3 steps for creating a blog content plan

3 steps for creating a blog content plan

In digital marketing, having comprehensive plans and schedules is vital for delivering content successfully and in a repeatable way. Blogging can be a great way for growing website traffic and sharing company updates or experiences. The content being written does however require planning beforehand in order to ensure its targeting the right audience and optimised for search engines.

Out of the many channels in digital marketing, content marketing is perhaps the most commonly used by businesses in order to increase online traffic. Creating high quality engaging content that readers will remain interested in, perhaps motivating them to explore the website and find out more, is often the core principle of blogging. This is partially due to the fact that search engines are now far more advanced and their algorithms are able to identify relevance and quality of content. 

The reasons for having a plan to follow when blogging is two fold; timing and relevance. Consistent uploads will help sustain traffic and search engines begin to identify the site as being active, which in turn improves chances of ranking well on search engine result pages (SERPs). A major source of traffic for blogs is often organic, so where the content ranks in SERPs will determine the likelihood of people finding it. The second main reason for planning ahead of writing is to determine the relevance of your content. For example, an interesting idea for a blog might not be worth writing about if it’s a highly competitive topic. This is where keyword research comes in, although more on that shortly. 

Here we outline 3 steps for creating a blog content plan that’ll help keep content fresh and relevant.

 

Step 1: Goals & Objectives

Setting goals is the first step to determining the content you choose to create. Having a target to aim for will help to focus your content and understand the reason for writing it. The goals and objectives would involve identifying a target audience. If your blog is being read by people who have no intent or interest in your products or services then it becomes difficult to measure how successful a blog is. It’s often preferable to have less readers but the ones who are reading have prior knowledge and intent. If a blog topic is niche, then the target audience will be easier to reach. 

Another goal may be to increase website traffic. This may involve structuring and writing the content in a specific way in order to encourage readers to click through or explore the website further. This can be done using internal links to pages within your website, where they are subtly embedded within the text and can naturally lead readers onto other pages. The other option may be more clearly defined call-to-actions that are formatted as images or buttons for people to click on. Attracting organic traffic via search engines is an effective way of increasing website traffic, however other methods such as social media and email marketing are also excellent choices. Sending email newsletters that summarise the previous blogs written, perhaps over the previous month, can help provide contacts with the content they may have missed.

 

Step 2: Keyword Research

Once the goals and objectives have been set out, it’s now time to decide on the specific topics and blog titles. This involves performing keyword research to discover what is being searched for and how competitive certain topics and keywords are. This is a key consideration for blogging because the content being produced may be rarely discovered by users online due to the sheer volume of competition. It’s about finding the balance between focusing content on a keyword that is both being searched for, but not being highly competed for with low click potential. 

Keyword research is done by first listing many keywords that relate to your business, industry and blog topics. These can be off the top of your head, or attained through a mind mapping session with your team or agency,  and are going to function as the seed keywords during the research process. Once a list has been created, you can begin typing out each one into a keyword research tool such as Semrush and it’ll then provide an extensive list of related keywords being searched for. Each keyword will have multiple useful metrics that’ll help determine whether or not they’d be ideal to use. These metrics will include some variation of the number of search engines results for that specific keyword and the volume of searches for that keyword over a given time period, as well as keyword difficulty, click potential, competition and cost-per-click. 

Building a database of keywords with ideal metrics that can be used for your content will help with generating the titles for each blog. Keywords when blogging essentially function as a target for search engines to identify, especially important for organic traffic and rankings. The chosen keyword should be used throughout the content up to a suitable volume per length of text, named keyword density, as well as in title tags, subheadings and meta descriptions. Incorporating good SEO practices into your blogging will help them become more successful in terms of search engine rankings and increases in organic traffic.

 

Step 3: Content schedule & outreach

Once your titles have been decided on, it’s time to start implementing them into a content plan or calendar. This can be in any format you feel comfortable with; there are many tools and templates available online, often using spreadsheets to visualise the plan. As well as the titles, it’s also a good idea to include the target keyword being used for each individual blog. How often they’re posted will depend on the time and resources available to produce them. Posting too sparsely or irregularly can impact the chances of search engines ranking your content in the higher SERP positions. On the other hand, posting too often can be a sign of lower quality content that can be missed entirely. Setting a campaign length, perhaps 3 months, then filling out the calendar with the weeks in which a blog is to be posted.

If using an omnichannel approach to your campaign, the plan can also include social media or email marketing as well as the blog titles. When posting a new content, it’s a great opportunity to share and promote it using social media or email marketing to increase your outreach. On social media, various platforms can be used to post the link to your blog, with the addition of engaging imagery, text and hashtags. As previously mentioned, email marketing is ideal for newsletters containing blogs you have written, perhaps sent at the end of each month to summarise the content people may have missed.

 

Conclusion

At this stage, the content plan should be completed and you can now begin creating high quality, engaging content. The content plan should consist of, as a schedule, the blog titles, the keywords being used, social media channels for posting, and also the newsletters being sent out. Creating the content is a whole other topic which we have discussed in detail in a previous blog post, however it will become much easier with a finalised content plan to work with.

 

About Inflowing

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We’re an experienced team of marketers with an incredibly strong background in B2B. To learn more about B2B and improving your marketing, check out our other blogs or get in touch.

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