Blogs are an essential component of any successful business.
- They help drive traffic
- Keep your website relevant
- Give you a platform to connect and share with your target market
But just because you know you need one, doesn’t mean you won’t be faced with a daunting blank screen.
Successfully planning a blog ultimately comes down to organization and idea creation.
Blogs, of course, need good content, and an organized and strategic execution will help that content actually be seen.
So, whether you’re just starting out with a new blog or trying to overcome a bit of writer’s block, here are 10 of our favorite ideas to help you plan your blog’s content.
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1. Focus On Your Brand
A brand is a company’s values, opinions, personality, and style. Consumers interact with companies and blogs because in addition to their products, they can relate to or like the brand.
When planning content for your blog, make sure that it makes sense with your company’s brand. Topics and ideas that don’t align with your brand’s ideals won’t be interesting to your readers and might even alienate them.
You can have all kinds of good ideas that just don’t fit into the brand. If your great ideas don’t quite belong, save them for somewhere else and focus back on the brand.
2. Dedicate Time Daily
Another important aspect of planning is to set aside a specific schedule. Try to dedicate a little time to your blog creation every day rather than working sporadically.
Spending even a little time working on your blog every work day will keep your progress fresh, making it easier to get started and helping you to get more out of your work.
Keeping a consistent work schedule will also improve your feelings of accomplishment, contribute to the development of healthy work habits, improve the quality of your writing and reducing distractions and fatigue.
3. Use A Content Planner
Content planners, like those created by PurpleTrail, are probably the best way to keep your blog updated and organized.
Content planners are specifically designed for blogging success and include designated areas for scheduling articles, tracking metrics and recording audience reactions.
A planner completely dedicated to content management and creation makes it easy to plan ahead for future posts, stay focused on your brand and analyze and identify popular articles.
Content planners are also the perfect place to create your idea brainstorming lists and give you a readily available space to jot down potential ideas whenever or wherever they occur.
4. Pick Up A Pencil
Content planners also encourage you to write by hand. Writing by hand helps your brain to become more actively engaged and actually changes the way your brain takes in and processes information.
All of those changes are great news for content planning. Handwriting topic ideas, portions of your posts, or even just blog metrics can improve recall, boost creativity, strengthen neurological connections, empower organization, provide a greater sense of control, and develop unique and original ideas faster.
5. Discuss and Debate
Another seemingly obvious but often overlooked method of strategizing, planning and developing successful content is simply talking over your ideas with someone else.
This can be discussing potential topics with your customers, going over details with coworkers or industry insiders, or even talking with friends outside of the industry.
Verbalizing ideas makes shaping them easier and sharing your thoughts with others opens you up to new experiences and helps you assess potential shortcomings.
This practice is also a great protection against relying too heavily on industry nuances, keeping you focused on your company’s brand values and customer perspective.
6. Try Something New
Ideas don’t emerge out of nowhere, they come from combining, rearranging and assessing old ideas and experiences in a new way.
Every new experience gives your brain another resource to draw from during critical and creative thinking, making it easier to plan out content, create blog ideas, understand alternative perspectives and design effective strategies.
Trying something new also requires you to learn, engaging your brain and improving your overall work ethic. A new experience doesn’t have to be something big. It can be as simple as trying a new food, taking a different way home or signing up for an interesting class.
7. Take Some Time Off
Ideas, especially organizational or creative ones, tend to form best out of the limelight. The next time your planning hits a mental roadblock put the concern on your mental backburner and go do something completely different.
Aside from being a much-needed break, your brain will actually continue the subconsciously think, organize and work on developing a solution. This works particularly well during activities that require your attention but don’t take a lot of mental concentration.
So, go take a walk, enjoy a nap, clean your kitchen or watch a movie and seemingly out of the blue you might just get the exact idea you need.
8. Dig A Little Deeper
Most of the time our initial ideas aren’t very original. In fact, it usually takes 50 to 100 ideas to come up with something truly effective. So if you want to find a good idea, get the bad ones out of the way.
As your list of ideas begins to grow, you’ll naturally dig deeper into your unique experiences and building something truly original.
Sometimes your winning idea will come right away and sometimes it be the last thing you think of but listing out as many ideas as you can ensure that you’ve found the best possible solution and can move forward with confidence.
9. Review Old Content
Reviewing old posts, either through your content planner or just through your archives can help you pull out ideas that are relevant again. Technology improvements, cultural changes, new information and sometimes even just time passing can cause posts to need an update.
Popular posts and influential topics can also provide reoccurring content as they are tackled from multiple angles. Tracking and reviewing your article’s metrics is a great way to help you gauge popular or persuasive articles and come up with similar topics and ideas that your readers relate to and are interested in reading about.
10. Assess Existing Ideas
While you’re going over old content and planning for future posts, it’s important to remember that almost all ideas have an expiration date. Just like a TV show can drag on way past its prime, an idea expressed over time can start to feel tired, repetitive and overdone.
Every idea has a different lifespan, so it takes real attention and care to see when it’s time to switch to something new. It’s important to remember of course that reaching the end of an idea’s potential doesn’t apply to your brand’s core values and identity but rather to the applications of those values through specific topics and strategies.
At PurpleTrail, we understand that planning a successful blog is a detailed, dedicated and full-time job. We provide content creators with the tools they need to track, create and outline all of their online content.
Our completely customizable and one-of-a-kind planners come in two convenient sizes – 6×8 and 8.5×11 – both of which can easily fit into a purse, backpack, briefcase or day bag. Each planner is dated and divided into sections for goals, stats, metrics, blog topics and more.
PurpleTrail Content Planners also let you choose a custom start date so you can start using it as soon as you’re ready. Visit us today to learn more about how PurpleTrail Content Planners can help you organize, plan and execute an outstanding blog.
Christina Kejriwal is the founder and CEO of PurpleTrail, a custom invitation, planner, and printed items company celebrating the designer within everyone. PurpleTrail helps customers bring their artistic visions to life by creating their own personalized invitations, stationaries and gifts and more.