Does creating a content strategy feel like too much work?
Let me ask a different question… How often you find yourself struggling to choose a topic for your blog, newsletter, or social media posts? Do you think of most of your ideas on the fly?
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a plan complete with ideas assigned to certain weeks and certain mediums, so you could arrive to your laptop knowing what you’re writing about this week?
A content plan saves you SO MUCH TIME. You don’t have to rack your brain for ideas when you’re in a rush. You don’t have to spend time rifling through all your ideas trying to find the one you like today. It’s already set for you!
Content strategy = less headache, more time
This year, I decided to plan my content in advance and I’ve already saved so much time and effort! Plus, now that I know what I’m writing about each week for the next quarter, it takes a lot of stress and hassle out of my work week.
I’ve also found a way to repurpose the content I use on my blog for my newsletter and social posts for that same week. I feel so organized and it feels like a huge relief!
If the idea of content planning feels daunting to you, if you feel you must hire an expert or spend hours or weeks on a plan, I’m here to tell you, there is another, easier way.
Today, I’m sharing my 7 steps to planning your content.
1. Brainstorm ideas.
Take time out to simply brainstorm ideas for your topics. You can free write a list. You can do a mind map. You might already have a running list of ideas somewhere in your phone or in Google docs. The point is to get all of your ideas out of your head and onto paper. (I easily populated a year’s worth of topics in one brainstorm!)
2. Categorize your list.
After you’re done with your brainstorm (and taken a short break), go back to your list and categorize it. You’ll likely notice certain themes of posts. Group like topics together. Try to find 4-5 categories and group those posts under the appropriate category. (For ex., my categories are Business, Branding, Marketing, Mindset, and Other).
3. Decide if there’s a natural order.
After seeing your categories, you may decide you want to address certain topics before others — especially if the topics build upon each other. If there’s an order you want to cover the topics, put them in that order. (Otherwise, no worries!)
4. Decide how often you’ll post.
The first thing to do before you start populating a content calendar is decide how often you’ll post on your blog. (Start with your blog first, we’ll get to the other assets later.) Do you want to publish weekly? Bi-weekly? Choose a schedule you can stick to.
5. Choose a monthly theme.
IF YOU DO ONE THING, DO THIS! Using the categories you’ve developed, choose a theme for each month. Having one theme for the month allows you to create content for all channels around that theme. (For example, my February theme is Brand Basics, and my March theme is Brand Components, my April theme is Messaging Tactics.)
6. List out all the blog topics.
Once you assign a theme to the month, list out your post ideas under that month. If you’re going to post 4x a month, make sure you list list 4 topics under that month.
7. Use your blog topics for your newsletters and social posts.
After your blog posts are developed, you can take a new spin on the topic for your newsletter (make it special for your readers!), and then pick out 3-5 points from your blog post to share on your social posts.
Finito! It’s done!
I planned out all my content for the quarter. It took less than an hour!
I recommend quarterly planning for a few reasons. One, the process is manageable. Two, you get the opportunity each quarter to see how your topics are working and if you want to make any changes.
So try planning your content for the next three months and see how it goes. Have follow up questions for me? I’d love to hear them!