Blog Content Planning
It’s all very well setting yourself up with a swanky wordpress blog and away you go, but what happens a few months down the line when you’ve been really busy and you’re a bit stuck for inspiration about what to write about? That’s when it’s useful to have a trusty blog plan in place. All you have to do is cast your eye over your calendar and you’ll see what you need to write about.
When we deliver blogs to clients, part of this is around planning the content. We sit down with the client and work out some stories they can most definitely write about in the coming 12 months. Once these have been identified, they go into the client’s own calendar so they get a reminder when the content becomes due.
As foodie blogs are hot right now, let’s look at how a foodie blogger might plan their content for the year ahead.
1. You start off with a blank calendar for the year ahead and begin by filling it with seasonal items. In the case of food, you might expect some summer picnic tips around July. Harvest time pickling tips for September. Christmas party food in December. So now we have some spaces filled with relevant content.
2. Now look at your marketing plan for the year ahead. Say this foodie blogger also sells products – a savoury range of sauces and a sweet range of treats. We’ve got to build blog posts into the plan that promote these. At a minimum aim for one post per range, but if you’re really utilising the blog to sell your product, you could include one a month. We’re not talking shameless plugs here. Think about sporting, cultural and other events you can tie your stories into. For example, if the European Cup is going to be hosted in Italy in June, then that’s the time to write a post about your Italian seasonings. French dressings can be mentioned while the Tour de France is on in July, etc.
3. Spread the load. Consider inviting some guest bloggers to contribute. Most people will be flattered to be asked to write, and if you pitch it correctly (ie. “Just give us a couple of hundred words – and you can promote your business”) it won’t seem like an onerous task.
4. Now we’re shaping up. Only 3 months where we’ve no content. Think now about food issues – be political – take a stance on nutrition or obesity or skinny models. Don’t be afraid to have a controversial opinion on a subject, this will get lots of comments flying – and in the case of our foodie blogger will fill up the lean month of January!
5. Now we’ve got a plan for content. Let’s add another layer – this time about type of content. Are you doing text, video or images? I like to use colour to denote posts that will be image rich and ones that will contain video. Including a variety of media can add to the quality of your blog – but if you’re producing it yourself from scratch, it can take time. But if you’re in the business of selling food products and writing about food, you’ll know that we eat with our eyes first, so it’s wise to be including video.
We can’t be talking about food and not show it! One of the best food bloggers around is Niall Harbison. He mixes video with text, and the right amount of images. Here’s a mouth-watering excerpt from his website about rhubarb crumble (one of my favourites):