Does your blog have a content strategy? Did you have a plan in mind when you first set up your site with Blogger or WordPress? Or did you decide to just go with the flow and write whatever post that comes to your mind at any given point? If you’re just blogging for kicks, not applying any tactics to your blog at all is perfectly fine. But if you want to be able to make money off of having a blog at some point, then that kind of thing will get you into trouble.
When you’re leveraging blogging as a means of creating a good reputation for yourself and for your business, you need to make sure that you have an effective content strategy. Without it, you’ll be all over the place and people won’t be able to discover you.
What is a content strategy?
A content strategy is an approach to content creation that involves careful study of one’s target market, so that you’ll be able to provide them with articles, videos, images, and the like, through channels that they appreciate and at times when they most want or need it. Evidently, it’s far more difficult than just posting what looks like a good idea at that point. But it must be said that the payoff of having a plan for the content you’ll be putting on your site—and for the sharing of such content through social media—is much greater.
When you have a content strategy, you have a plan for what sort of content will be created, when it will be created, and when it will be posted. The plan in question is based on your own knowledge as to why it is, say, a great time to do a post about the history of the small business phone service instead of the death of faxing. You’d know which social media sites will best deliver it. You know where to do some guest postings to further promote that post. You know which content you should promote heavily.
In other words, a content strategy lets you have a little more control over the success or failure of your blog.
How do you even begin to have a content strategy?
If your blog doesn’t have a content strategy yet, then don’t fret! It’s never too late to try and apply a plan to your blog. As is true with most paths to success, they involve asking the right questions.
You can always start by looking at your target audience, or even your existing audience. Who are they? What do they have in common? What do you think attracts them to a blog? What attracts them to your blog? Then you have to ask yourself if you’re attracting the audience or not. Why or why not? What do you want to happen? Is it happening for you? Take a look at your existing readers and compare them to your ideal readers. Are they different or the same? If they’re different, think of what you should do to get the people you want to take notice without alienating the ones you already attracted.
Once you’ve done that, you can look at your existing content and re-organize them accordingly. How did you tag and categorize them? Will it be easy for folks to track them down, or will finding these posts involve a complicated scavenger hunt? After that, try to figure out how you’re going to organize and keep track of your content from here on. That way, you can also have a better idea of which content does well and which does not; as well as theories explaining why it is so. You can develop your strategy from this point.
Here’s a little caveat, though: you have to make your approach flexible so it can evolve as needed. What’s a hot topic now may not be tomorrow. The hallmark of a great content strategy is sensitivity to the audience.