All newly launched websites start from the same place: zero.
Although we all have grand aspirations for our websites, not all can live up to their fullest potential. The reality is, some websites flop.
How do you ensure your website is one of the lucky few? Well, it’s actually got very little to do with ‘luck’ at all: most successful websites are launched and grown by following a well-considered content plan.
I know, I know: building that initial core audience can feel like an uphill struggle, at least in the beginning — believe me, it’s the same for everyone. If you want to give your blog the best chance of success, here are four tips for creating a viable content plan.
Define Your Brand
What’s the primary aim of your blog? That’s right: to spread your message far and wide.
Before you can even think about doing this, you need to understand what your message is. What’s the story behind your brand? What’s your vision? What do you stand for? What do you hope to achieve?
A strong brand identity sits at the heart of all successful content marketing efforts. If you don’t understand your brand, how will you choose what topics to cover, the right angle to cover them from, and the voice you want to convey your message?
Content planning is easy when you have a solid understanding of what your brand is really about.
Define Your Audience
Before you put virtual pen to paper, you need to know who you’re writing for.
I get it: our egos want to write for the biggest possible audience. Sure, a big audience is nice, but you need to target the right people — those who are likely to become customers.
This starts with a profile of your ideal customer. The more you understand this hypothetical person — problems, aspirations, pain points — the better, as you can really tailor your content to speak to this person. It’s this hyper-targeted content that drives the really big sales numbers.
Unique Selling Point (USP)
Everyone seems to be trying their hand at content marketing these days, don’t they? With so many different blogs covering essentially the same topics, you need to figure out how you’re going to stand out from the crowd.
Ask yourself: What’s my blog’s USP?
Are you going to cover topics in more depth than your competition? Infuse more real-world case studies? Use video content while everyone else if focusing on written content?
As long as you have a clear idea of how you will differentiate yourself, there’s a gap in the market for you.
Create an Editorial Calendar
You’ll often here online marketing circles talking about ‘consistently publishing great content.’
That word ‘consistently’ is important. To be honest, it doesn’t matter how often you publish, just that you do so consistently.
Now, most would agree that a higher posting frequency is better, but it’s more important that your audience knows what to expect from your publishing habits – that’s why it’s so important to be consistent. I’d rather you publish two quality articles per month than to publish six during the first week then take huge breaks when you burn out.
Take some time to consider how much quality content you can produce each week, realistically.
Got a figure in mind? Good, now stick to it.
Remember: the goal of content marketing is ultimately to grow your business. If you don’t know what your business really is about, or who your potential customers are, then your potential is severely restricted.
Plenty of excellent blogs have fallen by the wayside, simply because they didn’t have the right content plan. Give yourself the best chance for success, and make sure you’ve got the right content strategy before you launch.
Any tips for creating the perfect content plan? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Featured image courtesy of Epicantus.