Now that you’ve finally started a blog for your school, the next step to consider is developing a plan for what to write next and when to post it. You may be churning out blog posts at a constant pace and getting visitors on your school’s website to read them, but this will only be sustainable if you plan ahead. This is what’s called a Blog Content Strategy. This is the overall plan which can help you organize your content and maximize your blog’s success.
Write It All Down
If you think you’re getting a good number of readers subscribing to your content, then you should realize you can even double that number if you have a written blog strategy. About 60% of companies who’ve developed a written content strategy are said to be more effective than the 32% that rely on a purely verbal content strategy. (source: Content Marketing Institute).
Having a written blog strategy will not only help you write blogs that are timely and more relevant, but it will also help you be more precise in publishing them, thereby attracting more traffic to your school’s website.
By documenting your strategy, you can easily pass your plan around with your staff, especially your writers, and your Content Manager, if you have one. Everyone who’s involved with your school’s blog will be aligned on what’s going to happen next and when it’s going to happen.
I’ve listed down 5 steps on how you can develop your Blog Content Strategy:
1. Identify And Set Your Goals
Let’s start devising your strategy by realizing what your school blog’s goals are. By clearly defining your goals at the onset, you can steer your direction away from distractions and unnecessary actions. The last thing you want is to waste time and resources in creating content that does not align with your goals.
a. How often do you want to publish blog posts? Weekly? Bi-weekly? Once a month?
b. Do you have enough time and resources to support the frequency of your blog posts?
c. Are the number of blog posts you plan to publish enough to maintain interest in your school’s blog?
You should be able to balance out the frequency of your posts with the availability and capability of your writers before you arrive at a realistic arrangement. While you may want to achieve a good number of posts to extend your reach in the shortest possible time, you should first secure your resources’ commitment.
2. Research your Buyer Personas
Once you’ve settled on a practical plan on publishing posts, it’s time to narrow down the topics you can write about.
First, list your target audience’s specific Buyer Personas. Then identify what their pain points, gripes, or problems are. Their persona’s motivations are then made apparent and can be given their respective solutions. You can help them achieve what they are looking for by the topics that you come up with.
Be specific about identifying their pain points, as well as in your solutions. Nothing is more frustrating to a reader than by having their problems identified in your blog but failing to address what they are specifically looking for, in the end.
3. Conduct Brainstorming Sessions
You can also harvest suggestions on previous blog articles that have been written related to your new topics. This makes back-linking to those articles possible.
4. Formulate A Schedule
When you’ve completed your list of topics to be written, you should plot the dates for each blog post. You can compile the topics and their respective dates in a blog editorial calendar. This will help you track everything in one file.
Make it a point to list down the following information in your calendar:
- Topic (It helps if you can create a working title for the blog post)
- The name of any campaign or event the blog is written for
- A list of keywords to be used inside the article for SEO purposes
- Expected submission date of the first draft
- Planned publishing date of the final, edited, and signed-off article
- Name of the person assigned to do the draft
Prioritizing specific topics will depend on whether you have events scheduled by your sales or marketing teams that are related to the blog post. Likewise, if there is a particular theme that has been planned, this will also affect what content should be written and when they should be posted.
Remember, your plans, especially your schedule, are best created a month before their actual implementation. This gives your team enough time to prepare themselves, as well as to be able to react should there be any changes. It is therefore imperative that you create your editorial blog calendar on a platform, such as the cloud, to be shared internally among involved personnel.
5. Write Outstanding Content
You’ve gotten past the first few hurdles of starting your school blog content strategy by identifying your goals, your audience, and timelines. Now comes the fun and often times gruelling part: creating the content.
Write specific and relevant content that’s also well-written, well-researched and rich in media. By media, I mean high-quality images that convey the essence of your post and are not just there as vague, unrelated eye-candy.
Although I’d recommend using several keywords for the purpose of being easily searchable, avoid overdoing it to the point of compromising the quality of your post. You can include keywords in each element of your article, from the headline to your headers and sub-headers, but remain discreet in doing so.
Developing a blog content strategy may seem like a long, tedious process, especially for a team of writers who want nothing more than to sit down and start writing at the soonest possible time. While this may seem to be the fastest, most direct approach to publishing content, it’s certainly not the smartest nor the most sustainable.
When you have a blog content strategy, you have a plan that can save you days and hours of wasted effort on content that lacks focus and relevance. A properly planned blog can help you avoid all that and set you up for more successful posts.
After you’ve gone through the whole process above, you’ll eventually have to do it all over again. Just keep doing it, since accumulating organic traffic is a slow but rewarding process that will benefit your school’s blog in the long run.