Crafting a Content Strategy
Okay, so your branding is solid, and you’re getting to know your audience. Now it’s time to develop an effective content strategy to avoid “blogging randomness,” where you’re writing without intention and straying off topic.
Start by Defining Content Goals
With every post, you should be aiming to better your readers’ lives in some way. For example, if your blog is about going vegan on a budget, then every piece of content you publish, from your Instagram photos to your blog posts, should aim to help your readers make an easier transition to going vegan on a budget.
There should also be growth objectives in your content plan, as well as gaining email subscribers. These should be defined as soon as possible to give yourself a clear vision of your blog.
What we want to do is come up with something specific and actionable.
Here’s an example of a plan that’s too loose:
I want to gain more readers by:
• Posting relevant content.
• Sharing it on social media.
• Doing interviews when asking.
• Experimenting with Periscope.
Instead, we want your plan to look something like:
I want to grow my blog to 1,000 unique visitors per month by:
• Posting one interview and one long-form blog post each week.
• Crafting one collaborative blog post per month (like this one), where I reach out to 10 bloggers to be sources (and then let them know the post was published and encourage them to share on their channels).
• I will reply to two opportunities to be a story source per week.
These goals shouldn’t just refer to the topic of your blog but also what your goal specifically is for the blog, such as getting people to sign up for your e-course or buy your cookbook.
If you’re not sure yet what service/product you’ll offer along with your blog, that’s okay, as in the initial stages, you’re developing your place as an authority on a certain topic.
Since that takes time, focus on putting out great content and listening to your readers about what they want from you.
For now, work on growing your email list to 1,000 subscribers, which you can then convert later to sales once you know what you’re selling. We’ll get to this later in the course.
Here are the steps you can take to create a content plan for yourself:
1. Know your blog goal(s). Again, who are you helping and how? What are your growth objectives?
2. Know your blog’s mission, then come up with three to five themes to keep content on track. For example, if your mission is empower solo female travelers, themes might be travel guides, safety, and combatting fear. Again, it helps to look at Reddit subforums to get an idea of what types of content your audience might want to read.
3. Determine what blog post topics can help you reach your goal. For example, if we look at Nomadic Matt’s blog post about solo female travel, he places an offer for an e-book he sells on solo female travel, targeting readers already interested. If your goal is to get email subscribers, you can create opt-in incentives reflecting the content.
4. Determine the best style for your blog posts. Long form? Interviews? Videos? Round ups? How-to Guides? In the beginning, you might play around to see what works best, or look at the competition to see what is working well in your niche.
5. Check Google Analytics to see when your site gets the most traction. Publish your posts on these date(s) and stick with this schedule. Google Analytics can tell you A LOT about your readers, where they’re coming from, and what they’re reading on your blog, so this tool is essential.
Your Turn: Use this workbook to craft your content plan.
Tomorrow, we’ll work on figuring out where your audience is hanging out on social media.
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