Curate Shareable & Likeable Content: Content Planning for Bloggers and Start Ups

Mark Espanol, Startup Accelerator Alumni, Bootcamp Instructor

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15 Lessons (58m)
    • 1. Trailer

    • 2. How to choose your topic

    • 3. Understanding the Skillshare Handout

    • 4. Google Trends Tutorial

    • 5. Googlle Adwords Tutorial

    • 6. Understanding the Purchase Cycle

    • 7. Content Producer Compilation Tutorial

    • 8. Content Compilation Tutorial

    • 9. Why Automate Content Coverage?

    • 10. Google Alerts Tutorial

    • 11. BrainSTORMING!

    • 12. Why Template?

    • 13. Templating Example

    • 14. Beginning Using Google Calendar

    • 15. Building the Editorial Calendar using Google Calendar


Project Description

Create a 2 Month Publishing Plan of Optimized & Amazing Blog Content

Choosing a Topic

  1. Choose Your Topic!

    When brainstorming for this topic think of the following:

    1. What do you search for on the internet?
    2. What do you like to do in your free time?
    3. If you could learn about anything in the world what would it be?
    4. What was your favorite class in college?
    5. What is your company's industry?
  2. Learn the Google Document Format

    Watch the video "Google Doc Handout." I will explain what each of the tabs are and how you will be using them throughout the remainder of the class. This is where you will be storing all of your information. Of course you can use an excel sheet or what ever floats your boat. If you use your own spreadsheet software please create the same TABS and COLUMN LABELS that I used because they will be refferenced throughout the class.

    Make a Copy with the Following Link

    Skillshare Google Doc Handout

Building a Keyword List with Free Tools

  1. Using Google Trends

    Google Trends This tool is a good start to see the topics in your industry. 

    1. Type in keyword that you believe is related to the blog you want to start.
    2. You can limit your results based on location and time frame by adjusting the settings.  If you want to narrow down by place, select the country or region on the map that you want focus on. You may want to do this if you are only trying to focus your reach into a country that you understand.
    3. Scroll down into [related terms] and copy and paste each word/ phrase into your keyword pool.
    4. Try to add several different terms to expand your list of keywords. You can even restart your search and use one of the keywords from “related” to see if you will generate additional keywords.
    5. Repeat this until you think you exhausted the tool.
    6. Load all keywords into the [Keyword Tab]
  2. Using Google Adwords

    Google Adwords : This tool will help you discover more keywords to add to your list.

    1. Sign up if you do not have an account.
    2. Once signed in, on the green selection bar press the [tools and analysis] button and select the [Keyword Planner]
    3. Select Search for Keyword and Ad group ideas.
    4. Enter your keywords into [your product or service] you can add multiple keywords by adding a comma, but refrain for now and press  [Get Ideas]. The words you should use here are the ones that you got from Google Trends.
    5. Select [Ad group ideas]
    6. After you get the results you should click on [avg. monthly searches] this will organize from high search volume to low search volume.
    7. Scroll down through the list and select the keywords that are related to your topic. Going from top to bottom, you will be pulling what words are most relevant to your potential followers/ customers and are the most searched.
    8. Repeat the following when clicking [Keyword ideas]
    9. Load all Keywords into  [Keyword Tab]
  3. Check out the Additional Resources

    If you would like to learn more about how to use Google Trends or Google Adwords I have attached the links to the tutorials. These tools are fantastic and can be used for much more. 

Becoming an Expert of Your Online Community

  1. Content Producer Compilation
    1. For each keyword, search in google and go no further than 2 pages deep.
    2. Select each website and copy and paste into your Community Page Pool.
    3. Label what Keyword you used
    4. Give 1 word summary of the website. i.e blog, news, company, artist, thought leader.
    5. Repeat this until you have exhausted your keyword list.
  2. Create Master List of Content

    This is going to be the most robust part. But do not be frightened, I promise you that after this experience you will become significantly more knowledgable about your industry or topic. 

    Using the handout spreadsheet , for each piece of content do the following:

    1. Label Title
    2. Label Type of Content
    3. Label Topic Covered: Determine SEO Keyword used regarding post
    4. Save Link for Each Content
  3. Mapping out Content to Purchase Cycle

    For the content discovered from the Create Master List of Content Lesson, organize based on the purchase cycle categories. 

    Awareness: Blog Posts

    Research: E- Books, Webinars, industry Reports

    Comparison: Case Studies, Demos, Customer Testimonials

    Purchase: Analyst Reports, Detailed Product Info

    After you have done this, watch the video "Understanding the Purchase Cycle." 

Automating Content Coverage

  1. Subscribe to Producers

    Here you will subscribe to content producers through the following methods:

    1. RSS feeds
    2. News Letters & Email Newsletters
    3. Blog 

    It is important to subsrcibe because you will be able to keep up to date what your industry is doing and the new content that people will be reading.

    It is a great way to stay on top of competitors but its also an awesome way to develop a relationship with the entire community, which is the real goal of developing a mastery in blogging.

    I like to develop a specifc email address that will help me organize the blogs that I am running. For example I am using powerfulpitches

  2. Using Google Alerts

    Google alerts is a  usefultool. It tracks what new posts have been created based on your list of queries.

    1. Go to Google Alerts
    2. Add keywords that you would like to track into the query 
    3. Select the frequency of your updates. I prefer once a week.
    4. Choose how many results you want. I choose "only the best" option. I try to be on a lean information diet.
    5. Enter your email address. 

Category 5 BrainSTORMING

  1. Insight from Content Pool
    1. Open Up BrainSTORMING Tab
    2. Open the Content Pool Tab and see what types of content are produced, what are the most frequent types of content, and the seo keywords/topics used in content. 
    3. Using that information, you will be in the right mind set when going through the following excercies for brainstorming.

    * By being able to see the entire content pool of your online community, you will have an easier time coming up with new content.

    See the google doc for list of brainstorming methods.

Creating Responsive Templates for Posts

  1. Guidelines on Templates

    A great post should have the following:

    • Great Blog Article Title

    • Attractive Visual

    • Internal Links

    • Subheads Numbers

    • Bullets

    • Bolded text

  2. Template What?
    1. Review your Content Compilation Tab and identify each different type of format/post
    2. Select posts that have good formating to use as a foundation for templating
    3. Build out the template 

    The following are examples of templates that can be created:

    • Bulleted Lists

    • Book, Movie, Product Reviews

    • Photos and Captions

    • Videos

    • How-To Guides

    • Interviews

  3. The Repurpose Trick

    You should keep in mind the following tricks for repurposing content. Make a habit of finding multiple ways to package and distribute the same information in different formats. Here are some that I really liked:

    • Combine text from an old whitepaper with new videos to create a video *multimedia ebook

    • Turn videos into blog posts and ebooks

    • Each video can form the basis of a blog post, that includes a link to the video along with examples and takeaways.

    • Use webinar questions and comments to create an E-Book. Compile the most intersting or commonly asked questions from the audience with answers from your team or answers from professionals.

    • Turn tips into presentations

    • A compilation of your most popular blog posts for a “best of” X E-book

Developing the Editorial Calendar

  1. Create a Separate Google Calendar

    First watch "Understanding Editorial Calendars"

    Create a separate google calendar for this editorial calendar. This is important for people who manage multiple blogs, or use google calendar personally. You want to create a separate tab for each blog you are working on. 

  2. Determine Your Posting Frequency

    Determining your frequency should be based on your ability to publish consistently, but I built this class to teach you sucessful pracitces. The following are some of these practices:

    • Twice a Day (more than 1 per day)

    That frequency has been proved to generate the highest amount of traffic. My advice here if you have a small team is do the following:

    • Hire a bigger team
    • Write blog posts in advance and automate publishing
    • Outsource writing efforts and become a chief editor 
    • A combination of all the above

    Remember that analytics are a lagging teller. The more amazing content you put out there, the more you will be able to test what content responds well to your audience. Simply it breaks down to this:

    1. Put out more amazing content
    2. Test which content your audience likes 
    3. You get to adapt quicker than your less content producing counterparts

    By the time you get the insight, you want to have built yourself a sample size that will reveal more information.

  3. Plug In Your Blog Post ideas

    We will be using the list that we generated in the "Category 5 Brainstorming" Lesson. 

    1. Start with broad categories that define the type of content i.e If you want to publish a podcast once a week, make that a reccuring item on the calendar.
    2. Repeat Step 1 until you cover all of the different types of categories that we discovered in the brainstorming session.
    3. After you have laid out the foundation of content types, go into specifics. A podcast turns into an interview with "x" author of an important book in your industry.
    4. Using the description box, put everything you need to develop that post such as the following: a basic idea of what the post will be about, links to resources, links to the articles that inspired you, and an outline of the post.
    5. Using the attachment option, upload the media that you will use to produce the post, images, and an applicable template that we constructed in the Template lesson
  4. Master Blogging Tips
    1. Use the agenda view in Google Calendar to get a nice list view of what needs to be accomplished in a given week.
    2. Add tasks to your calendar for posts that require more preparation than blocking out time to write. i.e interviews
    3. Add tasks for content team members
    4. Add industry related events to your calendar to help you post time sensitive and relevant articles. i.e fashion week, back to school, holidays
    5. Add a "Readership Request" post on Friday or the weekend to source what your readers would like you to post about. That way, by Monday you can add reader-sensitive content on top of your scheduled post
    6. If possible queue up posts to allow you to write time sensitive posts.

    I like to build a queue of about a weeks worth of content so that I am never pressured and that my posts remain consistent.

Additional Resources

Student Projects