Week 9: Write a Blog Post that Supports Your Content Strategy

badge-bloggingOutline a content strategy for the remainder of 2013 (see slides here for what that outline should include). Then select one of those topics and write your best post. Be sure to include:

  • An enticing headline (preferably optimized for SEO, see week 5)
  • The 5 elements of the Starter Recipe (week 7)
  • A story to illustrate your ONE point
  • An image that helps tell the story (also optimized for SEO)
  • At least 3 links to supporting posts (internal/external)

Post the links to your project (one for the content strategy/ one for the blog post) to this page no later than 9:30 a.m., PST, Monday (March 25, 2013).*

NOTE: Your missions will be judged more heavily on the blog post than the content plan.

Additional Suggested Reading

bit.ly/content-goals

bit.ly/blog-check

 

About Tea Silvestre

Executive Producer of Prosperity's Kitchen, author and marketing coach to solopreneurs.

  • http://www.facebook.com/doc.prov Doc Prov

    Hello Prosperity’s Kitchen contestants and play-at-home members. Here is my blog post for Mission 9. My strategy for blogging is blog when the spirit moves me. I do not have any set plans. I simply blog when I feel that I have something that I want to communicate, review, or publish. I communicate excerpts from my books, review movies, and publish articles in my blogs. http://docprov.blogspot.com/

    • http://www.thewordchef.com/ Tea Silvestre, aka Word Chef

      Score: 14/20 (3-3-4-4) While I understand that blogging isn’t for everyone, every website DOES need a content strategy — if only to ensure that your marketing goals are met and that the right people show up to your site. Writing when the spirit moves you is great. AND you need to write the other stuff, too (things like sales pages, press releases, specific articles, etc.). :-) Otherwise, your marketing is going to “rely solely on luck.” You’ve got a good start on your blog post. To improve, consider adding a short story about your own life or one of your clients as a way to illustrate your point. Also, check the formatting (line spacing and indents on bullet points).

  • http://getpaidtowriteonline.com/ Sharon Hurley Hall

    Hi everyone, here is my blog post for this week http://www.sharonhh.com/hire-a-professional-writer-geek and my content plan is here: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/34622108/Content%20Strategy-SHH.pdf

    • http://www.scatterthestones.co.uk/ Anita

      Great content strategy and blog post, Sharon :)

      • http://getpaidtowriteonline.com/ Sharon Hurley Hall

        Thanks, Anita. :)

    • http://www.thewordchef.com/ Tea Silvestre, aka Word Chef

      Score: 17/20 (3.5-5-4-4.5) Your content strategy looks solid, but I’m wondering about other projects and revenue streams that intersect here. (Like that class you’re working on.) Also – while the writing is fabulous and you give us a glimpse into your life and background through storytelling, this particular post feels a lot more like a sales page to me. A blog post is usually helpful or entertaining — something we want to share with others. What’s helpful to the reader here (other than helping them better understand you)? Perhaps you could approach this from a slightly less direct angle and talk about why folks want to look for geekiness in a great writer in general. Take another pass at it and it will work great for you.

  • Jayne Ubl

    Tried to post links three times and have been unsuccessful…help?

  • http://www.scatterthestones.co.uk/ Anita

    Hi :) , here is my content strategy – http://ow.ly/jnjuN
    and this is my blog post (due to be published 8am Monday UK time) http://www.scatterthestones.co.uk/how-to-help-anxiety/

    • http://www.thewordchef.com/ Tea Silvestre, aka Word Chef

      Score: 17.5/20 (3.5-5-5-4) Great content strategy and post. My only suggestion for improving the post would be to start off with the self-revelation (your own story) at the top and then wrap up with a short story about how you handled your latest anxiety attack. But otherwise, good job!

  • http://www.anencouragingbird.com BirdyD – Roving Robin Reporter

    Here is my entry for this week’s Mission:

    Wheel of the Year 2013 Content Strategy Page: http://www.paranormalavians.com/pa-wheel-of-year-content-2013/

    And my blog post: http://www.paranormalavians.com/2013/03/25/removing-robot-from-cubicle/

    • http://www.thewordchef.com/ Tea Silvestre, aka Word Chef

      Birdy – was this a team project? Or just a solo project?

      • http://www.anencouragingbird.com BirdyD – Roving Robin Reporter

        just sent you an e-mail :-) :>

    • http://www.thewordchef.com/ Tea Silvestre, aka Word Chef

      Congrats! You’ve won the solo project this week. Check the Winners’ Showcase post for feedback and score.

  • http://www.digitalphotoanddesign.com/ Colleen Conger @ DigiPD

    Team 3’s project featuring my business – Digital Photo and Design – http://bit.ly/14p2mwj

    • http://www.scatterthestones.co.uk/ Anita

      Colleen, loved your content strategy and blog post :)

    • http://www.lisarobbinyoung.com Lisa Robbin Young

      I really enjoy seeing your entries each week. Makes me wish I was more creative. :-) This week was a LOT to do – and you did it marvelously.

    • http://www.thewordchef.com/ Tea Silvestre, aka Word Chef

      Score: 16.83/20 (3.83-4.33-4.33-4.33) From Nick: “Things I loved: The content calendar was chock full of amazing information. Specific dates, the source of the idea, resources, monthly themes… and your post was just excellent. Things I didn’t love: Where’s your overall content going? I mean, and I didn’t take off any points for this – where’s the content trying to promote you? What kind of niche audience? What kind of calls to action come from these posts? Take your content calendar one step further and make that happen – you’ll have a leg up on your competition. SMART goals will help (that’s S.M.A.R.T. and not “smart”, right?) — I know you’ve outlined ’em before, but to see ’em here would be the complete package. See Evelyn’s for what I mean. Things I took off points for: -1 Completeness: Ang did the same thing… “I’ll send it out through FB, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn”. We talked about the concept of integrated marketing during the show where you take epic content and modify it a bit to work on each different platform, always linking back to the original epic content. When you write a blog post, or conduct an interview, there’s all sorts of awesome stuff that could happen with that content long-term. Promotion of content one off and done is kinda silly, right?”

      From Denise: It’s not really clear to me who your target client is, so it seemed a bit vague and general. I realize you’re a generalist, but I think you’ll have more success if you identify exactly who you want to work with. Now, please forgive me if you have done this. It wasn’t clear to me though. The blog post used great graphics and had a great headline. You could have got to the point a little sooner. I wasn’t sure how the initial story related to the title. Nice use of subheads, link, and images.

      From Tea: Great info included on your content strategy. You’ve really thought through your themes, scheduling, etc. and will be producing some highly creative AND helpful content. Your post, too, is a fun way to kick everything off. Suggestions to consider: Your title is a promise that you never want to break. If you promise a “secret method” — even if it’s tongue-in-cheek — then you want to make sure you deliver it. Perhaps you could take the outline from his book on finding a mistress and apply those tips to finding a graphic designer? If BF never wrote anything on how to hire someone (that you can use here), then perhaps you might want to change the title to something like, “How to Hire a Graphic Designer Who’s as Talented as BF.” The content of your post currently speaks more to that 2nd kind of title. The post itself is funny and engaging but I think it loses a little something at the end — I’m not really seeing the connection between being a polymath and the bullet points you’ve used. Tell me how being knowledgeable about many things impacts your process as a designer? Do you use approaches from different industries? IMO, graphic designers aren’t good unless they have a little advertising/marketing background, so that argument doesn’t really fit with the polymath thing. Most of what you’ve listed there are basics EVERY designer should have. What makes you different? Think BIGGER, WIDER, DEEPER. Or drop the polymath thing.

      • http://www.digitalphotoanddesign.com/ Colleen Conger @ DigiPD

        OMG! We were only .17 points away from 2nd place. .17 FRICKIN’ POINTS! Good God Almighty. I’m going C-R-A-Z-Y!

        Colleen Conger
        Graphic Designer
        Digital Photo and Design, LLC
        P.O. Box 32
        Aberdeen, MS 39730
        (662) 304-2306
        http://www.digitalphotoanddesign.com

  • http://twitter.com/SalaryNegotiato Salary Negotiators
    • http://www.thewordchef.com/ Tea Silvestre, aka Word Chef

      Score: 17.5/20 (4.5-5-5-3) Great use of storytelling here. My only big issues are with the split in the post — when you ask a reader to click to read more and then they have to start all over again, you’re gonna lose ’em. Use just one place for your blog and you’ll be golden. Also – watch the line spacing between paragraphs. Sometimes it’s there, sometimes not. The inconsistencies don’t help your reader. And finally, why are you hosting video ads on your site? Unless they’re ads directly related to your topic (driving safely), you’re doing a disservice to your readers. They look like they might be part of your blog post, but they’re not, so the reader (me) feels duped and you end everything on the wrong note. Unless these ads are a major source of revenue for you, I’d remove them.

  • http://twitter.com/SalaryNegotiato Salary Negotiators
    • http://www.thewordchef.com/ Tea Silvestre, aka Word Chef

      Congrats! You were the winner of the solo project this week, Joseph. Look for feedback on the Winners’ showcase post.

      • http://www.evelynkalinosky.com Evelyn Kalinosky

        Congrats Joseph on your solo win for week 9!! Way to go!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1448662009 Evelyn Kalinosky

    Happy Monday! Here is Team 5’s project which focused on my business – Inner Affluence – along with the IA blog post:

    IA Content Strategy Plan: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B-rAP4jSeWt5Zm5sQnh2NVFFN2M/edit?usp=sharing

    IA Blog Post: http://www.evelynkalinosky.com/blog/work-life-balance-for-midlife-women-its-all-about-the-integration-darling/

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1448662009 Evelyn Kalinosky

    Happy Monday! Here is Team 5’s Week 9 project which focused on my business – Inner Affluence – along with the blog post:

    IA Content Marketing Strategy:https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B-rAP4jSeWt5Zm5sQnh2NVFFN2M/edit?usp=sharing

    IA Blog Post: http://www.evelynkalinosky.com/blog/work-life-balance-for-midlife-women-its-all-about-the-integration-darling/

    • http://www.thewordchef.com/ Tea Silvestre, aka Word Chef

      Congrats! Your team won the mission this week. Look for feedback on the Winners’ Showcase post.

  • http://twitter.com/SweetPhenomena Sweet Phenomena

    My week 9 mission project is here: http://sweetphenomena.com/blah-blah-blog/

    • http://www.thewordchef.com/ Tea Silvestre, aka Word Chef

      Score: 18/20 (4-5-5-4) Great job, Tiffany. Your content strategy looks sound (don’t wait too long to scope out sites to guest post, tho). Your post is also solid. The only suggestion I have for you is to inject a little storytelling in the beginning as a way to show us (not tell us) how a failure can turn out to be awesome. Is there something from your own life (or your daughter’s) you can draw on?

  • http://twitter.com/writeahead Write Ahead
    • http://www.thewordchef.com/ Tea Silvestre, aka Word Chef

      Congrats! You were the team project winner this week. Look for your feedback on the Winners’ Showcase post. :-)

  • http://www.facebook.com/panAngler Laurie Nylund

    PK3’s entry is for TestPrep’s re-started blog and is available at http://testprepny.com/keys-to-success-on-the-mcat/. A Word doc with editorial calendar ideas is available at https://www.dropbox.com/s/lxh6nm855modjbn/TPNY%20Blog%20Plan.docx.

    Thanks,
    Laurie

    • http://www.thewordchef.com/ Tea Silvestre, aka Word Chef

      Score: 17.5/20 (4-4-5-4.5) Unique approach to your content strategy outline, but it looks like it will be helpful since you’ve done most of the work already! A different format might make it easier to follow. Your post is also solid. The only suggestion I would give to improve would be to inject a little storytelling as a way to *show* us the anxiety some people have around taking tests (and what taking a test looks like when you’re fully prepared) vs. just telling us about it. Great work!

  • http://twitter.com/StudyingOnline Angela Boothroyd
    • http://www.scatterthestones.co.uk/ Anita

      Very interesting post, Angela. I enjoyed reading it. I also love your content strategy :)

    • http://www.thewordchef.com/ Tea Silvestre, aka Word Chef

      Score: 18/20 (4-5-5-4) Nicely done all around, Angela. Suggestions to consider: start your post off with a little story about you drinking tea (to go with the title and help draw your reader in); shorten either your sentences or your words and look for places you can use contractions — this will help make your tone more conversational (read out loud to find all these bits).

  • http://www.facebook.com/ankypants Ang Jandak
    • http://www.thewordchef.com/ Tea Silvestre, aka Word Chef

      Score: 17/20 (4-4.67-4.33-4) From Nick: “Things I loved: I loved all of the ideas on your content calendar, how you came to your conclusions – and your honesty about a publishing schedule. I think a little systemization and more descriptive content calendar might actually help you write more, but whatevs. The post was amazing, too. My overall thought on this is that you should use a blog to create resources that you can later sell in your business (or use as selling points). So your “why wedding blogs suck” is like the perfect intro to a book on how to hire a good wedding planner: set good expectations, DIY where you have skills, patience, time, and won’t regret it, and avoid generic round-ups that add fluff but no substance. Great… now fit that into your content calendar for an overarching theme, right? Your opinions are great, but they should have a point. They should identify (or condemn or validate) a trend… they should speak to and compel your audience to do business with you (or send jerk clients running for the hills). Things I didn’t love: Typography is a funny thing… I don’t know if I’m getting old or what, but the Verdana on your website was wicked hard for me to read. I didn’t take off points for this, though – since I’m probably just getting old. Things I took off points for: -1 Completeness: The “How Will You Promote”… OK, I get it. Sharing on social media can be a pain and a lot of what gets flooded out there is total spam. But we talked about the concept of integrated marketing during the show where you take epic content and modify it a bit to work on each different platform, always linking back to the original epic content. -1 Presentation: If I saw your content calendar, I’d get it. Let’s say you have a content writer working with you or a virtual assistant – they might want some dates, or something to help them coordinate what you’ve got going on there. I’ve done this: I list out the three ideas I wanna hit. I get to two and then I forget what the third one was about… or why I was doing it… and then I don’t post as often as I should. Yuck. My bad for not including more info.”

      From Denise: The editorial calendar could have been fleshed out a bit more; include publication dates, draft title and a couple of bullet points so you can avoid any feelings of overwhelm or anxiety when it’s time to post. Also, rethink the promotion strategy. Twitter and Facebook are a good start, and I would suggest you use Pinterest. It’s not spamming the Internet to make sure your content is findable to your ideal client. The blog post was good, impassioned and shared your viewpoint well. For readability, I recommend you break up your paragraphs to max 1-2 sentences so you have more white space. The dense paragraphs are tough to read.

      From Tea: You’ve got a great start on your content strategy (would’ve loved to see more about topics for the other website you’ll be contributing to) and totally doable. A teensy bit more details would’ve been nice, tho. The opinion post you’ve written is definitely a new twist and filled with passion. Suggestions for improvement: Your title needs a WIIFM aspect for your reader. Yes, it’s an opinion piece and yes, it’s good as-is. But to make it better, think about it from your readers’ POV. Why do wedding blogs suck *for them*? I might change the title to something like: “Why Most Wedding Blogs Suck and How You Can Avoid Their Life-Draining Pitfalls.” Your title is your promise to your reader. The content itself is pretty solid. To polish it up, consider breaking up longer sentences, adding some bullet lists and/or additional sub-headings. Right now, the post isn’t “scannable” and could use some white space to help make it more enticing to the reader. (Especially since the font you use is on the small side.)

  • Michelle Hastie
    • http://www.thewordchef.com/ Tea Silvestre, aka Word Chef

      Score: 17/20 (4-4-5-4) Doing things on an intuitive basis (content strategy) isn’t really a strategy — unless you first understand what questions (answers) your audience needs/wants to have from you. If you had given me a list of those, I would’ve counted your strategy as “complete.” But without that, you’re really just flying by the seat of your pants. :-) Your post is solid. Suggestions to consider: fix typos. Examples: Than vs. Then (1st paragraph); ellipsis have 3 periods with no space after that and the next word; use contractions for a more conversational tone (It’s vs. It is); upsize your image and place it at the top of the page to help draw the reader in. Otherwise, great job!

  • http://www.byjanet.net/purple Janet Brent
    • http://www.thewordchef.com/ Tea Silvestre, aka Word Chef

      Score: 16/20 (3.5-5-3.5-4) Your content strategy is pretty sound and I think you may be able to pull off adding the personal development angle to your blogging IF you’re careful not to go too far away from the design topic. Remember – Google (and other search engines) will get confused if you have too many topics that don’t converge. The convergence is crucial. Suggestions to consider for the post: The title of your post is a bit confusing (the way it reads now). I’d add quotation marks around “Women on the Web” to help it make sense. Punctuation matters, LOL. You’ve also got some typos (see the very first sentence, for example). Since you start your post off by telling us that you attended a conference, I expected to see/hear tips from that conference specific to your audience. Instead, you launch into your views about women in the Phillipines — which is fine, but doesn’t flow from the first part of the post. You wrap up with words on the potential of the Phillipines — which again, is fine, but doesn’t address specifically women (and their digital revolution) or the conference you attended. It’s important to pick ONE idea per post and then focus on it like a laser.

  • http://www.lisarobbinyoung.com Lisa Robbin Young
    • http://www.thewordchef.com/ Tea Silvestre, aka Word Chef

      Score: 17/20 (3-5-5-4) Love your content strategy! Your post starts off strong with some personal storytelling and moves nicely into tips for dealing with the overwhelm. Suggestions to consider: wrap up the post with a sentence or two of how you personally dealt with the kids being home (an ending to your story) – were you able to get them to help you in any way? Add some space beneath your subheadings and the 1st lines (feels cramped); your image is okay, but a better choice might be a harried mom’s face or even a meditating biz woman — we tend to respond better (click more) on pictures of humans.