You’ve decided you want to start your own blog. That’s awesome! But now you’re hearing new terminology you’ve never heard before… like blog content.
What is blog content you ask? Well, the simplest answer would be the articles you write that you’re sharing with others!
There’s more to it than that, but nothing to worry about. I’ll walk you through how to develop the most brilliant strategy that will provide you with the biggest chances of success, OK?
But why do you need a strategy? Because if you just “wing” it, you won’t have a chance of competing with all the other pages out there.
Did you know that there are at least 1.745 billion websites online as of the writing of this article? Wow. The link I just inserted goes to a page that has an updating real-time tally.
If you’re wondering whether a blog is a website, this article will help answer your questions.
With that many websites, you can only imagine how many “pages” or “articles” there are online. My website alone has hundreds of posts.
Now, this isn’t to worry you. Probably 75% of those websites aren’t active, as you can see in that same link above. But that still leaves a great number of active websites, doesn’t it?
And now you’re wondering if you should bother starting because the internet seems saturated. How can you possibly compete?
Actually, when you have the right strategy, it’s not that difficult.
I’ve heard that about 90% of the webpages that are online right now offer little help to the readers who land on them. This is to your advantage! If you can create great content, you’ll fly by all these useless pages and outrank them.
Want to know where I’ve learned about blogging? Click here…
Your Brilliant Blog Strategy
A blog strategy not only increases your chances of success, it helps you save wasted time on developing the wrong types of content, or wrong types of promotions.
There are five main steps to a great strategy:
- Define Your Blog Goals
- Research Your Target Market
- Perform Keyword Research
- Create a Content Calendar
- Create Great Content
See, that’s not too bad, right? With this type of strategy, you’ll know what type of content you need to accomplish your blog goals.
I’m working on the assumption that you already know what your niche is. If not, you may want to read this article about Definition of a Niche.
Step #1: Define Your Blog Goals
Why are you wanting to blog? What are you hoping to achieve with it? Could it be to:
- Share your experiences or expertise about something?
- Build a community around your passion?
- Educate your visitors about your niche?
- Attract more clients to your business?
- Generate more leads to make more sales?
- Build up your brand around your name?
There are many more reasons why people start their own blogs. Yours may be different from those reasons above, and that’s OK. As long as you have some idea to start with.
The best way to start, in my opinion, is with your “Why”. I watched a “Ted Talk” a few years ago, by Simon Sinek, that drastically changed my views. It was so enlightening!!
This is a shortened clip of his talk for you to listen to…
He really hit the nail on the head with his “Apple” example, didn’t he? Now you can see how the questions I listed above relate to your “Why”.
For example, my “Why” is:
“I believe everyone deserves the opportunity to create financial freedom.”
My “How” and my “What” will be defined with the remaining strategy steps.
Once you’ve got an idea about your “Why”, you can start defining your goals. If any of the questions above relate to your why then pick out two or three. You don’t want too many goals because that will dilute your website.
What I mean is that if you have too many goals, you’ll be trying to focus on too many things. It’s better to get good at 2 or 3 things than spreading yourself too thin and fail at many things.
To give you an example, my blog goals are:
- Providing my readers with the opportunity to learn how to start their own online business.
- Creating content that will help overcome their fears, provide actionable steps, as well as product reviews.
- Create leads for my products and services.
Yours can be anything you wish, and they might even change over time. Don’t feel like you’re locked into what you come up with right now. As your blog grows and expands, you might wish to take it in a different direction. And that’s OK.
Try writing them down somewhere visible, to keep your “Eye on the Prize”, as they say. A great way to stay focused!
Now you want to start figuring out your “How”. How are you going to reach your audience? Who is your audience? To do that you need to do some market research…
Step #2: Research Your Target Market
Writing all the content you want won’t matter if you don’t know who you’re writing to. Your content needs to be specific to your target market. You can’t reach everyone, so choose a specific market for more success.
Ask yourself questions about who they are, where they are, what is their pain point, etc. You will often hear people say to determine their demographics, like age, gender, location, and such, but you need to know more than that.
You should ultimately be asking yourself “why are they buying?”.
Are they looking for a solution because they’re frustrated with something in their life? Or maybe their self-esteem is low because they feel overweight or undesirable?
These are the pain points you should be looking for. If you can figure those out, you’re well on your way to finding out how you can deliver their solutions.
So some beginning questions may be:
- How do I picture the person in my mind, that I’m trying to reach?
- Why are they struggling? What’s their biggest problem?
- Where are they hanging out online? (Social media, forums, specific blogs)
- What kind of content do they enjoy reading?
So now you’re asking how to figure that out, right? LOL. No worries. Here’s what I did…
First, I created my perfect audience in my mind (you should write this down…). It’s someone who’s frustrated with not having enough money to make ends meet.
And to be more specific, he or she may be a stay at home parent who doesn’t want to go back to work but needs a second income.
Searching for social media data is easy if you have business pages set up. They all offer some type of audience insight reports. Facebook has one here. This is much more in-depth data…
If you don’t have that yet, simply look for posts related to your niche on social media sites.
For example, If you want to blog about the benefits of a Keto Diet, you can search for those keywords and see what pops up. Are there any posts in that niche? Are they popular (lots of shares)? What are they about?
Go online and type in different questions your audience might be asking. When you get your search results page, check out the articles to see if they have comments. What are people asking about?
Are they going to certain blogs or forums? If they are, follow them there to see what they’re discussing? This will be your competition, so you’ll want to know how they’re helping their readers. Because you’re going to do better!!
This can give you great insight into what type of content you’ll want to be creating to fill in the gaps that your competition isn’t providing!
Ultimately, you want to understand what your audience is trying to achieve, what’s preventing them from achieving it, and how you can help.
Using keyword tools can give you more insight. If you don’t have access to a paid service yet, check out Ubersuggest as I did in step #3. It gave me an age range of who my ideal audience would be.
If you already have an email list, try asking your readers what they need, by using a survey or questionnaire. If you don’t have a list, why not ask questions on your own social media sites. You might be surprised how people will answer…
So now that you have an idea about who your audience is, let’s come up with some great keywords to find them with…
Step #3: Perform Keyword Research
Are you thinking “what are keywords”? This article on How Do I Find Keywords should help you out…
The reason we want keywords is to hopefully have our articles rank high in Google and other search engines. What’s the use of writing our amazing content if no one can find it.
When we use these keywords in our URLs, titles, and content, it tells Google what the article is about, and presents it to those people searching for that term.
There are many SEO experts out there, that go on and on about keyword research, and make it look like it’s the hardest thing to accomplish. But of course, they’re hoping to sell you their services, lol.
It’s really not that hard! Basically, you want to find keywords that have a decently high monthly search volume, but with as little competition as possible.
Ideally, you need a keyword research tool to find those perfect gems that will help you rank with Google. But if you’re just starting out, you might not have access to one yet.
No worries, there are free online tools that can help you. My best recommendation would be Ubersuggest. There are others, but this particular tool is constantly being improved by its owner, Neil Patel, and seems to offer the best data for now.
Tools like this will give you many keyword ideas, which in turn give you great article ideas. The trick is finding those keywords that have a fairly high search volume but little competition.
It takes a little work with a free tool like this, and their results aren’t as accurate as a paid tool will give you, but it’s a great starting point!
Let’s go with “keto diet” and enter that keyword into Ubersuggest.
As you can see, the search volume is high, so that’s good. There are 1.8 million people searching for that term.
The big issue is competition. It says the SEO difficulty is 70. The higher the number, the higher the competition.
It isn’t bad, but it’s not great either. Using keywords with a much lower number will give you a much better chance of outranking your competition.
And notice it also gives you some demographics that you can use in step #2? The age range…
Your ideal target audience is between 25 to 34 years old.
Ubersuggest will also give you additional keyword ideas…
Check out the search volume for those extra keywords. Notice how much lower the search is? That’s not a bad thing. That will mean that your competition will be much lower as well.
Look what “keto diet foods list” came up with…
Notice the keyword phrase is more descriptive (and longer)? This is what’s called a long-tail keyword, and are much better for you to use.
The search volume is still great for a monthly average, but the SEO difficulty is much lower.
A great find and a great article idea, which brings me to the second point of finding keywords. All these keywords are future article ideas for you.
Keep a list of the best (high search/low competition) keywords, and you’ll never run out of article topics to write on!
This tool will also show you some content ideas…
I wish Ubersuggest was more accurate when it comes to content ideas. I compared these to what Jaaxy came up with as the top-ranking articles on Google, and nothing matched.
But while these suggestions aren’t the top posts, it still gives you more ideas to research.
OK, now that you have your keywords, and know “how” you’re going to reach your audience with fantastic post ideas, let’s get organized…
Step #4: Create a Content Calendar
There are plenty of services online that will help you create your content calendar. Some are free and some are paid.
It really depends on how much detail you want, if you’re sharing your calendar with a team of writers, etc.
If you’re the sole owner of your blog, you probably don’t need all that fan fair. Something simple works just fine!
It’s really to keep you focused and on track.
A successful blog will be consistently updated. This means that you should plan to write a certain number of articles each week. The more you write, the faster Google will notice you.
Consistency is key! Whether you write 5 times per week, or only once, it’s best to stick to a schedule. Not only to please Google, but your loyal readers will know when to expect the next post.
Some tools you may want to look into are:
Trello – This is probably the most popular free service, and offers you templates to help you set up your own calendar. Here’s an image of someone who shared their calendar with the public…
Airtable – This service has a limited free plan, as well as larger paid plans. Here’s a screenshot of one of their content calendar examples…
This step is something you can research until you find a calendar you like. And there’s nothing to say you can’t simply use a Google Doc to write out your own calendar.
Or even old-school and write it on an actual calendar you have hanging on your wall.
Do people still use those?…. LOL
Now we’re moving towards the “What” of our brilliant strategy…
Step #5: Create Great Content
Yay! So you’ve found out who your audience is, found some great keywords, so now it’s time to write your articles for your blog.
There’s a logical way to go about this to make life easier, lol. Let’s break it down for you and then I’ll explain what I mean:
- Plan out your article with a little research.
- Create your outline with the proper format.
- Craft an eye-catching headline (title).
- Write your draft article.
- Add relevant media & links for interest, humour, or examples etc.
- Edit your article.
- Optimize your on-page SEO.
It seems like a lot when you’re just starting out as a new writer, but believe me… It gets to be routine once you’ve done enough.
In the beginning, I added this list next to my computer so I wouldn’t miss anything important. And now it’s just second nature.
Plan Out Your Article
Most of the hard work is already done with your keyword research. You already know the topic of your post, and now you just want to write something that’s going to out-do your competition.
The simplest way to do this (I use Jaaxy) is to type your keyword into Google search and take a look at the top few articles that come up.
These are the top ranking posts for your keyword. Read through them to see what they say. What headings and subheadings to they use? How are they explaining their topics? Is anything missing?
Now take those ideas to create your own template. It’s perfectly fine to use their ideas, just don’t copy. If you’re caught plagiarizing, you won’t get ranked.
This method is called the skyscraper method, coined by Backlinko’s Brian Dean. He goes into more detail about link-building, but for now, let’s just use it to create awesome content.
If you use all the ideas that the top 3 or 4 articles use, and write your own post, in your own words, you will have written an article that encompasses all the best content according to Google.
But even though you want to please Google, make sure you’re writing to your audience. You want to make sense and be empathetic to your audience’s pain points.
Create Your Outline
Do you remember English class (or whatever language you were raised in) and how they taught you that every essay started with an Intro, had a body, and then a conclusion?
Well, guess what? Those classes will come in handy now, haha! This is where you get to use that knowledge…
If you outline your article with your headings and subheadings, it’ll make writing easier. It will keep you focused and on task.
Start with your primary heading or introduction.
Then the body of your post should be broken down into sections. Your format will depend on what type of content you’re writing:
- A how-to article
- A best-of article (comparing different brands)
- A list-based article (5 ways to…)
Whichever style you’re going for, the body should contain headings and subheadings. It’s one of the best ways to break up and organize your post.
Not only that, but it helps to keep you focused and not run off on all those bunny trails, lol.
They also help your reader to not be intimidated by the length and gives them the opportunity to quickly scan through your posts looking for the information they want.
Don’t be upset that some people will only skim your painstakingly crafted article. That’s the nature of blogging. But the better you get at writing, the longer people will stay on your page.
Your conclusion should summarize your article and provide a CTA (call to action). Your reader wants you to guide them on what to do next, such as:
- Subscribe to your newsletter.
- Register for a webinar or class.
- Download an ebook.
- Read a related article.
- Link to the product you’re promoting.
There are many CTAs depending on your niche and what it is you’re helping them with. But whatever it is, it should be benefiting your visitor in some way.
Craft Your Headline
This is the first thing your reader sees on their SERP (search engine results page). They will scroll down the first page and click on the most eye-catching title.
If you’re stuck, just look at what the top 10 articles have for titles. That will give you great ideas to improve upon!
Don’t use clickbait though. That’s just annoying to your readers. You want your title to describe what your post is about, but in an interesting way to grab their attention.
You may wish to change this once you’ve written your article. Sometimes the act of writing will bring to mind an even better title, you never know.
Write Your Draft
Now it’s time to assemble your blog post. Your headings and subheadings will help you to keep your focus as well as the flow of your article.
All your posts need to start with a great introduction. Some writers like to call this your “hook”.
This is the part of your article that captivates your reader. Or it should anyway. If it doesn’t, they’ll most likely get bored and move on. You must remember that people’s attention spans are very short these days!
Your “hook” should grab their attention, and then go on to describe the purpose of your article and how you’re going to help your reader with their problem. If you can do that, they’ll stick with you till the end.
After you’ve covered all the different points in the body of your article, you can conclude with a simple wrap up at the end. Don’t forget your CTA…
This step can take days depending on how experienced you are. Don’t worry, things will get easier and quicker with experience.
Personally, I do all my research and outlining the day before I write. Then bang it out in a few hours the following day. But in the beginning?? Wow, I was slow. But that’s where most of us start.
Add Relevant Media & Links
What attracts your attention online? Images? Videos?
Put yourself in your reader’s shoes and try to make your article visually interesting.
There are many free image download sites online to find something that’s relevant to your article:
These are just a few of many. And finding a Youtube video to embed in your article not only helps to explain your topic but helps your SEO as well.
If you’re talking statistics, try adding a graph. And infographics are always popular.
These are all great ways to break up your text, help explain a complex topic, and add visual appeal.
Don’t forget to add anchor links throughout your content where it can help to explain something in more detail. Or link to an external site for reference.
Any time you give stats or talk about another blog, you should link to it to prove you’ve done your research.
Edit Your Article
Before you publish your post, you want to make sure it’s error-free. Re-read it to catch any repetition, or have someone else read it for their feedback.
A great tool to have is “Grammarly“. You can download it as an extension to your favourite browser and it catches spelling mistakes as well as grammatical errors.
Optimize For SEO
Before publishing, you should make sure you’re following all the current recommendations for on-page SEO. All these little strategies will give your article that many more chances to rank high on Google.
- Check For Keywords – Make sure your keyword is in the title, the first paragraph of your content, an H2 heading, and in the “alt text” of an image. It should also show up a few times throughout your content.
Make sure it’s not added too many times or else Google will think your keyword stuffing. That will work against you.
The best advice I can give you is to write in a conversational style. Like you were talking to a friend. If they heard you saying your keyword over and over again, they’d think you’re nuts.
- Add text to all your images in “alt text”. This is done in the draft mode of your article.
- Add your meta-data. This is also done in draft mode. I highly recommend you get an SEO plugin like AIO SEO or Yoast which are free and very helpful. They show you where to add your metadata or will do it automatically.
- Ensure you have at least one internal link (anchor text to another of your articles) and one external link (to an authority site for reference), and preferably an embedded video.
- Make sure your post is mobile friendly. Google requires this now. If you’re not sure if your theme does this for you, you can use an online tool to check. May as well use Google’s tool as this is who you’re trying to please… Google Mobile-Friendly Test.
- And finally, you can add a category or tag to your post. This is again done in the back and helps organize all your content, both for you and your readers.
Whew… you’re ready to go live!
Well, the time has come to hit the “publish” button, lol. You’ve done an amazing job and ready to share your article with the world.
Don’t make the mistake I did at first and hold off thinking you could do better. I would tweak and re-tweak for days thinking it wasn’t good enough.
You know what? Nothing is perfect. And all that tweaking is a huge time waster.
Just go ahead and publish that article so that it can start helping your audience.
You can always go back to it in 6 months and add more to it if you wish. I typically update my posts about once a year. It’s another great way to show Google that you’re on top of your game.
Once your post is live, you can promote in lots of different ways, like sharing it on social media or making a video about it for your Youtube channel.
But that’s another article…
I hope I was able to answer any questions you had about blog content and enjoyed my “Brilliant Blog Strategy”! These are the exact steps I go through.
I’ve refined them over the years, and you will too. Especially because SEO standards are constantly changing.
These steps will give you the best opportunity to rank with Google.
Of course, there are many other things involved in creating a successful and profitable blog. It’s not hard to learn as long as you’re getting the right training.
There are many legitimate places to learn online, but many come at a huge cost, which might not be affordable if you’re just starting out.
Can I make you my honest recommendation?
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If you’d like to read more about it, click on the image below. And when you join, I’ll meet you on the inside. I will happily coach you for as long as you need me to.
Have you started your blog yet? What type of content have you been writing? I truly hope my post has been of help to you.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below and I’ll get right back to you.
Your biggest fan and friend,