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Plan Your Content

Whether you own a site and use a blog to promote it, or you run a blog just to write because you enjoy it, you have to plan your content. This can be tough, though, because there are a lot of challenges when it comes to regularly scheduling content. You have to keep it interesting, while not running yourself into the ground. I’m going to go over some tips to help you plan your content more easily and efficiently.

How to plan your content

Setting things up

If you’re just starting your blog, then it’s important to sit down and really consider who you’re writing for. For example, my main site, Creative Beacon, is a design blog targeting graphic designers, web designers, and people who are interested in fonts, freelancing, WordPress themes, and anything in that general realm. While it’s important to have a niche, you also need to make sure that you leave things open enough to give you room for variety.

Determine Your Main Topics

You need to have at least 5 general categories that apply to your niche. 5 Is a good start, and these subjects should each be a general area that falls under your niche, but is broad enough to be further broken down into multiple topics. For example, with one of the main categories of Creative Beacon, tutorials, can be broken down into different sub topics, such as Photoshop Tutorials, Illustrator Tutorials, and much more. WordPress is another category that can be broken down into other categories, such as themes, plugins, and tutorials.

Now For Some Research

The first thing that you’ll want to do is look at what other blogs in your niche are doing. Is there something missing that you can bring to the table? If so, that’s where you’ll want to pump some extra effort. Start with basic topics on the subject and begin writing killer titles, and maybe a blurb about what your idea for this article is. In just a half an hour, you can easily generate 30 articles based on one topic.

The other end of the research venture is keyword research. You’ll want to search for related keywords to your topic, using keywords search tools. There are tons of them out there. They’re easy to find and you’ll want to find what works for you. What I look for when I am doing keyword searches are:

Competition

Competition determines how many other sites out there are trying to compete to rank for that word or phrase.

Global Monthly Searches

Global monthly searches determine how many people are searching for that word or phrase.

The easy way to find what you’re looking for is to export the data as an Excel spreadsheet. Then, sort it by highest global monthly search, so the the most are at the top. Then, look for items that have a high global monthly search and a low competition.

All this is great, because you are looking at SEO and writing for topics that can start getting you search engine traffic over time. Another thing is that the spreadsheet will show you words that you might not have thought of.

Now For Some Good Tips

Get a real calendar

Get a paper calendar. That’s right, a paper calendar. The reason, is because your can write it out, look at it, make notes, all without having to flip through windows on your computer. In my opinion, this is one of the key items to help you plan your content. This is an important visual to enable you to see any holes in your scheduling, so that you can address them.

Write your content ahead of time

You should be writing your posts 1-2 weeks, if not even further ahead of time. If you generate a list of 100 post titles, it shouldn’t be difficult to sit down and crank out a few. Just be sure to go back a day or 2 later and go back over your posts to make sure that you didn’t miss anything in haste.

Have regularly scheduled post topics

It’s a good idea to have certain topics that you write about on certain days. This makes it easy to sit down and write about a topic if you already know what you’re going to write about before you sit down. It takes the pressure off, and makes it less daunting to tackle that part of your day.

Have Free Content Days

Have loose days where you can write about anything related to your industry. this leaves your calendar open for you to write about breaking news, or anything that interests you. Some of your best posts will be the ones where you get to just write about what’s on your mind related to your industry.

Conclusion: Plan Your Content

It’s a good idea to plan your content ahead of time. It’s not only a good stress reliever, but it also helps you develop a regular schedule. Readers like regular posts and many will actually return each week to make sure they catch their favorite posts. Do you have any tips for planning your content? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.