I had trouble figuring what to put inside this blog. I knew I wanted to post stuff about content and share what I knew about it.
But should I reblog anything that I saw? Or put up my stories, or just whatever with “Content” in the headlines? I tried and got paralysed by second-guessing: “Would this post work for the blog?”
That was annoying and, frankly idiotic. After all, a content creator should be able to create content about content, right?
That’s when I decided to take a weekend to think about it. And that’s how I got around to structuring a content mix.
During the entire process, my head was entirely wrapped around what content to make and put up. I kept revising, returning to my old ideas, disposing of them and going back again.
It was an absolute mess.
Eventually I came up with a content mix. I realised that it could be broken up into six parts:
1. What’s The Point of This Content?
Is it meant to drive traffic, sales, or awareness? Everything has to have a goal – even if it’s just fun.
Techticks: I wanted my content to help other content creators, generate discussion and to be known as a guy who knows content and strategy.
2. Where Will I Get My Content?
Do I have a ready library of stuff that I can reuse or rejig? Or do I need to create original stuff? Do I curate what’s out there?
It’ll help me understand where I’ll draw my information from.
Techticks: It’s a personal blog so I’ll articulate my experiences and pepper it with advice from like-minded folks.
3. How Do I Express My Ideas and Thoughts?
Should I go image-, text- or video-heavy? What am I comfortable with?
Every expression (or format) has its uses and suitability for an audience and goal.
- Images: Infographics, photos, illustrations, cartoons, comics…
- Videos: Vlog, DIY videos, music videos, documentaries
- Words: Posts, lists, prose, 140-char tweets, poems…
Techticks: I’m a writer by nature so I’ll go with writing posts. I’ll add images, videos and lists to break up the monotony. But I’m very unlikely to create videos or graphics.
4. What are My Themes and Types of Information?
This is when I start brainstorming about the content mix.
Once I’ve defined all the above, I decide on the type of information in my posts. Should I go with posts on tips or trends or processes or get testimonials about Content? Or reblogs of whatever’s hot on Twitter and Facebook? What are my themes?
Techticks: I went with “useful tips for content creators”. To give it structure, I’ve decided on the following categories:
- Create: Ideas and processes about creating content
- Source: Where and how to find information
- The Truth: Implementation nitty-gritties and pitfalls to beware
- Be Nice: How to grow your reputation
- Spread: How to distribute content
To make sure that I’m actually doing it, I’ve decided to post100 tips over 100 days. When I’m not blogging about tips, I’ll reblog posts about social media and content strategy.
5. Where Should They Go On My Content Calendar?
Once I’ve decided on the types of information, I’ll schedule them. It serves these purposes:
- They become goals to achieve
- This helps me see what to do next and prepare for it
Techticks: I’ve scheduled my tip posts from Monday to Friday, while weekends are my reblogs or expanded thoughts.
6. Do They Work?
It’s always changing and evolving. So I ask these questions…
- Will my readers like it?
- Is this in keeping with the content’s purpose?
- Can I do this with my limited resources?
If the answers are all “yes”, you’ve got yourself a keeper…for now. Evaluate what works by using Google Analytics and refine your content mix at set intervals.
Techticks: I’ll see what people really liked every 4 weeks.
It might not seem that hard to create a content mix. In reality, it’s a messy experience, and expect many revisions to your original plan. But nothing beats the satisfaction of creating a structure to help you create content.
A day, a tip | 100 days, 100 useful content tips
Credits: Featured image from VeldaZ