You’ve finally got your blog up, and now you’re ready to share your knowledge with the world. But wait a minute, where do you start? How do you plan your content so that your readers have a steady stream of posts that they will really want to read? And more importantly, how do you keep them hooked?
In the beginning, the key is to avoid doing too much too fast, which brings us to our first of 10 tips for planning blog content.
1. Space Out Your Content
As much as you love what you’re writing about, you can’t just release five blog posts per day and expect people to be hooked on reading them. It’s information overload, both for you and the reader. When you release content at a slower pace, you are able to fully focus on marketing it to each of your social media channels and e-mail list. Aim for a new post every few days to once a week and adjust from there. In the end, you’ll have more people reading each individual blog post and less people feeling overwhelmed by too much content.
2. Start by Writing Subheadings That Would Catch Your Attention
If a subheading catches your attention, it’ll be sure to catch the reader’s as well. This is the beginning of structuring your blog post. Once you have written down a few subheadings, you will feel like you’ve got a good structure fleshed out, and then it becomes easier to tackle one part of the post at a time.
3. Google Your Subheadings
Act like you are one of your readers searching for this kind of content. Read what other blogs are saying, and then say it better. Try to find a new angle that the other blog missed or write the information more clearly. Whatever you do, just make sure you execute better. The last thing you want to do is regurgitate an entire block of information that can be found in 10 other places. It may take longer to come up with unique things to say, but that’s what is going to attract readers.
4. Perform Proper Keyword Research
You need to find out which keywords related to your content are being searched. Head over to the Google Keyword Planner and start typing them in. You may get some keywords that generate a lot of traffic, but that doesn’t mean they are the best ones. You need to search for those keywords in Google and see how many competitors there are. The best keywords are the ones that have a lot of traffic with few competitors.
5. Search Images for Your Keywords
Maybe you’re a more visual learner, or maybe you’ll find inspiration from a picture. The best part about searching for images is you can see so many at one time, and your eyes will naturally drift to the ones you find most appealing. From there, you can brainstorm new ideas related to the photo, or you can use the photo for your blog (check terms of license).
6. Work off of Past Successful Posts
If you released a blog post that got a lot of likes or shares, see if there’s anything you can expand on. What did people like about that particular post? Chances are there is a section in there that really resonated with people, and you can then expand on it and get every gritty detail for your readers. People love to optimize what they read about, so find ways to help them optimize and make best use of your content. For example, when somebody reads about all of the benefits of cardiovascular exercise, they start looking for the best type of cardiovascular exercise to perform. Once they find that, they search for the optimal form on how to perform that exercise. Try to cover all levels so that your blog is their #1 resource.
7. Use Google Trends to Find Hot Topics
Writing about something that is trending presents two big benefits. One is that you know for sure your audience is going to excited and interested in your topic. The second, and most important benefit, is that you’re going to be one of the first people to write about that topic. Much of the time these trending topics are new and undiscovered, giving you a chance to do some solid research and beat just about everyone else to the punch. To do this, open Google Trends and search for topics that relate to your blog and any keywords you can brainstorm.
8. Determine Who Your Biggest Audience Will Be for Each Post
Consider all of your marketing channels and determine which one is going to be your best “customer” for this post. If it’s going to interest your Facebook and Twitter followers, you might use more humor than you would for a more professional post to your LinkedIn network. Tailor your post to the channel you’re targeting.
9. Perform Regular Maintenance on Your Idea Sheet
Surely you’ve brainstormed a bunch of topics you’d like to eventually write about it in your blog. That may come easy at first, but new ideas aren’t always so easy to come up with. It’s a great idea to set a five or ten minute timer 2-3 times a week to try to add some more topics to your idea sheet. Don’t forget to look at ideas you already have written down that you may be able to branch off of. Lastly, always take a note when something comes to you in your everyday life. A simple notepad or note app in your phone works great for keeping content ideas flowing effortlessly.
10. Determine How to Communicate Benefits to the Reader
Once you’ve got your new blog post outlined, it’s time to figure out how to give your readers a memorable takeaway. Your readers ultimately want to know how this information can benefit them, so be sure to really hone in on this. If possible, provide supporting statistics or metrics that definitively show the reader just how much their lives can improve by applying your content.
You’ll find that many blogs follow maybe half of these tips or less. If you start today and follow these 10 tips for planning blog content, you’ll have a serious leg-up on the competition.