As a food blogger, content planning is the most important part of your Q4 strategy. Today, you’re going to learn in four easy steps how you can prepare your content to maximize the results for your food blog in Q4. Whether this is your third or fifth or 10th Q4 as a food blogger, you can always be more strategic every year.
I have spoken about content planning on the blog before and you can head to the Grace and Vine Studios website to check out Episode 13 or Episode 80 to learn more. Content planning is a strategy that can work any quarter of the year, but it is especially important to plan your content well for the biggest quarter of the year for most food bloggers.
Review What Did Well Last Year
This is a vital step, and you really want to look at where this traffic came from specifically. If it came from Google, then chances are it’s going to come from Google again. If it came from Pinterest and you haven’t really been prioritizing your Pinterest strategy, you may see that you don’t get as much traffic to those posts. You need to look at, from a high level, what content did well. Where were you getting the most traffic, especially in October, November, and December, and what were the posts that were doing well?
Figure Out Your Capacity for Creating Content
I want you to look at your life from a holistic perspective. Look at everything that is going on in this last quarter of the year, because this year, you may be busier than you were last year. You need to get realistic with yourself about what you can create this year, because you do not want to be planning for 50 new recipes in Q4, when you only have the capacity to create one per week. So just be honest with yourself, and your capacity for creating content this year as that is going to help you to plan out how many ideas you need to have.
Having reviewed what did well last year or years past and you have figured out how many blog posts you want to post in Q4, now you’re going to start thinking about the ideas that you have. So, you need to go back to older posts that did well in years past, come up with at least 10 to 15 of those posts and write them down. Then for each of those posts, come up with three additional ideas that go with that post. The first is going to be similar content, the second is going to be a recipe pairing, and the third is going to be supplemental content.
So, for example, let’s say my popular post has been Easy Pumpkin Pie. My similar content might be Easy Pecan Pie, then my recipe pairing might be Homemade Whipped Cream, and my supplemental content might be how to make the perfect Pie Crust. You can see how all of those are related, but they’re not the exact same thing. You are just expanding on the idea that has done well on your blog and coming up with more ideas. Feel free to get creative and then do the keyword research, after you have your list of ideas, to figure out which ideas are the best to prioritize in this quarter.
Having created those three ideas to go with every post, you should have anywhere from 15 to potentially 45 different posts ideas that you could do for Q4. Remember, you do not have to do all these ideas and you most likely should not do all these ideas. But now you can run them through a keyword research tool like Key Search or SEM Rush, to see which posts would have the highest potential for your blog. You can also check out Episode 81, that I did with Ty Kilgore a few weeks ago if you want to learn a little bit more about keyword research.
Figure Out Where You Need Support
Now we have come to step number four, which I am not going to lie, I think is the hardest part of this entire process for most food bloggers. This can look many different ways, but ask yourself, where do I need support?
- In doing keyword research.
- Writing the blog post.
- Taking photos for the blog post.
- Adding supplemental content like videos or a freebie or a Pinterest design to the blog post.
- Where do I need support in my personal life?
- Do I need my significant other to take the kids out of the house for an entire day so I can get all these recipes done?
- Do I need to carve out an afternoon on a specific day every week to be able to recipe test and shoot photos for these recipes?
- What is it that you need to accomplish this?
Maybe you decided that you want to publish one new recipe every single week through Q4, to be able to add to your content that is holiday related. What do you need to be able to do that? You must vulnerably and honestly think about where you need support. It is not too late to carve out that support, whether it is hiring someone to help you with household activities in your home or just looking to have some supplemental help with other parts of your business, so that you can really focus on this content.
This is something that I think is really under looked in the food blogging community and I think in general. For some reason, food bloggers have decided that they’re going to wear all the hats, all the time. So be honest about where you need support, and then go out and get that support so that you can make Q4 your best quarter ever. This way, you will have your best content ever, and you won’t end the quarter being burnt out, overwhelmed, and overworked because of this awesome content strategy and plan that you created.
So just to review the different steps that we talked about in this episode to prepare your content for Q4:
- Review what did well last year.
- Figure out your capacity for creating new content this year.
- Plan out ideas and have three ideas for each of your most popular blog posts from years past.
- Arguably the most important step is that you’re going to figure out where you need additional support to make this plan happen.
Even though I usually focus more on the content side itself, I think this last step of figuring out where you need support is so important. Honestly, content for Q4 is a big project, so don’t hesitate to think about where you need support and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
I hope this episode has been helpful for you to just get a strategic plan in place for preparing your content for Q4. I would love to hear some of those ideas that you came up with for each of those popular posts you have had in the past. I would love for you to connect with me over on Instagram @GraceandVine and let me know what you thought of this episode.