Blogs are a powerful digital
marketing tool: they provide useful content for your audience, build brand
awareness, establish your business as authoritative and boost your online
visibility. By establishing a thorough and effective blog content strategy, you
will be better positioned to produce top-quality blog posts all year
round. 

Here are our seven steps to
creating a blog content plan:

  1. Identify Your Goals
  2. Understand Your Audience
  3. Review Your Successes and Failures
  4. Organise a Content Plan Management System
  5. Brainstorm Blog Ideas
  6. Conduct Keyword Research
  7. Identify Internal Linking Opportunities

What is a Content Plan?

A content plan illustrates the
digital content that your brand aims to produce and share over a given time
period. Content
marketing is important for your business
, and some examples of digital
content include social media posts, infographics, videos and blog posts.

Blog posts are a fantastic way for
your business to improve visibility online and build trust with your audience.
They enable you to share knowledge and advice in a detailed way. Therefore, you
should take the time to create an effective blog content strategy.

How to Create a Blog Content Plan in 7 Steps

Step #1 – Identify Your Goals

Before you start brainstorming
content ideas, you need to identify your goals. What business goals do you want
your blog posts to help you achieve?

Remember that smart business goals are SMART business goals: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound.

blog-content-strategy

Step #2 – Understand Your Audience

If you want to understand how to write a content plan, you’ll
need to understand your audience.

Be sure to build buyer personas for
your business, which you can do in four
easy steps
. Your buyer personas will help you to understand your audience,
which, in turn, will help you to understand what they want from your blog
posts.

When creating your buyer personas, you
should consider the following as a minimum:

  • Demographics (age, gender, location, life stage etc.)
  • Job or career path
  • Pain points and challenges
  • Aspirations and motivations

Step #3 – Review Your Successes and Failures

One of the best ways to improve
your blog content strategy
is to review your previous blog posts.

Identify the blog posts that
performed the best and achieved the highest levels of engagement. What makes
these posts stand out?

Likewise, analyse your blog content
that didn’t perform to your expectations. Don’t be disheartened by
underperforming blogs; instead use them as an opportunity to be better.

“It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure” – Bill Gates

If you’re new to the game or are searching
for more insights, have a look at the top-performing posts from your
competitors. Don’t copy them, but use them as a source of inspiration.

Buzzsumo
is a helpful tool for this; it allows you to plug in a keyword or webpage and
displays the top-performing content.

Step #4 – Organise a Content Plan Management System

Now that you understand why you’re
writing and who you’re writing for, you can begin to straighten out your
content plan management system. Having a solid content management system is
crucial for successful blog
planning.

First, identify the time frame of
your blog content plan.
You may want to plan one month at a time, divide your year into quarters, or
look at the entire year as a whole. Take on whatever approach works best for
your business; just remember to keep on top of it.

Next, identify which team member is
going to take on the responsibility of blog content planning. It is good to
appoint responsibility, and therefore accountability, but be sure to support
whoever is taking on the task.

Then, choose a platform that works
best for your content team. We recommend selecting an online platform that can
be easily accessed, shared and updated by everybody responsible for content. An
online platform also enables your team to access the content plan remotely.

Blog writers need to be able to see
what they’re supposed to be writing, and when. They should also be able to
update the content strategy to share their progress. Fellow team members can
keep track of updates and be sure not to repeat content.

At Zelst, we use Google Drive to create and share our blog content plans amongst the content team. However, other great platforms include Trello and Google Calendar.

what-is-a-content-plan

Step #5 – Brainstorm Blog Ideas

With your blog content management
system sorted, it’s time to start blog
post planning.

Firstly, you need to look through
all of your existing blog posts to identify gaps and to be confident that you
won’t create duplicate content.

Then, begin the blogging
brainstorm. Note down any initial ideas you have for your posts, considering
how they would enrich your customers’ experiences.

Look at the time frame that your
blog content strategy covers, and identify any major public holidays or more
niche, industry-specific holidays that you could create content around.

Research global and local events,
especially industry-specific ones, that you could write blog posts about, too.

Also, think about questions that your blog posts could answer. Google’s related queries can serve as a great source of inspiration. Likewise, Answer The Public is a useful tool that shows you commonly searched queries that include your target words.

blog-post-planning

 

 

www.answerthepublic.com

Keeping your blog active, consistent and current is really important for your customers and for SEO. However, this doesn’t just involve creating new blog content; it also involves republishing old blog content to keep your posts optimised and up-to-date.

Step #6 – Conduct Keyword Research

Keyword research is a vital
component of any blog content
plan. Keywords are the words, phrases and questions that people search
for on search engines. Your blog posts should optimise keywords to improve SERP rankings and
visibility.

When conducting keyword research,
it’s useful to focus on terms that have low competition, so your blog post has
a better chance of ranking highly on Google. It’s also good practice to include
a mix of shorter, more generic keywords and more niche, long-tail keywords.

For keyword research tools, we recommend using Google’s Keyword Planner or Moz’s Keyword Explorer.

how-to-write-a-content-plan

Step #7 – Identify Internal Linking Opportunities

Once you’ve decided your blog
topics, you should add internal links to your blog content plan. Internal links
are hyperlinks that lead to another page on the same website.

Internal linking is a useful SEO strategy that you can incorporate into your blog posts. To do this, identify older blog posts that you could link to from your new blog posts. Just make sure the links are relevant, useful and not forced.

Blog posts are a vital component of
your content marketing strategy. Done right, blogs will help you get found
online and will serve as a useful resource for your customers. By taking the
time to create a blog content plan, you will be in good stead to consistently
produce excellent blog content and bring older blog posts up-to-date.

For more digital marketing advice,
have a read of our blog posts or
contact us to discover how we can help you develop your content strategy.