Implementation is an Essential Part of Planning
How do you create a content marketing strategy that really works? Let me share an effective strategy that’s centered on your blog. Your blogging creates the core of your strategy. It’s the driving force behind it. In other words, without it, any strategy that you create has no direction and no purpose and no goal.
It’s like a donut. All you do is go around and round and round. But you never get to the center of what you’re doing.
The word strategy means different things to different people. That causes problems of its own. Some people mean to plan. Others mean to plan and to implement. And there are some other definitions, but these two are sufficient for what we’re doing.
Planning is fine as far as it goes. If you decide that you want to travel from Los Angeles to New York, you have to decide whether to fly, drive, take the train, or go on a very long cruise through the Panama Canal. You have to plan what clothing to take. When you want to leave and when you want to get there. You have to decide how long you intend to be there. Is it for a week, a month, or are you moving there? If you’re driving, then you need a map. If you’re flying, then you need to figure out how to get from your house to the airport. If you’re taking the train, then you probably will need to go online to find out what’s available. And if you’re planning to take a cruise, then you’ll need to contact the company that provides that service.
But, you won’t be able to just sit there in your living room, close your eyes, and imagine getting there. Because when you open your eyes, you’ll still be in your house, sitting there in your living room. So planning is key, but by itself it’s not enough.
In order for your plan to work you have to implement it. You have to do what you decided to do. I know that sounds really obvious, but I wouldn’t be saying it if most people did it. The truth is, they don’t. They talk about how great it will be when they get there, but they never take the steps that are necessary to make the journey.
You can plan from now until the last day of your life, but if you don’t do anything about it, nothing will change. You can have the perfect plan, but if you do nothing, you won’t go anywhere. Will Rogers famously said “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”
How could that possibly be? It’s because there are others who are implementing their strategy and they’ll walk right over you. You have to decide if you’re going to get going, or become a doormat for those who do.
Optimizing Your Strategy by Evaluating Your Results
There’s another element though to creating strategy, and many people overlook this. Even big companies quite often fail to do this. It’s that you have to evaluate your results. Big companies look at the results, but they rarely attribute failure to achieve those results to a flaw in their strategy. Usually they blame their employees for not implementing it. But, at the end of the day, it’s the lack of implementation that they blame. That certainly is a valid reason for a lot of people, and I’ve just talked about that. But there’s another side of this you need to think about. If your strategy is flawed, you can implement it all you want, and still not get the results that you’re striving for.
That part is overlooked by many people. Not just big companies.
In this training I’m going to teach you how to not only create that strategy. But, also how to implement it. You have to make sure that you have the right foundation, and practical structure, but you also have to have a plan in place so you’ll be able to do it. You will have to revise both of these constantly in order to reach your goals.
I’m reminded of an instance when I was quite young. (Bruce) I couldn’t have been more than 4 or 5 years old. My father and I were out in a big field, I mean a really big one, it was probably a mile to the nearest farmhouse at least. You know, when you’re only 4 or 5 years old you’re thinking that it could take you a whole day just to walk there. And then another day to walk back.
Anyway, my father was flying his airplane, it was probably one of those early radio controlled designs. And there was another guy about 100 yards or so away who also had an airplane. And this guy was doing his best to fly his plane, but he just couldn’t really get it to work. I think at some point it came in for a pretty rough landing. The guy went over to his plane, he took the motor and all the other mechanical bits out of it, and then he proceeded to kick the rest of the plane to pieces. Now I have to tell you, as a 4 or 5-year-old I thought that was really cool. I took great pleasure in bringing some of the pieces home with me. My dad later told me that there was nothing wrong with the plane. It was the engine and the mechanical stuff that guy had kept that was the problem. You know, the same thing is true here. You need to evaluate both halves. The plan and the implementation if you want to accomplish what you set out to do.
It’s absolutely fatal to assume that you know what’s broken.
What’s the Real Purpose of Content Marketing?
What do I mean by a content marketing strategy?
First, you have to know the goal. What’s the goal? The goal is to attract targeted prospects to you. The popular internet jargon for this is to drive traffic. But driving traffic reminds me of the old westerns that I used to watch as a kid. There would be 1000 head of cattle on the plains, and the cowboys would ride up on all sides, and force them through a tiny little opening into a pen somewhere. And I don’t think that image is too far off the mark, do you? If your idea is to find techniques that will compel masses of people to your squeeze page, then they are in effect nothing more than virtual cattle.
Obviously your prospects are much more than that. They are real people with real problems. They want your help.
That means that you want to attract them rather than to drive them. In other words, it would be something that they want to do – rather than something that they feel they have to do.
What do you suppose makes you attractive to your prospect? The short answer is that it’s your expertise. They want to know that you can solve their problems more effectively than anyone else in the universe. In fact, that’s what they’re looking for. They’re looking for an expert. That means that if you want them to choose you, then you have to not only be the expert, but you have to be seen as that expert.
I want to be sure that you understand this distinction, because it’s critical.
No doubt already you’re an expert. You may even be the best in the world. But if nobody knows that you are, then you’re no more effective than the person who isn’t. You have to be the expert, but you also have to make sure that they know it as well.
In fact, they need to feel that you’re the expert that they’ve been looking for.
Let me give you an example.
There’s a standard rule for writing fiction. It says: show, don’t tell. Telling means what it says. You simply give me a fact.
One of the most famous examples of how not to do this is contained in this sentence. It was a dark and stormy night. This is a cliché among people that write fiction. I’ve seen it in books before. Apparently this was a sentence or something that inexperienced fiction writers used to put in there. And it’s become something that’s so common that we refer to it all the time. It’s a bit like saying that when we’re teaching people online, we say look, if you want to train your dog, it’s that kind of thing. It’s a really common example given when teaching internet marketing. And, of course, hardly anybody wants to train their dog. And fiction writers know that starting off their book that it was a dark and stormy night is not probably a good idea.
Think about it. You read a statement, “it was a dark and stormy night.” That sentence begs the question. How do I know it was a dark and stormy night? The answer is, you just told me. Showing on the other hand describes what happens in such a way that you feel it. You draw that conclusion. I don’t have to tell you because it has engaged your emotions. So for example, instead of saying that the night was dark and stormy, you could say that it was a moonless night, you’re up to your ankles in water, your hat blew off, and the rain stung your face like icicles. That’s showing. When you read that, it makes you want to sit a bit closer to your fireplace, or pull the blanket a little tighter over you.
I’m sure that you’ve seen websites where you’re told how great and marvelous the site owner was. They all say that they care about customers, that they’re passionate about what they do, that they’re there to serve you, that they adhere to the highest standards, they strive for quality, and all the rest of it. But all they’re doing is telling you. And none of us likes to be told anything.
When I was in the Air Force, (Bruce) it was quite common to be told that some new commander was a people person. My answer always was, if he really is, then no one will have to tell me. It will be obvious. If it was true, then I would simply know by watching what he did. And, I didn’t need somebody to tell me.
It’s well known that the best way to get somebody to do what you want is to make them think it was their idea. And one way to do that is by showing them the facts and then letting them come to their own conclusions. That’s exactly what you do, that’s exactly how you show your expertise to your prospects. You demonstrate it by doing what experts do. Then when your prospects see what you’ve done, then they conclude that you are the expert you claim to be. But they’ll never believe it if you just tell them.
Your content marketing strategy helps to show your prospects that you’re an expert so they draw the conclusion themselves.
What Do Experts Do?
What do experts do? In the minds of your prospects there’s something that separates experts from amateurs. It comes from demonstrating, that is showing, their expertise. If you want to separate yourself as an expert from all the other people that are out there, the amateurs, and even the other experts, you do that by showing that you’re an expert. If you’re a new doctor, you practice medicine. If you’re a new schoolteacher, you teach. If you’ve just qualified as a pilot, you fly. The only difference between someone who’s just starting out, and someone else who’s been doing it for years, is the skill that those people demonstrate over somebody else.
But that skill has to be observed. If you weren’t aware of the subtleties between the two, you might not be able to tell the difference.
Let me give you an example.
Some years ago there was a music program on British television that proved how difficult it is to distinguish an experienced expert from someone who wasn’t. The program was about a contest in which several people would conduct a symphony orchestra. Every contestant that was there had studied conducting for years. They attended music conservatories, and they’d all been tutored by the best. All of them except one.
That one had been recruited for the program – I think he was a rock musician. But he didn’t know anything about classical music. I couldn’t believe how naive he was. He had never heard of any of these things, any of these pieces that you and I would instantly recognize. You don’t have to be a classical musician to recognize this stuff. There are some things that are just so common you just know they were written by Bach, or Beethoven, or whatever. This guy had no idea about any of that stuff.
Now you might just think that hey, you know, a musician is a musician. So with a little practice, he could just fake it. He could just pretend he was a conductor and no one would notice. But here’s the kicker – he couldn’t read music! Not a note. He didn’t know a treble clef from a bass clef, let alone a tenor clef. He didn’t know his sharps from his flats. And time signatures? Forget it.
But, over the course of a number of weeks, he memorized not just the music, but the most important thing is, he memorized the pattern of beating time, waving the baton, drawing more volume from one section with one hand, and less from another with the other hand. And he learned how to do it in such a way that he looked like the expert conductor that he would be if he had studied those things. As long as he just heard that one piece, then his brain kicked in and he went through all the motions as if he was conducting it, but he wasn’t. Now if at the last minute music that he was going to conduct had changed for any reason, he would have been lost. But here’s the best part. Since he couldn’t read music, it meant that he had to conduct the entire piece without a score.
I’ve sung in choirs (Bruce) and I have a music background and I can tell you that it’s quite an achievement for a conductor, no matter how experienced he or she is, to conduct without a score. It’s something that most of them don’t do. In fact, only the very best people are able to do this. And for the amateur it would be useless to him for him to have had a score. It would be crazy for him to have a score up there on the music stand because he never would have known when to turn the pages. He couldn’t read the music, so if had tried to fake it by turning the pages, he would have clearly done it more than once at the wrong time.
Now, at the end of the program, at the end of the television program, the organizers, the people that knew that there was a plant in the contest went up to one of the judges and, and up until that time the judge hadn’t really suspected anything. And they asked them if they could identify the phony. And it was only then that the person who had been planted in the program had been spotted. And you know why the amateur was picked up from all the rest? It was because he was too good. It was because he had conducted the orchestra without music. But until that time, this non expert was assumed to be an expert. Just like the rest of them.
This story teaches us a lot about how prospects evaluate us. They don’t ask us for a job history. They don’t ask us for references. They don’t ask us to prove that we’ve got a degree. All they do is look at what we’ve done. What you’ve done. That means that if you provide the same kind of evidence as the established experts do, then you too will be seen as one by your prospects. That leads us to the next question. What’s the evidence? You already know the answer to that. It’s the content. Articles, blog posts, YouTube videos, audio recordings, anything that enables you to communicate your expertise to those who want it.
Why Your Content Must Be High Quality
What separates the content of the established experts from the experts who are just starting out? Well, volume is one. But so is quality. The two are equally important. Established experts have a lot more content online that those who are just starting out, but they also have something that is meaningful to say. You can create the volume simply by doing a little bit every day, and over time you’ll build up more and more. But each time you do it, it has to be your absolute very best.
On one article directory I’ve seen authors rearrange the same information in a half dozen different ways in order to produce that many articles. But that doesn’t demonstrate expertise. If anything it just shows how little they actually know. And it also proves they’re not thinkers. You can’t teach deep concepts if you don’t think deeply about them. At best you can only tell people what you’ve learned from others. That raises a number of questions.
For example, where are prospects likely to see your content? Where do you expect them to go? How would they find you?
I think you know the answers, or at least some of them. The standard way that you and I find anything online is by searching for it. That’s why search engine rankings are so important. If you can get people to see your content instead of somebody else’s, then you’ll have the best chance of attracting the prospects that you want. It’s at that point that the amateurs are separated from the experts.
Experts, whether they’re established, or just getting started, obtain high rankings by producing more high quality content. Amateurs on the other hand use every means that they can find because they don’t have high quality content to contribute.
Let me say that again.
Experts, whether they’re established or not, or just getting started, obtain high rankings by producing more high quality content. That’s the name of the game. But amateurs don’t have any high quality content to contribute, so they use every other means they can think of in order to get those rankings. Did you get that? If you’re an expert, you have plenty say about your niche. If you’re an amateur, then you don’t. Because the search engines want the highest quality content at the top of their rankings, it means that when you produce it, they will reward you by giving those higher rankings. You just have to produce the content.
We need to back up a little bit. Why do you want people to know that you’re the expert?
It’s because you want them to come to your site. And when they visit your site, you then want them to find even more great information, and then join your list so they can learn a bit more about you, and then eventually buy the solution to their problems from you. That’s the goal. You want to help people solve their problems, then they have to buy your products. They’ll never find out about your products if you don’t demonstrate your expertise just like the established experts.
Building Your Content Strategy Around Your Funnel
Let’s recap. We’re looking at how to create a marketing strategy that is centered around your blog. The reason that we’re doing that is so that you can attract targeted prospects to your site. You want them to do that so that they will join your list and buy your products so that they can solve their problems. In order for that to happen, they have to believe that you’re an expert. The only way that will happen is if you create a lot of high quality information and put it in a place where they are looking for solutions. So far, so good.
The next step is to think about where to publish your evidence. The search engines have a website displaying search results, but you can’t write for them, you can’t send them an article, blog post, or recording, and expect them to put it on the first page. Instead, you have to put it where they can find it. So we have to ask this question: where do you want the search engines to find our expert knowledge? Where do you want your prospects to find the information that you’re publishing on the net? The short answer is, everywhere. While that’s a worthwhile objective, you can’t achieve it simply by spreading your content all over the internet.
It has to happen by other means.
Those means, of course, we call marketing. Marketing is nothing more than putting your expertise in front of your prospects. Every time your prospect sees an article, blog post, or video by you, that’s marketing. This is a good place for me to introduce to you a new concept. And it’s central to our discussion of how to create a content marketing strategy.
We call it a marketing funnel.
The shape of it is significant. You’ve heard about funnels before – but maybe you haven’t really thought about it in terms of marketing. Imagine this funnel. It’s wide at the top, and it’s narrow at the bottom. What do you suppose goes into the top? Well it’s all of your marketing activities. Imagine that you’re seeing articles and blog posts and videos and audios and interviews and all the rest of it being dumped into the top. Where do you suppose the bottom of that funnel is pointing? It’s pointing at your blog. Every marketing activity that you do therefor is designed to attract visitors to your blog. And that’s why your blog is central to your content marketing strategy. Your blog will contain your best information. It will be the hub of your expertise. Just as all roads lead to Rome, all of the online marketing that you do will lead to your blog.
You’re probably wondering why I’ve placed so much emphasis on making your blog the central point rather than an article directory or even your squeeze page. There are a number of reasons for this. For one thing, you want every one of your visitors to join your list. That’s because you have no way of knowing which ones you can help, and which ones you can’t. You won’t be able to find that out until they begin to interact with you.
The second reason is, other platforms, such as article directories, want your traffic. That’s because they want people to visit their websites instead of yours. Yes, they probably provide you with a resource box, or a space for your biography, but they’re not doing it just because they’re nice people. They’re doing it because if they didn’t give you that opportunity, then you would have no reason to share your content with them. But ultimately they want your traffic. In order to get the traffic they want, they have to give you an opportunity to get some as well. They would take your content without giving you any traffic if they could get away with it.
The third reason that you want your blog to be the central point in your strategy is because it’s the one place where you can demonstrate your expertise better than any of the rest.
Why Your Blog Should Be Your Home Base
Let me give you an example.
Suppose that you want to discuss a really controversial topic. Each platform has its own “guidelines,” as they call them – they really amount to a list of rules. They tell you what you can write about, and what you can’t. They tell you how long, or how short your posts can be. They tell you what you can put in your resource box too. And many, if not most, have absolutely no place at all for people to interact with you. In other words, there’s no place for comments.
When you have your own blog, you make your own rules. I can tell you – as a seasoned internet marketer that I still have articles that are rejected because they violate the guidelines of one person or another in a directory. I find that really annoying. I know that I write high quality content. It’s a waste of my time to submit it somewhere only to have some minimum wage neophyte reject it over a technicality.
Having my own blog makes that irrelevant. It doesn’t mean that I won’t use the other platforms, but it does mean that I have more control over the content I create. The only thing that could cause a problem is if what I had to say was so bad that my web host closed my site – and that’s not something I’m planning to have happen!
With your blog, you can say what you feel needs to be said.
You also get to decide when it will be published. I mentioned already that when an article gets rejected it wastes my time. One reason for that is that there isn’t enough information given by that platform to tell me what the problem is. So I have to write to them, grovel a bit, and then wait for them to reply. I once had a problem that lasted for 2 weeks. Nothing got published during that time. If I had a blog, it wouldn’t have mattered. The same thing is true for you. No matter what the policies are for someone else, you can just keep cranking out your posts day in and day out.
You can also decide where to put your content on your blog. If you write for an article directory, for example, it appears along with the content of thousands of other people. But if it’s on your blog, it’s just you. And, you can put it anywhere you want to.
If you use guest bloggers, the fact that they write for you just adds to your credibility as an expert.
So your strategy has to be to get your prospects from the search engine results to your blog so that they can read, watch, or listen to the high quality information you have for them. That’s so that they will join your list and eventually buy the life changing products that you’ve created to help them solve their problems.
That’s the foundation, everything is built on that, everything.
On the one hand you have to get your expertise in front of your prospects. But on the other your expertise has to draw them to your blog so that they can discover for themselves that you’re the expert they need.
Why EVERY Piece of Content Needs to be the Best
So the next question has to be, how do you do that?
It starts when you begin a relationship with them. I’ve already mentioned in another training the need to create relationships with your visitors once they come to your blog. But actually that relationship starts before they get to it. It starts when they encounter your content for the first time. It starts when they read the very first article or post, listen to that first audio. It starts then because it’s their first opportunity to meet you.
Think about it like this. The only way the prospects will become aware of your expertise is if they do a search, then click on a link that takes them to something you have done. I’ve said that already.
But it means that no matter how much content you’ve produced, their first impression is going to be with just one small part of it. That’s one reason why everything you do has to be not just the best you can make it, but the best there is.
There’s another part of this that’s even more important: the first article, blog post, audio, whatever it is, it has to speak directly to them. They have to know in their heart that you’ve created that content just for them. That’s because your goal is to begin a relationship with them as soon as they come in contact with you. Then everything that follows will build on that new relationship. You can have no way of knowing which bit of your expertise they’ll come in contact with first. You have to make sure that everything that you create is capable of doing that.
The flip side of that is that if they don’t connect with you for the first time, they probably won’t come back for a second look. This is so important. Everything that you create must be focused on starting that all important relationship.
You can see once they’ve discovered that, and they know that you know what you’re talking about, they’ll start to look for your content elsewhere. They may go back to the search engine results. They may even search on your name. Chances are they’ll eventually find their way to your blog. That’s exactly where you want them to go.
Your Content’s Theme
The next thing that we have to think about is the theme of your content. The best way that I can think of to help you see how important this is, is to show you how some people do this successfully and how others don’t. A good place to see this in action is found on ezinearticles.com.
Now it really doesn’t matter which category you choose. But since this training is about blogging, then you might want to look there… Go to the category called internet and online businesses. Scroll down to blogging and click on it. Over on the right side of the page, click top authors in blogging. You’ll see on the page the names and pictures of their top 15 authors. What I want you to do is to start at the top, and look at the categories where each author has contributed.
What you can do is click on the name, and then scroll down past all the articles then on the bottom you’ll see a list of all the different categories that they’ve contributed to. Most of the time you’ll find that those categories will complement one another. But occasionally you’re going to find people who have written in so many different categories that you can’t be sure what their theme is. That’s a problem. If people can’t recognize the primary theme of your content, then they won’t know if you can help them. Do you see the connection?
Your blog is part of that content equation. In fact, it’s the sum of everything else that you produce. The theme that permeates your content elsewhere on the web has to be consistent with the theme that you want on your blog. Not the other way around. It’s your blog that defines the theme, and everything else must contribute directly to it.
You’re probably beginning to really understand why your blog lies at the center of your content marketing strategy. When people click on a link that takes them to an article or a guest blog post or an audio or a video, if that content is anywhere except on your blog, then it must enhance the expertise that you’ve shown on that blog.
If it doesn’t, it will confuse people. And people who are confused go someplace else where they can find the answer to their problem more easily. They don’t want to have to guess what the solution is. And they certainly don’t want to have to think about whether or not you’re the expert in the niche, never mind the one they need.
How to Implement Your Content Marketing Strategy
Now that we’ve looked at the structure of your content marketing strategy, we need to think about how to implement it. There’s more to it than just creating a bunch of content and spreading it all over the web and having it all directed to your blog. You have to create a schedule, but you have to plan it before you can implement it.
How do you create a schedule?
Let me say first of all that this is really not about time. I know that sounds a bit strange. What I mean is that, it’s not about the amount of time you spend doing it. It’s about how often you want to publish it. It’s the frequency that will dictate how much you do. That will then tell you how long it will take you to do it. You have to start with how often you want to publish your content.
There are a couple things I need to say about this. The first one is that you need to remember that your blog is the focal point for everything you do. In fact, you might want to write that at the top of your plan so that you’ll see it whenever you work on it. It’s really easy to get drawn away from this because to a certain extent all of the different platforms can appear to be equal. What I’m saying is that if you’re not paying any attention you can find yourself directing your blog traffic somewhere else. You always have to remember why you’re doing this.
The second thing is, your primary goal is to demonstrate that you’re the expert in your niche. That means that besides distributing content at predetermined intervals, the quantity can never supersede the quality. With those two things in mind, let’s think about how to structure your schedule:
First, how do you want to make your implementation of this strategy look over the next 90 days? Most businesses make plans for 3 months at a time. How do I know this? It’s because they all have quarterly reports.
3 months will give you enough time to identify trends in your niche without getting bogged down in micromanaging it. It will also give you some flexibility. I should caution you too not to be too ambitious in this first quarter. Things have a way of taking a lot longer than you think they will. You’ll want to use this period of time as a step to help you later on. Remember that your blog is your primary platform.
Next, you need to pick one more. That will give you two platforms to start. Three is probably the maximum you can ever expect to do well, once you’re really in the zone, once you’re really able to create content. You should plan to stick with two as you’re getting started.
Choosing an Outpost Platform for Your Content
Which platform, or outpost, aside from your blog should you choose?
That really depends on the medium you plan to use on your blog. If the content on your blog will be primarily text, choose a text based platform, like an article directory. If your content will be video primarily, then choose a video source. YouTube is the second largest search engine on the internet.
Same thing is true for audio. If you plan to make recordings, choose another platform where you can do that. If you publish a podcast on your blog, it can push out to several major directories at once.
You’re probably wondering, why does it matter whether or not there’s any sort of consistency between the two platforms? There are a couple of really good reasons:
The first one is that you are able to create your content much more quickly if you do it that way. So if you are doing all in text, it’s going to be a lot easier to think about it. It’s much easier to think writing, or to think audio, or to think video, that it is to think writing and audio, or writing and video, or audio and video. Each requires slightly different skills, not only to create the content, but also to upload it. Since speed is a critical piece in order for you to be able to create content, you don’t want to ever do anything that’s going to slow you down.
The second reason that you want to have some kind of consistency is that people want to stay with the same kind of medium. It’s not the sort of thing that’s going to be really obvious. Let me give you an example.
Let me ask you this question: Which do you prefer, text, audio, or video?
If you would rather read in order to learn how would you feel about being forced to watch a video for an hour? Maybe video is your thing, it is for an awful lot of people. The thing is that people who want to watch don’t like to read. I know a lot of people who do not like to read. You can see the problem.
If you mix the media, then the people who want to read probably won’t watch your videos or listen to your audios. People who want to listen probably won’t read what you’ve written. And neither of them will want to watch other things either. That means if you do 2 or 3 in more or less equal amount on your blog, then half or 2/3rds of your visitors won’t get much value out of it. What happens when you go to a website where the majority of what’s on it is of no interest to you? You don’t hang around do you? You leave. Your prospects will do exactly the same thing.
Does that mean that you should never put an audio on your blog if you write for the most part? No, not at all. A little variety is fine. I’ve seen blogs where they have a post, then PDF’s, audios, then video for the post… All created for the same content.
That’s so that the people who prefer one over the other can consume the information in whichever way they want to. But if you do that it means that you’re going to be putting in 2 or 3 times as much work as you are just for the one type. Even if you have the in-house expertise, it probably isn’t a good idea to do this for at least the first 90 days. Remember, you’re still getting your feet wet on this, so there’s no reason to jump into the deep end.
The main thing is to choose what’s going to be easiest for you to do and make that the #1 way that you use for most of your platforms.
You have 2 platforms, choose the same media.
Plan Your Topics
The next thing in your plan is to decide what topics that you will discuss on your blog. There are a number of ways to do this as well. You could just spend a few hours just dumping ideas out of your brain. If you’re like me it’s going to take more than a day, and probably several. I know, for example that I’m fresher in the morning than I am at any other time of the day. So that’s the best time for me to be creative. If I’m going to do a brain dump, then the first thing in the morning is best and then when I run out of ideas I find that it’s better to leave it to one side for a while. Then I come back to it whenever I want to.
If that’s what you decide to do, then when you’re finished you’ll want to group the topics together so that you can create some kind of organization out of all that chaos.
Another way to identify your topics is to think of a sequence. Maybe each week could be a sequence. You have 5 days in the week, or 6 days in the week that you’re writing. So you have 5 posts that were all related to 1 thing or 6 posts that were all related to 1 thing. And each of those posts would consist of a different subtopic that contributes to that larger one for that week.
Let’s say you wanted to create 10 blog posts and 5 articles each week. The 10 blog posts could be two separate sequences of ideas. And the 5 articles could be a 3rd. That way you could talk about 3 related topics simultaneously. That may sound like a lot of work, but people like sequences. That approach can show everyone that you’re not just a one hit wonder. There’s some depth to what you know.
Another kind of post could be a series of steps, or a list of ideas. Unless the steps lead to something that’s really profound, topics like this probably won’t give you the impact as the expert that you want. But I’ve seen this type of post on some of the most influential blogs around. When they’re done really well they can be very effective. Don’t write to many – you want depth to your blog, too.
Lists are really popular. They show that you know a lot about your niche. I have to tell you that the best lists go on and on and on. We’re not talking about “the 10 best whatever’s” here. No, we’re thinking along the lines of “the 101 ways to do something.” If you’re going to do this, then you need to think about creating a big list. There are two benefits for creating really big lists. The first one is that it produces a huge resource for you. If you can think of 101 ways to do something, you can probably write 3 or 4 hundred different pieces of content from just that one list. By answering one of these questions. What, how and why? What is the topic, how do you make it work, and why does it matter?
You can do all that with just 100 ideas.
The second benefit is that it will give all of your readers some value. Most of them will know some of what’s on your list. Most of them will be able to use at least some of what’s on your list. But hardly anyone is going to know all of those 101 ways. That means that in all those different things on your list, there will be almost no one who has tried every single one. Even more importantly, people that come to look at that list, most of them will find that they can use something on there. Almost no one will find that there’s nothing on there of any use to them.
The list of that sort of length will also demonstrate beyond all doubt that you really know your niche. And that you probably know it better than anybody else. The only thing that you need to remember is that whatever content you create must show that you’re the expert in your niche.
Once you’ve done all that, then you’re ready to assign topics for each week. Remember that you’re still planning. You don’t want to try to implement any of this until you’re ready. This may seem really tedious, but once you press the button, you don’t want to find out that halfway through you’re stuck because you hadn’t planned something properly. The reason for that is you’re creating a kind of momentum, once that momentum gets started you want to be feeding content into it on a regular basis in order to maintain it.
You need to decide the pattern for discussing your topics on a week by week basis. Feel free to add any other notes that you think might be relevant. Once you finish that you can set it aside for a few days and then come back to it. Take a look at your plans for each week, revise them if you need to. Be sure that you fully understand how to use the software and the equipment if you’re going to record audios or videos.
Then go home and get a good night’s rest, because you’re going to need it for the morning!