Create a Content Plan to Ensure You Blog in an Effective Manner

mind map of monthly, quarterly, yearly blog posts for a writer's blogBlogging Basics for Aspiring Authors: Lesson 15

As a writer, you may worry that if you begin blogging you will run out of material. Even if you blog about your book, you may think you have little to say to help promote your work. If you blog your book, of course, the manuscript provides the content for your blog posts—at least until you finish the book. Once you finish blogging your book, though, you might find yourself staring at a blank computer screen wondering what to write. In all these cases, creating a blog content plan helps you save time, consistently have topics to blog about, and blog effectively in a focused manner.

The basic principle behind creating a blog content plan revolves around planning blog posts on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis. If you plan on blogging a book, initially you can use your blogged book as the central subject of your blog and your manuscript as the content you plan to blog. Thus, your content plan, in fact, is based upon your table of contents and the content in each chapter, which you break down into posts sized bits. (Click on this link to learn how to create a blog content plan based on your blogged book.)

If you don’t plan on blogging a book, create a content plan based on the topic of your book or on a general topic that helps you brand yourself.  This methodology also works after you have finished blogging your book. You will need to continue blogging about your book long after your manuscript has been completed; this help you continue to gain readers to your blog, and these readers represent potential buyers of your book. In other words, you continue to promote your blogged book with your blog after it becomes a printed book or ebook.

How to Create a Blog Content Plan

It’s not difficult to create a blog content plan. Pick a topic to explore each month, quarter, or year that relates in some way to your book. Then brainstorm related topics. Schedule these topics based upon how often you write and publish posts. Then write about the topics you’ve selected each week in your posts (1-7 per week).

If you take the time to consider each post you write, you can expand it into another post fairly easily. Try doing a mind map, or just brainstorming, about ideas related to the themes, topics and issues in your book. The ideas you come up with can become blog posts. Now schedule them in your content plan. You can use a simple calendar for this. (The picture at the beginning of this blog post shows you how you can start with an idea and branch out to many different posts or ideas. Click on it to enlarge it.)

You can even come up with a series of posts on one topic—maybe a whole month on one particular subject. If you do so, you will blog a short book! You could sell this or give it away as an enticement for people to sign up for your mailing list.

Why a Content Plan Makes You a Better Blogger and Your Blog a Better Blog

Plan on a regular basis—once a year, quarterly or monthly—and you’ll find yourself with a continuous flow of blog post ideas. You’ll also find your blogging improves and you attract more readers. Here’s why:

  1. It is easier and faster to write your posts. You’ll always know exactly what you are going to write on a specific day. No more staring at a blank screen. You look at the schedule and write the scheduled post.
  2. You stay focused on your topic. No meandering around from topic to topic. You either remain on a direct path from start to finish of your manuscript or you write about subjects that are relevant to your brand, your book or your readers because you thought out your topics beforehand.
  3. You produce lots of keywords that make you and your blog more discoverable. Because you’ve planned out your content, your blog and your writing are always “on purpose.” This improves your SEO and makes your writing more relevant to those who do find your blog or your links.
  4. You produce better content. By simply planning ahead you produce better content. You don’t write on the fly, scramble to find something to say, or write a “bad post” because you don’t have something to say one day. Your plan keeps you on topic with great content day in and day out. This attracts more readers to your blog and your bogged book over time and, again, makes it easier for you to produce quality content and a quality blog or blogged book.
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Comments

  1. says

    If we’re writing fiction, should we be writing a week or two ahead of what we’re posting on the blog?

    In other words, if we write ourselves into a corner or decide we want to scrap a few days’ work and send our character in a totally different direction, is it OK to unpublish posts that have already been seen by readers, or how is that best handled?

  2. Nina Amir says

    Great question, Christie! Fiction writers may, indeed, want to write a bit ahead for just that reason. Even better, however, is to map out your story line! Know where your characters are going. Know your plot line–if it works or doesn’t work. Then you can still work a day or two in advance. It’s better not to delete posts, especially if you are linking from page to page. You are going to create a lot of bad links on your site and on the internet. Plan, plan, plan.

  3. says

    That make sense, thanks. I’m so excited to have found your site today. This idea is exactly what I need, since I’ve been wrestling with “blog vs. book” for some time now (and getting nothing done while I procrastinate). I’ve always wanted to write a book, but I love the immediate gratification of blogging. Blogging the book gives the best of all worlds, including an audience ready to buy the finished product. Thanks again!
    Christie recently posted..Cat trees give your cat the advantages of outdoor life – indoors!

  4. Nina Amir says

    So funny…I use an example about cats and books a lot! Good luck, and glad you found my site. Oh, blog vs. book is not an either or decision.

Trackbacks

  1. […] No matter how often you post, how much you enjoy writing your book, or how involved your fans are with your blog, sooner or later you will have a day (or string of days) where you just can’t think of anything to write. You’ll be burned out, you might post a few pieces of filler, and before you know it your blog is an empty husk with no updates. How can you avoid this fate and write better blog posts? With a blog content plan. Nina Amir on How to Blog a Book shows you how to make one in “Create a Content Plan to Ensure You Blog in an Effective Manner:” […]

  2. […] If you are planning on blogging a book – which I am seriously considering doing – making sure you plan it out properly right from the start is imperative.  There is a big difference between putting together your previous posts to make a book and actually setting out with the intention of blogging a book.  Here you can discover how to create a blog content plan. […]

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