The 2018 Strategy and Blog Content Planner is the same as last year, but prettier! 🙂 I updated a few examples, and of course my personal one is updated with my new goals. The below explanations contain my own personal experience with strategy and the content marketing research that I’ve done during 2017.
Will you be using a planner this year?
The one big push for me this year will be customer service. There’s no sense growing bigger until the visitors and customers we have are thrilled!
Plan Your Blog Content to Be Strategic (& easier to write)
Since our new services will be small launches this year, it is harder to plan content because there aren’t the pre-determined content topics! So I’m using a monthly theme as well as weekly Question and Answer posts. It still gives me a content plan and will help me stay consistent in 2018.
This here post is the all-time most popular post on WPB for the last 2 years… so we’ve updated the planner to help with blog content planning, specifically.
I’ll use an example of a Lifestyle Blogger for this demonstration. These worksheets are a custom Blog Content Strategy & Planner that I put together earlier to help me think through all that I’ve learned.
Blog Content with Strategy
The worksheets start with annual goals, move narrower to quarterly and then you begin forming content under each month to accomplish that quarter’s goal. And you end up with an entire 3 months of content that is all helping to accomplish your goals.
Example – Cooking Blog
Let’s say I have the goal of earning $100k in 2018. So each quarter I need to make $50k on my blog. Assuming $100k is a reasonable goal for me, I’m probably already making $41k per quarter which is $13,670/mo.
This leaves me with needing an increase of $3,000 per month. Can I get that by increasing traffic and ad revenue in 2018? Likely not. What is the best way to make $3k per month? I likely need a new income stream.
I decide that I’ll start a membership site, offering shopping lists, meal plans and coupons to delivery services, when possible. It is a small site offering $12/month. To make $3,000. I will need 250 members each month.
NOTE: membership sites have a bit of a learning curve. There will be test-drivers and people coming and going all the time. So start small and see what you can manage.
For our example, lets plan on 100 members during the launch, and a growth of 30 each month after that.
To get there, I’ll need some plans/ strategy! I love this part!!
Content Strategy Worksheet
We’re using inbound marketing – when people come to us. We wont be interrupting people during dinner with a phone call. (remember those? Ewww)
Strategy 1: sales funnel
- step one: exclusive giveaways in exchange for email addresses
- a webinar that demonstrates the value of meal planning and prepping
- a limited time deal
- upgrade with a cookbook
Strategy 2: social media party/giveaway
Unique Selling Points / Special Sauce
In this section of the blog content planner, you need to identify the thing that makes you different – the reason you do what you do. This is why people love you!
Using these special selling points, and keeping in mind your goals for this quarter, what are some content themes you can write about?
Blog Content Themes
In this section of our Blog Content Strategy, we identify the themes that are our special sauce.
For example, our food blogger will write about grocery hauls, share kids pre-prepped lunches for the week, one recipe from her meal plan of that week.
Calendar & Planning Content
Using the actual calendar record the major events, holidays or silly things you want to celebrate publicly.
ie: Hamburger Day, Dentist Day, etc
And you’re finally ready to start brainstorming some content ideas. With all this pre-work done, coming up with the ideas for each month is a cinch.
Content Ideas for Quarter 1 2018
I do these by the month. I only publish 4 posts a month but most bloggers will publish far more than that. So add up the number of posts you need, divide that by the number of Content Themes you identified (Our Food Blogger had 3).
Now you record those themes in the Monthly Post Generator. And the number of posts for the month in each theme. Our imaginary blogger posts 3 times a week = 12 posts / 3 themes = 4 ideas in each box. Easy peasy.
Isn’t it more doable this way?
At this point most of us start using digital tools to research and save links and photos. Or to do our outlines, drafts and writing. But in case you don’t I’ve attached a post scratch pad.
TIME SAVING TIP
If planning out your content, you’ll also have the opportunity to get all your images and quotes done at once. So when you’re creating your post image, also create 2 or 3 for facebook and twitter. Create 2 for Pinterest (different styles). And write out your posts if you need group prompts or other social media collateral. It’s so much faster if your brain is already on the topic to do it then.
When I started using strategic content, I doubled my email sign-ups! Be strategic my friends! It works! 🙂