How to Plan A Year's Worth of Incredible Content in One Day
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Successful bloggers know that a consistent stream of useful, actionable, and interesting blog content is critical to growing their blog's readership and monthly income.
There are many different types of "content" you can produce for your online business, so know that this doesn't apply only to blog posts.
Content can be blog posts, YouTube videos, social media posts, podcast episodes, or any other form of information delivery that works for your business.
So why does content matter so much, and why should you plan it out in advance?
The simple answer is that content brings readers and readers bring sales. Without an audience, you just don't have a business.
Consistent, exciting new content:
- Makes your readers eager to return to your blog
- Gives you credibility in your niche
- Creates more opportunities for new readers to find your work
- Increases your monthly blogging income
So as you can see, keeping the content coming is so important to the success of your business.
Part of maintaining consistency with your content creation is planning in advance.
One of the worst feelings for me is sitting down to write, only to stare at the screen as I try to figure out what to write about. It's so stressful!
The number one way I combat this is by keeping a running list of blog post ideas in my notebook.
At any given time I have 6 months or more of blog content ideas, with more being added every single week.
If you're ready to get serious about blogging this year, I highly recommend planning out 6-month to a year's worth of content in advance so you never waste work time wondering what you should do next.
Here's how to do it.
#1. Decide How Much Blog Content You Will Produce This Year
At the point of this writing, I have enough time to post two new posts to my blog each week. That's 104 posts per year if you consider a standard 52 week year.
How many times per week will you post new content?
If you are just starting out, I highly recommend planning on once per week and increasing from there.
Once you have your weekly posting number, multiply it by 52 to get the amount of new content you will post in a year.
Once you have this number, it's time to start gathering ideas!
So how do you find content ideas that will consistently inspire and help your readers?
#2. Ask Your Readers What They Want to Know
This one is crazy simple! Ask your readers what problems they are facing right now in regards to your blog topic.
You can do this through email, ask them in your Facebook group, ask on social media, or pretty much anywhere else your target audience hangs out.
While you may not get hundreds of responses right off the bat, you can assume that for each response you get there are a handful more people who are having the same problem!
#3. Scour Related Facebook Groups for Ideas
Another great way to get inside into your market is to join Facebook groups that are related to your blogging niche and spend some time looking through them.
It's important to make sure that the groups you are joining are at your audience's level. For example, if you are an advanced knitter and would usually join advanced knitting groups, but your audience members are really beginners, look for questions in beginner's knitting Facebook groups so you don't start writing posts that are way above their level.
I like to look for questions that are asked over and over in these various groups. Not only does this help me create content that I know my readers will love, I can also use some of the exact words found in people's questions to help me connect with my readers more deeply.
Make sure you join my free Facebook group for women bloggers! It's the perfect place to talk with other bloggers, get feedback on your blog, and help build a community.
#4. Get Inspiration from Pinterest
Here's something every blogger should know about Pinterest.
The most popular pins rank at the top!
This means that when you type in any particular keyword on Pinterest, you can see the pins that other people like the most at the very top. This is super useful for bloggers because it shows you exactly which topics and questions readers are looking for and clicking on the most.
If I want to find blog topics related to email marketing, for example, I might type in something like one of these into the Pinterest search bar:
- email marketing
- email list
- email subscribers
Then I look at the Top 10 pins that pop up for each of these and make note of exactly what the pin is offering.
Do people want to know how to grow their email list? Improve their email open rate? Connect more deeply with their email subscribers?
This is the part that makes all the difference.
When you can see exactly what your readers really need help with, you'll be able to become a much more valuable resource that they want to visit over and over.
#5. Create Your Master List of Content Ideas
As you follow each of the steps above, make a list of any questions or topics you find along the way. I like to write a sample headline for the post,and sometimes add a couple of bullet points of specific things I might want to talk about in that post.
I'm a paper person, so I like to keep this master list in my notebook. If you're a more digital type of person, I would recommend using the Evernote app. I've been using Evernote for a few years now and it is awesome! (Plus, it's free.)
Once you've reached your number, it's time to start making space in your calendar for content creation.
#6. Block Off Time On Your Calendar for Content Creation
A list of content ideas is great, but if you aren't already in the habit of writing consistently, you should definitely schedule time to actually create all of these pieces of content.
It's important to schedule your work time on your calendar and making it just as non-negotiable as your dentist appointment or movie date.
At this stage in motherhood, blocking off 3 hours from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. is the best time for me to get this work done.
Of course, you will likely have a completely different schedule than me!
The point here is that you want to make sure you aren't spending a bunch of time researching and no time implementing.
The difference between bloggers that make money from their blogs and those that don't is that successful ones can execute.
They don't fritter away their all of their work time researcing or thinking about blogging. They produce.
Take the time to fill out your calendar each week with the exact dates and times that you will work on content creation, and it will pay you back tenfold!
A blog content calendar is so incredibly useful to being productive. When you always know what you should work on next, you don't waste valuable work time.
If you aren't sure which things you should be working on next in your blogging business, make sure to grab my Profitable Blogging Blueprint below! It will walk you step by step through every action you need to take, in correct order, to make money from your blog.
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