You’re the type of woman that takes the bull (kindly) by the horns. Which is why you’re ready to dial up your digital strategy and cultivate the kind of blog that inspires your target audience to keep coming back for more … and more … and more.
All that’s standing in your way is, well, actually doing it. And, of course, the looming – and intimidating – matter of what the heck you should write about and how often you should be writing it.
No big deal really. Gulp.
The good news is that even if you’re not a natural strategist, creating a blog plan can be fun. And … yep, you can get it done in a day.
The even better news is that, done correctly, your blog strategy has the potential to become the foundation of your digital marketing strategy. Content is kween, and when you begin crafting consistently engaging content, you’ll experience greater control over how your target market views your brand.
Here’s how to get started.
Your three-step shimmy to crafting a blog strategy (with soul).
Step 1. The heart, soul and passion angle.
If you’re attempting to write about something that doesn’t excite you (or at least moderately interest you), I guarantee you’re in for a hard slog up Struggle Lane. And, to be frank, the end result probably won’t be that exciting for your audience to read either.
Which is why the first step of your strategy should be to brainstorm anything and everything that lights you up. Don’t worry about connecting it to your business or being overly strategic with it yet. Instead, just spend some time dumping all of your ideas onto the page. (Bonus tip: handwritten brainstorming sessions are best).
If you feel stuck, consider what you like reading and learning about, what you often talk about with friends and what you would put into category of ‘hobbies’ and ‘passions’.
Step 2: The strategic angle.
Okay, time to grab a coffee and settle in for the research component of your blog strategy. For the next step, I want you to investigate what your target market is looking for from you.
This is where you’ll explore keywords you can target in and with your articles, and attempt to gain insight into what makes your target market tick.
A good resource to start with is Alexa. This is an analytics site that monitors web traffic, as well as the keywords that an audience has used to arrive on that website. If you check out your competitor’s sites, you’ll be able to see what their (and your) audience has been searching for too.
You can also check out your follower’s profiles on social media and do some keyword research with Google’s Keywords Tool.
Once you’re done, you should have gathered a plethora of valuable insights you can use to create a content strategy. Ask yourself questions like: What does this tell me about my audience? What are they looking for? What problems/questions do they have?
Ponder these questions and make note of any thoughts that come up.
Step 3. Tie it all together.
Okay, you’ve now got both soul and strategy. So what do you do with it?
The step is to re-read the first list you created (with all of the things that excite you) and see if there is anything that connects with the research you’ve just done.
For example, maybe you’re interested in ballet, and your audience seems to want a tighter, leaner and stronger body. In which case, you could tailor some of your content to introduce how ballet can help them do just that.
Or perhaps, you love snorkelling and your target audience is on the lookout for ways to be healthier and happier. You could then use your passion – snorkelling – and your strategic intel – that your audience wants to be healthier and happier – to provide a few articles that outline how snorkelling can help them achieve their goals.
Activate that one-of-a-kind creativity of yours and marry your passions with your strategic keywords and research to come up with blog topics you love (and that your audience will adore!).
You can also choose set themed topics for certain days of the week or month (For example: Mondays for fitness, Tuesdays for self-help, Wednesdays for style …) and scratch off space for season relevant topics like Halloween, the festive season, New Year etc.
Next, you’ll need to decide how aggressive you would like your blog strategy to be.
I wrote a full post on blog frequency versus growth over here, but as a summary, if you want rapid growth, post between three to five times a day. For moderate growth, post once a day. For slower growth, two to three times a week and if fast growth isn’t a concern, post fewer than two to three times a week.
Finally, create a spreadsheet that lists the dates of the days you plan to post, and next to it the article you’d like to publish.
You can choose to run your articles in a story-like series, or scatter them so your audience gets a lot of variety. Both approaches work, and it’s all about what you’re comfortable with and what you’ll enjoy.
And then … voila – a love-drenched, one-of-a-kind content strategy that you’ll actually feel good about!
Enjoy, and happy writing!!
Cassandra Lane is the founder of Wild Spirit Co., a creative copywriting agency for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Visit her website at wildspirit.co to discover how she can help your business and brand with copy that converts.