How to Plan Content + Stay on Track with your Blog
Any blogger knows that when you start your blog you are on fire. You are excited. You seem to have endless ideas that you can't wait to share with your perspective readers. Then, reality sets in. Your days fly by and blogging (being the very last thing on your to-do list) doesn't get done. Then the days pass....still no post and it becomes harder and harder to get back into the swing of things! I feel like blogging is alot like going to the gym. The hardest part is getting there but, once I establish a routine I am much more successful with showing up every single day.
When I recently started blogging again I knew that I had to keep myself accountable and I had to stay organized. I actually put some thought into the idea of being consistent and turned to my planner to help me stay on track. I just ran into one road block, as much as I love my day planner it just didn't have enough space for me to jot down my weekly content schedule. So, I problem solved and came up with my own worksheet to help me stay on track!
Here's my step by step process of how I brainstorm blog post ideas and how I keep a consistent blogging schedule.
Step 1 - Brainstorm
There are about, oh a million different business tops I could address in my blog but the challenge is to find the relevant content that people are truly interested in reading! There are a few different ways you can go about choosing your content but the most important factor to keep front of mind is what does your audience want to read? What do your readers want more of from you? What is the point of blogging if no one is interested in the topics, right?
On way to research hot topics is to use Pinterest to see what's trending. Use the search bar to search a broad topic. In this search I used the keywords "social media marketing" - here are the results:
To narrow down my topic a bit more I could click on one of the suggestions under the toolbar. If I know I want to focus on Instagram I'd click that key word.
I can now see what articles are trending about "social media marketing instagram". You may decide to run with one of the topics you see trending or you could do the opposite and settle on a topic that you don't see. Not an expert on a particular topic? It may be a good time to dig deeper, do some research and write a blog post that not only educates your audience but also yourself!
Step 2 - Get it all down on paper (or a google doc)
I find that step 2 is often the most difficult. We often get stuck here because even though our brains are have thousands of ideas dancing around it's so tough to get it down on paper (or computer) to get it organized. This is when I find it useful to go back to my middle school English class where I first learned to write a somewhat cohesive and organized paper.
Keep the structure simple. Start with an opening thought to introduce the topic, then choose 3-5 bullet points to touch on and write a paragraph on each, and finally write a summary article. I always start with a simple outline draft with my basic ideas, then I open up my SquareSpace page and start working on my blog post draft.
Step 3- Get Organized
Remember we want to get organized for each week. That may mean you are choosing one content idea or three (it just depends on how often you are choosing to blog). Just remember to follow the steps for each topic you choose to stay organized. I usually create draft posts with all of my content ideas and also fill in the outlines. Once I finish one blog post I move onto the next but I always have 3-5 working posts in my drafts.
You can use my free workbook template to get yourself organized. Print one worksheet each week to help you stay on track.
I know some people love to plan out their content and will sit down and plan out 1-2 months at a time. You can definitely do it that way if you'd like. The more planning you can do in advance the more likely you are to stay consistent with your blogging plan. Remember, do what works for YOU!
One parting thought...it doesn't matter if you blog 3 times a week, 1 time a week or 1 time a month the key to any success blog is to be consistent and to let your audience know what they can expect from you. If you lay out clear expectations it not only keeps you accountable to yourself but also to your audience. You don't want to let your tribe down, but more importantly, don't let yourself down!
Happy Blogging friends!!
Want to hear more from me? I have a podcast! You can find it on iTunes here: graced Business Podcast
DID YOU FIND THIS ARTICLE HELPFUL? FOLLOW ME ON PINTEREST FOR MORE GREAT CONTENT!