Content Strategy – Do I really need one?

As a newbie blogger, I know words like content strategy and user experience will be greek to you. You might feel like

Content Strategy for blog.. I am a casual blogger or just write my random thoughts?

I don’t need it!  I am going to write when inspiration strikes….

I have enough ideas to last a year, there is no need for a strategy…

When I start writing , words just flow through me, content strategy and plan will make it mechanical..

I get it.. Truly!

I started my blog as a place to write my stories and put some feelings in words which I couldn’t share with anyone. I wanted it to be private and it stayed like that for a long time. Then came a time when I was bold enough to make the blog public and even then it was just a hobby. A place to share when inspiration struck, nothing more.

I personally did not give a serious thought to my content strategy for blog. I thought content strategy and planning was reserved for corporate blogging or blogging for business.

But I was wrong and I will tell you why.

Why do I need a content strategy for my blog?

Even if you are a hobby blogger or a writer with no immediate business goal every blog should strive to have a unique voice that will be memorable. This can happen only if you have a plan in place. That said, I don’t recommend having a content strategy that is drilled down to each day, at the start of a year. Such an outlook is more suited to businesses.

Content strategy for blog helps in
  1. Staying consistent
  2. Having a well structured content category
  3. Staying relevant with current themes that revolve around latest news, important days and date.
  4. It helps in producing well researched pieces

Remember important dates and days

For a personal blogger or a blogger with small business you should have a calendar with important dates – nationally and dates around your niche. For eg: A World Book Day will be important for a writer or a book reviewer but not so much for a beauty blogger. Such a handy calendar will help you plan in advance any blogposts that you wish to write for these days.

Well distributed category level content

When you do not have a plan in place, there is a risk of all the content being created only for a single category or a couple of categories. This will in turn hamper the content distribution and might feel monotonous for your subscribers. Refer to your earlier wireframe ideas and come up with themes or broad content ideas for each category. A well thought out content strategy for blog will keep the writer in you inspired and also help you have a balanced content distribution across the site.

Small themes help achieve goals

I usually have small themes that I work towards all year round. I prefer to write around a particular theme for say 4-5 posts. This helps me stay focused and I can present my thoughts much more cohesively. A place for such theme inspiration is Blogchatter. With yearlong segment’s there is hardly a time when I am not inspired.

Enough time for edits and polishing

As a blogger, we are in a rush to push that publish button. There is an incredible high in pushing your fresh piece to your audience. Another factor is that most bloggers do not blog for a living. This is a side hustle and hence they are always under pressure to publish. Many bloggers are known to write just 24 to 48 hours before publishing their post and this hardly gives any time for review. A well edited post is not only well presented; it is also pleasing to the eye of the reader. Having a content strategy for blog helps you plan your content ahead of time and  thus gives more time for editing.

How do I plan my content

This is where Google sheets or Excel comes to the rescue. First decide how many posts do you want to write in an year. This needs to be realistic. Think of the time you can dedicate for writing a post and work along those lines. You might hear advice of posting daily for great SEO results and while there is some truth in it, as an individual, it is hardly feasible to write all year long, every single day.

I came across this interesting formula on convertkit and I am sharing it here

In general most bloggers try and publish atleast 2 times a week. Multiply this by 52 to get your minimum number of posts for a year, in this case it would be 104

Now, make a list with 104 rows and fill up important dates at the start. Next would be the category wise content distribution. Strive for an equal number of content pieces under each category. And voila! You have a functional content plan that you can use. If you can really plan well ahead, you can even pick topics that you want guest posts about and reach out to friends, relatives and fellow bloggers for the same.

Today’s Task

Use the formula to come up with your desired number of posts. Place important dates from your niche and then distribute the rest of the number across each month. This will give you a manageable single digit number. Further divide that number into your blog categories. Let us have the first draft of your content strategy in place.

This post is written as part of Blogchatter A2Z challenge.

content strategy for blogs and how to create one

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