Blogging without a winning content strategy can get messy and stressful. In this post, I will walk you through creating an effective blog content strategy in less than an hour.
Why create a blog content strategy?
First off, you don’t have an unlimited budget to create blog content. Developing a blog content strategy and planning your blog content calendar can set your business up for success. Planning allows you to put together an editorial calendar that covers blog post ideas your target audience cares about the most.
Planning your blog helps you align your content marketing strategy with your business objective. If you take the time to plan a well-thought blog content strategy and roadmap, you’ll have a higher chance of growing your traffic or even doubling your leads.
More importantly, a long-term content plan helps you stay organized and reduces overhead in content production. Creating a piece of content (creating a blog post) involves a lot of work: researching, planning, writing, editing, and more. Obstacles and roadblocks will get in the way. But having a blog content plan will make it much easier to regain alignment and coordinate your team’s effort for what needs to get done and when.
Six steps to creating a blog content strategy and plan in an hour
1. Planning a timeline
You should create a blog content strategy for each quarter, for three months. Each month, focus on one content offer that ties back to your company marketing goals and your blog goals.
2. Set marketing goals
First off, you want to look at your business objectives, business goals, and key results of this quarter. Is one of your company goals to grow revenue? Is it increasing the number of closed deals? Is it increasing repeat purchases? Is it getting ready for the new funding series?
Your marketing goals and content strategy should align with your business objective and its long-term goals. For example, your marketing team is aiming to improve the volume of marketing qualified leads (MQL) by 30% this quarter.
Setting up clear marketing goals will guide your blogging goals and blog content planner for each month.
3. Define blogging goals
Before writing blog content, you should define your blogging goals and your content offer for each month in the quarter.
Is the goal for the first month of the quarter improving blog visitors by 30%? Is the focus for the second month improving the volume of MQL by 20%? Is the goal for the third month to increase the blog posts and blog performance?
A content offer can be a checklist in the form of a PDF that you create and publish on your blog, and blog visitors can enter their name and email address to download it.
A content offer is usually a free resource on your blog such as a PDF your blog visitors can download, or a free training video your blog audience can access after they enter their name and email address.
A content offer can also be to book a free demo call with the sales team.
Each blog post should not have more than one content offer.
4. Identify a buyer persona and buyer journey
Developing a buyer persona can help you clarify your buyers pain points, their psychological motivation for solving their problem, and help you to prioritize your marketing channels.
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on real data and some select educated speculation about customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals. – HubSpot
Once you have developed your buyer personas (usually you will have at least 2-3) the next step is to map out their buyers journey. What kinds of information do they need during Awakeners, Consideration and before they Purchase?
The buyer’s journey is the active research process someone goes through leading up to a purchase. – HubSpot
Your potential customers are on a quest and your content is the treasure map to find your solution.
As you research content ideas, focus on creating content that answers buyer questions for every stage of the buyer’s journey—awareness, consideration, and decision.
Personalizing content for a specific target reader is the most effective content marketing strategy you can implement. Successful blog posts are designed to answer reader questions and guide their buying journey to become your customers.
5. Identify buyer questions and content ideas
Identifying buyer questions is key to creating a successful blog strategy.
One way to discover reader questions is to use SEO tools such as SEMRUSH, ahrefs, Google Search Console, and Google Analytics. These tools provide a big database, thousands and thousands of rows of data, to help you choose the questions your buyers are asking. One challenge is how do you identify the most relevant topics, relevant keywords, and relevant questions to incorporate into your blog content. Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and these tools can take you years to master. Alternatively, you can utilize a competitor analysis tool like Topic Buddy where data is simplified and content gap analysis is provided to help you prioritize your new content.
Another technique content writers and content strategists like to use is to interview customers. You can ask your customers what were their questions before they become your customers.
In addition, Getting input from customer-facing teams is a smart content strategy. You can ask the sales team and customer success team, what questions they usually get asked from their customers. Their input can contribute tremendously to your blog’s success.
Buyer questions and topic ideas can start trending at any time. You need to keep up with the changes to create relevant information for your blog audience.
6. Schedule blog posts on an editorial calendar
Once you have gathered a list of buyer questions and blog post ideas, you then organize them into a blog content calendar. You can create a content calendar on excel files, Google spreadsheets, Google calendar, or Topic Buddy Editorial Calendar.