So you have that gorgeous looking blog, pat yourself on the back, but the work isn’t over just yet!
Your beautiful blog is empty, a shell of potential waiting to be published upon.
It’s time to kick-start your new hub so that your business can start to grow. The best way to do that is by using content marketing.
How many times have you heard the saying…
“CONTENT IS KING”
Too many I am sure!
This leads to blog owners working their knuckles to the bone just to crank out 100 or more articles…this is ludicrous!
Your content has to be good but it also has to tug at the heartstrings of an audience. Oh, wait, if you have no content then you have no audience.
I’ll rehash my symphony…
You want your content to tug at the heartstrings of your new audience. Epic content is content that has the power to draw an audience like a magnet. I am going to share with you the exact strategy I take to ensure my blog has epic content that draws the right audience in from day one.
You Need To Know Your Audience To Create Killer Content
There is no right post to write!
There is no single way to structure your content!
There is certainly not one type of content that will work in every niche!
The topics you write about and the way you structure them can only be decided once you know who your audience is.
The way you write for a single mother who is unable to work because of parenting duties would be different than you would write for a world class attorney.
If the single mother blogger was to write about using a hacksaw in a way single mothers would respond, do you think it would appeal to bearded carpenters?
How can you work out who your audience is, though?
Let’s say you were to get into the makeup tutorial niche.
Who would buy your products?
It is always wise to look at who would buy rather than read because at the end of the day we will want to make money eventually.
You need to visit your competitor’s sites and look at how they structure their content. You need to see how they write their content. Do they feature reviews, product roundups, news articles, podcast, video tutorials, etc.?
I searched for our keyword in Google: Makeup Artist Tutorials. Here are the results…
Lisa Eldridge’s Blog is up first and at first glance you can see that she writes a lot about different products. So this audience clearly likes to know about different makeup and skincare products.
She features tutorials as well and a roundup of Hollywood Makeup Advice!
Up next is Fashionista and she has written a top tutorials list. This tells us that roundup posts and tutorials are important in this niche because Lisa writes these too.
Next, on the search engine results, you can see YouTube Videos. I think for this niche you would have to get over your fear of the camera. When you see video results, it is normally a sign that there is a big video community…video is an important type of content.
As I move further down the Google results, I see more round up posts.
If I was getting into this niche I would start my blog with…
- One Makeup Tutorial
- A Roundup
- A Product Review — with a video tutorial attached and affiliate links of course.
Spend time looking at different keywords, see what kinds of content show up time and time again. Once you see a trend write down the content types.
You need to pay attention to how the article is written as well. This will help you when you come to write your first article.
What Makes Your Readers Tick
Now you have an idea of how to structure your content, this is only the first part of creating a stunning content strategy. You also know what type of content works well within your niche. Now you have to decide on your article topics for your first few posts.
I would say to begin, you would want at least 10 posts ready to go on your blog. They do not all have to be published but at least all scheduled.
That means we need 10 topics. I always aim for more because you can pull these for content later on down the line.
Your Readers’ Journey
To write content that appeals to your readers you need to know what they want. Why are they coming to your blog, what are they expecting?
Your job, Rockstar, is to take them from where they are now to the point of success!
To do that you need to know what success for your reader is.
DYOB – Take bloggers with a poorly designed blog and teach them how to make it look awesome.
Digital Marketer – Take new marketers to Pro Digital Marketers.
Slimming World – Take people who are unhappy with their weight and help them change their weight.
These blogs all take the reader on a journey. To get readers to make a transaction you need to make them trust you. You have to make them trust that you can get them to the finish line.
With your blog, you should build trust on the front-end content. The first transaction your reader should be faced with is your opt-in form.
Once they are on your list you can up the game and transform them into a customer. In the meantime, you can offer affiliate offers etc… I have used the product review model and it works.
On the blog, you need to offer value that builds your readers’ trust. So before you can move on to the topics your blog will cover, you need to know what your audience is trying to accomplish.
Please do not skip the part about working out your reader’s journey. It is key if you want your blog to be a business. It will help you serve your customers and it is basically your ‘why!’
Why do brands exist?
DYOB exists to teach people to create beautiful blogs.
Digital marketer exists to train digital marketers.
Slimming world exists to empower people to lose weight.
When you blog aimlessly, you are not solving anything! When you know why you exist you can create content that helps you accomplish it.
When you blog aimlessly, you are not solving anything! When you know why you exist you can create content that helps you accomplish it.
How To Find Topics That Do Well All The Time
By now you should have a clearer picture of what you are looking for. It is time to actually generate ideas. Let’s go back to our makeup tutorials blog…
We know that our readers are mainly female, around 18-30 and respond to blogs written in a friendly conversational tone. They like to look at glamorous pictures and learn from watching video tutorials.
From looking at the competitors we can see that tutorials with video, expert/product roundups, and product reviews are the best types of content for this niche.
We know people who visit are looking to enhance their appearance with makeup. They want to teach themselves how to apply makeup to themselves or others to make them feel better about themselves.
Our why is to take our readers from no makeup artist skills to pro makeup skills.
Now head over to Buzzsumo.com and enter your first competitor and see what their most popular article was.
From our example, Lisa Eldridge’s most popular post was #FlawlessFriday Long-Lasting Lip Tips (and 3 of my Current Favourites).
You now know that this is a popular topic. Do this for all of your competitors. This should give you more than enough content ideas to get started with.
You could also search your competitor’s sites for popular posts if you want more ideas.
Your “Look at Me” Content, First Impressions Count
When you launch your new blog you are just a baby. Aw hey, cutie!
You need to make a first impression that makes your readers go…
“This Dude/Dudette Rocks!”
Your “Look at Me” Content really has to be the best you can produce. I would always aim for 3-10 pieces of content before you start promoting your content. When you have content for your readers to browse, you can keep people on your blog longer.
In the long run, this builds more trust and improves your bounce rate. This metric counts towards your rank on the search engines.
If you only have one article people will literally come and then go!
So for our new makeup site we will launch with…
- High-quality article about Long-Lasting Lip Tips, include videos and beat our competitors in every way possible.
- Expert Roundup Post, Best Waterproof Make Up Tips from The Pros. These kinds of posts will do amazing because most of the featured experts will share and link to your article. Great for a new blog, you now have experts that are on your side.
- A video tutorial post about THE Rosie Huntington-Whiteley Gorgeously Golden and Glowy Makeup Look.
By the time you write these three articles you will have content ideas that have proven that they can send you an audience and social shares.
Your Safety Content, Always Have a Backup
You now have your first pieces of epic content but it is wise to schedule at least a month’s worth of posts in advance. Should an emergency hit you, well, your blog is covered. Trends change and if you wanted to write something else you could swap a scheduled piece out and add in a new piece of content.
I actually have 3 months’ worth of content over on my blog. Again things may change, I might decide I want to interview someone or accept a guest post.
Be flexible but be organized!
Let’s Wrap Up
When you start a new blog you need to make the best impression possible. The audience you attract has to match your final goal, especially if you want to make money.
Remember having good content is one thing but you need to get up off your butt and promote the heck out of it!
Are you aimlessly blogging or have you had a stab at creating a content strategy? Let me know in the comments below.
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Wow! Thank you for the wonderful, detailed assistance! I am still in the planning stages – but I plan to pull the trigger on my blog this year. There is so much info out there, I often get overwhelmed…info detailed like this is very refreshing!
I’m so glad you think so Chris, I think Joe’s step by step here is extremely helpful. Good luck on your new blog!
Thanks Chris for your comment!
Overwhelm is crazy nowadays, follow through this and nail every part and it will all start to come together!
I was working full time and now I am a brand new stay at home mum (unexpectedly). Starting a blog is my way of keeping a little piece of me… if you get what I mean. Who knew there was sooooo much to learn when it came to blogging?! The amount of information is actually insane and I definitely feel overwhelmed a lot and wonder why I am doing this. Anyway, thank you for this helpful post. Content is something that I am still nervous about but this post was great.
Hi Nastasia, welcome to the blogging world! Yes it can feel overwhelming at time, but it all takes time. We all started from nothing and over time, we learned little by little. Keep at it, the hardest part is getting started and you’ve already done that. 🙂
Stop for a minute, breath, now consume this!
Overwhelm is something a lot of people struggle with. There’s a new strategy posted everyday. You need to draw your focus and nail what you have and then start adding to it!
Thanks for checking my article 🙂
A catchy image draws attention to your article. Visuals such as videos, infographics, memes, graphs and charts, stock images, custom images, presentations and embedded Instagram images and tweets take your content marketing to the next level. Eventually, thanks for sharing your healthy tips with us.
With best regards,
Images for sure draw attention, but it’s the content that keeps them there. Thanks Amar!
Marianne done an awesome job with the imagery on this one, it feels awesome to be featured on such a beautiful blog 🙂 #DYOBLove!
Thanks for stopping by Amar
Great article! Just reading this crystalized my “why”…content strategy is now underway. Thanks so much for sharing this helpful information. I had a lot of great ideas, but nothing to tie them all together; now I believe I can offer cohesive solutions to my target audience.
Glad the post gave you some direction!
With so much information out there sometimes we just need someone to show us how to put it into practice. I hope this has helped do that!
Thanks so much for your comment 🙂
Such a great post, Marianne and Joe! I just love BuzzSumo, it’s such a versatile tool 🙂 3 months’ worth of content is pretty impressive, to say the least 😉
Isn’t it, Camilla?? I can’t even get one month’s worth!
I haven’t used BuzzSumo yet and really need to get into it, it seems incredibly useful!
Thanks for coming by, great to see you here!
Thanks for stopping by…
Buzzsumo totally rocks, when you use it you can totally transform your blog content and get more traffic 🙂
Thankyou Marianne! I recently stumbled upon your website and I am stuck with you now! You are like a mentor from a distance for me. I used to do blogging back then but I stopped. I wanna continue again but sometimes so clueless what to think of the content/ how to start but I feel like you are guiding me here. So thankful and yes I will be stay here with you!
Stick with it Rome wasn’t built in a day. Great quote from Michael Hyatt…
“You have to experience failure to experience success”
Put these tips into action, you can do it 😀
Oh Irene, you are so adorable! Thank you for the sweet, sweet words and I’m so glad you feel I am your mentor from a distance, I love that!
I can’t take the credit for this post though, it was all Joe – and it is impressive no?
I love the quote Joe mentions here from Michael Hyatt. I have had many failures myself, but you just get back up again and stick to it and you’ll make something happen! <3
Appreciate you breaking down the steps with a concrete example (makeup). It helps me understand the importance of content strategy – and how challenging it is as a new blogger just testing the waters without clearly knowing what my niche is. Baby steps. I think at this point my readers might say, “Check out this parenting blog from a funny mom!” but that’s not really enough. So much to think about. Thanks to both of you.
Oh I’m so glad Joe broke this down in such a great way with the concrete example like you said, Karen. It makes the process so much more real, right? Yes, for sure you need a good niche, but keep thinking about it, you have to start somewhere and so you have. It took me forever to realize what my niche would be but I didn’t give up and here I am. 🙂 You got this girl!
Thank you so much. I’m currently struggling with my blog. I only have one post. I’m doing my blog about anime and manga, which is actually quite popular but I know that many more people are interested in topics which I am not ethusiastic about (E.g.Makeup or Clothes).
Do you have any ideas of how I can make newcomers to my blog more interested in anime and manga?
If you don’t know what manga is heres a link of one of my posts that I tried hard to type.. (http://matryoshkaknows.blogspot.co.uk/2017/05/what-is-manga.html).
Otherwise is there anything else I could improve on? I don’t really know how to engage with readers and audience much so..
Hi Matryoshka, engaging a new audience takes a lot of time, study and patience. This article is a great start, have you followed the steps here that Joe illustrates? I would also do more research on how to get more traffic and finding your target audience. Some good bloggers to follow would be smartpassiveincom.com, byRegina.com and MelyssaGriffin.com. Best of luck on your journey!
I just drop on your page which talks about content. It’s well researched and nicely explained. I read fed para from above and kept the rest for my after office work :).
Thanks for sharing
Excellent post about blog content strategy. It’s really important to share the valuable, relevant and targeted content that helps for branding and good from SEO prospective. You have nicely explained each and every points to create right blog content. Highly appreciated. Thanks a lot.
Great Post! Thanks for sharing it. The design of your own website looks really good. I appreciate your work.
Thanks Sahil, I appreciate that!
Thanks For Sharing This. Loved Your Content