Don’t get it twisted. Great content is the key to successful blog. Without it you’ll get lost in the crowd. Many bloggers fall victim to their own disorganization as they try to lure readers with compelling blog posts. Create a content plan, and hopefully you’ll never have to scramble for a blog idea again.
Remember Your Focus
Your blog’s content must be focused. Sometimes we wake up wanting to blog about whatever the Creator put on our heart. If it’s not inline with your blog’s mission statement, resist that urge. Yes, your blog is yours, but your readers come to you looking for something in particular. Don’t let them down.
As you’re thinking through how your blog will be organized and developing a content plan, ask yourself these questions:
Who Will Produce It?
If your blog is a lone venture this will be an easy one. You will be responsible for creating the content. This can be a daunting task, however, and you may want to consider soliciting posts from guest bloggers. Just make sure that anyone you bring on board understands your blog’s mission.
What Type of Content?
What type of content will your blog feature. The type of content you choose to create will depend on your goals. If you are looking to establish or strengthen your voice, op-eds are a good way to go. Make your writing them timely. No one wants to read about breaking news a week later.
Note: I’ve learned at For Harriet that readers LOVE pop culture commentary and relationship blog posts. If you’ve got writers block, these are good starting points.
If you’re a topical blogger consider incorporating reviews and interviews. These are also good ways to establish connections with people and companies you admire.
Will you create written content exclusively? Why not try a vlog here or there or launch a podcast. Experimenting with different media offerings takes more work, but they’ll make you and your blog more memorable.
Note: I shared my blogging journal on the BGB Facebook page. I highly recommend you get one. Storing my blogging ideas in one central location has transformed my blogging life.
When Will You Publish?
Next you should decide how often you will post. It’s imperative you create a posting schedule. I know you more thinking, “I’ll write when the mood hits me.”
The problem is most of us are busy and/or procrastinators who end up with tips of great content ideas and a barren blog. No, you don’t want to force yourself to churn out lazy, subpar work, but you do want to establish a rhythm for yourself and your readers. It’s hard. I know. But create a schedule and stick to it.
How many times a day, week, or month will you post?
Know that written and recorded reviews and interviews will require more lead time, so you may not be able to churn them out five times a week. (But if you can, more power to you.)
Try putting your editorial schedule on a Google Calendar as well as the rest of your life’s events and you’ll know when you need to buckle down and write. Be specific on your calendar. Write down titles of the blog posts if you can, or just mark what type of content you’ll publish on a set date.
Now you’re on your way to creating blog posts that will keep your readers coming back.
This isn’t set in stone. Your content plan will evolve as your blog does. Expect to re-evaluate it at least a few times a year.
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Kimberly N. Foster is the founder of Black Girls Blogging and Editor of For Harriet. Email or Tweet her.