One of my pet peeves is a ‘Sunday driver’. You know what I mean, someone out in their car just to drive without anywhere specific to go. Meanwhile, normal people like me are stuck behind them 5 miles below the speed limit wondering if it’s safe to pass yet. It’s the same with your content strategy: you need to have a destination in mind in order to really get somewhere and make progress.
Now, this isn’t to say there’s a final destination for your blog or business. Rather, there has got to be a goal you are constantly reaching for and making progress towards. For example, our mission is to change the way businesses blog. Through that, we aim to stay one step ahead of content marketing trends and share our findings on our blog. There’s no room for dilly-dallying or wasted posts. Instead, each post has a purpose in a larger mission and adds to the ongoing discussion we aim to create.
This sounds pretty heavy, but it doesn’t have to be. We’ve got a few helpful tips and resources that should help in mapping out your content strategy to ensure you’re making the most of your blog.
Set a Destination
In order to get somewhere, you need to know where you are going. Sounds simple right? Well, the wrong destination can set you up for a serious detour – ever accidentally plugged in the wrong destination in a GPS? Well, it’s worse when your business is on the line.
The purpose of your blog will need to complement the mission of your business while furthering your message to reach your target market. It’s more than simply writing about what happens in your sector of the news, or churning out posts on topics your competitors are covering. It’s about having an overarching vision that you are trying to share with the world. And through that vision, those who agree or are attracted to it may follow and through it all become customers. Pretty great, right?
At Blog Trackr our mission is simple yet immense: to change the way businesses market and blog. Our blog, as a result, is dedicated to blogging trends and best practices. We want to teach businesses how to blog if they’ve never tried it – as well as help businesses that are blogging to blog better. Each post covers a topic dear to our target market’s heart – whether it’s leveraging their social strategy all the way to improving their writing.
Knowing where you are headed is the first step, now it’s a matter of getting there so let’s keep diving in.
Chart your Course
We know where we are going, so how do we get there? When planning a trip you may go by train, by plane, or possibly by car (or shall we say automobile?). It’ll be the same on your blog.
Map out the frequency you will blog, as well as how you plan to weave through topics you’ve outlined as key targets to hit. Don’t just dive in here haphazardly, with proper planning you’ll be able to maximize your content strategy so your blog works for you rather than the other way around. Your content strategy should never be the thing you just throw ideas at, rather it has the capability of being the best tool in your chest.
Now, how do we do this?
We’re about to get into some of the nitty-gritty so bear with me. Ultimately you’ll want to map out your posts well in advance. At Blog Trackr we actually do this quarterly to ensure each week is covered with a topic. You may opt to do this differently, though that also depends on how frequently you blog and what your focus is. Task management tools are an excellent way to start charting your course for your content strategy, so let’s review a few of our favorites.
We’d be remiss not to mention our own content strategy tools. That said, we want to give credit where credit is due for other tools that may be useful.
Blog Trackr features a customized newsfeed created just for you based off your blog/site’s current content. Through our machine learning-powered text analysis engine we curate articles you may be interested in. However, this really is just half the battle. With the Branding Playbook you can save article suggestions for later review allowing you to research and save your content pieces in one place.
We think it’s pretty great, however, I want to give a few honorable mentions as well:
Trello I love Trello. They have a free option and provide an excellent solution to any collaboration/task management need. Create queues for your blog – whether these are stages of publishing such as ‘idea’, ‘drafted’, ‘published’ or individual author assignments, and map out your content from there.
Google Docs Ah the old standby. Google Docs makes it incredibly easy to collaborate on blog posts across your team. They also make it simple to share updates on how your blog topics are being tackled. It’s free, it’s awesome, we love using it and you will too if you give it try.
Wrike Admittedly I haven’t used Wrike, but from researching task management platforms it keeps coming up. The reviews show it to be top notch and based on their website they go a bit beyond the basics. In fact, they have catered solutions depending on what you are trying to do. They have options for creative teams, marketing teams, and more.
There are undoubtedly more tools you can use. This is really just a taste of what the options are to get you started thinking in that direction. By mapping out your blog topics and posts you can build an effective strategy to power the growth engine for your marketing efforts.
A good content strategy is more than lots of content or even quality content. It’s about leveraging that content to tell a compelling story. Whether you blog daily or weekly make every post count. Have each post you write add to a larger discussion that draws readers in, and keeps them coming back as customers.
Don’t let poor planning hold your content strategy back. Instead, set a destination and chart your course to success. Oh and watch those new readers pour in too. We dare you.