Content marketing is a hot topic in the online publishing world these days, and many bloggers want to create content marketing strategies for their blogs. How do you get started if you're not a professional marketer and don't have the budget to hire an expert to help you?
It starts with creating content that your target audience wants to read. Follow the steps below to learn the five basic first steps you should take to create a blog content marketing strategy so you're sure that you're always creating the right kind of content to reach your goals. Without a strategy, you might waste a lot of time and effort publishing content that won't bring the type of traffic, audience, or results you want and need.
1. Determine your blogging goals.
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What do you want to get from your blogging efforts? You can't create a content marketing strategy until you know why you're blogging in the first place. Once you identify 3-month, 6-month, and 12-month goals (in addition to your long-term blogging goals), you can start to think about the type of content that will help you reach those goals.
2. Research and understand your audience.Who is your target audience? Where do they already spend time online? Listen to their conversations and learn what is important to them. What do they want and need from a blog like yours that you can give them? This information is the basis of your content marketing strategy, because all content should be written for the target audience. If content isn't written for your target audience, then it shouldn't be published on your blog. That's because it can do more harm than good in terms of breaking your audience's trust, confusing them, and making them doubt the consistency of your blog content in the future.
3. Find and research your competitors.
What other blogs and websites publish content about your blog topic? Conduct some Google searches for keywords
that your audience is likely to use to find content like yours. Click through the results, spend some time on those sites, read the content and conversations, and identify the sites and blogs that are directly and indirectly competing for the same audience that you want to attract. Look for gaps in their content and opportunities that you can leverage by capitalizing on their weaknesses and filling those gaps.
4. Identify your strengths, opportunities, and unique value proposition.
How can you fill the gaps left by competitor blogs and deliver extra value that your target audience wants and needs? That value could be provided in a unique way or it might be an entirely new benefit that they can't get anywhere else. What are your strengths and how can you use them to seize the opportunities that exist in the blogosphere? Use that information to identify your unique value proposition, which is the experience and information you provide on your blog that's unlike any other blog or website. For example, your unique experience or view point might give you special insight on your blog's topic that isn't offered on other blogs. Don't be a copycat. Instead, identify your blog niche
and hype your differentiators.
5. Identify the resources available to you.
Your content marketing strategy is only as good as your ability to implement a marketing plan
that enables you to reach your blogging goals. Don't create a content marketing strategy that is impossible to live up to because you don't have adequate manpower, budget, tools, and so on. Instead, focus on creating a content marketing strategy that pushes you but isn't unattainable by matching it to the resources that are available to you.