So you decided that this is the year you're going to take your blog seriously. You're ready to start putting all the advice and information you've gathered into practice. The only way to get started and do it right is to plan. Don't worry if you're not a "planner" or have been winging it for a while. I'm going to show you a simple system for planning content fast.
Stop mentally writing your blog post for the 100th time.
Get your ideas out of your head and onto paper. Sounds way too simple to be effective but trust me there's something magical about jotting down your ideas in a designated "idea bank." Whether you're an Evernote user or love a good old fashion journal, choose a place for your ideas so you can get them out of your head. (Side note, I suggest putting them in Evernote to ensure that you can access them anytime and from anywhere).
Have no idea what to write?
Let's get one thing clear, your business blog is a marketing channel. That means you need to write content that your audience actually wants to read and that positions you as the professional or solution they need. It's another avenue for your brand to connect with potential clients and generate leads. Good news, if your creativity is totally zapped, a little quick market research can help get the juice flowing. However, even if you're bursting with ideas, it's a good idea to do a little market research to validate them. Here's my fail-proof strategy for getting market research fast. (YouTube video)
Cut your writing time in half with this nifty trick.
I'm not tooting my horn for the sake of gaining an email. I'm serious when I say this email template will cut your writing time down tremendously. Not only am I including strategic formatting cues, I've thrown in writing prompts to jump-start your creative juices. It's the same template I use to write all of my blog posts. No matter your niche, topic or idea this template will work for you. Just tell me where to send it and it's yours to use forever.
Focus, focus, focus.
Don't get distracted now! You've come so far. You've got your research, and you even have a blog post template that practically writes the blog post for you. Don't get lost in a rabbit hole of cat videos, or reading someone else's blog. I find it incredibly helpful to use the Pomodoro technique. I set the timer on my computer to help me stay on track and intentional with my time. Focus mentally but also strategically. See the trick to creating a Netflix binge-worthy blog is to take one theme or topic and create multiple blog posts that piggybacks one-after-the-other. The key to turning those blog posts into lead generating content is to pick one offer to frame your content around. I know that sounds a little complicated but I promise it's not. Here's an example...
The secret to cranking out 30 days of blog content ideas that are strategic and intentional.
Let's say you're a health coach and you specialize in treating IBS. You want to make sure that you focus on a topic that revolves around the problem you solve for your clients through your services. Based on your research and the ideas floating around in your head you realize that a lot of people with IBS have trouble figuring out what to eat so that they don't trigger their symptoms (topic). AND you just so happen to offer meal planning services or a premade meal plan (offer). Sounds like we have match!
So for the month of December, you decide these are the two things you're going to focus on and create content that solves this problem and use it to lead them to your offer. Here are some example blog post ideas...
- 5 Holiday Foods IBS Sufferers Should Avoid and What to Eat Instead. (seasonal)
- 3 IBS-Friendly Holiday Recipes for Egg Nog. (seasonal)
- How to Figure Out What to Eat When You Have IBS. (Evergreen)
- 3 IBS-Friendly Meals That Take 1 Hour or Less. (Evergreen)
If you wanted to add a content upgrade, you might consider throwing in a checklist, PDF of the recipes, a list of foods to avoid or a shopping list specific for IBS patients. All of which should take you no longer than 30 minutes to create. Simple, right?
How to plan content out in advance.
Now that you have some ideas to work with. It's time to really start planning and turning them into must-read blog posts. Don't worry we're going to keep it real simple. This is where we take those ideas we wrote out and transfer them to CoSchedule (or editorial calendar of your choice). Update - I'm no longer using CoSchedule. It's great but Asana is a better match for my business.
The rules for planning no matter where you make your plan are as follows:
- Set your posting frequency. (Be realistic about how often you can create the content)
- Plan at least 30 days out. (If you can do 60 or 90 even better)
- Stick to one theme and one service/product for the month.
- Include the creation process in your scheduling. How long will it take you to create a post from start to publish.
- Always re-purpose and re-use any idea or post you create.
Time to start writing or should I say typing.
I know having them planned out is half the battle. Getting them written and published is the other. Luckily you've already accessed my handy blog template so you won't have to worry. It's perfect if you're a newbie and not sure where to start.