Content Planning Tips

As an online business owner, you know that content is one of the best tools you have. It drives traffic, provides your audience with the value and information they seek, and helps you market your business. Content is essential for online marketing success. So you can’t publish randomly.  You’ll achieve greater success if you take the time to plan your content.  Here are some content planning tips.

Content planning tips

What Is Content Planning?

Content planning is simply the process of taking a look at your calendar and deciding what to write and where to publish it. Content planning involves a few primary criteria:

* When will you publish the content?
* Where will you publish it?
* What will you write about?
* What’s the purpose of the content?
* What are your keywords?
* How can you repurpose the content?

You’ll also want to consider how far ahead you want to plan your content for. Many online business owners take a tiered approach. They plan large content projects for the entire year. For example, they may publish a report each month. They also take a look at their content on a quarterly or monthly level.

If you don’t plan your content or are struggling to plan it effectively, here are some content planning tips:

Start with a Big Paper Calendar

Use a calendar that gives you a big picture and you can write on. A paper desk calendar is a great planning tool. You can write your content ideas in pencil for easy modifications. Then, if you prefer electronic organization, you can transfer the paper plan to your Outlook or e-calendar.

Integrate Your Content Planning with Your Marketing Strategy

Plan how you’ll integrate your content into your marketing strategy.  This is one of the most fundamental content planning tips. After all, the purpose of your content should always be to promote your business. For example, you could decide that in March you’re going to publish ten articles on article directories. Your plan should tie this content into any season or holiday.

You’ll also want to ensure it supports any new products or services. You want to make sure your content has a purpose. It may be simply to drive traffic to your website. Or it may be to drive traffic to a sales page or increase your opt-ins.

Leave Room for Change

Leave room for change. The best content plans leave room for inspiration. The greatest ideas often come out of the blue. There could also be news in your field that you want to comment on.  Or there could be trends that pop that you want to reflect in your comment.  If you’re a stickler for your plan and don’t allow room to add your content inspiration into the mix, then you’re missing out.

Once Is Not Enough — Repurpose Your Content

Finally, don’t forget to take a look at how you can repurpose your content. It’s not only a great way to get the most return on investment, it can help fill content gaps.

What is repurposing content?  Well, you take a piece of content, give it a few tweaks, and use it in a different format.  For example, you may take a post that you’ve published on your blog, record it, enhance it appropriately for audio, then re-publish it as a podcast.  Or take a series of blog posts on the same topic and re-edit them to form a short report.  You then use the short report as a lead magnet for opt-ins, send it to your list of subscribers as a thank-you gift for being on your list, or add it to a paid product as a bonus.

Big Picture and Little Picture

When you plan your content, make sure you’re looking at both the macro and micro picture. Make sure you look ahead and take the entire year into consideration. At the same time, plan your content right down to the keywords and topics.

Planning your content for the entire year may take a day or two to accomplish but it’ll save you tons of time down the road. Instead of wondering what you’re going to write on, you’ll have the answers all worked out. Best of all, your content will fit with your other marketing efforts to create a comprehensive business growth plan.

Do you have any content planning tips you can share with us?  Let us know in the comments below.

And if you enjoyed this post, please share it.

5 Ways to Find Content Ideas

There comes a time in every online marketer’s life when they run out of things to write about. When that happens, you can hire someone to come up with ideas for you. You can hire someone to write the content for you, too. You can use my old stand-by and purchase PLR.  But don’t give up on writing the content yourself. You just need a little inspiration. Here are five great ways to find content ideas.

Find content ideas

1 – Get Ideas From Other People’s Content

Grab a magazine from your coffee table.  It doesn’t even have to be a magazine in your niche industry. Just about any magazine will do. Now take a look at the cover. Write down the headlines as they appear. Chances are they’ll look something like this:

The __ secrets to ____
Learn how to _____ today
___ tips to ____

Once you’ve written down the headlines, replace the keywords with your own. Fill in the blanks. If there are ten headlines on the cover of your magazine, you now have ten articles or blog posts you can write.

2 – Get Social

Jump on a social networking site of choice and read posts in your niche. Visit the pages of your industry guru and read their latest posts and information. Chances are you’re going to find many content ideas.

You may take issue or disagree with something someone said. That’s a perfect blog post. You may think that a topic needs to be expanded upon. You may read a comment to a social networking post that is the foundation of an article. Social networking sites are a great place to find content ideas. You just have to look for them.

3 – Listen to What Your Readers Are Telling You

Read your own blog and review the comments. Skim past the ones that say “Thanks for the information.” Those don’t offer any value to you right now. Instead, look for the questions or the meaty comments. Those are ideal for inspiring content ideas.

4 – . . . And to What Readers of Other Blogs and Forums Are Saying

Read your forum and blog comments on other sites. Often these comments are enough to be an article or blog post all by themselves. Just polish it up and format it for the web and you’re good to go. If the comment or forum post is short, expand on it. Use your feedback to create article and blog content on your website.

5 – Make a list

Lists are easy to make and they’re well received online. For example, you’re reading one now.  If you’re struggling to find content ideas, write down three to five list ideas and tackle them one by one.

Article and blog post ideas are out there just waiting for you to find them. With a little creativity and inspiration you can turn an unmotivated writing session into a productive afternoon.

Where do you find content ideas?  Share your secrets with us in the comments.

And if you liked this post, don’t forget to share it.

 

How To Choose A Blogging Niche

Why did you start your blog? And when you started, how did you choose a blogging niche?

Did you start your blog to make a lot of money so you can buy your own South Sea Island and become the King or Queen of your own paradise? If so, good luck in your quest.

There is a problem with that way of thinking, though. There’s nothing wrong with succeeding financially by running a blog. However, when you have the wrong motivation, you may not realize the success that you could.

Choose a blogging niche

Continue reading “How To Choose A Blogging Niche”

Use Surveys to Build a Deeper Relationship With Your Target Audience

Here’s a net trick.

It’s a way to make your blog more successful. It’s a way to simultaneously find out the deepest desires and problems your target audience has. After all, you want to know exactly what your prospects need and desire, maybe to some extent better than they do.  That can help you form a profitable, healthy, long-lasting relationship with your target audience.

 

Relationship with your target audience

Now, what exactly is this neat trick?  It’s a survey.

Use a survey to build a deeper relationship with your target audience

Don’t worry.  You don’t need to figure out how to set up a survey.  You can use a product like Survey Monkey.  Survey Monkey is free to use, helps you build your list, and at the same time discovers just what is on the mind of your audience.

Survey Monkey is just one of several free and paid survey services. If you don’t want to use Survey Monkey, use TypeForm, Google Forms, Zoho Survey, Survey Gizmo or one of the other top survey tools available. They all ask your audience what they need from you, and have some wonderful tools and accessories that make relationship building on your blog super simple.

Many of those online survey tools integrate with social media and most of the top autoresponder services. The people in your target market feel respected and important, because odds are your competition has not engaged them in such an simple, fun and resourceful way.

Did I mention you grow your list while solving important problems in their lives?

Put free or paid survey software to work on your blog and on your social media accounts, and you will find the relationship you have with your target market becoming healthier as a result.

And now for my own mini-survey.

Question:  Have you ever used a survey to build a deeper relationship with your target audience and build your list by learning about their needs and problems?

If no, try it.

If yes, let us know all about it in the comments below.

Whether yes or no — if you liked this post, don’t forget to share it.

 

 

Don’t Let Blogging Stress You Out

Are you constantly comparing your blog to the competition? Do you give yourself a pat on the back because you think you are doing something better than your competitors? Alternately, do you get frustrated, and chastise yourself, for not implementing some successful strategy that another blogger is using?

If you are “freaking out” about what other bloggers are doing … Stop It!

Don't let blogging stress you out

 

Mental stress causes inflammation which can lead to serious physical problems. You probably have enough stress in your life already. The world we live in is constantly hectic, and you never have enough time in your day to do everything you schedule. On top of this, new problems arise which add to your workload, meaning even more stress. Continue reading “Don’t Let Blogging Stress You Out”