Develop Your Blog’s Content Strategy

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This is step 12 (out of 14) in a “how to start a blog” content series. See all steps here.
Download the entire content series as a free ebook here 📗

Here I'm going to explain why having a keyword strategy is so important, and I'll walk you through some of the tools to help you develop a content strategy for your blog.

What is a Content Strategy And Why You Need It

A content strategy lays out the vision for what you want to achieve with your content marketing/blogging efforts and helps guide the next steps you need to take on a daily basis.

Without a content strategy, you will shooting arrows in the dark trying to hit the bull's eye.

If you want your content to work for you and create the results you want your blog to produce, then you need to have a content strategy in place that helps guide you on your blogging journey.

It will help you make crucial decisions when it comes to content creation. It will also help you decide what writing style you should use and how you should promote your content. The bloggers who succeed in the game know who their ideal reader is.

If you don't have a content strategy, you will waste a lot of time creating and testing to find out what type of content works and what doesn't work for you in your niche.

Define Your Content Goals

When creating new blog content, you need to have a goal in mind.

What are you trying to do with your content? Are you trying to get more clients for your freelance business? Are you trying to get sell more copies of your eBook? Do you want people to book more coaching sessions with you?

Knowing from the start what your goals are with the content you are producing will help you avoid wasting your time on content that doesn't lead to your desired goals.

If you want people to buy more copies of your blog, you can't be writing thought leadership articles in your industry as these will only be read by your competitors. You want to write articles that can reach your target audience.

If you want to promote an affiliate product to your audience, then it makes a lot of sense to write reviews about that product.

Find Out Who Your Target Audience Really Is

This is the mistake I see most bloggers making. They just assume that they are writing to the right audience and that their efforts will attract the right kind of people to their blog. But this couldn't be further from the truth.

If you are not clear from the beginning who your target audience is, then you will keep shooting arrows in the dark trying to brute force your way into hitting the target.

The best way to find out who your audience is and what they like is to write down who your ideal reader is. This will be easier for those who already have some sort of idea of who their ideal reader is.

But for those of you who aren't sure who you should be or are supposed to be writing to, create in your mind an avatar of a person who you want to attract.

And then ask questions to yourself such as:

  • Where does this person hang out on the Internet?
  • What type of content do they prefer? Video? Podcast? Blog?
  • What writing tone will they connect with? Formal or Informal?

Ask as many questions as you can that help you pinpoint who your ideal reader is. This way there will be no surprises in the future when you create content for your blog. You will know exactly what your ideal reader will want to read.

The ideal reader that you write to is who you will attract. So, if you want to attract college students who have recently gotten a job and are in debt, then write down as many details as you can about this person. What do they like? Where do they hang out?

The better you know your ideal reader/target audience, the easier it will be for you to produce content that hits the bull's eye or at least hits the target.

What To Blog About (aka How To Find Blog Post Topics)

Once you know who your target reader is, it is time to find blog post ideas that your ideal reader will be interested in reading.

Here are a few ways to find the best content ideas for your blog:

Use Quora To Quickly Find Burning Questions of Your Niche

If you don't know already, Quora is a Question and Answer website where anyone can ask a question about any topic under the sun and anyone can answer the questions posted on the site.

The reason why Quora tops our list is that it allows you to find the questions people are asking about your niche or inside your niche.

Once you know what questions people are asking, creating content becomes as easy as writing answers to those questions on your blog.

Here's an example of how to use Quora to find content ideas:

Step #1: Enter Your Niche In The Search Box And Select a Topic

quora topics

Step #2: Be Sure To Follow The Topic To Stay Updated With New Questions (Content Ideas):

follow topics on quora

Step #3: Scroll Through The Questions To Find The Ones That You Can Actually Answer:

questions on quora

A lot of questions posted on Quora are either too broad or not something serious like the first question in this screenshot.

Step #4: Make a List of All The Good Questions You Find That You Think You Can Answer On Your Blog:

quora

Pro Tip: When creating content for your blog from questions you found on Quora, be sure to read the answers to the question while you research your article. It will cut the research time in half and may give you some interesting ideas for your blog.

Keyword Research

Keyword Research is the old-school method most professional bloggers use to find what keywords (aka search queries) people are using on Google in their niche.

If you want Google to send you free traffic to your blog, you need to make sure that your blog posts contain and target these keywords.

If you want to be on the first page for how to start a beauty blog then you need to create a page/post on your blog with that phrase in the title.

This is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and this is how you get traffic from Google.

Now, there's a lot more to SEO than simply finding and targeting keywords with your blog content, this is all you need to know when you are just getting started.

Each keyword that you want to target should have its own post. The more keywords you target on your blog, the more search engine traffic you will receive.

To find keywords to target on your blog, visit Google Keyword Planner. It's a free tool that helps you find keywords you can target through your blog:

Step #1: Choose Find New Keywords Option:

google keyword planner

Step #2: Enter Some Main Keywords of Your Niche And Click Get Started:

Keyword Planner

Step #3: Find Keywords That You Would Like To Target:

keyword research google

On the left of this table, you will see keywords that people are using in your niche and right next to it you will see a rough estimate of how many average monthly searches this keyword gets.

The more searches a keyword gets the harder it becomes to rank on the first page for it.

So, it is easier to rank for a keyword that has only 100 – 500 searches than it is to target a keyword that receives 10k – 50k searches. Make a list of keywords that aren't too competitive.

You might need to scroll down a couple of times before you find any good keywords that you can turn into blog pages or posts.

Answer The Public

Answer the public is a free tool (with a creepy man on the homepage) that helps you find questions people are searching for on Google.

Step #1: Enter Your Main Keyword In The Search Box and Click The Get Questions Button:

answer the public

Step #2: Scroll Down And Click The Data Tab To See The Questions People Are Searching For on Google:

keyword research

Step #3: Compile a List of Questions That You Think You Can Turn Into Blog Posts

A lot of questions that you see in the results won't be something you can turn into a blog post. Pick the keywords that you can and use your content strategy to guide your decisions.

Ubersuggest

Neil Patel's Ubersuggest is a free tool that helps you find long-tail keywords related to your main keyword.

Simply visit the Ubersuggest website and enter your keyword:

ubersuggest

Now, scroll down and click the View All Keywords button at the bottom:

ubersuggest keywords

Now, compile a list of keywords based on the SD metric you see on the right of the table. The lower this metric, the easier it will be for you to rank on Google's first page for the keyword:

free keyword research tool

Check Out Other Blogs In Your Niche

This is one of the easiest ways to find blog post ideas that will work for your blog.

Step #1: Search Top X Blogs On Google:

google search

Step #2: Open Each Blog Individually And Look For a Most Popular Posts Widget In The Sidebar:

popular articles

These are the most popular articles on this blog. That means these articles got the most shares. If you simply write articles on these topics, then you will increase the chances of your content hitting a home run on the first try.

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