Planning blogs and creating content consistently can be a challenge. When done correctly, blogs can be a great way to connect your brand with customers, clients and prospects alike. But posting without a blog content strategy in place can be difficult to maintain in the long term.
We’ve put together our step by step guide to planning and publishing great blog content on a consistent monthly schedule, as well some easy tools and templates to get you started.
Why should you be doing your blog content planning ahead of time?
Deciding to start a blog is a great way to drive traffic to your website, as well as connecting with customers. But if you’re not sure exactly what you want to blog about, the whole idea can begin to seem overwhelming.
Once you’ve put together a content plan of what you want to write about for the next three months, blogging becomes super easy. Here’s why:
- Holds you accountable
Having a content strategy in place is a good way of holding yourself accountable to deadlines. When you notice that you have a blog post due to go out in three days time, you’ll be more inclined to get started on the post and finish it before the deadline.
- Helps you stay organised
Without a consistent strategy in place, blogging can be a daunting, time consuming task. By creating a monthly content plan, you’re ensuring you have plenty of topics for future posts, so you’re not left thinking of new ideas for blog posts on the spot.
Keeping everything organised will help turn what seems like a stressful task into a simple one, as well as increasing your profit.
- Helps you achieve your goals
Seeing all your blog topics scheduled at least a month in advance gives you insight into what changes you might need to make in the future if you haven’t hit your monthly goals. Measuring your blog’s success by tracking your results will help your online presence and business to grow in the long run. We’ll talk about the importance of setting goals for your blog in the next section below.
Now that you’ve learned of the importance of setting up a monthly blog content plan, we’ll now show you how to create one from scratch.
Set goals for your blog
Before starting to physically create your content planner, you need to understand what your goals are for this project. Start by asking yourself what is the main objective of blogging? Consider the following:
- Brand awareness
- Drive traffic to your website or eCommerce store
- Get more email subscribers
- Attract more clients
- Build trust and loyalty
If you’re still struggling to establish what your bloggings goals are, we’re big fans of this SMART goal template:
- Be SPECIFIC about what goals you want to accomplish.
- Make sure your goals are MEASURABLE.
- Are your goals ACHIEVABLE?
- Are your blogging goals RELEVANT to your business goals?
- Do your goals fit within an achievable TIME frame?
Once you’ve figured out what your goals are, you can start to focus on creating and posting content that will help you achieve them. Of course, your objective could change later down the line, but you can always adjust your content plan to reflect this.
Know your target audience
Chances are, you’ll already have a basic idea of who your business’ target audience is. Still, it’s good to have a deeper understanding of what your target audience’s needs and wants are, so you can reflect that in your blog posts.
You want to create targeted content in your blogs that’ll drive results to help you achieve your goals. A good place to start is creating audience personas. This will give you an idea of each reader’s interests and personality – who are they, what do they do and what do they interact with best?
For example, say you own a beauty brand. Just because you sell women’s beauty products, doesn’t mean you should write blogs for every single woman who’s interested in beauty.
You need to narrow it down. Instead, why not aim your blog topics towards one of the following examples?
- Working women who don’t have much time, but want to look beautiful and stylish.
- Men who are either looking to get into make-up or already use it.
- Teenage girls looking for new hairstyles to try out every day.
Once you’ve built each audience persona, you can create and post blogs that target each one with personalised content that’s of interest to them.
Create the content schedule template
Once you’ve established your goals and who your target audience is, you can start to put together a framework for your blog content calendar. You can do this either by opening a blank spreadsheet template in Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets, or by using free online templates like this one from CoSchedule. Some platforms like WordPress and Trello already have content calendars and schedule templates included.
When crafting your calendar, remember to think about the types of content, as well as the type of format, you’ll create over the next month. That way, you’ll keep your audience engaged and interested in your blog updates. Some examples of types of content include:
- Opinion pieces
- How to guides
- Case Studies
- Product reviews
All of these might not be suited to your business, so pick ones that fit your niche, as well ones that align with your goals.
Research keywords and topics
Brainstorming dozens of blog topics and ideas is a time-consuming process, but it can be aided by doing keyword research and using tools around these. Keyword research helps you to understand what your customers are searching for and it helps to form your wider SEO strategy.
Keeping your goals and audience personas in mind, write a list of around 10 to 15 target phrases centered around your brand. You can then use one of the following online tools to help collect data for you to use to center your blog topics around:
Keyword Surfer is a Chrome extension tool that allows you to see search volumes directly in Google search results. You simply enter your target phrase into the Google search bar and as a result will uncover search volumes, keywords suggestions, related terms and visibility metrics. Based on this information, you can find the best keywords and plan your blog content around them.
If you want to increase your SEO ranking to drive traffic to your blog, you can also use Ubersuggest. Similar to Keyword Surfer, Ubersuggest lets you sort the results by search volume to find the most searched for keywords. Once you’ve identified which ones you want to use, you can start blog content planning and writing your first few posts with these keywords in mind.
Google and other search engines value blogs with lots of information about a certain topic, so if you have a niche focus on this. Aim for consistent valuable content that will benefit your readers, and you’ll be rewarded!
If you’ve done the following steps, you should be ready to start pumping out quality blog posts to your audience. Don’t forget to shout about your blog on your brand’s social media pages too! Making time for blog content planning each month is important and should be easy once you have everything organised.
From now on, creating regular quality content should be simple and stress-free. As you continue to write blog posts, you’ll become more confident in finding the correct tone of voice and writing style for your brand.
Need some help?
If you’re still struggling to get your head wrapped around blogs, then why not enlist the help of a professional? With the help of our copywriting experts, we’ll help you set up, manage and run your brand’s blog page
Get the latest from Copy Generators
Get helpful marketing insights direct to your inbox + 20% off your first months subscription.