When it comes to producing top level content for your website, there are a few things you need to do in order to make sure that you consistently provide your audience with the best blog content in your industry.
One of these things is planning your blog content in advance. While it sounds simple, there are a few extra tips that you can use when planning your content that can really make a big difference in the results of your content marketing efforts.
When it comes to planning, the benefits you gain are:
- Increased Efficiency of Your Content
- Increased Conversions and Engagement from Your Audience
- Less Time Spent in Content Development
- More Organic Traffic from Your Content Over Time
Without proper planning, your content can suffer in terms of search traffic, conversions, and efficiency. It can take longer to get your content off the ground, you may not see the same ROI on your content marketing efforts, and you also may not achieve the maximum potential you with your content that you otherwise could.
In this article, we will discuss the best ways to plan your blog content in advance for business owners and marketers. This guide will help you to save time and maximize the potential of your content marketing efforts.
1. Create Buyer Personas for Your Audience
When starting with your content planning, the idea is to save yourself time and energy, while achieving higher efficiency returns from your content marketing efforts.
One of the best ways to do this is to not waste time producing content that has little relevance to your target audience and their needs.
Creating buyer personas for your target audience helps you to segment your audience into groups that fall into similar buckets of characteristics.
You can segment your audience based on many different factors:
- Age, gender, income
- Needs, wants
To build on these personas more, you can begin to think of questions, doubts, problems and rejections that each of these different groups have, and begin to build content that seeks to give your audience answers, with your content acting as a bridge between you and your audience.
Benefits of Creating a Buyer Persona
Usually making about 4-6 buyer personas is enough to get you started, and as time goes on, and you get more analytics data on your audience, you will be able to market your product or service more effectively to them.
On top of this, you will be able to produce unique and high quality content that fits their needs, building your brand recognition, traffic, leads, conversions, and brand loyalty.
Lastly, buyer personas help you to plan your content in advance because you will easily be able to sift through what type of content your audience is looking for, and then scheduling out your content production in advance.
How to Make a Buyer Persona for Your Audience
Building the best buyer personas is a topic that really deserves a blog all on its own in order to give you the best chance to succeed in your content marketing efforts.
In order to learn more about how to make a buyer persona, we made this comprehensive guide for you! This will help you easily understand the ins and outs of developing a buyer persona and help you get started making blog content for your website.
2. Establish Categories for Your Content
Once you have the different profiles established for your target audience, it is time to begin building out your content ideas and delivery.
The best place to start is by organizing your content into broad categories which satisfy each buyer persona’s questions, doubts, rejections and problems.
But don’t just stop at categorization. Breaking your content down into categories based on questions your audience has allows you to create subcategories and individual pieces of content which seek to answer very specific questions, and add up over time to build your site into an authority in your industry.
Once you have made categories that help you to answer most questions your various buyer personas have, it is time to generate great blog content ideas in order to begin the process of creating and delivering high quality content to your audience.
3. Map Out the Best Content Ideas for Your Industry
We know, we know, this heading makes it all sound so easy right?
Of course, finding the best content ideas for your industry isn’t easy. But with the right knowledge and resources, you can take this seemingly daunting task, and turn it into a process that is easy and repeatable.
So how do you know what the best content ideas for your business are?
Find Out What Questions Your Audience is Asking
This is where the money is at. Find out what your audience wants to know, and you become a supplier of the demand. You become a fountain of golden knowledge. This is what people return for.
So how do you know what answers your audience is looking for?
There are quite a few ways to go about this, each of which are equally important to developing relevant web content.
- Google Search
- Keywords Everywhere
- Answer the Public
- Online Forums
- Google Analytics
- Many more…
For a full list of the best ways to find out what your audience is asking on Google, we made this awesome guide:
This guide will help you find the best resources, learn how to use them properly and efficiently, and also help you to turn the questions you find into high quality and unique content for your audience.
Audit Your Competitor’s Content
This is one of the easiest ways to find out what is being asked by your target market. Your biggest competition in your industry obviously has a handle on what people are looking for, otherwise they would not be positioned as they are.
While you want to always makes sure you plan your content to be unique, it is not necessary that you reinvent the wheel with your content.
In fact, you will want to cover quite a few core questions and subject matters with your content that just about all the top sites have content about.
At this point, it is unavoidable to have blog content that is completely different from your competitors at all time.
This is not a bad thing.
If anything, it offers you a few ways to easily produce the best content in your industry by analyzing your competition and finding content gaps.
Finding content gaps and auditing your competitors content is an in depth process that should be done right in order to maximize the efficiency of your content strategy.
As a result, this topic requires an article all on its own to best serve you. Luckily, we made this Comprehensive Guide to Making Better Content than Your Competition. Check it out for some amazing in depth content marketing tips from our experiences developing content calendars.
4. Develop a Content Calendar
This is where the rubber starts to hit the road.
The last thing you want to do is put in all the time and effort to research and develop content, just to have it be disorganized, confusing, and less efficient than it could be for your site.
The goal of planning out your content is to save yourself time and energy.
One of the easiest things you can do in order to save yourself time in the content production and planning stage is to make a content calendar.
Benefits of a Content Calendar
For us, the content calendar was born out of necessity.
When you are managing over 20+ websites content in just the first few months of business, and quickly scale that to 100+ websites, you really have no choice but to be organized or lose business.
Put simply, the content calendar helps us to:
- Keep all of our ideas, links, and information in one easy to use, consistent format
- Maintain an order of operations to our content production
- See everything in one place so we can quickly understand what we need for each site
- Easily make notes, come up with ideas, and share work with our team
- Demonstrate content roadmaps and goals to clients easily
How to Make the Best Content Calendar
When it comes to making a content calendar for your blog, there is no one “right” way to do it.
Ultimately, it depends on your preferences in:
- And more
It also depends on the amount of content you plan on producing. Overall, you may not need to go all out for your content calendar like we do.
There are a few elements you will always want to keep in mind, however:
- Titles, Meta Descriptions
- Examples of the Content
- Link to the Content
- Publishing Date
- Time Left in Production
- Links to Outlines and Other Relevant Information
Here is an example of one of our content calendars for our site:
Overall, for the best advice on how to build a content calendar for your website, you will want to check out our Comprehensive Guide to Building Content Calendars.
This guide is jam packed with creative ideas, suggestions, our experiences, and step-by-step advice for how to make the best content calendar.
5. Stick to Your Content Posting Schedule
Perhaps the most important factor that determines the success of your content marketing efforts is the consistency of your posting schedule. While this sounds so simple, it makes a huge difference.
This is not just true of your blog posts, but also your social media accounts as well.
An example of just how important this consistency is, is when we first started our site. We quickly got up to almost 500 unique monthly visitors in just under 3 months.
Then, a site redesign stopped us from posting for about one month, which drove that traffic back down to 9 monthly users…
When it comes to social media, we used to manage an Instagram account with over 75,000 followers.
It took us 1 year to build it from 0 to 75k. We had a loyal audience, great engagement, and awesome posts. Cody and I (Kyle) stopped posting for about one month when we both took a much needed break from Instagram.
When we came back, we went from averaging about 7,500 likes and 60 comments per post to about 3,000 and 30 respectively.
To make up for that one month off, it took almost 3 months. Wow! Imagine the unpleasant surprise this was.
Save yourself the trouble, stay consistent with your content publishing efforts, even if it means posting less frequently and more consistently.
6. Internally Link Your Content in the Writing Process
While it may not seem super important or obvious right off the bat, planning out the internal link structure of your site in advance, and then building your content around it is one great way to efficiently plan your content strategy.
This ties back into the categories we talked about earlier. If you have 4 main pages and then a few landing pages and lastly, some blog content, you want to make sure that each of these connects to one another as often as possible in order to not only send traffic there, but send signals to Google about how to crawl your site and view your content.
How Does Internal Link Structure Tie into Content Strategy?
Let me be clear: this should be one of the last things you take into account when building content.
This does not mean however, that it should be an afterthought.
The best way we have found to use internal linking to our advantage when producing content is to think of content ideas while writing another piece of content.
For example, while writing this blog, I thought of 2 or 3 other great content ideas that will compliment it quite nicely.
On top of that, all of these sections which are linked within this article to highly relevant pieces of content came to mind while writing this blog.
These are the same techniques you should apply when planning out your content. Some of it should come to you as you go, but for the most part this is something you want to keep in mind in the planning phase.
When you first start out, you will not have a lot of content, but that is alright. As you begin to make more content, you want to go back and make sure you internally link your content.
On top of that, you want to make sure that your links are not just plain, but that they pop out at the user and demand action. This will increase click throughs, conversions, and other key content marketing KPIs.
7. Account for Special Holidays and Events
Lastly, while this point is not exactly something you think about, it is something very important to your content strategy in the long run.
If you run an e-commerce store or sell products, you will want to plan for holidays and special events like Black Friday, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, etc…
The last thing you want is for the date to creep up on you and be just a few weeks away before you remember to make some content on your site that can draw some traffic for the event.
Trust us… One of our side projects once missed Black Friday entirely because we put off the content for it, and remembered it a month before hand and it was too late because we had so much on our plate.
How to Properly Plan Your Content for Holidays and Special Events
When it comes to planning your content around holidays, the important part is to make sure you give yourself and your team enough time in advance to get everything coordinated.
Realistically, the rest of your content strategy will come together as long as you give yourself the time to do so.
Planning Your Content for Efficiency
When it comes to planning your content in advance, you want to make sure that you follow these steps in order to save time and effort on the production and publishing side of things.
For some easy to use free content marketing tools, check out our new PoofNewSales Free Content Marketing Tool Suite!
For more information on how to make the best web content for your business, check out some of these related blogs:
If you would like to speak with a content marketing expert from our team, please click the button below to be taken to our contact page.