Last week I explained why it’s worth the trouble to create a content plan for your website.
Today I’m going to explain the basics of getting the content strategy for your website up and running.
1. Where Do You Want to Go?
Your business is taking you on a journey. Where it’s going is mostly up to you. What’s the kind of life you want?
- Build your work around travel and leisure?
- Build your work around family and home?
- Stay a solopreneur?
- Build a company with employees, board of directors, and stock options?
These questions all have to do with the amount of time you intend to work at your business and how much you want to grow it. There’s no wrong answer, and you can change it later, but it will help you go in the right direction if you know where you want to go.
But your desired destination is only one aspect of your journey. The next question is how you want to travel. Think of these strategies as comparable to whether you travel by train or plane, ship or automobile.
2. How Do You Want to Get There?
What sorts of promotions do you love or hate?
- Face-to-face networking?
- Public speaking?
- Art or photography?
- Video or audio?
To reach your whole audience — all the people who could use your services, no matter what style of communication they prefer — the more channels the better. And if you stretch yourself, push into new ways of communicating, that’s good for you, too.
But if you’re just starting the content plan for your website, it’s best to face the reality of what you enjoy and what you resist. A new content plan brings changes to your budget of time, money and energy. It may require you to remake your schedule — to set aside regular time for planning. If you hate video but want to learn it anyway, then get your content plan running smoothly before taking on the challenge of learning a new and difficult strategy.
As time goes by, you’ll be able to check your results and make adjustments. But for now, choose what’s easiest and most enjoyable for you.
3. Who Do You Want to Help Along the Way?
If your business is like a journey, then your clients are the people who make it possible for you to go there — in exchange for the value you bring to them.
The core description of those people is your target market. Using a combination of what you know about the needs and wants of your favorite clients, along with market research, you’ll develop a specific description of one person you’ll direct all your marketing communications to. Give that person a name and a face and talk to him or her like your best friend.
Start where you are. Start with one. Make that person your companion. You may change the details or increase the number later.
4. Create a Schedule and a Budget
When I was in college, and a backpacker, a Michigan governor observed that backpackers are people who come into the state with a $5 bill and a pair of underwear and don’t change either before they leave. Regardless of the literal truth of the statement, traveling light, cheap and close to the earth is one way to go — whether across country or in your business.
At the other end of the spectrum is spare-no-expense, full deluxe, everything-done-for-you.
One will get you there faster. The other will give you a deeper experience of the journey.
How will you balance the time and expense of your web content plan?
The resources of the web are such that you can choose your path between the two extremes and find what works for you.
Ask yourself how much time and money you want to invest in your content marketing plan.
Some of the variables you can work with are these:
- Publication frequency
- Writers and editors,
- Automation and tools
You’ll be able to find the right combination that works for you.
Your Content Strategy for the Web
Building a content strategy for the web is a lot like making travel plans for a distant destination.
Like all journeys, your business will have bumps and surprises along the way. Your plan may need revision, or you may change your plan.
No matter where you’re going or how you intend to get there, a good plan will give you the best chance of being satisfied with the outcome.