In this post, we will take a look at several key steps that you should consider taking when creating a content strategy for your website or educational podcast. If you have any thoughts on this topic or have any questions, please leave a comment below or tweet to us @PodcastingToday.
Are you looking to create a podcast or blog this year?
Do you need a little help pointing your current podcast or blog in the right direction?
Don’t worry … we all have these questions when it comes to our websites.
Usually, when working with new clients, the first question I get is “what will my website look like?” Followed almost immediately by “how do I get more visitors or subscribers?”.
Luckily for you, this isn’t a difficult question to answer, but it does involve taking a few needed steps to help get you pointed in the right direction BEFORE you launch your next website project or podcast. This is why I'm proud to share with you my 6 step content strategy for your blog or podcast today!
So, what are these important steps?
Before we jump into the important stuff, let’s first step back and examine what brought you here to this post in the first place. If you are reading this, you probably are either looking to start a podcast or website or perhaps already have one that you aren’t too happy with.
If you fit into any of these categories and you are looking for help, please take a moment and check out Educational Web Design today.
With just a few clicks, you can make an appointment to speak with me and get your next project pointed in the right direction.
What’s the first thing I should be thinking about?
When starting out, it’s completely natural to think about your potential customers, visitors, or subscribers. You want to know what you can to do to get them to find you. This might seem logical, but it’s really the opposite of what you should be thinking.
Instead of wondering what you can do to bring customers to you, it’s more important to be thinking about what you can do to attract those customers. For this reason, it’s always best to reverse those thought patterns and ask the question “what can I do to serve my community?”
This will then help you create a pretty solid content strategy that not only serves your current users but attracts others as well.
What is a Content Strategy?
Long and short, Content Strategy refers to the methodical method from which you will be planning and creating the various pieces of content that get distributed throughout your network.
Creating a content strategy isn’t difficult but if you want to get serious about attracting viewers and subscribers, you need to have a sit down with yourself and plan this out.
There are generally 6 things that you should be considering when planning your content strategy.
- Think about your avatar
- Determine what your avatar needs
- Identify how you will be meeting those needs
- Prepare a multi-step roadmap for assisting your avatar with their needs
- Create a plan to bring them back to your content a second time … or more
- Repeat the process for a more informed avatar
Where Should You Plan Out Your Content Strategy?
For many, they begin their blog posts and podcasts using a OneNote, Google Doc or another type of digital application.
There is nothing wrong with this, but before you sit down and put a screen and keyboard in front of you, my advice is to always plan globally using good old pencil and paper. A large whiteboard will even work for this type of activity. This way you can look at things both on the micro and macro level and move things around quickly … trust me … you are going to need to move things around. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help with this step from others who have gone through this process.
I’m happy to sit down with you and discuss your content strategy when you are ready. In the meantime, please take a moment and download our FREE Content Calendar Template to help you get you started with your website today!
6 Steps To Build A Solid Content Strategy
1. Think About Your Avatar
Before you put pen to paper, microphone to mouth, or code to the application, I want you to ask yourself the question … who will be consuming this content?
Thinking about your audience is the most important thing you can do. Without this step, you are simply writing down words without direction. If you are writing simply for the love of writing, that is perfectly fine, but that isn’t what we are discussing today. Today we are looking at your AVATAR.
There are several questions you might want to consider when thinking about this topic
- What does your avatar look like?
- What do they do for a living?
- How old are they?
- Where do they hang out online?
- What is the best way for them to consume their content?
These, of course, are just a few of the questions that go into this exercise, but I think you can see where I’m going with this. Knowing who your intended audience is will start you on your path to creating content that gets consumed.
Should you create content for yourself?
This is a difficult question to answer. One one hand, yes, you should create content that you enjoy writing, but if you are looking to build a following, you might consider creating content around a subject that you may not be completely interested. There are many ways to go about doing this. Look for additional blog posts on this subject coming soon.
What is important is that once you come to a general conclusion of who your avatar is and have a picture of them, you need to ask yourself the important question, “what does my avatar need?”
2. Determine What Your Avatar Needs
If you are reading this, and have gotten this far down the blog to be reading this sentence, you are probably seeking something. Perhaps you have a question about how to create content, or perhaps you think you know who your avatar is but need a little bit more guidance. Either way … thank you for reading this far down the page.
I started this blog post thinking about you … yes, YOU! I said to myself, “I have a pretty idea who my target audience is for a blog post of this topic, now, what does that person want to accomplish by reading it?”
After you have your avatar in mind, it's always important to figure out what they want and why they going to be spending time reading YOUR content or listening to YOUR podcast. Perhaps they are seeking answers from your content. Maybe they are looking to find the golden ticket to help them unlock the key to all of their problems. The point is, they are coming to your content for some important reason and it's important that you fulfill their needs or else they might not come back a second time.
For this post, I am guessing you are here looking to create a content strategy for yourself and for this reason, I added a signup a few sections up to give you a free Google Sheets Template. (see what I did there?)
So, how are YOU going to be meeting the needs of your guests?
3. Identify How You Will Be Meeting The Needs Of Your Avatar
As I mentioned earlier, I am betting that if you are looking to learn about content strategy, you might be looking for some sort of visual to get you started and thus, I provided a free tool to help you out. (Did you download it yet?) But a downloadable spreadsheet might not be the best option for you.
There are many ways that you can help meet the needs of your avatar.
- Informational PDF
- Spreadsheet Template
What works for some blog posts might not work for others.
This is why you need to …
4. Prepare a multi-step roadmap for assisting your avatar with their needs
Let's say for a moment that your avatar has a need and finds your blog post. Because you create amazing content, your avatar is happy. Perhaps they even download your free t0ol or consume your PDF or videos. Now what? Your content strategy should be created in a way to help out not just new readers, but those who already are familiar with your product. In the marketing world, we call those “warm” and “cold” consumers.
If someone has enjoyed your content, there is a good chance that they will be back and will be digging deeper into your website. When you are planning your content strategy, it is always important not just to create the “level 1” type of materials, but also the “level 1a” and “level 2” type of posts that cover your content from a variety of areas. Also, don't forget that people might need to learn the same skills from a variety of platforms. If you create a video on something, you might also create a post with a free PDF on the same topic.
Never forget that you are allowed to repurpose your content as much as you like. (Google likes this too!)
5. Create a plan to bring them back to your content a second time … or more
Once you have your plan to create multi-level content, it's time to create your plan to bring them back to you. This is where a good newsletter or email collection strategy should be created before you dig yourself too deep into the rabbit hole.
Have you ever gone to a professional website? Of course, you have. Have you ever seen one that DIDN'T ask for your email?
If these websites are asking for your email they know the secret marketing.
Your money is in your email list!
So many times, I have had conversations with new bloggers and podcasters who want to go out and grab sponsors before they have their first show recorded. The fact is this. If you want to get sponsorship the best way to do this is to sponsor yourself by creating a pathway where your listeners become customers.
Once you have gone through all of these steps it is then time to …
6. Repeat The Process For A Much More Informed Avatar
Just as you are always going to be developing as a content creator, your audience will constantly be evolving. However, your audience will also always be finding you for the first time.
As you learn more things on your content topics, it's natural to take your writing up a level. But, it's never a bad idea to turn around every now and again and write a blog post for those just starting out. Use that as a good opportunity to work on your backlink strategy.
The question in your mind at this point might be, “Does this really work?”
This answer really depends on how much time you want to put into this process. I can give you plenty of stories of very successful bloggers and podcasters who simply wake up every day and do nothing but create content on a variety of subjects and they turn out fine. However is this what you want to do?
If you are looking to bring in an audience that is focused on learning what it is you want to teach them, it's always important to have a solid content strategy. I hope there is something in this post that you can take away for yourself.
Let's Work Together!
If you have any questions, I welcome you to either leave them in the comments section below or reach out to me directly through email or voice mail. I'm happy to find time to sit down and meet with you to plan your next project.
For additional information please visit www.EducationalPodcasting.com.