Figuring out what blog posts to make to bring traffic to your site can be a bewildering task.
See how I developed my editorial calendar for a whole year’s worth of posts that would bring targeted traffic and followers to my site fast.
Enjoying this series?
It’s all about how I’m turning a hobby site into a money-making blog.
Maverick or Cookie Cutter
We’re not all mavericks like Elvis. Sam Phillips asked Elvis who he sounded like and Elvis replied, “I don’t sound like anybody.”
While breaking the mold is what made him stand out, most folks are just not capable of doing that.
I think taking the Edgar Allen Poe approach is what works best for most bloggers.
He knew all of the writing rules laid down by Shakespeare.
It was how Poe broke them that made his work so unique.
He didn’t break them all – just a few here and there, and in such a way that it caught attention – the good kind.
Research the Niche
If you’re not up for reinventing the wheel entirely and you just want to get in on a trend of how others are making money online, then the easiest way is to follow those blogs.
See what others are doing.
And then let that inspire you to roll your own version of it.
Cookie cut as much as you can of the basics, then add your own flavor to it.
Look at Everybody
One of the biggest mistakes for new bloggers is trying to do their site just like the big dogs.
Those at the top have had years of try-this-and-that to get where they are.
They’ve also had years to develop:
- Their voice
- Analytics to see what folks are responding well to
- Depth on topic – for compilations
- Freebies for optins and funnels
- A raving audience to share their stuff
- Their own groups, possibly in support of their offers
You can start with all that in mind, but it takes time to build up to it.
So, look at everyone in the space.
See how folks closer to where you are in your blogging journey are doing.
Watch them over time.
Find out what is working for them.
Where to Look
I’m switching the focus on Heartwood Art from carving to DIY woodworking.
And I have to build a whole shop and get all new tools to not only build the work benches and such, but to make the bigger wall art I want to create.
So, I’ve been doing a lot of research on tools and workbenches and such.
In doing so, I discovered all the big players in the niche, and who was doing well on different social platforms.
Follow the Metrics
Do you know how Wendy’s decided where to place their next hamburger stand?
As close to a McDonald’s as possible. No kidding.
They let Micky D’s do all the heavy research.
And me taking the time to look at all those niche posts was the same thing.
It gave me 30 ideas for blog posts.
I could clearly see which types of content garnered the most engagement.
With things like YouTube videos I could see when they posted and the numbers each attracted over time.
Many of them were in the 700k+ range.
Clearly there were plenty of folks looking for that info on YouTube.
I know a thing or two about doing SEO for videos and the posts they are embedded on and I knew I could do very well getting mine ranked.
So, YouTube metrics alone helped propel video tutorials and video tool reviews to the very top of my editorial calendar.
If that weren’t enough, I also saw how well videos did on Instagram, especially in the feed.
Plus, with the growing surge in IGTV and Stories, video could play a huge part in my promotion efforts too.
On BlogAid, I can clearly see how well my video post reach does on Facebook. It far outpaces any other type of post reach.
And now you know why getting a new camera and mic setup became a top priority for me, even if it blew my budget.
(See the previous post in this series for details.)
Finding My Spot
Seeing all of those niche sites, videos, and social media posts also helped me clearly define my place in the niche.
On one side of the continuum we have what I call “wood chicks.”
They are young, pretty, and always wear flattering clothing that is not necessarily appropriate for the shop.
(I hope no one takes offense with this term. It’s a LOT nicer than what I hear others say about the eye candy type personas online. Every niche has this type persona in it.)
And I don’t blame them for using every advantage they’ve got, either!!!
But I’m an old lady. I can’t compete with that, nor do I have the personality to want to try.
These women are usually in beautiful shops that are so neat and clean that it’s an obvious staging environment for the shots too.
And then there’s bubba who is in a dimly lit, cluttered shop, and he doesn’t know delivery or marketing, but he does know carpentry.
And then there’s the guy next door who has turned his garage into a nice-enough shop where he loves building things for his new home and wife and baby.
Watching all those kinds of videos, and everything in between helped me find my place.
I intend to be a better bubba and a little like the guy next door, but with a southern old lady twist. (Think Steel Magnolias.)
All of this helped me solidify that videos needed to be at the top of my editorial calendar to establish my online persona and start attracting my target audience.
It would also help endear me to that audience – at least that’s the plan!!
Starting with the easy, basic shop stuff would be my first post.
Write what you know.
So, as I’m learning about my new tools – do tool reviews and basic use of them.
As I’m deciding what to build, including the techniques, teach not only the how, but the why. I intend to teach the thinking behind my choices.
Remember, I just spent a month researching my builds. Knowing why to do it one way or another is super important, especially for first-time woodworkers.
And very few folks are covering it from that angle.
That’s my Elvis and my Poe!!!!
That’s how I break the cookie cutter mold and stand out.
Post Series Example
Here’s a good sample of my editorial calendar on just one tool – my mitre saw.
And it goes way beyond my site.
- Create a video tool review on Amazon – where I am a verified purchaser. And this has to be done soon, as next year that particular model may not be around.
- Put that same review on YouTube.
- Make a blog post on the review and embed the YT video.
- Make a quick clip of that video for Instagram and tag the manufacturer. (There are LOTS of brands on IG and many are super socially active and promote their customer base. In fact, that has a LOT to do with why I purchased Ryobi hand power tools. They will be in every build video I make.)
- Do a livestream on Facebook with a behind-the-scenes look at creating the video.
- Create a video tutorial on setting up a new mitre saw out of the box.
- Create a video tutorial on using a mitre saw safely.
- Create a video tutorial on all you can do with a dual-bevel, sliding mitre saw.
- Create a post of still images on different dust collection ideas
- Create a video on my thinking behind the build of a mitre saw bench/stand – this one is actually already done.
- Create a tutorial on each section of the build, like the legs, lower shelf, dust collection, rails, etc. There are 14 ways to do each of those, and I’ll cover in detail the ones I chose.
- Create a post with the final stand/bench and reference each of the above posts in it.
- Create all manner of promo for that final post, as it is the cornerstone content.
- Link all of the above posts to the cornerstone content.
- Post that build to the sites that had the plans I used for any part of it. (Several big folks in this niche encourage and promote folks who use their plans as long as you reciprocate it.)
That’s 15 pieces of content on just one thing.
Yes, I intend to own the space for mitre saw stuff.
And boy, won’t that be a deep filled sub-category of Power Tools!!!! It will gain me authority on topic too, and Google loves that!
From all my research, I had little trouble coming up with my new Category list for the blog’s new focus.
I have at least 6 other tools and 5 other builds to do this way.
These will establish my evergreen content and is why they are at the top of my editorial calendar.
They will start climbing to the 700k+ view mark as I go throughout the year.
Special thank you to Denise Wakeman for her tireless promotion of multiple ways to repurpose your content. I struggled with that, as the content on BlogAid is so time-sensitive. But it’s clear as day with the evergreen content on Heartwood Art. In fact, it’s inspiring!!!
And it Keeps Going
Once I finish all of the shop builds, then I start on the things I want to make for my new home – like an industrial pipe bookshelf, and a hall tree, and a bench for Zak in the office.
Those are all trending topics.
I also want to build some fun things to sell, like birdhouses and wall art.
Farmhouse stuff and pallet wood builds are all the rage. I want in on that before the fad passes.
In all those videos and posts I researched, I also paid attention to the branding.
And that will be the subject of my next post – how I plan to get instant recognition everywhere Heartwood Art appears.