My biz is content heavy. In January of 2018, I made a commitment to doing a weekly blog post. Talk about a stretch goal!
This seemed absolutely impossible, as the most I had been able to do previously was a post every 3-4 weeks. But I knew that consistency builds visibility, fans, and engagement.
I was on a mission to make it happen. But I had to find a process or structure that was going work for me so that I was not tearing my hair out. Been there? Read on!
This is a game changer, my friends: Weekly content creation doesn’t have to be a dreaded chore!
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How many times have you wandered into the kitchen to start dinner for your family and thought, “There’s nothing in the fridge – what am I going to make for dinner?” Another panic moment I’ve experienced far too often.
The solution? Create menus before building a grocery list and go on a grocery run once or twice a week. Doing the pre-planning is the hard part, and the pre-dinner time is just execution (and joy, if you like to cook!).
Using the same principle, I created a content calendar for myself in the very beginning and this has saved my bacon and my sanity many times. I plan 3-4 months in advance, plenty of time to continuously add detail to content as it comes to me, and have found that the rhythm of weekly content creation is now totally manageable.
Here is the process in a nutshell:
Nail the broad strokes FIRST.
Create 8-10 categories that will capture all of your content goals. If you are a Google keyword master, you might start there. I did some research on Amazon and checked out other blogs on entrepreneurship to see what topics came up repeatedly and made my choices. The research took less than an hour.
By taking the time to make sure you have the breadth of coverage on issues that matter to your service or product in advance, you can let go of the fear that you might miss something important.
Choose ENGAGING topics.
Come up with 4-5 ideas for posts within each category, each covering a vital topic in a fun and engaging way. Sitting down once and doing 4 to 6 months worth of ideas will take a big weight off of your shoulders. The hard thinking is behind you. “OMG, what am I going to write about THIS week?!!” The panic part of the process is completely eliminated.
Now that you have your ideas on paper, you have a place to add details to your content as it comes to you, well in advance of your publishing deadlines.
Now your thinking like a true CEO! This is the kind of strategic planning that makes the difference between long-term success and a flash-in-the-pan.
Repurpose in multiple formats.
Map out how you will re-purpose the same content to get the most visibility. Don’t be afraid to post the same content in multiple formats. Your audience will want to engage with you in the format that they prefer. Some people are visual learners (hence the video and FB Lives), while others prefer to read.
Share your blog post in your newsletter. Create a variety of posts and graphics so you can post on social media over the next week. Do a Facebook Live or record a video of the content of your blog post. Upload to Facebook and YouTube. If you do a podcast, you can just read the blog post for some quick content.
Remember, your email newsletter probably has about a 20% open rate, so 80% of your audience didn’t read your email. But they may see the post on your blog, or your FB page, or on other social media platforms. The more ways that you can share a single piece of content, the more likely your target audience will find you and engage.
Thoroughly think through your new content once, and publish it in several formats. Now that is Bang-for-the-Buck right there!
While you’re at it…
I also use the same content calendar spreadsheet for even more content using the same helpful categories. I jot down ideas for new presentations, webinars and training sessions. I create content upgrades (lead magnets) that I can use to get more email sign-ups. I shoot for one per month and a topic that is related to an upcoming blog post. By the end of the year, I’ll have 12 new lead magnets to use throughout the year! That’s golden.
By dedicating some time to the pre-planning, the creation of weekly content doesn’t have to make you crazy!
Want to see my system in more detail? I have a sample content calendar that I’d like you to have. It includes a detailed look at just how my system works and some additional tips to make it work for you. Click here to subscribe