The majority of bloggers lack a defined blogging strategy. They simply switch between tasks, experimenting with the newest concepts they’ve heard about. and never progressing.
If you can identify with that, don’t feel bad. Only 65% (just over a third) of professional business-to-business marketers actually have a written blogging strategy.
Getting your head around monetization, traffic, and everything else that goes into starting a blog and eventually making money from it may have been something you’ve attempted to do strategically with your blog in the past, but it all seemed overwhelming.
Or perhaps you made an effort to define your content strategy, but as soon as you got busy and ran out of writing time, all your ideas fell apart.
I’ll break down developing a blog strategy for you today. So that you can develop your approach without becoming bogged down or overwhelmed, we’ll take everything step by step
Let’s start by being transparent about our goals—and the reasons behind them.
- What is a Blogging Strategy?
- Why You Need a Clearly Defined Blog Content Strategy
- How to Develop a Blogging Plan in 7 Simple Steps
- Step 0: Get ready
- Step 1. Define Your Blogging Goals
- Step 2: Select Your Niche
- Step 3: Determine Your Market
- Step 4: Do keyword research
- Step 5: Generating topic ideas
- Step 6: Create a content calendar
- Step 7: Plan your blog’s monetization strategy
What is a Blogging Strategy?
Unlike a company plan, a blog strategy is less formal. Additionally, it’s not typically concerned with the minute particulars (such how you’ll precisely end each blog article).
Instead, your blog strategy is a wide road map for achieving your blogging objectives.
Your blog strategy may cover a wide range of topics, including when you’ll launch new products, the affiliate networks you’ll advertise, the blogging software you’ll use, and more.
I’m going to concentrate on one important aspect of your blog strategy—your blog content strategy—in this step-by-step manual.
All of this has to do with the blog posts (and/or other content) you post. Your content’s connections to the other components of your blog strategy make it an excellent place to start.
Why You Need a Clearly Defined Blog Content Strategy
Think of two bloggers. Call them Bella and Andy. For the same audience, they are both blogging in the same niche.
Andy lacks a plan of action. Every Monday, he plans to write a new post, but he frequently gets busy and forgets to do so.
He frequently struggles to come up with topics, so he just chooses whatever is on his mind or making the news.
He keeps saying he’s going to start using affiliate marketing, but he never gets around to writing the reviews he wants to.
Bella, in contrast, has a plan for her blog. She consistently publishes a new piece on Monday, sends out a newsletter on Wednesday, and schedules a week’s worth of social media updates on Friday.
She can precisely identify which posts will benefit her target audience and drive traffic to her blog thanks to keyword research.
Each message includes a “Recommended Resource” section where she recommends an affiliate resource she adores.
Which blogger is most likely to be successful after a year? Clearly, Bella is the one. But the majority of bloggers act more like Andy.
Now, Andy’s blog might not end up failing. He might have a lucky post and receive a ton of traffic. He will finally write some affiliate reviews and earn a small sum of money.
But it is undeniable that his blog is more of a passion than a business. Andy’s objectives are not moving forward very quickly.
Don’t worry if you more closely resemble Andy than Bella. We’ll go over exactly what you should do to develop your blog content plan.
Recognize the Time Frame
To start developing a blogging strategy, you must first comprehend the time frames involved. Almost none of the blogs that were started this year will produce profits the following year.
In actuality, it can take a blog a number of years to develop into what you might consider a success. The scenarios when you have a well-known brand or thought leader behind them are the exceptions.
Remember that blogging is a long-term plan, so consider your goals over the course of a year, two years, or five years rather than simply the coming week or month.
How to Develop a Blogging Plan in 7 Simple Steps
Let’s start implementing your plan. The first 4 steps might have already been finished if your blog is already up and running, but I firmly urge you to at least read them in case you need to make any adjustments.
Step 0: Get ready
Establish Your Unique Selling Proposition
This is relevant to the calls to product on your blog, the themes you choose, your offering, and more.
What sets your company, brand, or CEO apart from rival companies? What unique qualities do you offer that your rivals don’t?
Your company’s USP, or unique selling proposition, is what sets it apart from the competition. Are you more nimble and compact than the opposition?
In comparison to most other businesses in your niche, do you serve larger or smaller clientele? Do you have a special perspective on a typical issue?
Knowing your USP is essential for later content planning. A large portion of your material should focus on demonstrating why a particular issue is problematic and why your USP is the best solution.
If not, more established rivals will just eat your market share out from under you.
Step 1. Define Your Blogging Goals
Determine your goals for blogging before moving on with any further steps. These blogging objectives will guide your entire strategy.
If you are unsure about what success means to you, it is impossible to know how to establish a successful blog.
- Do you want to establish a name for yourself in your field?
- Do you desire a secondary source of income?
- Do you wish to raise funds for a worthy cause or charity?
- Do you intend to work full-time?
- Do you simply wish to write for fun?
These are all respectable objectives. You can pick one of these or develop a separate objective that speaks to you.
Once you’ve chosen a general objective, you can start to consider details. Let’s imagine, for instance, that your objective is to make a full-time living from blogging. How does that appear to you?
Maybe you wish to work simply during school hours and earn $35,000 a year (the typical US pay). You might also be content to work a 50-hour workweek even though you’d like to earn at least $100,000 annually.
Set long-term objectives
What do you hope your blog will achieve? There are a plethora of potential objectives, including:
- Providing cutting edge data, case studies, and resources to establish your company as a market authority.
- Making your company a go-to source for current news and pertinent information by carefully curating content and writing comprehensive reviews.
- Generating a ton of content that motivates people to buy so that your blog becomes a conversion source.
- In order to establish oneself as a thought leader in your sector, you need produce high-profile material that attracts links, social shares, and traffic.
These are long-term objectives that won’t materialize overnight but can be generally pursued throughout all of your content.
The majority of blogs can fit under most or all of above categories, so they are also not mutually exclusive.
The idea is to consistently generate blog posts that address each objective so that you can actively work towards each one at least once every month.
Set short-term objectives
Short-term objectives are more defined and simpler to accomplish. You should set specific, attainable objectives rather than attempting to “be a thought leader,” such as “attract 10% more readers than last month” or “actively promote products and accomplish at least 5 more conversions than usual.”
Your short-term objectives should be something you can reasonably accomplish in the next three to twelve months.
Additionally, you should be able to break them down into even more specific objectives that may be used for individual blog entries.
Good objectives for individual posts include “this post is intended to sell products” or “this post is intended to build backlinks.”
Task: Write down your blog’s core objective and, if appropriate, support it with stats or targets. You might also want to choose a deadline.
Step 2: Select Your Niche
It’s time to choose your niche after you are certain of your goal. If you currently have a blog specialty, pause and consider whether it entirely aligns with your objective.
If your objective is to earn money, especially a full-time living, you should choose a specialty that is simple to monetize.
But you shouldn’t choose a specialization just because you believe it will bring in cash. Unless you’re solely driven by financial gain, you should probably pick a topic that you’ll like writing about for many years.
For instance, I decided to start working on a vegan food blog this year because I personally find those themes to be important and because I am giving advice to my partner, who runs her own website called Vegan Anj.
Check out my in-depth guide to choosing a blog niche if you need a little assistance at this stage of blog planning.
Task: Write down your niche. If you’re unsure, make a list of potential niches and rank them according to (a) your areas of interest and (b) your likelihood of success in each.
Step 3: Determine Your Market
Whom does your blog target? Your niche may occasionally reveal your target market (also known as target audience), but most niches contain a range of potential customers.
Let’s say “fitness for beginners” is your niche. Clearly, “beginners” is your target market, but you should go higher. Think about it:
- Do you primarily target men or women when you write?
- What are your readers’ ages?
- Which nation do they call home?
- What political stances do they hold?
- How well-educated are they?
All of these elements will have an impact on the subjects you discuss, the goods and services you suggest, the guidance you offer, and even the language you use.
They will also have an impact on elements other than your content, such as your blog’s color scheme, branding, and social media channels.
For instance, a beginner’s fitness blog might be targeted at “left-leaning, college-educated or higher women in their 40s and 50s in Europe.”
A other one might be directed towards “right-wing, American guys in their 20s with only a high school certificate.” These blogs will probably have significantly diverse designs.
Recognize Your Audience
You need to understand who your audience is and what they expect from your business in addition to what your firm has to give them.
You must be aware of this for two reasons: first, to give them what they desire; and second, to influence them to alter their desires in order to accept what you are offering.
For instance, if your website has primarily offered guides and instructional content in the past, that’s fantastic for drawing visitors but less effective for generating products.
However, if you are aware of the reason people are visiting, you may start to modify their expectations and encourage them to purchase your products in order to assist them in resolving issues.
How do you fully understand your audience? Analytics, surveys, demographics, reading statistics—all of this information is helpful in setting things in perspective.
It should be noted that readers outside of your target market can and will exist. That’s totally OK. It’s important to have a certain target market in mind.
You invite visitors from outside your blog too… However, you are not particularly addressing them in your material.
Write down your target market, taking into account at least some of the aforementioned aspects.
Step 4: Do keyword research
Finding keywords relating to the specialty of your blog that people in your target market are likely to use is the next stage.
“Keywords” aren’t hard to understand. They are only words or, more frequently, short sentences that users enter into Google.
You definitely have a ton of ideas for keywords in your head right now. For instance, some keywords for a blog post regarding knitting patterns would be:
- Knitting instructions
- Free designs for knitting
- Pattern for knitting dresses
- Knitting patterns for sweaters
- Christmas sweater knitting instructions
- And so forth.
Finding keywords and selecting the ones on which to build content is called “keyword research.”
Finding keywords that (a) have a lot of search volume but (b) aren’t so competitive that you’ll never have a chance of getting your content to the top of Google is basically what you want to do.
There are a ton of methods and resources you can use to assist, and I’ve got a comprehensive piece here with all the information you need on keyword research and a step-by-step manual on how to rank higher on Google.
Conduct extensive keyword research
Both an industry and a specialty exist for your company. Using this, broad keyword research searches for any potential relevant keywords that you can think of.
I like to employ a snowflake-like approach. Each important keyword is surrounded by a core circle. Possibly “marketing,” “sales,” or “shoes.” First-tier keywords like “content marketing,” “landing pages,” and “running shoes” can be derived from each of these.
Each one diverges into a narrower and narrower topic from there.
You won’t truly ever create content with one of these keywords in mind. On Google, the term “content marketing” yields about 63,000,000 results. How can you compose something that is good enough to rank in those top ten results?
No, these general keywords are there to help you generate further topic ideas.
Conduct focused keyword research.
You can start leveraging the more precise, semi-broad keywords you identified earlier to create long-tail keywords that are worthwhile focusing on.
For example, “how to write a tutorial,” “Halloween costumes for newborns,” or “reflective running shoes” are examples of long-tail keywords.
They are specialized, limited themes on which you could create one or more blog posts.
At this point, you begin employing particular tools to carry out your research.
Find words or phrases that are both relevant to your main issues and the words or phrases that people are actually searching for.
When I write these keywords down, I like to group them into categories. Is this keyword included in a search where the user is looking for general information, particular instructions, or is trying to buy something?
The type of content you create for a keyword is influenced by its aim.
Task: Read through my approach to keyword research, then make a list of at least ten keywords you can utilize when writing content.
Step 5: Generating topic ideas
Others may be more open-ended, such as “Halloween costumes for babies,” which can devolve into “The Worst Halloween Costumes for Babies” and everything in between.
I usually advise coming up with as many ideas as you can, both good and poor, and to not worry if there is existing content on the subject. You’ll never succeed in trying to be fully different.
It’s possible to turn a bad concept into a good one in the future.
I promise you that having a document containing a few thousand content ideas will be useful every time you find yourself struggling to think of what to write about the following week.
Look for Old Content to Replace
The internet provides a wealth of knowledge on every topic, from timely news articles that have no relevance to today to evergreen guides that are updated once a month with fresh, helpful data.
This archived content is one of your top options for coming up with new content for your website. Many blogs merely don’t update their content, thus you can frequently encounter articles that could be fantastic and useful with fresh information but are left unattended.
You have the chance to steal the keyword and produce your own content with better, more recent information.
You can even launch a campaign of broken link building and similar advertising methods to take advantage of information that is outdated enough to have vanished from the web.
Create an RSS feed or start tracking rival blogs
At this point, one thing I like to do is set up an RSS feed or a series of alerts to keep an eye on the blogs of my rivals and other companies in my field.
All of these people are working on their individual content marketing plans, and guess what? Nothing is wrong with keeping an eye on them to see what they do.
Even while some of the material they publish will be original to them, it can still help you plan how to address the same subjects on your website.
You can strive to “do what they did, but better” with some of it since it will be more generally applicable.
You can create a direct response to other content pieces that take a position on an idea or problem, or you can write content in its favor.
You understand that you can link to a competitor to dispute their arguments even though they are a rival?
All of your blog’s RSS feeds may be stored and organized using services like Feedly. In this way, whenever you go into your Feedly account, it will instantly display the most recent updates from hundreds of sites.
This is a great method to spark your imagination, and it may also assist you in spotting trends and keeping up with business news.
Step 6: Create a content calendar
A content calendar is nothing more than a schedule of the content you intend to publish on each date. You may brainstorm numerous blog post ideas at once, conduct keyword research, and even plan an entire batch of posts when you have your calendar nearby.
Your content calendar can be created in a variety of ways. Some bloggers employ a straightforward spreadsheet. Some people make use of a task management tool like Asana.
You could even want to use a piece of paper. What important is that you schedule what and when to post in advance.
More than only blog posts can be included in your content calendar. You may want to incorporate email newsletters, guest pieces, and any other regularly produced content.
Even better, make a schedule to produce additional in-depth free resources, perhaps once a month or once every three months.
Considering that content promotion is an important component of your blog marketing plan, it’s also a smart idea to include it on your calendar.
It might be as easy as creating a list of people to email about particular pieces of content or scheduling a few social media posts to spread your material.
Selecting a specific topic or article type for various days or weeks will help you organize your material more quickly.
You could, for instance, publish a “beginners” piece on Monday and a “top tips” post on Friday. Alternatively, you could always publish a “expert roundup” post during the last week of each month.
To manage an editorial calendar, I highly suggest utilizing a program or plugin.
WordPress has several fantastic plugins that integrate with your CMS directly, but if you want a system that is accessible to users who aren’t directly associated with your company or who have access to your dashboards, you may alternatively use something like Google Calendar.
A solid content calendar should have a detailed schedule for the material you’ve been creating as well as your broader content themes and plans, such as “this month can focus on summer posts” and “this month is a lead-up to holiday sales and should focus on pushing products more.”
You should be able to view the material you have already scheduled, the content you have planned but not yet scheduled, and any available spaces in your calendar.
If you’re using a specialized plugin, you could also be able to add and delete posts from your schedule when topics and news change without having to manually adjust the dates on each post.
Ensure that each post serves a purpose
Make an effort to give each post a purpose when you’re actually writing content. This objective could be to provide your readers with up-to-the-minute knowledge, advice on how to address a problem, or some other informational satisfaction.
It may also be to put the emphasis on sales by emphasizing the advantages of your product or the drawbacks of a certain issue that your product addresses.
It might be to establish yourself as a linkable industry authority—not necessary to become viral, but to serve as a reference for aspiring bloggers in your field.
If you’re creating a piece and you’re not sure what it will accomplish for your content plan, you may want to start over and address that issue first.
Keep Old Content Up to Date
Keeping outdated content Up to Date is one essential to blogging success that far too few people really do. This anguish is well-known to everyone who has ever looked for a resource guide only to discover that it hadn’t been updated in three, five, or more years.
Users seek out current, pertinent information. whenever something significant changes, keep your content current.
Be aware that anything that depends on timely announcements, such as news posts, can be permitted to linger until you start feeling like every post you publish needs to be updated.
Only the evergreen content and enduringly beneficial guides require periodic polishing (every six months or so).
Plan your next blog posts for the following month utilizing the keywords you found in step 4 of your keyword research. Plan out the emails you’ll send to your list if you can.
Step 7: Plan your blog’s monetization strategy
When selecting your theme, you probably gave some attention to monetization if you intend to make a living as a blogger. But right now is the time to consider the best way to incorporate monetization into your overall blogging strategy.
Here are some of the main methods for earning money through blogging:
- Using affiliate marketing to advertise other people’s goods and services in exchange for a cut of sales
- Advertising running: frequently paid by view or per click—only effective if you have a lot of visitors
- Publishing sponsored content: articles created for or on behalf of an advertiser and published on your blog in exchange for payment
- Producing and marketing their own products, which are frequently digital products (such software or ebooks) but also possible physical products.
- Offering services: Typical ones include consulting, coaching, and freelancing
- Providing online education, frequently through a site like Teachable or Udemy
Although some sites only utilize one strategy to monetise, many bloggers use a variety of techniques.
It’s crucial to consider your blog’s monetization strategy so you can incorporate it into your content plan.
You could write products of affiliate products, for instance, but you could also seek for opportunities to mention them in other posts if you’re pushing them.
Pick one monetization strategy that you intend to employ or are currently using. Look for at least three things on your content calendar where you could include a section or link to increase revenue.
Activate blog success tracking
Do you recall how I said at the top that blogging can take some time to get going and start paying off? Monitoring that progress, then, is a significant part of maintaining your enthusiasm to keep blogging. Monitor important metrics, such as conversions, website traffic, and backlinks.
This is necessary so that you can observe the modest but steady upward trend as evidence that your efforts are paying off.
Additionally, doing this will help you determine whether whatever you upload fails or performs better than usual. Over time, it’s probable that you’ll get off topic and start to lose your attentive audience.
Alternately, it’s possible that one of your main points of focus has been off, and by striking an unexpected note, you draw in some of the audience’s attention that was previously absent. It’s critical to spot these opportunities and modify your plan as necessary.
This week, set aside time to develop your blogging strategy. Your plan isn’t fixed in stone, so don’t stress over making it flawless. Depending on your outcomes in the real world, you can go back and make changes.
Start by defining your objectives, market niche, and target audience. Do enough keyword research after that to prepare your content for the following month. Make sure to include some options for monetization as well. All of this is possible with my free blog planner bundle.
Last but not least, schedule time every week to create the material you’ve planned. (Try to finish it before the date you intend to publish it in case you become distracted.) How much you can accomplish in a month will astound you.