Content Strategy – How To Choose What To Write

Reuben | January 4th, 2021

Reading and consuming articles about content marketing is great for understanding the concept and all of its benefits, but the day will come when you’ll need to make your own content.

But, you might ask yourself; where do I begin? 

The best way to deal with big projects, so you won’t get overwhelmed, is to break them down into small steps.

In this guide you’ll learn, step by step, how to make your first list of content ideas for your blog. 

You can then refer to this list over the next few weeks or months, knowing exactly where to focus and which articles to write.

Although Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is important and can be key to the success of your content, in this guide we will not get too technical. Sometimes focusing on SEO can distract you and maybe even stop you from creating great content.

* The content ideas don’t have to be necessarily blog posts at the end. They can be also transformed into video and podcast content.

1) Define your target audience

The most important part of this process is to define who you want to consume your content. Who is your target audience?  You want to target people who will ultimately end up buying your product or service.

The objective here is to identify a group of individuals with similar characteristics ( age, income, lifestyles etc) that have a need for your product or service. Once you have identified them, you can then aim your content directly at them.

Targeting people who aren’t looking for your products or services might get more traffic to your site… but ultimately it won’t do you any good. You’ll end up pulling out your hair trying to figure out why none of your visitors are buying from you.

The secret here is to create content that targets your ideal customer and no one else.

Write down the answers to these questions:

Pro tip – Don’t go too broad and don’t go too niche.

Real life example: 

Artlist is a provider of licensed stock music and footage, who do an amazing job with their content marketing. It’s fresh and engaging and most of all gives tons of information that helps visual content creators – their target audience.

Their service can be used by both professional film makers and total beginners.

But in reality, the amount of beginners, in any field, is much much bigger than the amount of pros.

The target audience of their blog is:

2) Define the main categories your blog will cover

Now that you have identified who your target audience is, it’s time to work out how to get them to your site. A great way to do this is to set some boundaries for the topics you are going to write about on your blog.

Think of the main subject areas that you want your blog to cover. These will then form your main categories. 

To choose the main categories of your blog begin with writing down, without any limits, any subject, related to your product or service that comes to mind.

Don’t think too much about it… just make a big list of any topics that are relevant to your industry or area of expertise.

Then comes the filtering process…

Choose between 3 to 7 main categories that meet the following criteria:

You can write the chosen categories into a google document, or use a visual brain mapping like Minzel (free online).

Real life example (following previous example):

Artlist has 3 main categories:

3) Define the subcategories

This step is relatively easy.  All you have to do is to break down each main category into subcategories.

Subcategories are basically topics related to or that make up the main category of the article.

If you struggle to define yours, you can use these hacks:

Real life example (following previous example):

For the main category of ‘Filmmaking’ on Artlist blog they cover these sub categories:

Under Music Licensing category you can find:

Under Post production category:

4) Define your target audience’s pain points

Every successful product/service was created to solve a problem – aka  a customer’s pain point.

The same way… a recipe for an engaging content is – to create blog posts that solve your target audience’s pain points.

So in this step, you need to find the challenges that your audience is facing in your field of expertise.

Put yourself in your audience’s shoes and write a list of their every day pain points that are related to your product/service. Find out what makes them struggle the most.

If you are struggling, then these hacks to helps you:

Without knowing exactly what problems your audience is facing or where they’re at in your industry, you’ll have no way of knowing which topics have the most potential to succeed.

The purpose of this is to identify targeted subjects that you can create content about that will lead to more conversions and an audience that’s more engaged with your brand as a whole.

Once you have identified your target audience’s pain points you can then begin to think about the angle you want the content to take. Some content is designed to find new potential customers. Others to strengthen relationships with an existing audience. Some content addresses objections and educates potential customers as to why you’re the best choice to solve their problem.

If you want to find more customers, then focus on creating content that provides them with a solution to their pain points.

Real life example (following previous example):

On the Artlist blog, under the category of “post production” the target audience’s pain points could be:

5) Make the list – Convert pain points into blog post titles

Now convert each paint point into an informative and engaging blog post title.

Having a well written title will help both you and your readers.

With the title as your focus point you can concentrate on only writing what matters to solve your reader problem.

As for the reader:

The other thing to consider when choosing your title is search engine optimisation (SEO). Without going into too much detail, the main topic of the article should be a “keyword” to ensure that people searching for that particular term are able to find your article.

It’s vital when creating content that focuses on addressing pain points that the title is keyword rich. With pain points, you’re looking to inform your readers so your titles should reflect that by including the keyword that your audience is likely to be searching for to get information on your chosen topic.

Creating entertaining titles can also help to capture attention but focus on informing your audience as a top priority. 

Focus on presenting solutions to your audiences problems

Here are some title ideas to help you:

* The titles can be changed and optimised at the point where you publish the article, so don’t try too hard to make it perfect at this stage.

Real life example (following previous example):

What next?