Anyone who has visited this blog before will know by now that I love a plan. Not only because it makes sure you show up and stay consistent but also because it saves me time and means I know exactly what it is I have to do each day/week and month.

The problem for a lot of people is taking the time out from doing the job to plan it properly.

And I get it – how can you have time to plan, when you barely have time to do what you need to do on a daily basis?

But trust me, making time to do the planning will make all the difference in the long term.

And, how about if I told you, you could plan all of your blog content for the next 12 months in just one afternoon? In fact in you can do it in 10 minutes if you download my free 12-month content planner, with over 200 content ideas for blogs and social media posts.

Honestly, it can be done and then all you have to do is sit down, check your plan and write the post – but the hard work has been done for you!

FREQUENCY

If you have been umming and ahhing about how often you should post, now is the time to decide once and for all – so you can map out your 12 months of content.

Whether that is once a week or once a month that is fine but whatever you decide, make sure it is something you can stick to.

So if you are going for one a week, decide on the day you will be publishing it, and get your head around the fact that you need to come up with 52 different titles!

It might seem like a huge mountain of work, you are setting yourself, but remember you’re not actually writing them now, just planning them.

Planning will also become more manageable when you have decided on your content pillars because if you have five, then you will only have to come up with around 10 ideas for each one – which sounds far more doable, right?

THEMES

One of the questions I get asked most by online business owners is how do I decide what to blog about?

I completely understand that finding new content every week can be hard, so that’s where content pillars are essential so you can piece together a strategy and ensure your content is on-brand at all times.

Every business, no matter how big or small, has a range of topics that can be relevant to their readers – the key is to decide on them and stick to them to maintain a strong brand.

These topics are also known as content pillars and will form the foundation of your content and planning.

You should look to have five pillars, although you can have subcategories, which fit together, so maybe you would have working from home as a subcategory of running a business. Or social media as a subcategory of content, but they should be relevant to your audience and be something you can regularly cover, as wonky pillars are not good foundations for anything!

If you don’t know where to start with your content pillars, then you can read a dedicated blog here.

USE YOUR KEYWORDS

Once you have your pillars, you need to work on your keywords for each one – what you want to be using to reach your dream clients/customers.

You should have an idea of these, from when you set up your website, but if you need to add to them, now you have a better idea of what you should be focussing on, or maybe you skipped this step then Google Adwords Keyword Planner and Moz’s Keyword Explorer are great tools to help you do your homework.

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

If you have events planned or product launches already in the diary, or maybe you’re a product-based business where seasons and holidays matter, then it’s essential to take it all into account now.

Important dates and events can play a crucial part in your marketing, so you need to be aware of them and their impact when you’re planning. As well as making sure your content is always relevant, it will also give you a few quick wins when it comes to content creation.

WHAT CONTENT WORKS BEST

As someone who writes for a living, blogging is my go-to form of content, but that’s not the same for everyone and every business.

Maybe you prefer video or podcasts, or if you’re a product-based business, a picture story might be more your cup of tea.

Whatever you prefer is fine, just as long as it’s also the medium that resonates with your readers. So, do your research, study your analytics and ask your readers what they like.

BRAINSTORM

Brainstorming is a task that can take hours if you let it, but you can also achieve the same if you set the timer for 30 minutes.

It’s known as Parkinson’s Law – work expands to the time it is given for completion. If you have two weeks to write a blog, it will take two weeks but if you have two hours you will also get it done.

So, set the alarm for 30 minutes and decide on 10 headlines for each category (and subcategory if you have them). 

Each headline can be tweaked to match what people are searching for at a later date, but having a list of strong ideas will make things so much easier when you sit down to write and plan.

Now you have at least 50 ideas, and add to those some time-sensitive options that you know you need to post – you already have a full year’s supply of content! 

 GET YOUR FREE CONTENT PLANNER HERE