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Having a content creation strategy can feel overwhelming. Those big words that the “pros” throw out can feel over your head sometimes.
What does that tactically even look like? What actions do you need to take? How do you know what to post and when?…………
How do you know if what you are doing is right or if the content types are even working?
You may be so new to creating content that you might not have any idea what a content creation strategy even is.
When I first started blogging, trying to figure out what to write was hard. I love to have a plan and clear actions steps. These are mystery words and phrases that no one gives an example to make you feel lost and like your content marketing strategy is a waste of time.
I really didn’t know what I was doing and I had not yet found someone who could show me an actual plan. Sure they used the right words but they meant nothing.
I do think you should be somewhat flexible and be willing to adjust when you find a topic that would be really beneficial for your readers.
Without having a content plan set in place you are leaving everything up to chance, hoping that your mind will be ready to cooperate and you can have a post ready for your normal posting time.
Definitely not the most relaxing way to run an online business.
The whole point of creating this lifestyle is for more freedom, not stress.
What Is A Content Creation Strategy?
In short, it is what you are posting and why. That’s it.
You are creating a path with your content that leads your followers and readers to an end goal. Such as buying a product (your own or an affiliate product) or getting them on your email list.
A successful content strategy attracts your target audience at every stage of the journey and keeps them engaged along the way.
Meaning if you want people to buy garden veggies from you. You (eventually) should work towards attracting people who don’t quite know how much better fresh home grow veggies are for them AND the people who are die-hard fresh veggie censures and need a reason to follow you and stay along for the ride.
You start with creating pillar content like blog posts, YouTube videos, and podcasts. Then take small chunks of those pillar content pieces and share those on social. Repurposing is key to not spending your life on your computer.
Then once your readers, subscribers, and followers learn to trust you, then you slowly introduce them to your products and services over time.
But I’m getting ahead of myself… I will get to creating a content strategy in just a bit.
Benefits Of Having A Content Plan
You might think that a website or some form of a content platform that is not on social might be a waste of time or for the “big kids”. But I promise you it’s not.
Producing quality content is a powerful tool in building trust with a new audience and your business sustaining for the long term. I attribute my ability to sell out my litters so quickly to having a website that attracts and builds trust above being on any social platforms.
When your content calendar is planned out you are able to sit down and start writing. You don’t have to come up with ideas. Or wonder what topic would fit for the time of year you are currently in. You will save yourself a lot of stress and be able to write your posts so much faster.
- You are able to see the big picture and make sure it is going to attract the right potential customer.
- You can create a lot of value in a short time.
- It’s easy to get started when you sit down to work.
- You can build momentum in your business much faster.
You MUST KNOW Who Are You Creating Content For
You hear the words target audience, avatar, buyer personas, and a few others a lot, and once again that can be a hard thing to picture and understand.
But really it’s just who should be the one reading your content and who has the problem it could solve.
This is a hard one and takes time to figure out. Like, I’m talking years sometimes before you feel confident in the niche and reader you chose.
I am going to talk about (THE HOW) some different methods of creating products and choosing your topics later right now I am just talking about the WHAT.
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What is something you are good at that you could write about for a long time? Then what type of person would care about it?
Then think about their age and what stage of life they are in.
A woman learning to crochet in her 40s is going to be very different than a woman in her 60s. What they want to make and why they are learning it are two different things.
If you are writing to a woman in her 40s you could write a few posts on finding time to crochet. Whereas the woman who is older would resonate with making things for her grandchildren.
So think of a few issues he or she struggles with, things that are on their mind, and start with those as your content topics to get you started.
Content Marketing Strategy Goal
Ok, so you can’t just go out there willy-nilly hoping to stumble on a money-making blog or business right away. You need to work towards something. You need to have some kind of parameters to work within when you are coming up with content ideas and publishing content.
Here are two different ways you could start when you are content planning.
If You Already Have A Product In Mind To Sell
If you are already producing an item whether it is physical or digital.
This will be much faster and you will likely see money much faster as well. BUT a big con to going this way is you also run into the issue of people not actually wanting what you have to offer.
When you have a product in mind your only job is to create content that leads people to your product. You only create content that gets people into your sphere that have a problem that your product will solve.
My rabbitry is a perfect example of this.
If You Have No Product In Mind
Or you can try a few different topics to see what sticks with your readers and what content the platform you are publishing on likes to see from you.
Then create products around the most popular content you have.
This is what I would call the blogger or content creator approach. This will give you more flexibility, freedom, and likely happiness because you can talk about the content that you enjoy.
When it comes to creating products I like this better because you have more clarity on what people actually want or are responding to. BUT you do have to be WAY more patient with this method.
Two Main Content Creation Business Modules
When you get down to the meat of it there are really two different systems to follow.
You decide on your launch weeks (sales times) and use your content to warm people up to your promotions only. Or you are a content creator where your content is your product.
YOu make money by creating a lot of content around a niche and adding affiliate links, sponsored posts, and products that people might like to buy as well as ad income. In which case themed content would serve you well.
Decide On Your Launches And Promotions First
This one is for someone who is going with the “I’ve already got a product in mind” way. Or someone who is already established with growing their audience and are in the income-generating mode.
Knowing which applies to you will dictate your content goals.
#1 you need to look at the big picture.
What product launches or product sales do you have coming up?
Do you have something new coming in your business that you want to share about and get people excited?
What about an affiliate launch? Are products you are an affiliate for having a sale that you could use to generate income? Is there a way that you could add a bonus to a product that if they buy through your link you could send them something extra?
Most bloggers and business owners plan two to four launches per year.
I think that is a good range depending on the complexity of the launch. One launch every quarter is plenty of work. If you have no idea what you can handle then start with two and build up from there.
#2 mark those launches out on the calendar.
Your open cart (the time people can buy the product) of the launch is typically one week long.
Because you are going to build out your content marketing strategy from there.
#3 Get potential customers drooling over the product.
Then you have what I call an exciting period of about two weeks. This is where you are very obvious about what is coming. Answer objections to doing the thing that you are selling.
- Is it possible to?
- Can people really do x?
- Real-life examples of that thing.
Help potential customers do something that would make them want to take the next step with the product you are selling.
Build excitement with your readers and followers so they are salivating to buy that product.
#4 Talk About The Pain Points The Product Solves
Then there are about four to six more weeks leading up to that pre-launch where you want to be posting content that gets people thinking about the problem your product solves.
For example, if you are going to sell a time management program you start to talk about all things home and time management.
- Talk about struggling to find a planner.
- Working with lots of distractions.
- Get rid of distractions on your phone.
- Some of the top tips that helped you get more done.
Produce content that talks about the struggles people have around that topic. Talk about the things to get your core followers in the mindset of that topic.
Bonus: Tell your audience what’s coming.
I started doing this way back and found it helps increase sales. Especially if your product is going to be more than a few bucks.
Some companies are selling courses or coaching that is multiple thousands of dollars and some people believe it or not have to save up that amount or are not willing to go into debt for it.
… I’m going to say something you may not like.
It’s rude of you to think your target audience can just find a credit card to put it on.
Even if it is just saying ” I am thinking of creating this” In your emails or on your social media even if it is six months from now people can get an inkling of when it is coming and budget for it.
Now for the remaining weeks in between the sales you plan to do you can create content themes like I will talk about in a minute. Or continue to fill in the gaps you find online that no one seems to have a good answer for but fit your niche.
Use Themes To Develop Your Content Creation Strategy
This is more for people who are not launching products on a regular basis and/or are trying to build their audience.
You need to try different topics to see what your platform of choice wants to see from you as well as what your potential customer likes. Because what they need and what they want are two different things sometimes.
One of my favorite things to use in order to help me stay out of writer’s block jail is setting a theme for the month.
Your readers don’t even have to know that you do this but it helps you behind the scenes with decision-making in your content marketing strategy.
If your niche has something to do with the home you definitely what to stick with themes that have to do with the seasons of the calendar year.
When I brainstorm topics I get a piece of paper and write down everything I can think of that could be broken down into smaller topics.
Like home cleaning hacks, time management, planners, exc…
THEN I grab my digital tool and copy over those topics I came up with into my idea bank (you likely won’t be able to publish them all any time soon so you should definitely save them for later) then see how small I could go with the topics.
- Best cleaning supplies for the bathroom.
- Best digital planning apps.
- Planners for a tight budget.
Then type those topics into google and see what people are SEARCHING FOR around those topics. You might be surprised what other ideas you come up with.
Timely Content Is For Fast-Paced Platforms
I want you to remember something.
Creating content that leads up to your launches is for the fast-paced platforms that people see the day it goes live.
This is something that baffles me in the sense that people seem to think this works well on a blog and youtube. While yes youtube is faster at getting views than a blog post these days the amount of people who will see it right away is far less than IG, FB, Or TikTok. You have to assume that these pillar content pieces will bring leads down the road and have a waiting list sign up NOT a sales page for a timely sale.
Blogs are a slow burn even for established bloggers. Google is not going to rank your post for months after your post is published.
The timely content to promote your sales should be for email, Facebook, and Instagram.
If you don’t want to use social or any of the fast-paced platforms you have to be ok with evergreen sales of your own products making it harder to create an influx of cash flow… Ads and affiliate income from linked products are also a good supplement.
Unless you are amazing at choosing keywords I would be creating your content marketing strategy 6 months ahead of the actual calendar year. Because it takes that long to get google to show it to people.
Set A Goal For Your Content
I already talked about setting a goal for your content marketing strategy overall. But here I mean setting a goal for your singular piece of content will help you decide what type of content you should create.
Content Goals Could Be
- Growing your audience.
- Growing your email list.
- Growing that particular platform.
- Building authority.
- Building connection.
From informative will help you build authority in your industry.
Connection content could be things like behind the scenes and videos that show you are still human and not just a cold business looking for a sale.
All of these aspects are important to having a well-rounded content marketing strategy. Whether you are a content creator or a business owner using different content types to fill your content calendar.
Your Content Goal Will Help You Decide What Platform
If you are trying to build a connection writing a blog post that is a story or just a journal-style is not the way to go. Social media platforms do a better job of it. Google is not going to rank something like that if it is not search-targeted. And unless you have a social platform where people will click your links that kind of blog post simply won’t get traffic.
Social media is the place to build connections and share what you are selling on your blog or sales page. But you can also teach and share your knowledge which also builds authority.
Email marketing is very similar to social. It builds connection and you are able to share FAR MORE LINKS and get the click. More than any other content type.
Choose Your Main Platform
Think about what types of content your ideal customer looks up. And what platforms is she most likely to be on.
Does she typically use youtube to learn something? Or does she just go to google to see what shows up and look for the best answer? It’s likely that she doesn’t go to Facebook or Instagram to get her questions answered right?
If you’re tempted to start a podcast because it seems like everyone else has one, or if you want to start a YouTube channel, find first out where your audience is drawn to.
If you don’t create content that reaches your audience or captures their attention, you may waste time creating content that doesn’t get read or shared.
You can NOT do it all. Period the end.
I have tried multiple times and it has bit me in the butt I have wanted to sell the blog and call it quits so many times… and every time it is following me trying to do too much.
Its not a matter of if but when you will end up defeated and feeling burned out.
If you are a solopreneur you have to choose two platforms you will focus on and that’s it.
One platform that is a “pillar content” platform. Meaning the content will live on for a while and not just die off in a few days.
And one platform that is “short term” meaning you are promoting your content on that platform and using it to get more eyeballs quickly. Currently, it is Instagram or TikTok. (Personally, I don’t use TikTok, that is a soapbox for another time)
Choose How Often You Will Post
For a blog the more often you can post the better. The more content you have out in the world the more chances you have to be found. Also the more you post the better you will get. That’s just fact.
As content creators, you have to get good at using the different content types on the platform you have chosen. And you have to simply do that with practice.
But don’t overdo it. If you can consistently do it once a week. Great. Do it once a week.
If you can do it twice a month great! But if you only post once a month or less and expect to see fast results then you are not going to be happy with the results.
Want Me To Tell You How Often To Post?
If you are a blogger that is focusing less on social, make sure you are posting at least 2x per week. This means you need to be writing 1 article every three days.
If you are an entrepreneur relying more on social make sure you are posting daily. Even if it’s just a quick text post on Facebook or a small image update on Instagram to your followers. Keep your account alive and stay top of mind.
How Long Should Different Types OF Content Be?
This depends on what type of content you are creating.
A blog post might be anywhere between 500 words – 1000 words. I have a few posts that are only 600 words that rank well but they are simply answers to questions that I have found people have and google wants answers to.
People are more and more going to google and typing in simple questions to get answers. They are not always looking up huge topics like this post about creating a content marketing strategy.
- If you are trying to cover a topic with any sort of competition you need to be hitting that 2002 wordmark at least.
- A social post could be 50 to a couple hundred words. ( I don’t think people read posts max out captions unless they are your die-hard fans.
- An ebook might be around 2000 words.
- A video series might be around 10 minutes.
Your length doesn’t matter as much as your quality.
And by quality I mean the viewer gets something out of it. These posts that have a pretty images and emojis in the caption…. Um, no that’s not it.
When you are deciding what kind (or how long) of content you are creating take some time to figure out what works best for you and your ideal reader. If she is a busy wife and mom short and sweet pieces of content is going to get better results.
Look At Your Results
Ever wondered if what you are doing is working? It’s not easy to know if you’re creating the right kind of content for your ideal follower or reader. Some days you may not even get a single comment.
I am a numbers girl and this is tough. But you have to remember that people are on social these days to unwind. It’s almost like their “TV time.” They may think what you posted is great but just keep on scrolling and do nothing about it.
I found this out when meeting with my rabbit buyers at the pickup time. They would say something about what they saw on IG and it was something that hardly anyone reacted to.
So how exactly do you go about doing this?
Getting on the phone and Zoom calls are all well and good but people aren’t always honest on those things. They will say they want one thing and do something completely different. People are sick and tired of Facebook behavior but do they quit using it?
You have to look at your analytics on each platform to see what people are actually doing and responding to.
- For websites, it’s google analytics.
- For IG it is your analytics tab. Look at the REACH and Impressions. (remember people are lazy and while likes and comments are good they hardly do that anymore unless they are REALLY inspired or T’d Off.)
- Youtube has its own analytics. Views and view duration are a clue to what people are liking.
Every platform has some way of seeing what people are responding to. Look at what people are doing the lazy way. AND the engagement.
Don’t create content that is a one-sided conversation.
Closeout your social content with a question to continue the conversation. Link up your blog posts with other pieces of content that a person may like. Find a way to keep people on that platform and engaged with YOUR content if the goal of that piece of content is not to buy something.
Tools To Plan Your Content Creation Strategy
I have tried many different systems for keeping track of the topic ideas.
I am all about using what works best for your BRAIN not so much what people say is best.
I am a naturally paper person BUT writing everything on paper makes no sense in this fast-paced world where we are creating so much.
I am loving Notion right now because it combines all the tools into one. You can have spreadsheets. Lists and so much more. You aren’t stuck with one particular way of doing things.
Because hello using trello cards to store all of your ideas is a sure-fire way to create overwhelm.
Other tools that are great are:
- Notion – If you love the flexibility
- Trello – They are great for some people but for me who likes things clean and neat they get visually messy fast if you’re not careful.
- Asana – Simplified version of trello and they give you way more for free.
- Airtable – Not great for large amounts of text.
I still use trello for the rabbitry and as my notes app while on the go. They are great for keeping notes in one place on desktop and mobile. On top of if your phone goes down, you still have your notes.
How Long Of A Period Should You Plan Out Your Content
Try planning your social media content calendar for one full quarter and see what kind of difference it makes. I bet you will be pleasantly surprised. That is more timely and when you are a small farmer or working with seasonal items you need your visual content when that thing happens.
And sometimes nature isn’t cooperating with you. Soooo you have to do your best. Knowing what is coming down the line will help you take pictures and videos when you can and use them at a later date.
A year is too long. Getting a rough idea of want is coming for the year is a good idea but actually nailing down the topics and other small pieces more than a quarter at a time will cause you more work in the long run.
SEO ranking change. Your business goals will change…
You may see a topic take off in the platform search engines and you will want to create more content around that so you can ride the wave of that topic.
Be flexible with your content schedule. Have your content calendar as a guide but not the law. YOu may find a goldmine of topic ideas that no one is creating blog content about and you could be the first one to create high-quality content around it.
Keep A Content Bank
Find a way to keep all of the ideas you come up with, in one place. Most of the online tools have a phone app. And the reason this is so important is the best ideas come whenever they feel like it.
Sure you can brain dump content ideas but that only gets you so far.
You will be driving down the road or at the grocery store and BAM you have a great idea for a piece of content. If you don’t have anywhere to put the idea you will lose it.
Or you will write it on a piece of paper and it will end up at the bottom of your purse. Then get lost when your child colors on it.
Finding the right content system for you will take testing and a willingness to try something new.
Planning your content strategy is a vital part of running your business.
It takes discipline and commitment to do well. But it pays off big time.
Remember to test your strategies and make sure that they are working.
You’ve got this.
The Top Courses I Recommend To Help You Along The Way
**I have taken and purchased these courses with my own money*
Blog By Number
If you love detailed step-by-step this is the beginning blogger course for you. This was the very first blogging course I bought that thought me how to find topics and actually grow a blog.
Five Minut Brand
Branding is not something you should spend a long time on in the beginning but figuring out how to make our website look cohesive is important. These branding kits are a PERFECT way to get your brand up and running fast so you can spend time on what is important like getting content out.
Affiliate Marketing For Bloggers
Again it course is very step-by-step and being an affiliate is going to be the best way to monetize your blog when you are first getting started.