“Do you have a content strategy for your blog, or are you winging it?” asks guest-writer Georgina Laidlaw, in a recent post, at the Problogger site. Laidlaw defines content strategy as “a plan that helps your users achieve their goals, and helps you to achieve your own goals, through your web site’s content.” “Content strategy frames content as a tool,” Laidlaw adds.
Laidlaw expands on this definition, by citing Kristina Halvorsen, content strategy guru and founder of content strategy consultancy, Brain Traffic. According to Halvorsen, content strategy includes editorial strategy, web writing, metadata strategy, search engine optimization, content management strategy, and content channel distribution strategy.
Laidlaw offers five steps to developing a content strategy, for your blog. Here are her first two suggestions:
1. Set Content Goals. Analyze what specific need your blog meets for a given audience. What is your blog’s point of difference? On paper, set down how your audience members’ needs align with your business needs. Laidlaw suggests these examples, as content goals: publishing frequency, traffic objectives (per-post, per-month, or per-category), topic emphasis, post type, media used, the quantity and quality of comments, discussions and feedback.
2. Complete a Content Inventory. List each piece of content on your blog, and note its publish date, category, tags, and any other metadata associated with it, Laidlaw advises. Through this process, you’ll get a clear idea of your existing content’s strengths, as well as its weaknesses. Over time, Laidlaw suggests revising outdated posts, incorrectly categorized or tagged posts, broken links, spam comments, and typos. To meet your business goals, work on filling in content gaps that become apparent, as a result of your analysis.
In the complete article, Laidlaw goes on to describe these additional steps: reviewing/revising categories and tags, identifying content tasks and responsibilities, and setting your plan.
Content Strategy Takeaway: Laidlaw shows how you can reshape your blog (and its underlying process and management) to help support your business goals. With a strong strategy in place, your content assets are bound to appreciate—not devalue—over time.