In blogging, there are a lot of things that can factor in the success of a blog. The design of the blog matters, how mobile responsive it is plays a big role, the SEO helps as well. But there’s one aspect of a blog that truly makes or breaks the blog, the content. Without good content, blogs are destined to fail, no matter how advanced and pretty they are. So in this article, I’m going to help you create a good blog content strategy that will help propel your content to the next level.
What Is A Blog Content Strategy?
Basically, a blog content strategy is exactly as it sounds. It’s a strategy to help you better plan your blog content. One of the most common mistakes I’ve seen from newbie bloggers is that they roll out their content without any strategy, without any thought behind them. They just write what they want, when they want.
Although this might lead to a few hit content, but more often than not it’s far and between. With a good blog content strategy, your content will be more consistent. And for the blogs without a content strategy, it’s more likely for them to fold over.
In creating a blog content strategy, there are five steps we need to observe;
- Defining Goals
- Market Research
- Topic Ideas And Keyword Research
- Creating A Content Calendar
- Building Engaging Content
We’ll be going over each of these five steps later, but first, let’s discuss why you need a content strategy.
Why Is A Blog Content Strategy Important?
As mentioned above, there is a marked difference between the blogs with a solid content strategy and blogs that don’t.
Blogs that don’t employ a solid blog content strategy find it hard to come up with quality content regularly, and will most likely fail to attract audience and readers.
But blogs that do, will more often than not churn out quality content.
Here’s a chart from Theme Isle that can properly visualise the difference.
As you can see from this chart, there is a huge difference between organizations that properly employ the use of a content strategy and those who don’t.
So now we understand the importance of a good blog content strategy, let’s start creating your own blog content strategy.
The Goal Of A Content Strategy
Before we get into creating a content strategy, first we must clear up what is the main purpose of a content strategy.
The main goal of a content strategy is to answer three main questions for your blog;
- Why Do We Need Content?
- What Type Of Content Do We Need?
- How Is That Content Is Going To Help Us Reach Our Main Goal?
So let’s look at the first question.
Why Do We Need Content
For most of you here, your ultimate goal in blogging is to make money from blogging. So the reason you need content should be in accordance to that.
You want to make money using your blog. But in order to make money, you need readers and customers. In order to attract readers and customers to your blog, you need content. Not just any content, you need amazing content.
And this, is the reason you need content.
The same goes for those outliers who’re not blogging for the money. Even if you don’t plan on monetizing your blog and is doing it just for fun, what fun is a blog without any readers?
Therefore, you need readers. And how do you get readers to your blog? That’s right, by crafting engaging content.
What Type Of Content Do We Need?
Now this depends on the type of blog you’re doing. If your blog is a travel blog, then it goes without saying that the type of content you need focuses on travelling.
This can be travelling recommendations, budget travelling tips and tricks, avoiding scams while travelling, and many more.
Basically, it can be anything to do with travelling. Just properly define your type of blog, and you will get what type of content do you need.
How Is That Content Going To Help Us Reach Our Main Goal?
After figuring out why we need content and what type of content do we need, it’s time to figure out how is that content going to help us reach our main goal.
As we mentioned earlier, a blog typically has one main goal; to make money. So it’s time to figure out how is our content going to help us make money?
In order to do this, you need to figure out how you want to monetize your blog.
If you plan to monetize your blog by selling products through affiliate marketing, then you need your content to be geared towards affiliate links. If you plan on monetizing your blog using ads, then you need your content to be geared towards ads.
You have to think of how to monetize your blog, so that you can come up with content that is going to help you reach the goal of making money.
Got it in mind? Now let’s start creating our own blog content strategy.
First Step ; Defining Our Goals
Now the first step of creating a good blog content strategy is defining our main goals. Yes, we’ve just did this before, but this time, we’re talking about a more concrete, specific goal.
Basically, a goal for your blog can be defined by asking yourself the question; Why are you creating content for your blog?
What do you hope will come out of it?
Typically, your answer should be one of this;
- Driving traffic to your money making organizations
- Increasing sales or generating leads
- Educating customers and readers
- Updating your customers and readers on what’s going on with you
- Building a brand?
Out of all these answers, you should just pick two or three out of it, so you don’t overwhelm yourself with trying to cover all goals.
For example, let’s say I have a blog about gardening, with affiliate marketing as my main monetization source. My primary goal will be trying to generate leads to my affiliate marketing campaign, and my secondary goal will be trying to educate my readers about gardening.
From there, I can create smaller goals that will help me achieve my primary and secondary goal.
Here’s where you need to get specific. Instead of saying “I want to generate traffic”, say “I want to generate a 15% increase in traffic in 2 months”.
Second Step ; Market Research
Now that you’ve defined your goals, created some primary and secondary objectives, and some specific goals to help you achieve that, it’s time for the second step. And that is, doing some market research.
Now market research doesn’t mean just doing research on your topic. Most bloggers make the mistake of researching their topics.
What you should be doing is that you should be researching your target market. Your customers and readers.
Which is why for starters, the first thing you need to do is you need to know your audience.
Let’s use the gardening example from before. For my gardening blog, my target market will be people who are interested in picking up gardening. So now that I have identified my target, I need to ask myself three questions;
- Where Does My Target Market Hang Out Online? – Where can I find my target market? Is there any social media groups I can join? Is there a popular forum that they like to join? In order to find your target market, you need to know where they are.
- What Is Their Biggest Complain About Our Topic? – In our example gardening, we have to find out what is their biggest challenges when it comes to gardening. Is it that the high price of tools and seeds? Is it lack of space?
- What Sort Of Content Do They Like Reading? – What kind of content do your target market go for? Do they like blogs and infographics, or do they like video more?
These three questions will help you identify your target market. Which will help you understand, who exactly are you writing for.
Third Step; Topic Ideas And Keyword Research
Now that you’ve understood who are you writing for, it’s time to write content that can help them.
So in order to come up with topic ideas that help your target market, first thing you need to do is look back at the second question we asked in our Market Research. What is their biggest complain/problem within our topic?
If you have the answer, then you can create content that helps them with this complaint/problem.
Let’s go back to our gardening example. If my market research shows me that the biggest problem my audience face in gardening is the lack of space, then I can create content that helps them solve this issue.
Simple right? But that’s not all. We have to do keyword research as well.
Keyword research is really important, as it shows what your audience is looking for on Google and what they’re typing. And it’ll help you with ranking on Google search as well, which will help you generate more traffic.
So how do you do your keyword research? Simple.
First you identify the topic you’re going to write about. In my gardening example, my topic will be about ‘lack of space for gardening’.
Now you just go to Google Keyword Planner, and type your topic in. You’ll see something like this;
As you can see here, there’s not much of a search demand for this keyword. So I need to change my keyword.
See? Now it’s better. There are a lot of searches for the keyword, and there is some competition as well.
Now all you have to do is choose some keywords for you to target. Here’s a couple of tips to help you.
- Optimally, find keywords that have 10-100 avg monthly searches, and low-medium competition.
- Pick some long tail keywords to target. Long tail keywords are easier to rank for.
But be warned; don’t let keyword research be the be all and end all for your topic. If you find that a topic is highly requested by your audience, but the keyword research for it shows that the keyword is suboptimal, just write it.
Keyword research is important, but don’t let it stop you from writing a topic you feel your readers would want.
Fourth Step; Creating A Content Calendar
Before we can go to the fourth step and create a content calendar, first we have to clear it up; what exactly is a content calendar?
True to it’s name, a content calendar is a calendar that shows you your content plan. Basically, your content calendar shows you when you should be publishing content, and what type of content should you be publishing.
So what’s the importance of a content calendar?
A content calendar can help you keep track of when you should be posting, and what you should be posting. This will help you keep track of your posting. A general rule of thumb for posting is that it should be regular, but not too many in one day.
The reason is that you don’t want to overwhelm your readers with too many new content at one time, because they might not be able to keep up.
So with a content calendar, you’re ensuring proper and regular updates of content to your audience, which is important.
You can find templates for a content calendar online.
Fifth Step ; Building Engaging Content
We’re now at the last step, which is building amazing content for your blog. Everything we’ve done before this, keyword and topic research, market research, content calendar, all leads to this.
Now it’s time for us to build engaging content.
The reason why I say build, and not write, is simple. Because great and engaging content is not just written, it’s built.
It’s built from three main factors, and these three main factors are what you need to look out for.
- Well-written – This means that your content needs to be coherent, and with proper grammar and spelling. What use is the most informative content if your audience can’t understand it?
- Well-Researched – This ensures you actually know what you’re writing about. You can’t just write willy-nilly on a subject you know nothing about. You have to do your research. Even the most well-written piece will be useless without any information.
- Rich In Media – Let’s face it, even if you’re the best writer in the world, no one wants to read a wall of text nowadays. Be sure to include several rich medias in your content so it looks more interesting for your audience.
- Skimming Friendly – Make sure your content utilizes headings and subheadings to help your audience skim through. This is imperative especially when your content is really long.
Just remember to follow these four guidelines, and you will be creating engaging content in no time!