Great, so you’ve decided to create a plan. You have this blog that you’re trying to grow, but can’t seem to get your head around the details.
I’ve been there once, and I believe once you’ve laid out your content strategy, everything will sail smooth in your blog. It will grow just the way you plan it to.
This article helps you prepare the content you need in advance so that you can smoothly breeze through and be productive in your work as a blogger. I strongly believe that if you’re prepared, then half the work is already done.
10 Cool Suggestions in Creating an Actionable Plan
Let’s make a plan, shall we? Pretend like the coach of your own basketball team in which you direct yourself towards the objective. As a blogger, the following tips will aid you in planning your blog posts to reduce the resistance and get past the ever popular writer’s block.
1. Generate Hundreds of Blog Topics
It’s nice to have a huge reserve of blog ideas right beside you. Sometimes, bloggers often worry too much of what they’re going to blog once they run out of ideas. So they head over to Google search and look for tips on how to generate blog post ideas to come up with 10 cool topics.
Wouldn’t it be more convenient if you had at least 100 ready-made ideas you can choose from? Set a day for generating these topics and store them somewhere like in a Notepad, Evernote, or Word document and make sure to place them where you can easily remember them.
Take note, the ideas don’t have to be “bloggable” or SEO-friendly for them to qualify. Just put as much ideas as you can and be creative with what you can bring.
2. Immerse Yourself in Study and Research
If the pool of knowledge is like an ocean, I want you to dive beneath the waters and go as deep as you can get in learning the concepts. It’s always better to start writing with a brain overflowing with knowledge because then, it becomes easier to get the words out. Plus, you will have the freedom to choose the ideas you want to give out.
Researching is simple. You have the Internet in your computer or smartphone. All you have to do is open your browser and read a lot of articles until you internalize the knowledge deep within you.
Don’t like to read? Then go to YouTube and watch the lessons related to your topic instead. Go consume those 1- or 2-hour videos so that you’ll learn a lot. Much better, combine them both (articles and videos) so that you have lots to talk about.
3. Have a Notebook or Evernote Wherever You Go
You might not be always present at work, but your mind is. With this in mind, what if some inspiration struck you while inside the grocery store? What if during leisure time your creative juices started flowing and your brain started to suggest topics or insights to write about? That’s where notebooks, memos or apps like Evernote can help.
Catching ideas will help you generate content you would otherwise forget on the next day. By writing the thoughts down, you can save them for later use. You don’t have to write paragraphs or sentences in your notes. Just words, phrases, or even drawings will do.
4. Organize Ideas Using Outlines or Mind Maps
Structuring content helps make writing easier because it guides your thoughts on what or what not to include in the topic. There are two ways you can do this, 1) is to create an outline, and 2) is by drawing a mind map to illustrate your ideas. It’s up to you which one to choose for your content plan.
I know your thoughts are freely-flowing and you might be concerned that your creativity will suffer as a result of organizing your ideas. But to me, I think it won’t affect you that much. In fact, it can help save your time in revising your articles which translates to publishing faster.
5. Determine the Types of Post You’re Going to Write
It helps to know the type of blog post you’ll be writing. The most common ones you can blog about are how-to’s, listicles, definition posts, reviews, and trend posts. You’ll intuitively know how hard each type will be if you have prior experience to writing them.
If you’re still a newbie blogger, I highly advise that you write different types of articles first. Start off with how-to’s and short listicles (up to 10 items) and see which one is easier to write about and how long it took you to finish it.
At first, it might seem daunting and time-consuming to write these posts. But the experience you acquire will be useful in planning out your future content.
6. Estimate How Long Your Articles Will Be
How many words are you planning to write? 500 words? 1,000 words? 1,500? 2,000+? Content length is important to consider because it affects the time you will finish a blog post. Obviously, the longer your content, the harder it is to work on, but the more beneficial it could be to readers and to search engines.
Again, this requires some prior writing experience to get a good estimate. In my case, I often underestimate the amount of words I put in my blog post (I have a lot to say, you know).
7. Set an Optimal Posting Frequency
Now that you have an estimate of the word count, it’s time to get an idea of how often you want to publish your posts. Daily? 3 to 5 times a week? Once or twice a week? It’s up to you. Just make sure to be realistic with the posting frequency you’ve set up for yourself.
Think of publishing rate as an engine that runs your content business. If you want to be successful faster, then you need to post more often, and that requires a plan that involves a lot of resources. But if you want to go slow, that’s fine as well. Search engines don’t see a problem with any frequency you prefer. Just stay consistent.
8. Organize Using an Editorial Calendar
Editorial calendar is a necessary tool for bloggers to know when to publish a particular blog post. There are many tools that you can use on the Web, and I believe the plugin at WordPress can handle most of the job for you.
Have 100 blog posts scheduled for writing? Just plug it into your calendar and start writing. Place them in the order that makes sense and would agree with the posting frequency you’ve made.
9. Prepare ALL the Ingredients for Your Blog Posts
When we talk about content, we normally pertain to words, sentences, and paragraphs that form a typical article. But if that’s what exists in your website, it will get really boring and readers will simply bounce off your site.
To add more colors and variety to your blog content, you need to add the following elements to your WordPress blog:
- Proper Formatting
- Headlines and Meta Descriptions
- Internal/External Links
- Call to Action
Obviously, you can’t prepare everything and include them all in one post. But the more elements you can add, the more awesome and engaging your content will be.
10. Just Focus on the Big Picture
Forget everything except this advice, for it’s very important to have the end goal in mind with every article you publish on your blog. What’s the purpose of writing the topics you’ve chosen? How can your readers benefit from the information you’re giving? Is your content relevant to your target readers?
Even as a beginner, I’m sure you can take this advice into heart by writing content with intent. After all, would you be motivated writing a blog post that no one will appreciate in the first place?
Having the big picture in your mind will help save you time from doing the wrong things. Decide on which direction your content business would want to go, and make sure you never go off-course.
Plan Fast, Act More
I hope these tips will help you get started in your content creation plan and finally start brewing those blog posts. No pressure my friend, just pick an idea or two for your next batch of content and see if it works for you.
After you get an idea of where you want your content to go, it’s time to do the most important thing: taking action. It’s easy to come up with an awesome blog content plan and be proud of what you’ve done. But ultimately, you want to get the details out of the drawing board and onto the real world.
Upon taking action, don’t be afraid to start small. Maybe an editorial calendar or a mind map is too overwhelming for you, and that’s fine. You can always implement these tools later on.
But if there’s one thing you can absolutely do now, it would be to just start writing. So get out there and write the content your readers are looking forward to!
For more tips on blogging, check out my related content:
Do you have other ways of planning your content? I would love to learn from your experiences by sharing your ideas in the comments below and I look forward to discussing it with you.