Creating a consistent and focused content strategy will do a lot for your blog and business over time.
Your content will do the work of attracting your ideal audience. Whether you’re a business owner and trying to create content to interest clients and customers or you blog for fun to draw fans and friends, creating consistent content is important. It proves that you know what you’re talking about and quickly builds trust with your audience.
Also, for business owners, your content strategy will help you stay focused on your work and allow you to learn as you go. I’ve found that I learn a lot while I’m writing posts. Not because I’m researching and looking at other people’s posts, because that’s not the way I do things, but because I take the time to think back and analyze past and current experiences and draw conclusions based on those things.
And a little bonus? Writing focused content will benefit your SEO. Your keywords will be sprinkled around all your posts and Google loves the heck out of that!
How To Get Started With Your Content Strategy
1. Determine your purpose
Before you begin creating your content strategy, decide what you’d like to accomplish. Do you intend to
- Attract clients and customers?
- Find others with similar interests?
- Express what you’re passionate about?
- Document a journey?
Of course, you can pick more than one of those things, but do some reflection before getting started so you have a clear focus going in. Doing so will give you a clear purpose each and every time you write a post. You’ll avoid the feeling that you’re all over the place and your content will become consistent and targeted.
2. Relate your purpose to your goals
I know, I talk about goals in every single post, I’m kind of sorry…a little. But now it’s time to look back at your goals and compare them to the purpose you’ve just defined. Does everything line up as it should?
If not, it may be time for you to dig deeper and do some more thinking on these to aspects of your blog and business.
3. Create your strategy
Now it’s time to craft your strategy around your goals and purpose. Before we get started, understand that this is not the only way to do things. This is just how I’ve gone about creating my content and it’s what works for me.
First, ask yourself some questions:
- What am I trying to accomplish through my content?
- Who am I trying to attract?
- Why are my visitors coming to my blog?
- What do they want to learn while they’re here?
- If I’m trying to gain clients and customers, what kinds of things are they interested in that I’m able to write about?
Those questions should get you off to a good start. Your overall strategy should be to draw your ideal audience through your content and teach or show them things they’re interested in. And if you’re trying to make sales? Don’t be afraid to teach people the basics. It will get them off to a good start and then really show the benefit of the paid products and services you have to offer.
4. Generate content ideas
Creating content ideas can be a challenging task. I know if I sit in front of a blank document and quickly try to come up with a post idea that I’m destined for frustration. But through reading the suggestions of others and trying things on my own, I’ve come up with a process for creating content ideas that works for me. This process is a bit different than many teach, as I don’t suggest going through Google, Pinterest, or Amazon looking for topics to write about. I do my best to come up with original and engaging content and this is the process I use to do so.
Grab some sticky notes or a big whiteboard
I’ve used both approaches in the past. If I’m using sticky notes I’ll sit next to a wall and stick them to the wall as I go. But if I’m using a whiteboard, which is my preferred approach since fixing mistakes is cleaner, I grab my colorful markers and am all set to go.
Across the top of your whiteboard, list your content categories
The point of listing out your categories is to focus your mind for the next steps. You’ll be working on one category at a time.
If you don’t yet have defined categories take a few minutes to come up with some. Remember, your blog is a work in progress and a decision, like categories, isn’t final. List out the topics you’re interested in writing about and use those for the rest of this exercise. You can always add more or remove some later.
Brainstorm for each category
Grab your phone and set a timer for at least 10 minutes. Take one category and write all the post ideas you can possibly think of underneath it. These ideas don’t have to be fully formed, they can be one keyword that you’d want to write about or full post titles. If you end up with duplicates or “bad ideas” that’s perfectly okay, right now you’re just brainstorming.
I like to ask myself questions like:
- What have I learned recently that I can write about?
- What did I need to learn right when I was starting out?
- What do I wish I would have known earlier?
- Is there some kind of technical training I could do on this topic?
- What can I teach about this category?
Yes, many of those questions are similar. But asking myself in a slightly different way tends to draw out new ideas.
Repeat this step for each category, at least 10 minutes each.
Now it’s time to go back through and clean up your ideas. Remove all duplicates, ideas you don’t like, or topics you wouldn’t be able to write a full blog post on.
This will leave you with a list of blog post ideas!
5. Create your editorial calendar
This is my favorite part of the process. Adding all my ideas to a calendar feels like such a great accomplishment and I know that I won’t have to wrack my brain for ideas again anytime soon!
First you want to sort your ideas into the order you’d like to post. The way I do this depends on whether I’m working on a launch or not.
If I’m launching I basically just include topics for the associated category. Did you notice that all I’ve been writing on lately is blog strategy? There’s a super fun reason for that!
But if I’m not launching I like to rotate my categories each time I post.
The way you create your editorial calendar is completely up to you. I like to use the WordPress Editorial Calendar plugin as well as write my post topics in a physical planner. I don’t know why, that’s just how I roll.
The WordPress Editorial Calendar plugin is nice because you can see all your post topics in a calendar, right in your WordPress Dashboard. It also creates the post draft for you to work with. Honestly, I’m not crazy about that feature because it just clutters my list of posts, but I know many people enjoy it.
6. Create your amazing content!
I’d like to tell you that I have an organized and fully planned out method of writing my blog posts. That I batch my posts for the month all in one weekend or do outlining one day, drafts another day, and editing anther. Buuuuuut that would be a lie. The truth is that I’m flying by the seat of my pants, I still publish posts a day or two late, and sometimes run out of time to create downloadable content. And you know what? I’m okay with that. Life happens and my business isn’t going to be destroyed if I don’t post every. single. Monday.
BUT if you do want an awesome process for content creation I’ve totally fallen in love with this post from Kate of The Shop Files. I plan on giving this a try sometime very soon!
And remember, these ideas don’t all have to turn into posts! Try out some videos, audio, infographics, and more!