10 Steps To Create A Content Plan

Taras

22 Apr, 2021

10+ Steps to Create a Content Plan for Your Business Blog


The power of content can boost your blog towards achieving the set business goals. If you consider the brightest cases of business growth, you may notice that lots of them are bounded with effective blogging routines. But it doesn't come in a minute, and blogging is not a magic key that will open all the doors just in a moment. It takes planning, time, and some effort. If you take the tips from this article and apply them to your content creation routines, the task would become much easier.

To help your team create an interesting, informative, and effective SEO ranking blog using a content marketing plan for it, we've collected some useful data according to our own experience and successful cases we've studied. Take it as a part of your SEO content strategy to get an exciting result. There are 10 basic tips + 1 extra advice we've generated to make your business blog routines efficient yet simple to perform.

Table of Contents

What Is a Content Plan and Why Do You Need It?

For some companies, a solid blogging strategy is a basis for the entire business success, including the acquisition of potential customers and employees, improving brand awareness and lead generation, increasing the loyalty of clientele, and creating a positive company image. The list could be even longer as it depends on the company's goals for marketing or SEO departments. It’s important to mention that special planning is required if you desire to reach all these goals.

A content plan is a certain schedule of consistent items planned for some period. It contains both dates of planned posts and topics for the content you have the intention to use, references and ideas, keywords and links to be combined in the future text. There are no strict rules about how your content marketing plan should look like, so you’re pretty flexible with the format. But since we aim to make the work routines of SEO, marketing, and content specialists easier, we recommend adding not only the date and title for the future articles, but also keywords, basic optimization recommendations, and article structure. You’ll find a complete content plan template later in the article.

Content Creation Steps

Some may consider the creation of interesting and regular content as a rare gift; still, if you are not such a blessed-by-success person, our tips may come in handy for creating a content marketing plan that would make your business blog bring you desired results. If you think that content creation starts with writing, think twice. We recommend several steps before the actual writing that would make the results brighter, more interesting, and effective for the business and the readers. So, let’s get started.


1. Define the Goals of Your Content 

Write the list of the goals you want to achieve with your content: improve conversions of the website, the necessity to provide your clientele with useful information about your products or services, or, maybe, you want to add some portion of entertainment to keep your audience interested in returning. Always keep in mind that getting traffic from search engines is an obligatory goal nowadays, so this item should be added to your targets as well. At the same time, try to put yourself in the reader’s shoes - they visit the blog to get answers and some useful information to resolve their issues. So, one of the goals of your content will be bringing useful details.


2. Define the Audience and Its Needs 

The next step is to describe a portrait of your target audience. Understanding who you’ll be addressing could help make the writing of SEO content much easier. List the audience preferences, their habits, locations, age, income, etc. Try to imagine what they’re dreaming about, what their motivations are, and who are their role models. Based on such a portrait, you can determine the purpose of the blog more accurately (which correlates with the previous step - defining goals): will it provide answers to the main questions of the audience, entertain it, motivate it to make a purchase, or reveal the company’s secrets?  


3. Choose Content Types 

Modern blogging has invented so many opportunities for business content creators. We wouldn’t suggest you concentrate on memes collections only or stick to business-revealing myths. Take a shortlist of content types that resonate with you the most. In such a way, you won’t lose the motivation to continue blogging and grow further. Here are a few content types that we consider the most potential:

  • Revealing thoughts of your company experts about some hot topics in your business niche.
  • Case studies that describe the successes of your company or the clients/businesses you’re working with. When you show the samples and describe the reasoning for their success, the audience becomes inspired to get similar results. This is the ground for getting new readers that could grow into leads and eventually customers.
  • Video guides on the model of whiteboard lectures with transcribed text from the video below it.
  • Podcasts that could describe certain topics more in-depth. The voice stories can also be translated to text on the pages of your business blog. In such a way, people who like to read and listen would get the desired information.
  • Infographics. Such visual content is a rather old but never boring or ineffective way to give useful information and find new readers.
  • Interviews with the industry experts.
  • If your business niche allows, you can add a bit of entertaining content that could improve the loyalty of your audience.

Eventually, you can stop with one-two content types if they work the best and bring the most results. 


4. Identify Responsible Persons  

Even though content creation often seems to involve only a few professionals, e.g., copywriter, SEO specialist, and a graphic designer, if you choose to create a business blog that brings growing results, the content team might need to grow to the following list of professionals:

  • Content manager;
  • Writers;
  • Editors;
  • SEO specialist;
  • Designers;
  • Videographers.

Don’t be too overwhelmed calculating how much money all these people would need to work happily and successfully, you can start with a skilled full-time content writer, part-time SEO specialist, and editor. When new results would become obvious, add more people to the content team. 


5. Create a Content Calendar, Define Regularity  

This step is rather easy - decide how often your posts will go live. An optimal tip here is to publish 1-2 blog posts a week. The reason for that is that more frequent content posting might cost you much more money. At the beginning of blog development, this might not be cost-effective. If you publish the content less frequently, the audience might switch to other informational resources rather quickly.

Keeping this regularity could be a bit more difficult since you need to know when the new content ideas need to be ready, when the drafts need to be sent for approval, how much time an editor would need for proofreading, etc. Try to put a plan in the form of predictions; after 2-3 first articles, you’ll know how much time is spent for every step in this process. Use tools like Trello, Jira, or Toggl in your team for such measurements. 


6. Research Trends and Make a Competitor Research 

Google Trends is often a starting point in planning your new content items. The tool can give you hints on high seasons, the audience's growing interest in some topics.

Sometimes, the most genuine idea can pop up from something casual, already used by your competitors. By the way, it is a modern marketing trend to raise attention to your product or idea by comparing or just by trolling competitors. Cases of McDonald's and KFC are among the most brilliant examples of content strategy like that. So, don’t be afraid to stay creative and take some fun interacting with the industry peers. 


7. Create Topic Ideas and Find Keywords 

In this step, it’s the right time to create topics for future articles. There are dozens of tips on how to create a title that draws attention and shows good CTR, but we won’t go deep into that. Just don’t forget that your team is a great source for such a goal - ask them for some content ideas. Also, be advised that there are many topic generators on the web.

Create a list of 40-50 titles, then shortlist 15-20 the best ones. This will be the basis of your website content plan.

Build a comprehensive semantic core that would help you to improve site optimization and keyword rankings. We recommend monitoring the rankings using a Google SERP position checker. This is one of the keys to success in the future ranking on Google. Integrate target keywords and their synonyms in posts naturally to make them visible for search engines.

The content plan is a good place to put a shortlist of future keywords for every article. You can take such keywords from the mentioned semantic core. 

8. Pre-plan Optimization Items  

SEO success is defined by proper planning of SEO-sensitive parameters. On this step, it’s high time to create the following plan of actions for every future article:

  • Plan of subtitles (which will become a table of contents) - there can be hints for target keywords;
  • How many words are recommended for the size of the article;
  • Meta-titles, meta-descriptions;
  • Images optimization plan (names of image files with keywords, alt tags);
  • Internal links recommendations;
  • Which keywords can be used in replies to comments.

This will be good ground for SEO optimization and an aid for the copywriters since it’s always easier to work with the ready article structure. So, having a good and thorough plan will help you achieve the desired result. 


9. Build an Amazing Content 

When all prior preparations are done, it’s high time to create the content. This shouldn’t be a difficult task at this stage since almost everything is done beforehand. When the article is ready, proofreading for grammar and language is the editor’s task. As for SEO specialist, the most common pre-publishing checklist is as follows:

  • The number of words corresponds to the given instructions;
  • Subtitles are in place and contain target keywords;
  • Images are in place and have relevant names;
  • Interlinking corresponds to the given instructions;
  • The content is created within the given relevancy. 


10. Distribute 

The success of freshly published content depends upon its initial distribution in many cases. Inform the world that your blog is updated with new useful information by posting in the corporate social media accounts and by notifying your media partners who could post your links on their resources.

New traffic will show search engines that the content is valuable and on-demand. 


11. Measure and Track Performance 

The development of a successful business blog is based on constant analysis and work to improve the reached results. We like using the following reports and tools for content results measurement:

Google Analytics reports: bounce rate, unique pageviews dependency, events for detecting scroll depth, visit duration, clicks on social share buttons.

Google Search Console: performance by the link in the course of a given time.

Bing Webmaster Tools: it also gives some good hints in analyzing your content performance.

SpySERP Rank Tracker provides statistics on how blog pages and/or company landing pages grow by specific keywords in rankings.

Also, it’s a good practice to track how many social reactions have a certain piece of content received. This could be an additional statistic towards deciding on the popularity of a content type and reasoning for future similar publications.

Make results working for you. If you see that some topics work better, try to include them in your content plan more frequently.

Another important recommendation is to track how your content is shown on the internet - does anyone steal it? If you detect any duplications, try to fight with them through DMCA takedown notices. 


Content Plan Template 

Well, after we've considered what should be done primarily, let's check out a sample for the content marketing plan.

It is quite essential to get your checklist for the content plan to operate with it timely and thoroughly. For this, you can create your own content plan template where you'll place all the data. As usual, templates like that include timelines, meta tags info, some references for future content creation, links and anchors for internal link building, keywords, etc. You can also add some columns for the editor's checkmarks or notes. When using such templates, you won't forget anything important or miss some current topic for content generation.

We offer you our own content marketing plan template that can be used for almost every type of business blog. Just take a look and you'll definitely evaluate its convenience and detailing.

Content Plan Template Link

Start planning your blog updates right now, and you'll see the bright sides of blogging lifting your business to a whole new level. 

Conclusion 

Blogs are among the most powerful and influential tools of modern marketing. They help companies get closer to their clientele, increasing listings and sales rates. Blogs also help to improve corporate culture and build company image. A well-planned business blog filled with quality content can bring you ahead of your competitors within the short term. It can be your secret armor and your social lift at once.

What is the secret of success for business blogging? It is its content, no matter what they say. And the team who creates this content, undoubtedly. It is the cornerstone you should start from. So, ten basic steps are required to create really brilliant content. You should start with researching your audience and checking out your customer's bright sides to depict them in the blog. Then, it's time for marketing research and SEO routines that are merely the same you are doing when filling web pages with content that will work in favor of Google ranking.

And when all the preparations are done, it's time to delegate content creation to pros, i.e., copywriters, video editors, photo illustrators, or web designers. You can do some routines, yet it is more logical to redirect some complex content preparations to professionals who will deal with them efficiently and quickly. It is even more essential when you need to combine multiple content types in your blog. You may need the assistance of an experienced video editor or director, graphics designer, even interviewer if your content plan includes interview issues. At this stage, the sample of a content marketing plan is highly required to be your guideline and check-up tool at once.

Even when you get your blog content ready, do not post it immediately. Just check it in several times not to miss any mistakes. Remember that tolerance, fact-checking and different angles of views are your best friends on that stage.

Do not forget about the post-analysis practice. You need to know exactly whether your blog is efficient. Various Google tools will help you to cope with this task.

Make the blog an efficient tool that solves several pains your customer may have. Make it interesting and eye-catching with a thorough content plan that will guide you and your assistants in blogging routines every day, every minute.


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