Welcome back to my #Blogtober blog series – this is the last post of the series, and what a ride it’s been!
In this week’s post, we are rounding off the month with a step-by-step guide to creating a blog post plan, and I’ll also be sharing a completely FREE template to help you strategise for blogging success!
Having a blog post plan is crucial if you want to utilise blogging successfully as part of your online marketing. A blog post plan ensures that you always have blog post ideas at the ready, and a clear schedule of publication.
A blog post plan will also ensure you are optimising your blog posts for search engines and will monitor where you have promoted the content.
In this post, I will break down the columns your blog post planner will need to include and how to fill in those columns to create a robust schedule of blogs for your business. Let’s get started
Column 1: Keyword(s)
The first column of your blog post planner should be which keyword(s) you are targeting with your blog content. You will need to do some keyword research to find the right words and phrases to use. Choose one core keyword and 2-3 seed ones which are relevant.
For further advice on finding the right keywords, read this blog post (opens in a new tab).
Column 2: Blog post title
Once you know which keyword(s) to target, you will know the topic of your blog. Write a draft title in this column. You may later decide to change this title once you have fleshed out the purpose and audience of your post.
Column 3: Content pillar
In my recent blog post about coming up with great blog post ideas, I mentioned “content pillars” (also opens in new tab). These are basically categories you choose to sum up the purpose of the blog post. For example, you may be writing a “how-to” style post which could sit under an “Education” pillar.
The name and purpose of your content pillars are up to you, but this column is designed to ensure that your blog post plan contains a mixture of pillar content.
Column 4: Target audience
Do you have audience personas? Enter which persona your blog post is aimed at. Otherwise, write a brief summary of the target reader here. This is to determine if they are an existing customer or potential, and what their wants or needs are from your content.
Column 5: Description
Here, write a brief summary of what the post will cover – there’s no need to be overly specific here, but this column is designed to ensure that you are not covering the same topics regularly. Write 1-2 sentences max.
Column 6: Links/Resources
If you plan on using internal or external links, or research from specific resources in your post, use this column to drop any URLs or ideas. This will make it much easier to come back to at a later stage.
Column 7: Promotion
Where are you going to promote the blog post? Having a reminder of where you plan to place your blog will help you keep on top of the process of sharing your content far and wide! Places you could promote your blog include but are not limited to:
- Your email list
Column 8: Blog Post Status
Use this column to record the status of the blog post. Here are the stages you could use to maintain consistency.
- Drafted – you have drafted the basic structure of the blog post, ready to start writing
- Written – the post is written, so you will need to read it through before scheduling
- Scheduled – the post is scheduled – you could then have a separate column which dictates when the post will go live
- Published – The post is live and out in the world!
- Promoted – You have promoted your blog post where you indicated in your Promotion column
Column 9: Metrics
Once your blog post is “out there”, you will want to keep an eye on its performance. Use the metrics column to record any key metrics such a website traffic and social shares, or create separate columns for each promotion platform to monitor what works best.
I recommend leaving it at least a week after your blog has been shared to record metrics. You could always go back and record metrics once or twice a month to see progress.
Column 10: Notes
It’s always useful to have a notes column for any comments you have about the blog post. For example, if you reached out to other people to contribute to your blog, you could add a note in the notes column to contact them with the live link.
…and there we have it! Now you can create your blog post planner and start forward-planning your content. Putting time aside to work on your blogging strategy and plan your posts will save you time in the long-run when it comes to creating, publishing and promoting your blogs to the masses.
FREE Blog Post Planner Template
Here is the free blog post planner template I promised. It is an XLS spreadsheet you can download and fill in with all your brilliant blog post ideas! For access to more free resources for business owners, click here to sign up.
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