How to Develop a Blog Content Strategy
Planning to start a blog as part of your marketing strategy?
It’s a good idea, as we’ve already said in previous articles.
Blogging is among the types of content marketing that can pay dividends when done well - and that doesn’t even require too great an investment to start.
That said, it’s not something you should do haphazardly - an organised blog content marketing strategy is vital!
Now, you can always go over our step-by-step guide to content marketing (it starts here) to begin developing such a strategy.
But since that guide is on the broad side - it covers different types of content marketing, not just blogging - we’ll offer a more focused guide in today’s article.
1. Figure out your blog’s area of focus
It’s a good rule to start with this. There are several queries you can ask yourself to establish the focus of your content.
What’s its purpose?
Who is your audience?
What do they want to read?
What message do you want to convey?
Answering these questions gives you a clear starting point for any further blog planning while also helping you establish the limits you have to work with.
It tells you what topics may still be feasible for your blog, which ones are already out of your target audience’s range of interests, what topics can help you get your message out to the world, and so on.
2. Put together your content team
Once you know what your blog is going to be about, you should figure out how to actually get it up and running.
A blog, especially a business blog, isn’t something you can easily run by yourself.
That’s all the more true if you want your blog to serve a critical role in your marketing.
There’s a lot to do to keep quality content coming for such a channel, and it’s rarely the sort of work a business owner has time to do by himself. Business owners have many other responsibilities for their business, which means they can rarely take on other big one.
Now, each blogging team is unique. Your business’s resources and limitations are individual to it, after all.
But as a general rule of thumb, you need several people to fit key roles in a blog-making team.
Some people have to handle ideation. That means they take care of coming up with ideas for content.
Others have to do the keyword research and SEO (here’s an article about how to optimise a blog for that, by the way!).
Still others may handle the writing and others the editing. You may even need someone specific to deal with the graphics.
If you’re just starting out and you don’t have that many resources, you may well need some people to handle several of these tasks at once. That’s perfectly fine as long as you understand the limitations.
You shouldn’t demand fast-paced content production from your team then, for instance, and expect the quality of the content to stay the same.
You may have to compromise somewhere, so figure out what your strategy and audience can tolerate.
Do you think they’d be more likely to want more content quicker, forgiving lapses in quality? Or would they want higher-quality content, but with more time in between posts?
Consider all of these when setting up your blogging team and pipeline.
3. Establish a content calendar
Next, you should establish a content calendar. This is basically a schedule of upcoming posts or ideas for posts.
The beautiful thing about content calendars is that they prevent you from flailing about topics at the last minute. They also let you organise your content so that you can ensure timeliness and relevance for a good bit of content.
For example, if you plan a Halloween-themed post in your content calendar and produce it ahead of time, you don’t have to scramble to make a relevant post as Halloween approaches: you’ll have something ready beforehand.
Put together ideas for future posts with your content team with a view to hitting major holidays, events, or occasions for your industry.
You can also plan timely posts for special events that relate them to your focus/message, helping you get more traction for posts for that time.
4. Encourage engagement and gather feedback
Finally, work engagement, feedback, and adjustment into your plans.
You see, blog content strategy development isn’t a one-time-only process.
It’s closer to a cycle where you see what people have to say or how they respond to your content, then respond to improve on weaknesses or get their responses closer to what you’d like.
That’s why it’s important as well to constantly gauge the quality of the competition.
In most cases, when your audience reacts to your content, they’re not reacting in a vacuum. They typically do so while comparing your content to whatever else is out there.
That’s why one of the answers to the question “what is good content marketing” is “relevant marketing”.
You need to stay relevant, keep up with your audience’s needs and interests, and constantly tweak and monitor your blog strategy.
Numbers like traffic, bounce rate, time on page, engagement metrics, and more can all be helpful in figuring out your next step.
Need help developing your blog content strategy?
The steps above should help you come up with the makings of a decent blog for your marketing. It will take time and hard work, but you may be astonished by the returns it can give you in the future.
That being said, there are still more challenges to the process of establishing a strong content marketing blog than a guide like this can describe quickly.
Each business is unique - the same can be said of its identity, target audience, and marketing hurdles. That’s why your ideal strategy for blog content marketing may differ from another’s in some ways.
Hence, for some, it may ultimately be easier to leave it in the hands of more experienced marketers. This is true too if you don’t have the resources to invest in learning how to do content marketing, the time to do it properly, and more.