Building a Long-Term Blogging Business: Creating Strategic Content Plan and a Few Content Creation Tips (Part 2)
A strategic content plan can help you create content for your blog. By following the plan diligently you can accelerate the growth of your blog. With proper marketing and promotion, you can trigger the growth, but top-notch information is going to spread itself from there.
In the second part of the Building Long-Term Blogging Business series, I’m going to explain how to develop content strategy, find ideas for content, creating unique and original blog content and make it stand out, and a few tips to help you with your blog.
The first installment of the series talks about the importance of passion. Passion is a noun, so either you have it or don’t. However, you can learn to like your niche and relate your passion to it if starting from scratch is too cumbersome.
Your niche deserves someone who absolutely loves what s/he does, not only for money and business purposes, but also really like helping people solve their problems and improve their life.
A Blog Content Strategy, What?
A blog content strategy creates a structure to your passion. You may like everything related to the topic, but you should channel it so that you get the results you want. It helps you become more organized and keeps you from the frustration of coming up with topics to blog about.
Assuming that you already know what you are trying to accomplish with a blog, a strategic blog content plan is the path you need to take to go from where you are to the place you set as the outcome.
The Importance of Blog Content Strategy
A blog is no longer a personal diary. While you can come up with random ideas every time you want to write a new post, it brings a lot of frustrations, not to mention that you don’t have a well thought-out plan to build your blog. I’m sure you’ll agree this can’t be optimal.
A blog content strategy helps you, as the blogger, to:
- Create a smooth path and outline for the kind of blog you want to build.
- Fulfill the needs of your audience and find out what they really want upfront.
- Help you create promotion plan to grow your blog.
The plan needs to be flexible. That means if you have a group writing project or any other new ideas, you can add new posts to your blog easily without breaking the plan.
You still can express yourself creatively, but at the same time you know which ideas are going to be implemented one month or whatever timeframe you set from now.
Creating a Strategic Blog Content Plan
It is not complicated at all. The process will be fun and you will understand more about your audience and blog like you never before. What should you do to create a blog content plan?
- The ultimate outcome of your blog. What’s the reason your blog exist? Are you building a list, get prospects for your consulting practice, or build loyal followers and traffic to increase the value of the virtual real estate of your blog?
- The needs of your audience. Most of us guess, but rarely we are correct about it. You can gain insights into this by walking in their shoes, researching on public forums or asking them.
- Meet the needs with the outcome. This allows you to target the right audience while reaching your purpose at the same time.
Where to Get Sparks of Content Ideas
There are two general approaches to create content for your blog. The first one is to start with an idea and write based on or without researching other people’s content or data. Another way is to browse around for ideas and then expand by doing your own research.
Creating content plan involves using both methods. Brainstorming is an effective way to come up with lots of ideas. You can sit in a quite place and let your mind wander creatively. Alternatively, start with the search engine, social media, or any other web sites to see what others have done and think of ways to expound or create unique content. (See below for some tips.)
Some places to get content ideas include, but not limited to news sites, social media sites, search engines, other blogs, and keyword specific content tracking feeds.
Create an idea journal to help you keep the ideas organized. Use these ideas to create content plan for at least the next 3-6 months.
Creating Unique and Original Blog Content
With millions of blogs out there, the last thing people need is another blog. Unless you can create unique and informative content for your blog, you should think thoroughly before starting your blog.
Quality content is one of the biggest factors in building a successful blog. It is the only reason people visit and come back to your blog — or subscribe to get updates from your blog via RSS feed or email.
With that said, here are a few tips to create unique content:
- Put a new spin. This can turn an old subject into an entirely new and fresh blog post. Mix this with other methods to make your blog post entirely unique.
- Convey personality. Every individual is unique. While writing, don’t be afraid to convey personality. The readers will recognize and relate to you better.
- Use stories and real-life experience. If you keep a journal, you will be able to use personal stories to make a blog more unique to you.
- Stay on top of things. Read books, subscribe to RSS feeds and at least scan them on a daily basis. Do whatever you can to stay updated about news, happenings and content around your industry.
- Take a stand. Don’t be afraid to be the first to chime in with an opinion. You should also say things as it is based on your knowledge and analysis, even if it could create controversy.
How to Make Your Blog Content Stand Out
Creating unique and original content is one thing, making your blog content stands out is quite different though.
It is harder to read on the screen and people can’t read as fast too. If you have a big bloat of text, people won’t read it no matter how well your content is.
Here are ways to make your blog content stand out, so people will be more likely to read your blog posts:
- Write killer title. Deliver the benefits or raise reader’s curiosity.
- Pleasing design. Design your blog theme / template / layout so it is easy on the eyes.
- Short paragraphs. Break long block of text into two or more paragraphs.
- Formatting. Use subheadings, bold, italics, bullets and numbered list.
- Images. Photos and images can make a blog post easier and more compelling to read.
Writing Blog Content in Advance
Blogging requires you to update your blog regularly with useful content. Readers who subscribe to get updates for your content expect you to update your blog every so often. They will lose interest if you fail to satisfy them.
Don’t put your blog on hiatus if possible. Ask others to guest blog for as long as you are away. You may also write the blog posts upfront and schedule the publishing in future dates. Thanks to blog software this is very easy to do.
A few benefits of writing blog content in advance:
- Compatible with your schedule. You can write blog posts whenever you have time.
- Higher quality. If you are not on deadlines, you can take all the time you have to produce content.
- Site can run itself for some time. If you have a two-week vacation, you can leave a note but keep the content coming.
Building a blog requires consistency. Creating useful content regularly should be part of your routine. Most important of all, you should also enjoy the journey. Life is too short to do what you dislike doing.
If you are struggling in any of content creation process, don’t procrastinate. Find what the culprit is, research for solution and / or ask questions.
A typical example would be idea journal. People often struggle with content ideas, but with an idea journal and content plan, this problem doesn’t exist.
Always take action.
(Read the Full Series)
- Part 1: How to Thrive in the Information Age
- Part 2: Creating Strategic Content Plan and a Few Content Creation Tips
- Part 3: Getting the Word Out
- Part 4: Essential Blogging Skills Every Blogger Should Have
Return to Business Blogging in a Nutshell.
Return to Blog Tips for a Better Blog — Blog Building University.