Too often I hear people say ‘what do I write’, ‘where do I start’, ‘I don’t have any ideas’ or ‘I have already written about that’
Think of your blog content as your brand’s magazine articles. They are to lure people in and to get them to stay around so they can get to know you better. You want to produce valuable blog posts that display your brand as the go-to for information on your niche. Each blog post should showcase your knowledge, share a little about yourself and empower the reader.
Before you even give me an excuse about ‘what to write’ let me ask you this question.
How well do you know your ideal client?
I highly recommend you take ten minutes and download my workbook so you can become well acquainted so when you do start brainstorming for blog content you are one hundred percent ready.
Ok, let’s do this.
When I brainstorm for content, I do it on my own or with another person. I get loads of post-it notes ready and put on some tunes to get my creative juices flowing. It’s an excuse to dance around my office for some reason it helps me. If I am working with one of my biz besties I find it helps to bounce ideas around, you could also ask someone who is apart of your team.
First off, write down your blog categories it should be about five or so. For example, if you are are a vegan food blogger your categories could be – vegan philosophy, vegan main meal recipes, vegan dessert recipes and vegan restaurants. These are quite broad but I am hoping you get the picture.
From here you want to explore each category. What do your dream clients want to know about this category? For example one of my categories is blogging. And my ideal clients, not all of them but some of them, have no clue as to how powerful blogging really is, so I write posts to encourage them to start. I educate them on how to do it consistently, what makes a great blog post, how they can share their blogs. I look at all the ways that I can help them learn about blogging.
If you think you have covered just about every subject about your niche and the categories then here are a few suggestions for you.
Expand your brainstorm
1- Read one of your old blog posts. Picture yourself as your ideal client. What would you want to know more about? Perhaps you are starting to fine-tune your posts a little more, so for me a post about what makes a good blog post, I actually worked out that I needed to write one about what makes a good headline. These small simple little things are what people want to know.
2 – Get into Facebook Groups where your ideal clients hang out and ask for help. Post a question about one of your categories in your niche and see what people would love to learn more of. I actually learned that people had no idea how to look for content, so this is where this article stemmed from.
3 – Ask your subscribers, if you already have a great database of active listeners. Why not email them with a survey to fill out. Ask them what content they would like to see from you and how you can help them. I personally love survey monkey but you could also easily send out a google form too.
4 – Pick up the phone and call five of your dream clients. Talk to them, have a chat and learn what it is that they need. It could be something as easy as understanding the texture of fabric if you are a fashion blogger this is a great article and one that would be evergreen and very shareworthy.
5 – Take a look at what comments are coming up on your social media channels. Are there some reoccurring themes? Write them down and then explore them.
Once I have created my wild board of ideas, I then turn it into an easy to use plan for my content.
From Wild Ideas to an Organised Content Calendar
STEP ONE: Each post-it note or idea written down, I get an A4 piece of paper and do a rough draft of the blog post. I am not writing it but just planning it.
My outline consists of: Headline, outline the story, core points of the post (this is the bit that is usually under subheadings) and then if it has a content upgrade attached to it. I also make sure to think about if there are links that need to be mentioned and included.
STEP TWO: Once I have outlined at least 20 or so blog post ideas, I then plan them out into my content calendar. I spread them out and make sure the flow goes nicely and also allow time for any extracurricular actions that need to happen like organise interviews or create a content upgrade.
Depending on your blog routine it’s best to have at least one blog post a week. And if you map out the first three months that is only twelve blog posts.
STEP THREE: Is to implement and create the blog posts. Using each outline you are going to be set up to write your blog posts far easier than faced with no ideas and a blank screen looking back at you.
Your content calendar can often get move around if you have other promotions that are to be announced. I use a plugin called WordPress Editorial Calendar. It helps me see my posts visually and I can move them around by drag and dropping. I love it.
There you have it from idea to content calendar, a little sneak peek inside as to how I create my blog posts and deliver content that my dream clients love to read.