Many bloggers just seem to go through their daily writing and posting routine by winging it. They don’t achieve the success they see other bloggers attaining. What’s the secret? What are other bloggers doing differently? It’s possible that successful bloggers are simply using a content strategy in their marketing efforts. They give each piece of content a purpose and use it to its maximum ability.
In simple terms, they plan their content and their strategy.
What Is a Content Strategy?
It’s merely a plan to create, organize, market and maximize content. You can use one to plan a week in advance, a month, a quarter or even a year if you’d like.
A plan makes creating content much easier. Instead of fighting the daily, “What do I write?” syndrome, you already have a list of topics to pull from and a strategy to make that content work for you.
Later, when you decide to outsource some of the writing, a content strategy makes it easier to let your writer know what you want from them and when it’s due.
Things you should ask yourself when creating your content strategy.
What types of content do you need to create?
Before you can work on content, you need to know what types of content you’ll be using. Will you write blog posts, articles, information products, or reports?
Do your readers respond better to list type posts? Do they like checklists? What kind of content do you get the most response from?
Knowing what your readers like will help you plan your content.
Where do you plan to publish each piece of content?
How much content will be for your blog or website? Will you use any of it for guest posting, newsletters or article directories? If it’s an information product, do you need extra content to promote it? Where will you post the extra content?
Does your content have a goal or a purpose?
If you want your content to be more effective, it needs to be given a goal or purpose. In a sense, content is a lot like people. It works better if it has a goal.
Decide the purpose of your content. Is it to drive traffic, establish your credibility, promote products, or build your list?
You need to know these things before publishing your content. Giving each piece of content its own purpose will help it to work better for you. It will also keep on working for that purpose over and over.
How can you maximize your content?
Maximizing content can be a difficult step if you’re not sure what it is or how to do it. You want every thing you write to work as hard for you as it can. To do this you simply repurpose some of your content. Do a few minor rewrites and post it in another location.
You can use repurposed content as another blog post later on, in your newsletter or save it in a folder for a future information product. Once you’ve gathered several of your best content pieces together, turn it into an ebook that you can sell or give away.
Do you have a marketing plan for your content?
Marketing your content is getting the word out about it. You can use social networks to post links to content. You can use article directories to get attention and point to more content on your blog or website. You can write guest posts and link to content on your own site.
This is where your content planning and strategy really comes in handy. If you have it all planned and written out, you can visually see where you need to cross promote your content so it gets more exposure.
When will you write your content?
Once you’ve decided what content you’ll write and how you’ll use it, you need to start scheduling when the writing will get done.
Will you write all of the content yourself or outsource some of the writing?
If you plan to write it yourself, you need to create a schedule that you can stick to easily. If you write best in the mornings, schedule writing during that time. If you’re a night owl, use that time to write.
Try not to schedule too much writing in one day. This can get overwhelming. However, for something short like blog posts, there’s no reason you can’t write 2 or 3 per day, if your time allows.
When creating your writing schedule, try to space it out so it’s manageable but keeps you with fresh content being posted to your blog.
When will you publish?
You may need to use two calendars for these schedules. One to determine when you’ll do the actual writing and another to determine when you’ll post the content. Of if you use a dayplanner with lots of room to write on each day, you can use one color of ink to write your writing schedule and another color to write your publishing schedule. Whatever works best for you.
You’ll also want to decide if you will upload several posts at once into your blog and schedule them to publish at later times. It can be a big timer saver to set up several posts at once and schedule them.
If you’re writing some content for article directories or as guest blog posts, you’ll also need to set up publishing times for that content.
Once you start planning out your content and get the hang of it, it will become an easy process. A major benefit to creating a content strategy is knowing there’s always a steady stream of work and content. It can also be a great way to avoid writers block and not knowing what you’ll write from day to day.