Preplanning Content for a Blog
By Janette Speyer and Katrina McNeill
There are an estimated 31 million bloggers in the U.S., many of whom blog as a hobby, but many others are blogging for business. Every time someone reads your blog, you are given more and more opportunities to increase traffic to your website. The value in blogging is well known, but regularly publishing your blogs can be a challenge. How do we become prepared with content to feed to our audience on a regular basis?
You don’t have to know exactly what you are going to blog on every scheduled blog day, but it helps to be prepared with topics. Try organizing a calendar of topics to help you fuel your inspiration for blog day. You can be as specific or vague as you want to be, just put something on the calendar so that you have a starting point to keep you from feeling like you have nothing to blog about.
How do I get inspired?
There are a few tricks to finding topics for your blog.
- First try using keywords to find ideas. Solid keywords in the category you want to blog about will assist in your search for inspiration on the web. For example, if I were a food blogger and I wanted to look into writing a comparative on vegan dishes, I would figure out which foods I would want to write about through an internet search on vegan topics. I might search “vegan trends” or “vegan cooking in 2012” to help me find an interesting angle.
- Ask around! You can take online polls or ask people in your industry what they want to hear about. You are bound to get a few good suggestions.
- Take a hint from the calendar. You can use what’s going on around you for inspiration. Ask yourself; is it a holiday, is there a major event everyone is talking about, are you in a season relevant to your industry? Examples? Maybe you write a health blog and it’s cold season, so you write about prevention or perhaps you write a mom blog and it’s summer break, so you write about ideas for family vacations.
Knowing what to write
All bloggers should be catering to their audience. Two great tips for getting it right are…
- Start by using analytics to find out what your readers want. This means researching statistics on a platform like Google Analytics and seeing what your readers are commenting on or spending the most time reading about.
- Look at the competition to see what your fellow bloggers are talking about and what their audience talks about online. It’s an easy way to see what people are already interested in and you can expand on it with your own ideas.
Why we do it
If you have ever looked into Search Engine Optimization, you know that Google loves fresh content. This is a huge part of why we blog but beyond pleasing Google, blogging also helps you network, makes you look like an authority in your industry and opens one more valuable online forum where you customers can communicate with you. Take a meander through our Facebook, Twitter or Google+ to see how we utilize these platforms to promote our blogs. The importance of promoting a blog goes without saying; if we didn’t promote our blogs, you wouldn’t be here!
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