This is a guest post from Linda Dessau of ContentMasteryGuide.com.
"Reduce your plan to writing. The moment you complete this, you will have definitely given concrete form to the intangible desire." - Napoleon Hill
If you've decided that blogging makes sense for your service-based business or wellness practice, you need more than the desire to do some blogging and get some traffic to your site. You need a blogging plan...
Before you create your own plan, search online for 3-4 blogs in your industry (sometimes it's wise to go outside your field as well, as long as you can apply the learning). Identify the elements that you admire and would like to model on your own blog. Also make a note of anything that you think detracts from the blog.
Seven elements to include in your blogging plan
- Goals: What are the ultimate business goals you are trying to accomplish with your blog? The first post in this series has some examples. Make sure that some of your goals are measurable (e.g., every month you want to book two speaking gigs, sell six books or receive eight emails from prospective local clients via your blog's contact form).
- Categories: What are the broad themes that cover the most pressing problems of your prospective clients? Choose 5-7 categories for your blog. We'll get into this task in detail when we "branch out" in our next post, and we'll cover the others in the following weeks.
- Feature articles: Plot out one feature article per month for the next six months. Aim to write about a different category each month. If you're stuck for ideas (and even if you're not), try the Top 10 article approach.
- Connective content: Decide how you will build on each feature article with fun, creative content that comes naturally to you, whether that's audio, video, storytelling or reviews and recommendations.
- Social media: Consider in which social media environments you and your ideal client are most comfortable and active. Where and when will you be willing to spend some time?
- Schedule: When will you publish your new posts each week? How will you shift your schedule to get your blogging done? What are your best times of day for creative work, detailed work and social connection? Who else's schedule do you need to consider (e.g., a blog editor)?
- Editorial calendar: Put it all together and you'll see how your blog could take shape over the next six months. At any moment, a quick glance will tell you which topic you should be focusing on as you brainstorm and collect ideas throughout your daily adventures in business and life.
Blogging takes time, and so does planning. If you don't have time to plan, are you sure you'll have time to blog? If not, then maybe you should wait. Otherwise, your blog is at risk for becoming a ghost town.
If you are willing to use these tips, I guarantee your blog will be better for it. It may even hug you back.
This post originally appeared on the Content Mastery Guide blog.
Linda Dessau is the author of Write Your Way to More Clients Online and the founder of Content Mastery Guide. Visit her site today for more do-it-yourself blogging tips and hands-free blogging services.
Do you plan your blogging ahead of time, or blog as the inspiration strikes?