Blogging has emerged as one of the most lucrative niches in digital marketing. However, to create a blog that causes disruption in the online world, you must have a robust blog content strategy. Know what you will work on, how you will do it, who will be your audience and how will you expand the blog. The more concrete the plan you develop, the higher are the chances of your blog success.
So, in this detailed guide, you will find out how to create blog content strategy that takes your venture to the next level.
What Is Content Strategy for Your Blog?
Content strategy is the basic plan for the management of your upcoming blog. From the blog visuals to the type of content and downloadable media, everything is included in the blog content plan.
Developing a tangible content strategy is the first step to enter in the industry and ensure a progressing growth pattern. Therefore, creating such a promising plan requires you to consider certain factors listed below.
Who is your target audience?
Before beginning with blog content writing, decide who will your readers be. Definitely, your audience would potentially include more than one type of customer, belonging to different backgrounds and age groups. Likewise, your audience also includes new visitors together with your old followers. Hence, your blog content should ideally entice all your readers.
How will your blog help your audience?
A blog can only achieve a disruptive success when it adequately addresses one or more problems of the target audience.
Thus, while selecting blog content ideas, think about how your content will solve a problem, fascinate the readers, and educate them in a friendly way. Plus, your content strategy should also define how your product is more useful for the readers as compared to your rivals.
What makes you stand out?
Your content strategy should emphasize the uniqueness of your product.
Obviously, when you step into the digital world, your blog will face tough competition from the older, well-established blogs that rule the realm. In such circumstances, your content should be comprehensive enough to attract the readers of your rivals, and keep them glued to your product.
It doesn’t mean that you start blatant promotion of yourself through the content. Rather, doing so in an informative, conversational, personalized and friendly manner is all you need.
Decide content format for your blog
Blogging is a vast field comprising various content types and formats. From short articles to long-form blogs, infographics, pictures, videos, or even mixed content, every content type uniquely engages the audience.
However, you may not choose any content format at random. Instead, do some research, see what is prevalent in the market, what has succeeded in attracting the readers of your niche in the past, and what suits your budget. Remember, careful selection of content format is the next key step to design a killer blog content strategy.
Choose the publishing channel(s)
Different content formats have different channels to get published. For instance, you can choose the traditional, but the more professional way of creating your own blogging website. But this requires a little investment from your end as it requires buying hosting services, domain names, etc. However, such blogs are open for uploading different content formats either separately or together.
Another common, yet cost-free way is to use microblogging sites and social media, such as Facebook and Twitter.
Some people also choose YouTube for blogging, precisely, for vlogs. YouTube also works great for uploading videos that you can then share in your blog posts.
Why do you need a blog content strategy?
Today, almost everyone knows about blogging. However, ironically, very few people understand the necessity of developing a blog content plan. In fact, even experienced digital marketers fail to realize the worth of this important step.
Nonetheless, if you are planning to set up a blog that boosts your business and establishes a credible online presence, perhaps, you should consider focusing on creating a blog plan first.
For better understanding, here we elaborate on why you should focus on developing a dedicated content strategy.
- A thorough content strategy helps you create quality content that attracts readers to your blog and keep them engaged.
- Creating a plan lets you decide the tone for your blog content writing according to your target audience. This helps in breaking the ice and developing a friendly relation with the readers.
- Considering the prevalence of adblockers, you cannot entirely rely on advertisements for monetizing your blog. Hence, quality content plays a key role to increase users’ stay on your blog.
- A blog with killer content glues your product to the readers’ minds. This is especially beneficial if you develop a blog as a marketing strategy for your business.
- With quality material jazzed-up with appropriate keywords and SEO tactics, the content will rank high on search results. In turn, this helps in increasing the overall visibility of your blog as well as your business. All of this is only possible when you prepare a content plan.
How to Develop a Content Strategy for Your Blog?
To develop blog content strategy, you must ensure thorough research and focus on the market as well as the audience. After that, the subsequent steps include deciding about the optimization strategies to make the blog rank high.
Below we list the key steps to create a compelling blog content strategy.
1. Determine your goals
The whole of your content strategy primarily relies on this key question – what’s the goal of your blog? Before starting off, define your aim and have a clear picture of the thing you wish to achieve with your effort.
Though, it is possible that you may have more than one goal for the blog. For instance, you may intend to increase sales, educate people, and build a brand at the same time. Yet, make sure that you do not expand your aims too much as this will only cause distractions. Besides, it will also be a turn-off for the readers as well to visit a blog that has no apparent focal point.
2. Research about buyer persona
The next important thing in a killer blog content plan is to research the buyer persona. By this, we mean defining the target audience for the blog, especially when you are new in the market. This will help you generate content that actually entices your target audience.
Likewise, if you are already present in the market, then see if you can expand the audience for your blog. Perhaps, based on the market situation, you may consider targeting a new age-group, a new ethnicity, and revise the overall strategy to target the new audience together with the old one.
3. Conduct competitive research
As the traditional market, you are likely to face a tough competition with established rivals in the digital market as well the moment you step in. To win over this competition, you should have thorough knowledge about the market situation.
Therefore, before starting over, assess where your audience lies, what problems they are facing, and which content types attract them the most.
Besides, keep an eye on your competitors, the kind of content they produce, and their strategies to lure readers. Including this research in your blog content strategy will help you surpass your rivals in the long run.
4. Define the topic ideas and target keywords
Although, the latest Google algorithms focus more on developing quality content. However, considering the cliché ‘Content is King’, the keywords still remain the biggest jewel of the crown of this king. Without appropriate keywords, you cannot optimize your blog and rank high on SERPs. Which also means that you won’t succeed in getting much traffic.
So, finding appropriate keywords according to the blog niche forms a crucial part of content strategy. Just pick out the right topics for your blog. You can also search blog content ideas online which will also help you choose appropriate keywords. Use them in your content naturally, do not overoptimize, and work on getting some reputed backlinks using the main keywords as the anchor text.
5. Choose The Type Of Content You Want To Create
The term ‘blog post’ is a diversified terminology that includes different types of blog content. From general articles to listicles and even social media posts, everything can be counted as a blog post.
So, while strategizing your blog, you should consider what kinds of posts it will have. Whether it will be short to long-form articles, images, written content mixed with videos, or others.
Here are some blog content examples to help you choose a format according to your requirements.
How-to’s and Tutorials
From ‘how often should you change your toothbrush’ to ‘how to become an entrepreneur’, people keep searching on the internet to find solutions to their problems. That’s where you can intervene – address a problem in the niche of your blog.
Particularly, if you aim at providing education/information to your audience, perhaps, how-to’s and tutorials will serve your purpose the best. These are elaborate write-ups, sometimes, with illustrations, that address one or more issues faced by your readers.
Creating this sort of content is also beneficial since it imparts your expertise on the topic. So, if you’re running a business or aim at branding, these articles will let you establish a credible stance among the readers, thereby attracting more business.
These articles solve a problem in a step-by-step manner. Lists usually attract readers as they get to find out their desired solution by quickly scanning the article. Plus, if you are a newbie in blogging, creating lists would be the quickest way to gain some traction.
Following the typical “X best…”, “X ways to….” Or “X products to change…” style, lists articles, despite bearing a slight monotony, are still popular among the readers. These articles are also great if your blog revolves around affiliate marketing.
Resources or Link Lists
Link lists or resource articles are great if you are just starting out on your blog. You can create these articles simply by gathering all the resources or links you plan to consult for your own blog.
These articles usually include curation of other content or links. Hence, they are easy to create. Moreover, readers love these articles since they can find multiple resources together, which saves time.
Besides, you can also add your blog to the list to make an impression.
Cheat Sheets, Checklists and To-do’s
Cheat sheets are usually similar to how-to’s; the only difference being their precision. While how-tos often address a problem in a comprehensive manner and also include the background of a problem, cheat sheets get straight to the point in a professional way. Yet, they are inclusive enough to serve as a quick guide for the readers.
Similar to cheat sheets in format, checklists and to-do’s also guide the user towards the solution of a problem. They become further useful when you include a downloadable/printable PDF link for your post for the visitors.
Reviews are the best blog posts for a business point-of-view. From straight product reviews or writing comparisons, review articles offer plenty of options in every niche.
From restaurants to tourism spots to gadgets and home products, you can write short, long, or detailed comparison reviews on the key things of your niche and attract readers.
Such reviews also help you grow further as the businesses tend to send you free unsolicited samples for review.
Case studies are the kind of blog posts that emphasize the efficiency of your services while also presenting it as a solution to a problem. With case studies, you can share the success stories of your customers with your readers. Share how you helped your client in accomplishing a task.
With case studies, you can adopt various formats of blog content, such as short or long articles, e-book, an infographic, or even a podcast.
Ebooks have drastically transformed, rather expanded from being the typical electronic version of books to the detailed posts. In terms of blogging, ebooks refer to the detailed guides providing in-depth information backed by suitable references.
Despite being a great content type, they are still far less tapped-into than other types, probably because of their exhaustiveness. And, to promote these ebooks, one may have to create a promotional or supporting article with a CTA for the readers.
While it may not be successful for the general public, it is great to generate more leads if your target audience is professional businesses.
Creating templates also attracts and engages the audience since it helps the readers by providing them ready templates which help them generate more leads without spending much time.
Controversies also offer lots of worth-discussing blog post ideas. These posts also succeed in getting more traffic if you pick up the right topic that attracts your readers.
However, you must have thick skin to write such posts, since you may also trigger negative comments as well. Likewise, your post must have strong references to back your opinion.
Infographics are becoming popular since they provide concrete information in a precise and attractive manner. Many times, it also helps the reader understand complex topics within a minute. Creating infographics simply requires creative skills, basic coding knowledge, and the ability to write in brief. And, your blog is ready to grab the audience.
Podcasts let the audience stay connected to your blog without having to abandon their chores routine for reading.
Moreover, you can also increase your blog traffic by jazzing up the podcasts with blog posts, which may include a brief of the podcast, or simply the transcription. The latter is especially useful if your target audience also includes non-native speakers as well who may have difficulty understanding native accents.
Videos are disrupting the conventional blogging industry. Videos have not only made blogging easy but have also emerged as a quick means to share knowledge. Plus, the visuals tend to attract readers more than written content. People also like to share videos on social media sites, hence, increasing your readership.
Publishing interviews of experts in your niche add credibility to your blog. Besides, the readers also like to know the opinion of experts, hence, you expand your target audience. You can share these interviews either in written form, or a podcast, or both. Sharing a video featuring an interview is also a great option to increase traffic and engage visitors.
6. Develop Your Editorial Calendar
Your blog content plan is incomplete without a thorough editorial calendar.
What is an editorial calendar?
An editorial calendar is a documented planned schedule of publishing content on the blog. This is particularly useful for organizations where a dedicated editorial team is responsible to manage a blog. This calendar is also handy in case of any replacements in the team.
Although, an editorial calendar is never a hard-and-fast plan. Rather it might change according to the present circumstances. Nonetheless, it is great for the initial planning of the timelines.
Typically, a blog content calendar is made keeping in view the following factors.
- Frequency of content publishing (daily/ weekly/ biweekly, monthly, etc.).
- Types of content and their publishing schedule on different channels. For example, the content calendar may include the schedule of both the articles published on the site and the related videos shared on YouTube.
- Integrity, editability, and ease-of-use for multiple users.
- Timelines for review of content before publishing.
Editorial Calendar example
While you can create an editorial content calendar using simple MS Office tools, such as Word and Excel. However, today, there also are various software suitable for this purpose. For instance, team management tools like Trello, Freedcamp, Apollo, and Asana, provide wonderful space to the team members to work according to the schedule.
A classic example of such an editorial calendar is the Buffer’s calendar on Trello.
Editorial Calendar Template
While you create a calendar on your own, you can also save time by downloading a suitable content plan template from an online resource, such as Hubspot. These are customizable templates that you can simply edit to include your own details.
Why You Should Be Using a Content Calendar?
Although, spending time on creating an editorial calendar, in the beginning, may look exhaustive. Yet, this effort provides a lot of benefits in the long run, such as,
- Keeps everything well-organized and accessible.
- Assists in brainstorming. You can even come up with more blog content ideas.
- Ensures consistency of content on your blog, in turn, keeping your audience engaged.
- Eliminates panic at the eleventh hour due to any outages or holidays.
- Maintains transparency and availability of information to all relevant departments.
- Facilitates planning a social media marketing strategy.
- Provides a quick glimpse of the entire performance of the blog.
What Should Be on Your Content Calendar
To leverage all the advantages listed above, you must ensure creating a concrete content calendar with the appropriate format. Hence, your calendar should include the following.
- Relevant content headlines
- Realistic and achievable publishing dates
- Clear mention of the content type
- Tracking labels and codes to identify the processing stage of the content
Besides, it may also include a suitable space where any member of the team may share a new topic idea for review by the content manager.
Go Live, Publish And Manage Your Blog
A useful method to manage your blog in an engaging way is to focus on topic categories. Divide your editorial calendar on the basis of different topics. This will help in generating a smooth flow and connectivity in different pieces of content on your blog without losing your readers’ interest.
After finishing up the content strategy and calendar, you are now set to publish blog content. Start creating quality content on predetermined topics while using related keywords. Ensure proper implementation of the editorial calendar, see if all personnel working on the blog are communicating well, and keep an eye on the progress. If required, you may also assign a dedicated person to promptly review and manage blog content according to the schedule.
In summary, a robust blog content strategy is the key to warrant the success of your blog. With a little effort in the beginning, and following the details we shared here, you can create a killer strategy that will benefit you in the long run.