Content Marketing: Plan Your Topics

by Kristen Burgess
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The next thing in your plan is to decide what topics that you will discuss on your blog.  There are a number of ways to do this as well.  You could just spend a few hours just dumping ideas out of your brain.  If you’re like me it’s going to take more than a day, and probably several.  I know, for example that I’m fresher in the morning than I am at any other time of the day.  So that’s the best time for me to be creative.  If I’m going to do a brain dump, then the first thing in the morning is best and then when I run out of ideas I find that it’s better to leave it to one side for a while.  Then I come back to it whenever I want to.

If that’s what you decide to do, then when you’re finished you’ll want to group the topics together so that you can create some kind of organization out of all that chaos.

Another way to identify your topics is to think of a sequence.  Maybe each week could be a sequence.  You have 5 days in the week, or 6 days in the week that you’re writing.  So you have 5 posts that were all related to 1 thing or 6 posts that were all related to 1 thing.  And each of those posts would consist of a different subtopic that contributes to that larger one for that week.

Let’s say you wanted to create 10 blog posts and 5 articles each week.  The 10 blog posts could be two separate sequences of ideas.  And the 5 articles could be a 3rd.  That way you could talk about 3 related topics simultaneously.  That may sound like a lot of work, but people like sequences.  That approach can show everyone that you’re not just a one hit wonder.  There’s some depth to what you know.

Another kind of post could be a series of steps, or a list of ideas.  Unless the steps lead to something that’s really profound, topics like this probably won’t give you the impact as the expert that you want.  But I’ve seen this type of post on some of the most influential blogs around.  When they’re done really well they can be very effective.  Don’t write to many – you want depth to your blog, too.

Lists are really popular.  They show that you know a lot about your niche.  I have to tell you that the best lists go on and on and on.  We’re not talking about “the 10 best whatever’s” here.  No, we’re thinking along the lines of “the 101 ways to do something.” If you’re going to do this, then you need to think about creating a big list.  There are two benefits for creating really big lists.  The first one is that it produces a huge resource for you.  If you can think of 101 ways to do something, you can probably write 3 or 4 hundred different pieces of content from just that one list.  By answering one of these questions.

What, how and why?  What is the topic, how do you make it work, and why does it matter?

You can do all that with just 100 ideas.

The second benefit is that it will give all of your readers some value.  Most of them will know some of what’s on your list.

Most of them will be able to use at least some of what’s on your list.  But hardly anyone is going to know all of those 101 ways. That means that in all those different things on your list, there will be almost no one who has tried every single one.

Even more importantly, people that come to look at that list, most of them will find that they can use something on there.

Almost no one will find that there’s nothing on there of any use to them.

The list of that sort of length will also demonstrate beyond all doubt that you really know your niche.  And that you probably know it better than anybody else.  The only thing that you need to remember is that whatever content you create must show that you’re the expert in your niche.

Once you’ve done all that, then you’re ready to assign topics for each week.   Remember that you’re still planning.  You don’t want to try to implement any of this until you’re ready. This may seem really tedious, but once you press the button, you don’t want to find out that halfway through you’re stuck because you hadn’t planned something properly.  The reason for that is you’re creating a kind of momentum, once that momentum gets started you want to be feeding content into it on a regular basis in order to maintain it.

You need to decide the pattern for discussing your topics on a week by week basis.  Feel free to add any other notes that you think might be relevant.  Once you finish that you can set it aside for a few days and then come back to it.  Take a look at your plans for each week, revise them if you need to.  Be sure that you fully understand how to use the software and the equipment if you’re going to record audios or videos.

Then go home and get a good night’s rest, because you’re going to need it for the morning!

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