blog contentHave you ever sat and wondered why some blogs gain more traction than others?

I can’t help but envy blog owners who seem to naturally attract reader engagement. Do they have a secret ingredient? Did they spend more marketing dollars than blogs that seem like ghost towns?

Along the way, I realized that there’s no secret sauce after all. Press rewind and try to recall your content strategy or whether you had one in the first place.

Yes, your content strategy matters more than you think.

If a content strategy isn’t tailor-made for your blog, your goals, and your audience, you’re not going to achieve the best results. As your business changes, so should your content strategy.

So today, let’s discuss the ways you can develop a solid plan for your blog. Let’s get started.

Define your goals clearly.

Goals serve as your roadmap, the basis for all the choices you’re about to make in blogging. Do you want to increase brand awareness? Boost your conversions? Improve customer retention? Start with your WHY which can only be answered by setting crystal clear goals.

Remember that your goals should be as specific as possible. For example, instead of saying that you want to generate more blog traffic, specify the amount of traffic you expect and when you expect to receive it.

That way, you’ll be able to come up with a step-by-step process on how to achieve it and the budget that you will possibly invest to speed up your efforts.

Know your target audience.

Time and again, we’re told that a buyer persona is an indispensable component of a successful content strategy. It would basically be impossible for you to craft a piece of content that resonates with your readers if you don’t know who you are writing for.

A blog that thrives doesn’t try to be everything to everyone. They’re not everyone’s best friend. Instead, they are extra picky when it comes to figuring out their potential audience. Now think about the kind of blog you run.

Start with your niche. If your blog is about gardening, what topics might interest them? What are your audience’s current problems? What drives them to take action? Where do they hang out online? Gather your insights by conducting surveys, doing keyword research, or reading forums and Q&A sites like Quora to gather opinions.

Choose a content management system.

I actually wrote a step-by-step guide to building an online presence on my blog Kevin Ocasio. An important step I mentioned in that article was deciding on a blogging platform or a content management system. Having a good CMS that gives you room for customization and is newbie-friendly helps you create content with ease.

While there are tons of content management systems today, I’ve remained with WordPress.org. It’s simpler to manage.

At the same time, it comes with thousands of free plugins that make my blog more functional. Your choice of CMS depends on the nature and size of your business, as well as your experience in coding.

Determine the content format that works for your audience.

When people hear the word “content,” they often associate it with the written word. Content comes in different types, including blog posts, videos, infographics, podcasts, and more.

First of all, try to match your content format with your niche. If you run a photography blog, it would make perfect sense to focus more on videos especially when you’re giving out tutorials.

Having a mix of written and visual content would be great since people are naturally drawn to visuals. However, decide on the kind of content you need to focus more on. You might have to survey your prospects to know what they prefer best.

Consider search engine optimization.

No piece of blog content would be as successful without SEO or search engine optimization. Blogging and SEO should work hand in hand. Following simple SEO strategies positions you in front of your target audience, at the top of Google’s organic search listings.

Keywords are probably among the primary things to consider in blogging. These search terms reveal your audience’s natural language and therefore help you decipher their needs. Aside from using main keywords, take advantage of keyword variations to avoid over-optimization.

Understand your competition in your niche. This allows you to gain solid footing in SEO. Check out their best pieces of content, the social platforms where they maximize their presence, and their backlink profile.

Conclusion

It can be tempting to create blog posts right away without first having a good plan in place. But remember that it is the only way you’ll be able to execute strategies that get real results.

Blogging is a worthwhile venture. It puts you in a position where readers see you as an expert, given that your message appeals to their needs.

If you enjoyed this blog post, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Kevin is a full-time digital marketer and business coach. As a retired marine, he devotes his time helping business owners succeed online.