You’ve learned why you definitely need a blog for your business and how to identify your niche and find your target audience. The next step before you actually start writing for your blog is to think of what you’re going to include on your blog. Read on to discover how to brainstorm content ideas and develop the categories of your blog.
What is the purpose of your blog?
Your blog will exist for a purpose. The beauty of a blog is that it can be anything you want it to be. Think of what you want to reveal to your audience about your brand. What do you want to teach your potential clients or readers?What is the goal behind your blog?
Let’s consider the example of the Humble & Whole blog. It exists to encourage and educate Christian women interested in online business and blogging how to get started. The blog also provides holistic entrepreneur support, with content that is about strengthening faith in God, the entrepreneur lifestyle, and personal development.
The mission of the Humble & Whole blog gave birth to our categories of blogging, business, faith, lifestyle, and growth. It helps to use the mission statement of your brand to guide the content of your blog. This ensures that your blog posts stay on topic and align with the core values of your brand.
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Why are categories important?
Your blog should clearly identify what sort of content can be found. Unorganized and cluttered websites will not encourage visitors to return. Categories also help you stay focused on the interests of the audience within your niche. As your blog grows, there are going to be pages and pages of content that could easily overwhelm a new visitor. Categories help your visitor sort through all your amazing content so that they can find exactly what they need in that moment.
Consider your ideal reader
A blog can only benefit your business if you know what content your target audience is interested in. After identifying who your ideal client is, take a look around her social media. What questions does she ask? Who is she following on social media? What hashtags does she use? This clues you in on what she would like to learn or what she is passionate about. When you can identify what your audience wants to know, this gives you an idea of the content that would be beneficial for you to create.
Books and magazines are your best friend
If there are books and magazines related to your main topic, check them out! What are the sections in the magazine? What about the categories listed on the magazine’s website? When you flip through a book, peek at the table of contents. The chapters could give you an idea of the categories that would be a good fit your blog.
Let’s say you find an ebook for amateur photographers that features chapters on editing, angles, lighting, and posing. The chapter on editing sparks an idea to create tutorials for editing images in Photoshop. You decide to add the category of “tutorials” to your blog that becomes a hub for dozens of step-by-step guides for Photoshop! Now your blog has become a prime resource for amateur photographers who want to learn how to use Photoshop effectively! It really can be this simple.
It’s also a good idea to keep a few books or magazines handy as a reserve when writer’s block hits. Books and magazines have headlines and chapter topics that are extremely helpful to use as a reference when you need to brainstorm blog post ideas.
In case we haven’t made it clear yet, we are completely obsessed with Pinterest! Pinterest is helpful in so many ways, but in regards to developing your content and blogging categories, it is amazing. Find someone who fits your ideal reader profile on Pinterest and check out what boards she has. You could also search a topic and check what kinds of pins and boards result.
For example, a search of “web design” on Pinterest results in pins featuring logos, brand development checklists, resources for designing, and website platforms.
From this search, I might be inspired as a web designer to create a blogging category about branding resources where I review my favorite design tools. There is no lack of inspiration on Pinterest to get those gears turning!
Re-purpose content in the future
If you make an effort to keep your blog posts organized, you may find that the blog posts of a particular category can be combined or re-purposed in the future to create new content. For example, the most popular recipes under your “breakfast” category on your food blog could become the content for a cookbook you decide to publish. The “design tutorials” on your blog could serve as the foundation of an e-course to teach your readers how to use Photoshop. The “faith” blog posts could become an outline to help you write a book. If you take the time to keep your blog posts organized now, it will be very easy to do a review of your blog in the future and brainstorm ideas for new products and services.
Developing your content ideas and categories can take some careful planning, but it is definitely time well spent. Remember that your blog is a reflection of who you are as a business owner and the identity of your brand. A well organized blog that features high quality, helpful content establishes trust with your audience.
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