I'll be the first to admit that I'm terrible at sticking to my content schedule. Life often gets in the way of the lofty goals I tend to set for myself. However, having a plan - even if you get too ambitious - will certainly help you when started or maintaining your blog. While starting or keeping a blog takes a lot of time it is most certainly worthwhile. Having a blog can take your business to a new level. When you consistently create content related to your business niche you establish credibility for yourself and can grow your reputation as an expert in your given field.
Figuring out what to write and what will relate to your audience is essential to creating a strong content strategy for your blog if you want to grow your readership. In this post I will outline my process for defining my audience, generating ideas, and creating a content strategy and calendar.
01. Defining your audience. To define your audience, you need to think about your business. What product/service do you provide, what are your goals, and who are your ideal customers? What need(s) can/will your blog fulfill, and why will these be relevant to your audience?
a. What does my business do?
i. I’m a Brand Strategist that specializes in helping business owners and solopreneurs create a cohesive visual identity for their business, as well as develop a content strategy to grow their market share and online presence.
b. What is the goal of my business?
i. My goal is help my clients create a visual identity that they can be proud of, that generates customer loyalty, and makes them stand out from the competition.
c. Who are my ideal customers?
i. My ideal customers are business owners and solopreneurs who understand the value of a brand and desire to take themselves to the next level with a strong brand identity.
d. What subjects are my ideal customers interested in?
i. This involves doing market research. You should look at where your potential clients spend their time online, what they would be looking for, and where they would be finding answers. If you are already blogging, examine your blog analytics and see what topics are preforming the best.
1. For me, my potential customers are looking for a way to legitimize their business, create an identity, and generate a content plan.
2. They are most likely finding their answer via Google research.
3. They may utilize social media for their business and may find designer or brand development professionals through those means.
ii. I would recommend finding keywords that would be searched for and relevant. Make a list.
1. To find keywords you can use Google keyword planner.
a. You enter words you think potential customers will search for, it generates a list, and you can select the ones you find most relevant.
b. So, a potential customer for me may search for something like, “branding my business” and when I enter that related key words that come are things like “business logo design,” “brand build,” and “brand marketing.”
i. “Business logo design” has high competition so while it may be a decent keyword it could be more beneficial for me to write an article centered around keywords with lower competition but still a high volume of searches, like “brand build.”
c. Your keyword planning will improve with time and you should review your blog posts’ performance to continually hone in.
iii. My audience will be interested in learning more about design options, business strategies, and why they should have a brand and not merely a logo.
e. What needs can/will my blog fulfill?
i. My blog can educate my clients and potential clients on the value of building a brand, what a brand is, how to build your brand and grow your market share
ii. My blog can also cover design topics, content ideas, social media and blog strategy, processes that I use, what does or doesn’t work for me.
f. How is this content relevant to my audience?
i. My content is relevant to my audience because it educates them on tactics that have worked for my business and could be adapted to theirs. It educates them on design and the design process, and how to grow their business.
02. Generating Ideas. So, we have already done this to a certain extent. At this point you should have at least a rough idea of content categories that you can cover.
a. Here are mine:
i. All About Branding
iii. Social Media and Strategy
iv. Blogging/Content Strategy
v. About My Business/Running a business
b. Now that I have some categories broken out I can brainstorm specific topics in each.
c. You may find mind mapping useful at this point.
i. A mind map is a diagram where you build from a single core topic and map associated words/topics.
d. From here I can take specific topics and turn them into titles for my blog posts.
i. At this point I start planning my editorial calendar.
03. Creating an editorial calendar.
a. My Process is simple:
i. To create an editorial calendar, I select how many times a week and the days I want to post a blog.
ii. I then add these as a task in my calendar and add them to my project board in Asana.
iii. I time block for research and blog writing.
iv. I create my post images and post them according to my selected days.
04. Planning your blog can be a daunting task and even I fall into the trap of just writing and posting when I feel inspired but taking the time for proper research and strategy development will make your blogging more successful, and it’s something I am trying to make myself stick to. If you create a plan and find it's too lofty, don't get discouraged! You just simply need to adjust as time goes on. If you're able to set small goals from the beginning and build upon them.
What experience do having blogging? How do you generate your content and plan your posts? Be sure to comment below and follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to stay up-to-date on the latest from Akari Design Studio.