Most practices recognize and appreciate the need to have regular, engaging content on their blog. However, good intentions can easily fail if they aren’t backed up by a solid plan. We aim to reduce that risk by detailing which elements should be included in that all-important content marketing plan.

Set a schedule for how often you will post new content

While most practice websites often include a blogging section, it’s all too common to see that part of the site neglected. Typically, brands start with good intentions but as other parts of the online business take priority, the last blog post may be months or years ago. Even the companies that still have a current blog, posts are often not regular enough to generate genuine and measurable results.

So, you might think that’s unnecessary to set a weekly or monthly schedule for new content and it will just get done. But too often that doesn’t happen and it’s easy to neglect your blogging section if you don’t have definite days for publishing. At the same time, you should be realistic and start with a manageable agenda and scale from there, even if that’s only one new post per week.

Decide what topic areas will be discussed on your blog

Whilst posting on your blog regularly is important, you also want to make sure the content is relevant to your audience. Therefore, within your content marketing plan should be a list of the topic areas that you want to discuss. This will also make the process of writing your blog pieces easier because you can refer to your plan to determine if a certain topic is relevant or not.

The relevant topics will vary from business to business. But the general concept here is to provide value to your audience by writing on topics you have genuine insight on. As with everything in business, the more targeted the blog is, the easier it will be to pick up followers. To determine your key topic areas, ensure you research and understand your audience and that will give you a head start to ensure your posts are engaging.

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Using AI in Your Content Marketing Plan

With AI being integrated into so many aspects of our digital world, I wanted to provide some insight as to how it can be used to reduce your time and energy burden in creating your Content Marketing Plan, and your content itself.

Although I do not recommend using AI to totally write your content, AI can be an excellent place to start.

AI can provide you with a great list of topics, title options, and outlines for your posts. AI is an assistant, not a replacement. Be transparent, use AI, but state it: Written with AI assistance, fact-checked & edited.

Have a method for generating ideas

So now you understand which are the key topics and the type of content your audience will engage with. It’s also crucial to have a method for generating ideas for your blog. Again, this will depend on the focus of your site. But remember in general you want to write pieces covering your business, your industry and evergreen content.

Therefore, when writing this aspect of your plan think about what is happening in your business and how you can create content from it. Some options here might include covering events you are part of, news you wish to highlight or work you’ve done. For industry news, you should have good sources of industry information and keep an eye on online trends. Finally, evergreen content tends to not focus on a news story but on areas where you can provide tips/advice that can generate traffic for months or even years after it’s been written.

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Develop a consistent structure for each piece of content

It’s important to allow your creative juices to flow when creating a new piece of content for your blog. If you have to develop the structure each time, this slows the whole process down and your audience will wonder why each blog differs so widely in style. The bottom line here is generally users like to know what to expect from a particular brand.

If you think about other aspects of your online marketing, templates and structures are very common when it comes to emails and social media, for example. So, the same thing should apply to content on your blog. However, to find the right structure it might be necessary to test some different ideas out and measure the results. Once you’re onto a winner, then your general structure will be set and it’s just the content that needs to change each time.

Ensure you plan your SEO before writing

Assuming one of your main objectives behind writing blog content is to increase web traffic to your site, search engine optimization (SEO) is going to be crucial. Therefore, you don’t want to leave that aspect to chance or try to incorporate it when you’re writing the piece, as with everything it’s easy to forget to do it properly.

At the very least you want to decide on a focused topic with the associated primary keyword, which should go at the start of your title. Planning titles before you start writing is a good habit to get into. Remember with online writing, the key is what users search for. Also, aim to incorporate your keywords a few times within the body of the content. But remember to not keyword stuff, including a keyword twenty times is not going to help your SEO, and makes you look like a spammer.

When you want your online business to grow, it’s tempting to think you want to get stuck into writing great blog content, than spending time planning. However, those plans are key to ensuring your content resonates with your audience and you get the results you want.

This article details some of the key aspects to keep in mind for your content marketing plan. So, before you start writing on your practice blog remember to set a schedule for how often you will post new content, decide what topic areas will be discussed on your blog, have a method for generating ideas, develop a structure for each piece of content, and ensure you plan your SEO before you start writing.

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