One of the things I talk about in my author mentoring programme is creating a sustainable content plan that works for you. So much of the advice out there about creating a blog is about posting regularly, but ‘regularly’ means different things to different people. I cannot post daily. In some seasons of my life, twice a month was pushing it. If I had posted daily for the last few years, would this blog have a significantly bigger readership? Possibly. But I would have lost my energy for it a very time long ago if I’d forced myself to do that. It wouldn’t be realistic for me to plan to blog every day.
I thought it might be fun to share the steps I follow when plan content for my blog, but everyone has different systems – I would love to hear what works for you!
What do you want to talk about?
I’m trying to be much more focused on the content that I share on here. I want to become known as someone who works closely with authors and who loves my Job and who tries to live mindfully. Everything I decide to write about has to pass through a filter now – if it doesn’t fit into the buckets of marketing, mindful living or planning, I don’t write about it.
Then I lay out what I want to talk about in the coming months. Is there an important date for my business in there (ie: the launch of the next round of my author mentoring programme)? What content do I want to share around that? What have I learnt recently that I can share? What’s on my mind right now in terms of mindful living? Are there any important cultural dates that I want to share something around?
How much time do you have?
This basically determines how often I share new content. Given the amount of time I have, I think it’s feasible for me to write something new every week. That translates into me sharing a blog post every week apart from the once a month that I send out my newsletter. It feels really manageable most of the time, although, of course, there are always some weeks that are busier than others!
In addition, I also try to share someone on Instagram 4-5 times a week. I’ve recently discovered the Preview app, which is brilliant. Really highly recommend it (not an ad). I load up the images I want to share, then the night before I set them live, I write a caption. All the hashtags are stored in there, and it just makes it all super easy to use.
How long do you want to plan for?
I have a brainstorm every few months, where I write down as many ideas as I can, and then plot them into my schedule (which I store in Google Keep). I plan for three months across my blog and newsletter, but also try to leave myself room to be flexible.
If I don’t fancy writing about something, or something more ‘urgent’ comes up, I swap things around. For example, today’s post was meant to be about something else entirely, but as I was writing the final week of material for my author mentoring programme, I found myself writing out some ideas for this blog post at the same time – and here we are!
How a rough content plan turns into something real
Throughout the week, as ideas come to me, I write them down. This might be ideas for content, links I want to read, the start of a blog post or two – anything, really.
I have Fridays and evenings to work for myself. This doesn’t just involve content for this blog, though! So it’s actually not a huge amount of time. Friday mornings tend to be the best time for me to sit down and concentrate, so anything that needs writing tends to happen then.
First thing first, I take myself off for a coffee with my notebook. So often, writing long-hand seems to make things flow more easily, so that’s where I start.
Then I take myself off to the library and use their computers for a couple of hours. Actually, you’re only ALLOWED to use their computers for two hours, so it really focuses my mind on what I’m doing. I have a list in my notebook of what I want to do, and in what order, and I plough through that. Typing up what I’ve written earlier tends to go somewhere on that list.
Friday afternoons tend to then be less about writing and more about responding to activity on social media, replying to emails, and batch taking images for Instagram.
With Fridays all about content creation, my evenings are more about editing images, editing text, building my (already written) newsletter etc.
And that’s how it all happens! Of course, from next week, I’m about to take on a new client, and the work I’ll be doing for her is quite different from what I’ve been doing so far on my Fridays, so we’ll have to see whether this weekly schedule continues to make sense in the new year!
How do you plan out your content? I love hearing how other people do their planning!
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