Having a blog is critically important. It can help you achieve your marketing goals.
How does a blog help?
First and foremost, it drives tons of traffic to your site. Traffic converts into new customers. Besides, it increases brand awareness of your brand and product. It also creates opportunities to help you become a thought leader within the niche.
But how to create such a powerful blog?
With the help of an outstanding content strategy.
In this post, you will get familiar with the actionable content marketing strategy to boost your blog.
Let’s cut to the chase.
Table of Contents
The Essence of Content Strategy
The content strategy reflects the goals that you want to accomplish with your blog. Besides, if a blog content strategy meets the needs of your business, it will help you promote it as well.
Why is a blog content strategy important?
People publish millions of posts on the web. These posts cover multiple topics. Some of them are related to your business. And to make sure your target audience can find each new blog post you create, it is critically important to follow a resultative blog content strategy.
So, how to create an actionable content marketing strategy?
Six Steps to Create a Blog Content Strategy
To create an actionable blog content strategy, you should follow six simple but workable steps. Let’s review them one-by-one briefly:
- Answer the question “why do you need a blog?”
- Analyze your niche-related competitors
- Run a keyword research
- Create your content plan
- Think about the identity of your blog and create it
- Track the progress
Now, let’s run through each step more attentively.
1. Answer the question “why do you need a blog?”
You must clearly understand why you need a blog. Therefore, think about it deeply. Answer a few more questions, like:
- What goals does your blog have?
- How does it help your target audience?
- Does it provide any value to the audience?
For example, at Visme there is a goal to use a blog as the first-to-go place where people can get valuable information related to content design.
If you can’t figure out the purpose of your blog, use a simple but actionable “help-to-buy” framework.
How does it work?
Take this framework and fill the gaps with your business specifications.
The purpose of my blog is to help [your audience with solving the issue] to [the desired outcome] by [the means].
For example, you’ve decided to create a blog related to croquet, the purpose of your blog will be the following:
“Help people start with croquet to reach success by suggesting the best tips, pieces of advice, etc.”
When you have answers to all the questions, you will keep your content strategy moving in the right direction.
2. Analyze your niche-related competitors
Competitor research is an integral part of any marketing activity that you do. It can help you get lots of insights into the marketing strategy you are going to implement.
Content strategy is not an exception as well. Competitor research reveals what keywords drive traffic to your competitors. What type of content do the competitors publish on their blogs. What exact topics are covered.
When it comes to competitor research in terms of content strategy, you should focus on two types of competitors – business and content ones. Let’s review how to research them.
Business competitor research embraces brands that are within the same niche and offer similar products or services. It won’t be hard to figure out these competitors.
For instance, if you run your business in the SEO tools niche, one of the competitors is Moz.
To see content that performs the best, you can use an SEO tool called Site Explorer. Review the “Top Pages” report and pay attention to the number of traffic each post drives.
You can see that their guides to SEO meta tags and RedZee search engine investigation drive traffic the most. Plus, these posts rank in the SERP at #1 and #5 positions for their target keywords.
Skim through the report and explore topics that you might be interested to include in your content strategy.
Content competitors are all the websites you are competing against for the same topics. These websites may not belong to your direct competitors as well.
For example, here at Visme, our content team has covered the topic of branding. If you type this search request on Google, you will see dozens of sites that cover it just like Visme does.
Now, take a closer look. The majority of the results are posts from non-competitive sites. Visme creates tools that help make content visually appealing. Brandingmag is the original branding magazine that covers topics around branding.
How to find content competitors?
Go to the Keywords Explorer tool and type your target keyword. Afterwards, review the “Traffic share by domains” report.
Then analyze these sites as you do with your business competitors to find content topic ideas.
3. Run a keyword research
The only thing that separates you from writing your content is keyword research. You already know what topics your competitors cover. It is time to figure out what your target audience searches online.
Any keyword research starts with identifying seed keywords. As a rule, seed keywords reflect the main topics you’re going to write about. These keywords are a hundred percent relevant to the niche.
Think about your business in a minute. What are the words that come to your mind about it? What words do describe your business the best?
For instance, your blog is dedicated to content design. There are lots of words that belong to this niche – flowchart, presentation, Venn diagram, infographic, etc.
Take some of these words and analyze them with the Keywords Explorer tool again. However, take a look at the “Questions” tab that you can find reviewing the “Matching terms” report.
Now, you can cover whatever topic you like knowing that your target audience is exploring it on Google. Just browse the ideas the tool suggested and think about how you can help people with content design from your professional standpoint.
4. Create your content plan
When you have a list with topic ideas, you should work on creating a content plan.
Why is a content plan important?
Any content plan helps you prioritize topics by taking into consideration each topic value. A topic value can be estimated by a few basic metrics – traffic potential, ranking difficulty, and business value.
If the first two metrics you can estimate with the help of the Keywords Explorer tool, the last one requires another approach.
Talking about a business value metric you should see how your product or service solves the issues your potential customers have. Create a sheet where you will have four columns:
- “0” – your product is completely irrelevant to mention it
- “1” – your product can be slightly mentioned
- “2” – your product can help but it is not necessary to use it
- “3” – your product is the only solution to the problem
Now, take for example a query “how to create a flowchart” – this topic is relevant to cover it, and here is why:
- Good traffic potential (1.1K search volume monthly)
- Create a high business value (it helps people find out how to create flowcharts)
This way of separating topics helps not just share valuable information with the audience but promote your products or services. For example, when you cover the topic of how to create a flowchart, you can promote your free flowchart maker fittingly.
5. Think about the identity of your blog and create it
If you want your blog to stand out from the crowd, you should think about creating three aspects – visual guidelines, voice & tone, and writing rules. Let’s review these aspects in detail.
- Visual guidelines help follow consistency in the blog style and quality of the posts’ images. Moreover, it underlines your brand that is quite important. And the best starting point is to make header illustrations special.
- Voice & tone helps your blog with finding its personality. Keep in mind that your blog is a separate entity and it should both stay in line with your brand and talk to the audience in a special tone. Thus, think about it carefully.
- Writing rules are all about the grammatical aspects of the blog. Make sure each post is edited and looks professionally written. You can use a service like Grammarly to double check your writing.
Follow these simple rules. It will help you create a quality blog.
6. Track the progress
Assume that you have already created your blog and your content plan. The next step is to produce content. And that’s all?
If you want your content strategy to bring value to your business, you must track the progress. Hence, you should choose the KPIs for this purpose.
What are the KPIs to track?
First of all, traffic is the number one KPI to keep your eyes on. You can see the changes using Google Analytics. However, if you want to track how your brand is visible in organic search compared to the competitors, take the KPI “share of voice” into account.
For this, you can use the Rank Tracker tool. Go to the “Competitors overview” report and see the “Visibility” column.
These are just a few KPIs you should track but there are even more.
To Sum Up
Creating a robust content strategy for your blog takes time. Unfortunately, you won’t see any positive results quickly. Likely, if you are planning to make your blog an additional tool to help your business grow, the game is worth the candle.
By following the tips suggested in this post you will be able to create a powerful content strategy. Power up your blog. And boost your business.
If you think the post lacks some tips or pieces of advice, feel free to share them in the comment section.