Welcome to another installment in the Blogelina Writing Series. Today, I’m going to talk about basic content strategy for the web and how using it can give your visitors a more satisfying experience and help you earn money from your blog.
Last week I talked about using subheads to create flow through your posts and in past series installments I’ve talked about the various aspects of writing that you can use to optimize your posts for clarity and brevity. Today, I’m going to launch into something related but broader – the larger goal of using content strategy to direct and improve your blog.
What is Content Strategy?
Content strategy is everything that goes into the big picture of your blog. It includes all of the planning you do for your blog, the articles you write, the design of your blog, the navigation labels you use and how you govern your content. If you are a single-author site, governance may be simple or nonexistent. However, if you run a multi-author site, accept guest posts and have commenting standards you adhere to, then you are most likely engaged in governing the content on your blog, whether you realize it or not.
Why Does Content Strategy Matter for Your Blog?
Even if you are the only one who writes for your blog, content strategy is still relevant for your site. That’s because the goal of content strategy is to create meaningful, useful, cohesive, engaging content. Achieving that goal requires you to identify what content you already have, what additional content you need to create and most importantly, understanding why the content you have (or plan to have) on your site is there.
If you are preparing to launch a new blog or redesign your blog, content strategy can help you make sure you get the most out of your redesign by guiding your research and approach. A good website content questionnaire, even one you fill out for yourself, will help you nail down what type of content (i.e. posts, videos, podcasts, ads, etc.) and what topics you want to address and can help you figure out how to earn money from your blog without alienating or offending your readers.
What are the Elements of Content Strategy?
Broadly, there are four areas of concern when it comes to content strategy:
Using a content calendar is an example of something I’ve talked about before that falls into the category of goals/substance. You can use your calendar to make sure the content you’re creating is accomplishing the goals you have for your blog. The roles and workflow category is helpful for bringing order to multi-author sites while structure focuses on your posts themselves and how it is prioritized. Policies and standards can be as simple as determining how often you will update certain posts and when (if ever) you will retire others.
That’s a very brief introduction to content strategy. I’ll be back next week with one more post on this topic to present some of the best practices for content strategy across the web.
What’s your understanding of content management? What types of things do you do to organize and strategically direct the content on your blog?
Photo courtesy of: Steve Floyd