its very nature, there are no rubbish ideas while you’re brainstorming, as any idea could potentially lead to genius.
In this next stage, you need to start prioritising the blog topics that are going to help you achieve your overall purpose. Strip out any titles that are a bit obscure, think about whether there are any you can merge, and highlight the ones that are really on point.
Since we’re thinking about the next quarter, you’re going to need about 12 blogs if you’re looking to achieve the ideal of publishing once a week.
Step 4: schedule
Now write them down on a calendar so you know when they need to be published online. I tend to use Trello to do this to help me keep track of progress:
I find its common that when it comes to promotional work, it always comes second to client deliverables.
But it can’t.
Scheduling your content makes it a priority in your business – if it has a deadline, you need to hit that deadline.
When you’re scheduling your work, pay attention to the order.
For example: you might want to alternate the content so one week you have a focussed post, and the next demonstrate that you understand the periphery areas. Or you might want to drop a monthly round up article in to prove your worth, or a fun ‘behind the scenes’ post to help the reader to get to know you on a more personal level.
Step 5: write
I get it. Writing every week is hard. And again, client work will always be the priority – if you allow it to be.
Rather than try and squeeze some personal writing in every week (which would never happen), make it a priority by dedicating specific time to it.
For example: every month I block out 1-2 days purely to write my own blog content – if I know this time is unavailable, it’s easier to book client work around it. During this time, I get as many blogs written as possible and start to build a library of content. That way, it doesn’t matter how busy I am on client work, I know I always have something that’s ready to post.
Following these 5 simple steps you should come up with a strong content strategy for your blog, which is relatively pain-free to achieve.