One of the best things you can do to improve your position or even land on the first page of Google’s results is to have a great blog content strategy. Your strategy should help you engage with your audience by helping you focus on creating high-quality content and measuring your mistakes and successes.
There are millions of blogs on the internet (more than 600 million blogs to be more precise), so competition is tough when it comes to grabbing the attention of the readers. According to a report by HubSpot, one in three marketers use their blog or website coupled with SEO to increase search engine traffic.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when running a blog is to do it without a content marketing plan as it is essential in directing your marketing efforts. Without a content strategy, how will you adapt to the ever-changing search engine requirements, audience attention, and market pressures?
In this guide, we will teach you how to develop a content strategy for your blog that works and walk you through all of the steps that will set you up for success.
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Why Is a Blog Content Strategy Important?
A content strategy ensures that your content is intentional and aligns with your audience, goals, and products. It helps you define your blog topic and purpose, identify your target market, conduct keyword research, set goals, measure success, and create valuable content that will keep readers engaged.
Having a written content plan will not only increase your chances of succeeding, but also save you a lot of time you would have otherwise wasted on working with the wrong influencers, writing about the wrong topics, and using the wrong promotion strategies. Even though you might have a general idea about a few videos or blog posts you want to post, you need to have a plan if you want them to show results.
Consistently producing high-quality content for your blog can be invaluable for building trust and succeeding in the long run. Besides attracting new prospects to your business, You can also use a content strategy to ensure customer satisfaction and sales enablement.
Define Your Goal
In order for a plan to be effective, it needs to be goal-oriented. Your goal will help you create content as well as allow you to evaluate the success of your blogging.
A clearly defined goal needs to determine precisely what you’re hoping to achieve with your blog. It can serve many different goals and purposes, from nurturing leads to boosting brand awareness.
In fact, you can use your blog’s content to:
- Tell your brand story.
- Provide prospective customers with information about your product offerings and services.
- Update your existing customers about product releases and company news.
- Convert site visitors to qualified leads.
- Drive even more organic traffic to your site.
- Help Google rank your website higher on the SERPs.
A blog can do one or all of the above-mentioned things, so it’s important to have a plan from the very beginning.
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Define Your Blog’s Audience
Outlining what your buyer persona and target audience should look like is an essential step in creating a solid blog strategy. You’ll be able to create more valuable and relevant content when you know who you’re writing for. Try to publish carefully curated and targeted blog posts and know that this must be something that your audience wants to read in order to effectively drive conversions.
If you’re a marketer with ample experience, you might notice that your target audience has changed over time. In this case, now is the time to decide if you want to expand your current target market or focus on an entirely new group of people. You can do this by conducting thorough market research and revising your audience parameters every year in order to efficiently grow your audience.
You can also use the analytics data from your blog to identify who already reads your blog and how they interact with it. This can help you better understand your current audience and target them more effectively in the future.
Finally, take a look at other blogs that cover the same topics as yours as this can help you get an idea of which audience they’re targeting and what types of content they produce. This way, you’ll understand how to differentiate yourself from them and better target your own blog’s unique audience.
And this brings us to competitor analysis.
Analyze the Competition
Once you identify your audience, you can start by investigating what your competitors are doing and what’s working for them in order to get some inspiration.
Analyzing your competitors helps you to understand how they’re performing and what strategies they’re using to achieve their goals. Doing this helps you gain valuable insights into what works and what doesn’t and it also allows you to create a more effective content marketing strategy for your own business.
It would be smart to find gaps in your competitors’ blog marketing strategy that you can fill out with the content on your blog. Don’t just replicate what they’ve done. Instead, use what you’ve learned to create even better content, which can help you outrank them in the future.
Here are some additional tips for analyzing your competitors’ content strategy:
- Pay attention to the topics that your competitors cover and how often they post about them. This will help you get an idea of which content topics are popular so you can focus on them in your own strategy.
- Keep an eye on the engagement levels that your competitors’ content is getting from their audience. This will give you an indication of how successful their content is and whether or not it resonates with their target audience.
- Take a look at where your competitors distribute and share their content online, such as on social media platforms or other websites. This will help you identify which channels work best for them so you can explore those channels for your own business.
Conduct Keyword Research
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The next thing you need to do is include the search engine optimization (SEO) process in your blog content strategy. No matter if generating organic traffic is the primary goal of your blog or not, you still need your pages to rank high on the SERPs so people can actually find and interact with your content.
You can get plenty of inspiration for your blog by creating a list of targeted keywords, especially if you ever feel like your inspiration has gone dry. Marketing tools like Ahrefs, Moz, and SEMRush can direct you toward relevant search queries related to your primary keywords. You can then use these directions to expand on your blog content strategy.
When doing keyword research, dedicate your resources and time to queries for which you have a real chance of reaching the top few SERP positions. An effective keyword analysis includes a balance between search phrases that are attainable as ranking targets, meaningful to your audience, and relevant to your company.
Create a Content Calendar
Now that you’ve completed all the research and acquired the necessary data, you can create a content calendar to bring it all together. A content calendar will keep you on track by creating a system that ensures your content is always published on time. This calendar will allow you to organize all content, make real-time updates, and have visibility of who’s working on what tasks, as well as the due date of each content piece.
To create a content calendar, you can use free tools such as Google Calendar, Notion, or Trello. If you’re looking for a calendar with additional features that will help you grow your blog, you can always turn to a paid option that’s within your budget.
Here are more tips for creating an effective content calendar:
- Start with a template. There are many content calendar templates available online that can help you get started quickly. Look for one that fits your needs and customize it to fit your specific content goals.
- Set clear objectives. Before you start creating your calendar, make sure you have clear objectives in mind so that you know what kind of content to create and when to post it.
- Plan ahead. Try to plan out as much of your content as possible in advance. It’s much better to have content planned for three months than to scramble everything at the last minute to come up with blog post ideas or find relevant sources.
- Monitor analytics. Keep track of how well each piece of content performs so that you can adjust your strategy accordingly and maximize the impact of your content marketing efforts.
- Collaborate with others. Content creation is often a team effort which requires the whole marketing team to participate. Make sure everyone involved is on the same page about what they need to do and when they need to do it.
Start Writing Content
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You know who you’re writing for, you’ve got your keywords, you’ve created a content calendar – and now it’s time to write your content.
A high-quality piece of content needs to be:
- Formatted. You should use the appropriate headings, subheadings, bolding, italics, block quotes, and bulleted lists to make your content suitable for skimming and look pleasant to the eye.
- Researched. To show that you’ve done your homework, use examples, case studies, and stats to back up your statements.
- Well-written. After writing a piece of content, always check grammar and spelling.
- Rich with various media formats. Make sure that you add highly relevant and good-quality images.
- Optimized for search engines. Include relevant keywords throughout the text to help your content appear in search engine results when people are looking for information related to your topic.
- The starting point. Your blog is mainly there for people who are still in the awareness stage. Include calls-to-action (CTA) in your pieces of content to give them a clear indication of what you want them to do next.
Promote Your Content
There’s almost no point going all this way to research and write content if nobody knows that it exists. That’s why you need to make sure that as many members of your target audience as possible see your content.
Give these tactics a try to get your content seen by more people:
- Reach out to other bloggers in your niche and ask them to link back to relevant posts on your site.
- Social media is one of the best ways to get more eyes on your content, so make sure you’re sharing your content in your social media posts.
- Quora is a great place for finding questions related to topics covered in your blog posts as well as connecting with readers potentially interested in what you have to say.
- Writing guest posts for other blogs in your niche is an effective way to increase brand awareness and drive more traffic back to your site.
- Make sure you send out regular newsletters to your email list with updates about new blog posts.
- Participating actively in forums related to topics covered by your blog is another great way of increasing brand awareness.
Measure the Performance of Your Blog
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Lastly, one of the most important aspects of creating a blog content strategy is creating guidelines for measuring the results of your blog strategy. After a new blog post has been published, you need to keep an eye on its performance to make sure it’s bringing results and real value to your business.
You need to figure out what your audience liked about your post as well as what they didn’t like in order to improve your efforts next time. A thorough review of your content will show you what a certain blog post lacks and how to improve it so it can better resonate with your potential customers.
Knowing these metrics can help you understand how your blog is performing and what changes you may need to make to improve it:
- Overall blog visits will tell you how many people are visiting your blog and give you an idea of its reach.
- Another important metric is traffic source breakdown, which shows where visitors are coming from.
- Additionally, tracking blog homepage visits can give you an idea of how many people are actively engaging with your content.
- You should also keep an eye on the number of posts published and the average length of stay for each visitor.
- It’s also useful to track social shares and new subscribers as these can be indicators of how successful your content is at engaging readers.
- Finally, keeping an eye on SERP (Search Engine Results Page) rankings can provide insight into how well your content is performing in search engine results.
Google Analytics is a great tool for measuring blog performance as it provides detailed insights into pageviews, average time on page, average pages per session, bounce rate, and more.
The Impact of a Successful Blog Content Strategy
As you can see, even though a good blog content strategy can be challenging to implement, it isn’t rocket science. The steps we provided in this article can help you go from feeling overwhelmed to feeling extremely confident about your blog content.
To sum up, you should create content that resonates with your target audience and drives them to take action. Moreover, this content should be optimized for search engines in order to maximize online visibility, as well as monitored and updated on a regular basis to ensure that it remains relevant and engaging. By following these steps, you can create a successful blogging strategy that will help you achieve your content marketing goals.
If you want to work with experienced content marketers, feel free to reach out to Shortlist. We’ll be happy to hear your goals and ideas, and help you turn them into reality.