Have you ever felt clueless about ideas for your blog? Are you dissatisfied with your content's results in terms of customer retention? Fortunately, the answer is about working smarter, not harder.
Meera Kothand, a freelance writer turned digital marketing strategist, has a solution that only takes an hour of your time. Her book, "The One Hour Content Plan" (Amazon Digital Services, 2017), helps solotrepenuers brainstorm an entire year's worth of blog post ideas in under 60 minutes.
Kothand told Business News Daily that the book was inspired by a single question her clients asked her over and over again: "How do I come up with content ideas?" When she launched her business website two years ago, she struggled with the same question.
"I was compelled to publish articles that were getting traction, but at the end of the day, it didn't add to my revenue or bottom line," Kothand explained. "Even if you're able to convert that traffic, but not able to turn it into income or revenue, then it's kind of wasted in a sense."
Over time, she practiced and honed the strategies with the best results. That's why she doesn't just concentrate on producing constant content to publish and giving your brand a unique voice, but also focuses on using content traffic to drive sales and ultimately, generate income.
"The One Hour Content Plan" also serves as workbook, which includes several blank templates to guide you through speedy content creation. She developed these templates from her own experience creating content for her blog.
One template asks readers to compile five to seven "content buckets"—or categories—that serve your blog's purpose. To break up content, Kothand suggests to consider who you're actually helping and how exactly your business helps your targeted audience. As a general rule, each content bucket should relate back to your business in some way.
Next, the template instructs to choose three content buckets and write them down again. Then, list up to six sub-categories for each category.
"Let's say you have a meal-planning service," Kothand said. "Subcategories could be like how to save time, healthy ingredients, [and] feeding a family of five on a budget."
The next template included in the book takes the process a set further and asks the reader to transform those sub-categories into blog post.
"This makes sure you don't leave out any aspect of a content topic," Kothand added.
The E.O.G. approaches
Kothand employs what she calls the E.O.G. —"Expert, Offer, Goal"— approaches to instantly brainstorm content ideas. Your content should aim to do one of the following: help the reader become an expert in a specific niche; offer ways your business can help solve common problems the reader experiences; or be closely connected to your businesses goals.
Here are some examples of how each approach can be used to generate ideas for blog posts.
- Expert: This approach orients on how your reader can become an expert in a topic and is most useful when you aren't offering a specific product or service. Answer the question: "What does the reader need to know to become proficient in this category?"
- Offer: This approach helps you sell products and/or services. However, you need to identify problems your reader can experience, even when they're unaware such problems exist. Content will then offer solutions to how your business can best remedy those problems.
- Goal: This approach focuses on a specific business goal. For example, if your quarterly goal is to increase your email subscriber list by 500, set a goal to contribute four guest posts by the end of the quarter. That way, your content serves as outreach on other blogs platforms to reach a wider audience in a short amount of time. To learn more about writing guests posts, check out our guide.
Don't stop just after that single hour you sit down to brainstorm, either. These techniques can be employed in the long-run as you continue to strategize blog content. While the book provides you with a year's worth of ideas, Kothand recommends testing out your new content plan for the next six months and revisiting the plan again afterwards. This mid-year opportunity also allows you to reflect on which articles were most or least successful in generating income.