The 5-Step Content Plan For Blog Writing
Blogging is easy, right? All you have to do is write a few posts, and you’ll increase your visibility and sales, or so it seems. But jumping into blog writing without a content plan is like going on a cross-country road trip without a map. Inevitably, you’ll get off the interstate and find yourself lost in a sketchy part of Little Rock, Ark. (not like that ever happened to me in 1999…).
So to prevent losing your way, follow these five steps to build a content plan that will keep you on track and even raise your rankings in search results.
1. Pick a theme. What’s the theme of your blog? This may be more difficult that you’d think. For example, if you’re running a business that does a lot of different things, like consulting, you may want to focus on just one area of specialty. Or if your business is extremely specialized, you should consider writing about broader topics that are related to your business but not necessarily as narrow as your focus.
As a copywriter and editor, I blog about social media, marketing and public relations in my business blog, simply because I know my readers don't want to constantly read about the Oxford comma.
2. Define your keywords. Choose keywords that will boost your search engine rankings (but be careful not to “keyword stuff” your content). Tools like Google Adwords can show you which keywords get searched the most and what your competition is in using those keywords.
3. Develop a writing plan and schedule. As part of your content plan, prepare a schedule or editorial calendar. Decide how often you’re going to blog, what your blog post topics will be, and what keywords will go into each post, and input them into a spreadsheet. This is your road map, and it can span anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.
4. Start writing. In fact, start writing a few blog posts, not just the next one. Always have a few posts ready in advance, in case something comes up that prevents you from writing. When you’re writing, remember to use your keywords, use proper grammar and punctuation, and write with your audience in mind.
5. Revise and post. Don’t even think about hitting the “post” button without revising your entry. Read through it for grammar and spelling, and also read through it to make sure it, well, makes sense. Try to see it from your reader’s point of view. Is there anywhere it can be tightened? Anything that’s ambiguous and needs to be explained? If so, tweak the article. Then you can post it.
Follow these 5 steps, and you’ll have a content plan that can get you from the metaphorical East Coast to the West Coast, even if you veer off the interstate and write about something slightly off-topic. Your content plan will steer you back, and you won’t end up driving, er, blogging in circles trying to find your way back.