Here’s something I didn’t plan on. Fifteen minutes before I was supposed to speak to a third-grade class about blogging, my daycare called. A last-minute emergency. I had no choice but to bring my touchy-feely toddler along to the session – which I’d spent hours preparing for.
Well, shiznit, I thought. This is going to be a disaster.
During my brief talk, he tossed their board games onto the floor, scattering dice and cards everywhere. And my presentation? SMASH! SMASH! SMASH! Eager hands slammed on the spacebar, fast-forwarding to the last slide. The class laughed hysterically.
My lesson on blogging – starring my son – was a big hit!
Sometimes an unplanned activity or event can go well, but that’s not a risk you want to take when it comes to your company’s blog. Without an intended focus and content strategy, your blog posts will sound flaky and irrelevant, which could chip away at your brand’s credibility.
When I spoke to the kids about blogging, I put them into small groups and then asked them to go through these five steps (with examples) to plan out a blog post:
While this might seem like child’s play, these five simple steps are applicable to anyone thinking of embarking on a more serious blogging venture. Here’s how these simplified steps translate into real blog-planning ideas:
1) What is your blog about?
This question hints at content strategy. What themes will your blog focus on?
2) What could you write a blog post about?
Here’s where planning comes in – brainstorm a topic that fits into your blog’s central themes.
3) Think of three important words or ideas you should talk about in your post.
Pro tip: make a rough outline of your post and list the key takeaways.
4) Describe a picture you could use that matches the topic of your blog post.
Pictures help grab attention – as a matter of fact, articles with images get a whopping 94% more total views than those without. Essentially, when you’re planning your visuals, you’re also thinking strategically about your post’s engagement.
5) What date or time of year might be a good time to publish your post?
And then there’s the editorial calendar. When is the best time to publish a post so that it gets the best possible reach and engagement?
Now back to the class presentation – here’s an actual response from one group of nine-year-olds. Looks like they came up with a rather compelling and click-worthy headline for their target audience, don’t you think?
5 reasons why homework sucks!
Wait a sec! Before you head out, how about some writing tips for that next blog post you’re planning? Learn the art of simplicity in your writing in KISSing while you work.