What does your audience REALLY want? You.
Well, not just you. Your content.
We’ve all been there. Sitting at our desk (or in our bed) with our designer day planner, stack of post its, and laptop trying to brainstorm blog content. Creating content for your blog seems so simple when you read a how to article on Pinterest, but then you try to write a blog post. You know how to write. Figuring out what to write is the hard part. So instead of writing the wrong thing for your audience, you write nothing.
Or is that just me?
What I finally realized is that I could spend forever trying to find the perfect blog post to write. Or I could just write. Because content is better than no content. Because any content is an opportunity to show my audience a glimpse into my life and ultimately the real me.
Here are my tips for making a blog content plan that will help you start writing blog posts and actually follow through and post them.
CREATE A LIST OF TOPICS:
With so many blogs online, the only way to get noticed is to have a super specific niche topic for your blog. Becoming known for a specific niche will allow you to establish your expertise. This can be so hard. This can hold you up for what seems like forever. But sometimes just picking one niche and going with it until you change your mind, is the only way to get started.
I write about ways that women entrepreneurs can build their businesses, brands, and lives. That means all of my blog posts somehow revolve around those topics. Even if I bake the most perfect French Macarons, I won’t be sharing the recipe on my blog. Your audience wants you to stay on topic. They are coming to your blog to read about your expertise.
Step 1: Determine what topics you will blog about. Keep a focus.
Create A List Of Posts:
The biggest mistake people make before they start blogging is not having a plan. It is a lot easier to create content when you have a clear vision. After you establish what topics you want to blog about, start creating a list of posts that fit within those categories. Start your list by writing blog post titles. If you’re super inspired about certain post ideas, write down your other ideas for the post. You may think you’ll remember them again when you go to write the post, but chances are, you won’t.
I like to look at posts by my favorite bloggers for title inspiration. So many blog post titles follow the same templates. Yes, you can download a list of templates, but there is something so much more inspiring about seeing titles in use, especially by people you admire. Depending on the frequency you want to post, you’ll need to write enough post titles to fill your entire schedule.
Step 2: Write a list of blog post titles. Make sure you have enough.
Add Content To Your Calendar:
The next step is adding all of your content to your calendar. Depending on your writing process, you may want to write deadlines for writing the posts and the publication dates. Creating a content calendar will hold you accountable. By putting the posts in your calendar, you are working content creation into your schedule.
Be flexible with the publication dates, but not too flexible. I write my blog posts on mini post-its and put each a post on every Monday. Having Monday as a set publication date holds me accountable to posting on Mondays, but having the flexibility of the post-its lets me switch topics if I don’t feel inspired by the prescheduled one.
Step 3: Schedule it. Add the content to your paper or digital planner.
Create The Content:
Following through is the hardest step. Even if you’re normally a type A scheduled woman who follows through with all of her plans, sticking to a consistent blog schedule is always harder than you think. When you find yourself moving those post-its with scheduled posts to a later date, remember your schedule. The rest of your content plan for the year depends on this one post.
And because you’re a type A woman, plan ahead. In addition to your normal content schedule, always be prepared with a few extra filler posts. These are posts that are timeless and can be substituted any week. Your filler posts are for days that you wake up with a migraine, have a sick kid, had too much wine the night before, or just don’t feel like it. By planning ahead for unexpected days, it will be easier for you to stick to your content calendar.
Step 4: Write and post. Have backup posts.
When you start to consider starting a blog, it is easy to be overwhelmed. Creating a content calendar breaks blogging down into manageable pieces so that you can follow through.
The top online celebrities (bloggers, Viners, SnapChatters, YouTubers, etc) all say that success on the internet just happens when you put yourself out there and create content.
What tips do you have for posting? How do you stick to a consistent posting schedule?