Knowing what you want to blog about overall can be a topic all on its own. For this post I’ll be answering the questions:
- Do you use a template from another post you see and then just change everything?
- Do you come up with all of those ideas yourself?
I would say it’s a combination of both.
I break it down into steps:
- deciding how much I’ll publish each week
- coming up with topics and headlines
- planning time to write and publish posts
A Special Note: My Favorite Types of Posts
I like to focus on List posts or Reviews because they fall into a simple format.
For example, 5 Simple Tips will be a quick intro, 5 tips with a little context, and then a short conclusion.
My 3 Step System for Creating Content for Blog Posts
1. How Many Posts Per Week
First, I decide how many times per week will I publish something. I like 1-2 times a week and to focus on longer content that adds value. Plus I can stay consistent with 1 post per week. Consistency is better than a ton of posts one week and none the next.
Check out: How Often Should You Blog?
2. Topic Ideas (Hardest Part)
This is kind of the annoying, boring part. But it’s needed, and I only do it about 4x a year if I’m being “good”.
I like to batch my tasks at hand so I stay organized with ideas for content. Otherwise, I’ll end up off topic or not blog at all.
It can be difficult to just say “I’m going to come up with 50 ideas for my blog in this 90 minutes” though. So I realize some brainstorm sessions are better than others.
I paste all of my ideas into a Google spreadsheet for me to come back to when I’m ready to write. I choose one that just suits my mood that day. So scientific I know.
Where do my ideas come from?
I use these 3 ways every time! I do this step maybe 1x a quarter unless my past ideas seem stale and boring to me before then. ;)
- Who am I trying to help?
- What’s the focus of my blog? Can I create posts around it? ex: Health would be: 6 Ways to Improve Your Health In 10 Minutes
- Then keep digging into that idea and get more specific for your reader’s needs
- What do they need help with in their life? Energy, organization, communication, health, spiritual needs, relationships?
- What products or services do I personally use that would help them?
- What blogs and magazines are they reading? Look at those and get ideas from their content
- What problem can I solve for this person?
- What is something I can teach in a “How to” format?
- What is my expertise? What helped me learn that? (Ask friends too!)
- Could I make a series around a topic or popular post? Breaking down into detail pieces of the topic is helpful for readers and increases page views!
- If you have a broad topic like Health or Weight Loss type that word into Google and Pinterest. Then see what the related searches are either at the bottom of Google or you’ll see them at the top of Pinterest.
- Services like SemRush and Moz allow you to type in a word to gain similar searches.
- With SemRush and Moz, you can also see how many people are searching for that keyword and how much competition there is.
Keep an Eye Out
I never want to copy someone, but I do think there are multiple viewpoints to any topic. So don’t be afraid to look at what others are doing and put your own spin and voice into it. Maybe you don’t even agree with an article you read, but you could write an amazing post from your distinct point of view.
Typically this is something I do naturally now and just throw an idea when it pops into my head onto my spreadsheet.
- Sign up for newsletters in your niche – look at how they use headlines
- Subscribe to magazines in your niche
- Mark 1-2 people as “See First” under the “Following” Setting on Facebook to see what they are posting
- Keep an eye on your personal traffic analytics and see what is doing well. Then create content around that topic.
- Look at your Pinterest boards and see what others are pinning in the same niche
3. Plan Time to Write The Posts
Then, I put in my planner when I will sit down and blog. Remember I’ve chosen my topics and even have a headline in my mind from step 3. So I may have ideas of tips or tricks running through my brain between these two steps. This is one reason I stick to list posts and product reviews.
This planned time can be used for either:
- outlining a post
- writing a post
- editing and adding pictures
Templates for How a Blog Post is Written
I usually stick to a 2-4 sentence intro and conclusion with the tips in the middle. I range from 300-1000 words typically, and I include at least 1 picture that includes the title of the post to be pinned on Pinterest.