There’s more to creating a content plan for your blog than just gathering a bunch of topics and deciding to write about them. Your blog is the face of your business online (and if not, it should be), so you need to give some consideration to these elements to make sure you are not only providing great content, but also meeting the needs and expectations of your audience.
Here are a few things you should be thinking about when crafting your content plan.
How well do you know your audience?
I know I’ve said it before , but one of the key elements of a successful blog is really knowing your audience well.
You need to know what words make an impact on them. As well,you also need to know their worries, fears, loves, and interests and how it your products and services can help solve their problems and deal with their issues.
The more you can speak their language, the more your content, and by extension your products and services, will resonate with them.
Related Resource: Content Brainstorming Worksheets
Do you have an understanding of your industry?
The niche you’re blogging in didn’t start with your decision to start a blog. It has a history of its own independent of you and others involved in it.
Your content plan should take into consideration the history of your market, it’s ups and downs, and who the important players are.
An understanding of your industry as a whole will help you position yourself better because you will be able to see where you and your offers fit in to the bigger picture.
What Other Pages Will Your Blog Have?
There’s more to your blog than just a collection of posts. Pages such as the ones listed here form an integral part of your content plan because they allow people to learn more about you and what you have to offer them.
- About page
- Contact page
- Guest posting information
- Advertising information
- Media page
- Services/product page
- Archived posts
- Tools and resources
- Landing page
- Start here page
- Terms of service
- Disclosures page
What Categories Will You Use?
Categories are a way to organize the content you create. They also have a role to play in telling the search engines which topics you consider important enough to place in their own separate category.
The number of categories isn’t set in stone, but generally less is better than more. The CoSchedule blog has an excellent post that recommends keeping it to under eight.
My personal preference (and something I learned from Kelly McCausey) is to use three themed categories and tags to target specific topics and keywords. (Note: I’m in the process of doing this as I refresh the content on YourMessageAmplified.com)
The more you can narrow down the subject matter and categories, the more focused your blog posts will be and the easier they will be to find for your readers.
What Keywords will you use?
Studying keywords for your niche can help you define the categories you will use as well as topics you want to blog about.
The topics you choose will also play a role in determining what format suits the content best. For example, if you plan to interview experts in your niche, you might want to consider a podcast. On the other hand, if you are posting in-depth “how to” content, a video and/or text instructions might work best. Aim for a good mix of text, video and audio content to cover the different learning styles your audience will have.
What Does Your Content Schedule Look Like?
Knowing how often you intend to post fresh content is a crucial element of your content plan [link to content planning report].
You’ll also want to know when you have products to promote and plan your editorial calendar around these promotions, whether for your own products or products you promote as an affiliate.
This keeps your content focused [link to editorial calendar post] and flowing, and allows for a much smoother user experience for your readers.
Related Post: Editorial Calendar
What Seasons, News and Events Impact Your Audience?
Knowing in advance about what is coming up, or being aware enough to jump on something that has just happened in the news surrounding your industry are important components in creating an excellent content plan.
Whether you blog about events, accomplishments, and happenings in your own life, or about a business industry, doesn’t matter. Keep it relevant by matching it to things your audience cares about.
What Other Avenues Will You Use For Your Content?
Your blog should not be the only piece in your content puzzle. There are many other options you can consider to create a larger reach for your content.
You should never create a piece of content without knowing how you are going to promote it. Social media sites, email marketing, online communities, and newsletters all play a role in ensuring your content reaches the people it was meant for.
As you can see, there’s much more to consider in your content plan than just the topics you will write about. Considering the elements mentioned here will help you create a more rounded content plan, which will result in a better experience for your audience.
A well thought out content plan also means you have a set of action steps for staying focused and blogging consistently. No more will you be reliant on inspiration alone for content for your blog.