A content strategy is a vital part of successful blogging and strong search engine optimization.
When I made my first blog all I did was create a spread sheet, broke the topics into categories, and then put everything I wanted to write into these categories.
Since my first blog was a food blog, some of my categories ran as far a 300+ topics long.
I was mostly using this system as a way to keep track of what I wanted to eventually make. It was just a way to get the ideas out of my head and on to paper.
For a food blog that may not be a terrible way to go, though I’m sure it’s not the best.
When it came to my second site, I realized needed something better.
Also, since starting my first blog I had learned about SEO and my goal was to build my second site with strong SEO.
With both of these strategies, you can create more content on the topic around more longtail keywords and internal links between pages, which will earn you higher Google rankings.
Hub and Spoke Strategy
The idea of this strategy is to have one central topic and have sub topics stem from it like spokes. It is also sometimes known as a Topic Cluster Model.
This strategy can really simplify your keyword research process because you know you will be creating supporting content.
For example, if you’re writing about Skokie, Illinois. You can write about how to get there from Chicago, where to eat in Skokie, the Illinois Holocaust Museum located in Skokie, the Neo-Nazi March in Skokie, and the Skokie Northshore sculpture park.
Or if you were writing about chocolate chip cookies, you can have a soft recipe, crispy recipe, bakery styled recipe, white chocolate, and a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie.
Cornerstone Content Strategy
The concept behind cornerstone content is that it has supporting articles which link to the cornerstone content.
So, for example, if you wanted to rank for Christmas cookies. You’d make a bunch of different types of cookies and then link them all to a post on Christmas cookies.
Or, if you wanted to rank for Top Beaches in Italy, you’d write posts about a bunch of different beaches and then link them all to your post on Top Beaches in Italy.
Ideally, it would also be good to link as many of these posts to each other as possible.
If you’d like to read a more in depth post on this topic, I really like Mediavine‘s post on Cornerstone Content Strategy.
My SEO Strategy
When starting my second site I decided to combine these two strategies and mapped out my content strategy using Mind Master.
Map out your content.
For example, if you were targeting New York City, break it down into boroughs, next into neighborhoods, and then what to do, what to see, where to eat, etc. in each neighborhood.
Choose a section of the map you want to write about and methodically target it.
So, if you chose Williamsburg, Brooklyn, you’d write everything in Williamsburg before moving on to DUMBO. All the while, interlinking as many topics in the posts as possible.
You don’t actually have to finish Brooklyn before wiring about Queens, or you can finish one section of Brooklyn and then write about a section in Queens.
However, depending on how you prefer to work, completing a section at a time can be easier. This is especially true when it comes to interlinking.
Also, the more related topics you have, the more Google sees you as an authority on that topic making it easier to rank.
If you have 50 posts on Brooklyn, even if it spans over different neighborhoods, you’ll be more likely to rank than someone who has only one or two posts on Brooklyn.
Keep creating new content and link up and back between new posts and old posts.