3 Keys to Content Planning Success
written by Bonnie Chomica
Do you still struggle with being a consistent content creator? You often don’t know what to write or speak about, or just can’t seem to find the time. And you don’t feel confident enough to commit to doing it on a regular basis.
I guarantee you’re not alone.
Most small business owners don’t see the value in creating content because it doesn’t have an immediate return on investment. Content marketing is actually a long-term strategy that is one of the most powerful to get visibility and build your authority. And, it takes commitment to consistently put it out to the universe, so people can find you and understand why they should buy your stuff.
To get you on a steadier path it’s smart to have a content plan. Part of working a plan is to have some processes and habits in place. Let’s look at three key methods to help you approach your content in a more positive and manageable way. Lose the randomness and anxiety by testing out these productivity tips and make them work for your own style.
For this list, I’ll assume you know your target audience well, and understand their pain points or challenges. The purpose of your content is to position yourself as the expert or authority in your niche. If you don’t have this nailed, then you should book a call with me so we can get you sorted out.
Content Planning Tips
1. Capture Content Ideas – Take note of things that could be good topic ideas, or fodder for some kind of content. I use a couple of apps (Trello and Evernote) to save articles, social posts, emails, headlines, and swipe copy. I have a beautiful journal where I jot down ideas with my pen. I have tiny notebooks in my purse, in my car, by my bed, and Post It notes. Who doesn’t love Post Its? I don’t rely solely on tech apps, because in the moment I have a brilliant idea, the tech often fails me and I have to revert to pen and paper.
This method is to merely capture the ideas so you have a place to start, some inspiration to expand on your own perspective on that topic. A bonus is when that topic can be broken out to multiple topics. Sometimes the ideas need to percolate for use in the future. They may even be things you haven’t even learned about yet, but you know they’re important. And some may just end up in the trash, and that’s okay. The idea gathering is a creative exercise, to uncover what's possible, not a stake in the ground to commit to a topic.
2. Schedule Your Creation Time – Creating content is not something to do off the side of your desk, in your spare time. Block off some uninterrupted time depending on when in the day you feel the most refreshed and full of energy. Ideally, you should schedule time the same day each week, or perhaps the same time each day, depending what you’re creating (e.g. video, blog, email, social, graphics).
Break the tasks down if you need to. For example, graphic creation can take a different mindset, so schedule time for those. if you need to do research to validate your ideas, or find quotations or statistics, that takes a different level of focus from actually writing, recording, or producing your content. Be sure to limit your time at that. You know an activity like research can take you down many rabbit holes. Find what you need and avoid the distractions.
3. Use a Content Calendar – Most people work better with a deadline (most people, not all). A content calendar will show important promotion dates for events, campaigns, launches, and collaborations. But, it’s also how you can plan your content topic ideas for blog posts, social media updates, speaking opportunities, and email newsletters. By using a content calendar it supports you so that you can be consistent, and forces you to be more accountable to yourself, and your audience.
You can use tech apps to create and manage a calendar. A big wall calendar can be a great tool. Good ol’ Post Its work here as well. I personally use a spreadsheet file that I created. I call it the Content Planner Tool. Developed over several years, when I started regularly using this tool I immediately became consistent with my social media and email newsletter, which increased my exposure, engagement, workshop signups, and client list!
You can grab my Content Planner Tool 2023 here. It’s pretty easy to use, and there's a video explaining how I use it and how you can customize it for your business.
Content Creation Commitment
These methods are meant to get you organized so you can create content consistently. If you only produce content sporadically, you’ll remain invisible. If you’re invisible, no one will buy from you. And that’s just sad.
Businesses grow and thrive using processes and systems. Embrace these 3 easy methods as a starting point to create your own content creation process and then evolve to think and plan like a publisher to really create momentum.
You have an important message. Being of service to your audience by delivering valuable content will highlight that message in a way that they get to know, like, and trust you. That’s the making of a successful business relationship that can lead to a mutually beneficial money exchange.
Invitation to a Prosperity Session
To really get organized, prioritized, and energized with your marketing, book a free Prosperity Session with me. It’s up to 60 minutes, and it’s free!