The Diaries Episode Three: You Need A Content Strategy...Not Just A Bunch Of Blog Posts
Welcome back for Episode Three of Diary Of A First Year Blogger: The Hot Mess You Wish Bloggers Wrote About.
So far we have covered the blogging basics all about what blogging really is and how to make your initial website decisions.
In this episode, and in the future episodes, we’re now getting into the big topics and challenges that first year bloggers encounter. And the first one is content creation. So today’s chat is entitled You Need A Content Strategy; Not Just A Bunch Of Posts.
So we have all heard the first rule of blogging which is: blog about something you are super passionate about. And I cannot stress the importance of that concept enough.
The first year of blogging is a lot. I mean a lot a lot. And I know for me it was filled with doubt. Am I doing this right? Is anyone reading this? Why am I doing this? This is dumb. Everything is dumb. Lol
And to compound those doubts, I hit writer’s block...continuously...for like 8 months straight. Lol So this advice is what I wish I had when I first started my blog.
But First Brainstorm
So you’ve settled on a niche. The very first thing you should do is have a brainstorm session to come up with as many blog post ideas as possible. Go crazy. If you can come up with 20 good. If you can go for 50, better. If you can get higher than that, best!
Now notice I’m telling your to brainstorm blog post ideas — not to actually write the posts. This brainstorming session will be a great way to confirm you’ve settled on the right blogging niche. You may be passionate about it. This exercise will confirm whether you are passionate enough to sustain a blog about your topic.
Now once you have come up with enough post ideas and confirmed you have the material commit to this nice, now I want you to pick the best five to ten ideas and go write those posts—in bulk.
So whatever you believe your blogging schedule will be, write these posts in that manner. So if you plan on writing your posts one day a week, then do that. If you plan on writing several days a week, then do that. Stick to your proposed blogging schedule and produce.
And don’t forget to complete the whole process when you are writing your blog posts. That means doing the SEO research (we’ll talk more about that in a later episode), creating your titles, selecting the photos, editing, everything.
Spit all of the content out and do it consecutively — one post after another. You’re not publishing them. You are just creating them from start to finish.
After you have finished this writing binge, take an audit of your creation process. How hard was it for you? Did you enjoy writing that much content? How quick did you write each individual post?
The reason for this activity is twofold: (1) to confirm that you really like blogging and (2) to help you confirm your writing cadence.
So for example, if during this exercise it took you four hours per blog post, you now can look at your current schedule to see if you have that kind of time every week. Do you plan on producing content monthly? Weekly? Daily? After completing this exercise, you will know if your blogging schedule goals align with your real life routine.
How Many Blog Posts Do I Need To Start?
When you are ready to actually launch your blog, remember you want your website to look lived in when readers arrive. So the recommended number of blog posts for a new website is anywhere between five to seven.
Going back to our brainstorm exercise, if you only wrote five blog posts —guess what? Once you publish those five blog posts, you will immediately need to crank out more content in order to keep up with the blog publishing schedule you set for yourself.
Now if based on your writing pace you know you cannot commit that kind of time every week or month, then you will need to front load more completed content before making your website live. So instead of bulk writing five blog posts, you need closer to seven or ten to give yourself a cushion.
This initial brainstorming session will get you through your first couple of weeks or months blogging. In order to build out your content strategy, I would recommend you complete regularly content audits every three months or so.
During this audit you are going to look at who your audience is, which pieces of content they are gravitating towards, which posts got the most engagement and which pieces of content you enjoy writing. Use all that information to help you figure out what content you are going to write next.
Now the last tip focuses on how to consistently generate enough content to schedule your posts out for weeks. While I did not give that tip in the IGTV video, since you are here on The Bonus Blog, you can find it in the May BB Issue here.
So that’s it for this episode. You can find additional resources regarding content creation strategies below!