Content is the cornerstone of any successful blog; however, staying consistent when it comes to blogging is much easier said than done. This is especially true if we’re working to rank for high-volume keywords or exist in a fiercely competitive niche.
Perhaps one of the biggest hurdles of content creation is coming up with fresh ideas. When our topics are stale, our motivation to write suffers and therefore our production drops. By having consistently fresh ideas at your fingertips, you’re better poised to stay motivated and build a hungry readership who seeks you out rather than reading the same rehashed posts.
At the end of the day, much of our success comes down to our organization.
Think about it: you can’t to simply fire blindly with your blog and hope that something sticks. Instead of taking a haphazardly “anything-goes” approach to content creation, set yourself up for success and stop scrambling for ideas.
But how can we consistently craft posts that hit it out of the park?
Have a Schedule (and Stick to It)
Neil Patel’s guide to blogging outlines many of the essentials when it comes to organizing our thoughts and ideas. Patel himself has built an empire out of killer content and recommends coming up with a content schedule and sticking to it. The benefits of such a schedule are threefold:
- Having a schedule helps you recall what you’ve written about what you haven’t, ensuring that your blog doesn’t get redundant
- By laying out your existing and future content, you can clearly see opportunities to thematically interlink your posts
- Sticking to a schedule keeps your budget in check, ensuring that you don’t spend too much or too little on content creation
By actually planning out what you’re going to write about beforehand, you can ultimately decide whether or not a topic is worth pursuing for the sake of your readership and yourself.
Have the Ideas Come to You
Instead of having to scramble for ideas that your readership is hungry for, wouldn’t it be great if such ideas could come to you instead?
Thankfully, they can.
Sometimes creating great content is less about what you know and more about who you know. By following influencers and gurus within your space on platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, you can draw from their discussions and links to determine what users in your space are talking about. By looking at their conversations and popular articles within your niche, you have a constant influx of new ideas on a daily basis.
Likewise, consider how you can use your keyword research to come up with content. If there’s a long-tail keyword that isn’t being targeted by you competitors, for example, why not start there for fresh ideas?
Outline Your Posts Beforehand
There is no single “correct” way to outline a blog post. This is especially true in an age of listicles which tend to vary wildly in format.
However, you should always strive to outline your post before writing. Firstly, this allows you to organize your thoughts and envision a post before you put the effort into writing it. This allows you to make sure that you touch on all of your desired points, keywords and so on. Crafting a “rough draft” of your post helps you understand whether or not it’s worth the commitment of writing in full.
Likewise, you can format your post beforehand to help organize your thoughts. For example, consider how you can integrate the following:
- A hook at the beginning of your post to grab your reader’s attention (such as a shocking statistic or quote)
- A body that flows, either through sub-headers, bullet points and lists that improve the readability of your content
- A definitive ending or call-to-action, giving your readers peace of mind and something to do once they’re done reading
Beyond envisioning your posts, outlining your content beforehand allows you to take a step back from your writing and approach your post with a fresh mind.
Creating content can be tough; however, it doesn’t have to be a grind. By planning ahead and working to have ideas come to you, blogging becomes less of a chore and more of a habit as you consistently put out content that readers actually want.