The one where I explain how I have planned my blog and podcast content this year, and how you can do it too.
Hello, and welcome to episode 27 a the Creative Me podcast. Before we get started with today's show, I've got two things to mention.
The Light Bulb Club
The first is that I've started a brand-new Facebook group. It's a closed group, so you have to do ask to be added to the group, but if you ask, I will add you, so do go ahead and ask!
The group is called The Light Bulb Club and it's aimed at creative business owners, entrepreneurs and bloggers. It's a safe space to talk about the challenges you face in your business, ask for feedback and advice, and share all the good stuff. So please do join us there. I did my first Facebook live stream in the group yesterday, so I'm hoping to share lots and lots of value with you.
Fast Feedback for Busy Bloggers
In other news, I’ve launched a brand-new service this week called Fast Feedback for Busy Bloggers. It is a blog feedback service so basically what happens is, if you are a blogger wanting to improve your blog, you contact me. I send you a questionnaire to find out exactly what you are looking to improve. Then I take a look at your blog and give you feedback. I video the whole process, so you get to see me as a new-ish visitor to your blog navigating it talking about areas for development.
You get lifetime access to the video; it will be a minimum of 15 minutes worth of feedback. I also follow it up with an action plan and links to resources I mention in the video. You can also have an email exchange with me to ask any questions about the feedback that I've provided (just in case you require any clarification or have more questions).
Plan Your Content
OK let's get on with the show. Today I’m talking to you about planning content. I'll be honest it's not the sexiest subject in the world, but this year I have made an extra special effort to plan all the content I produce, and I am already noticing the benefits. So I thought I'd share what I've done with you.
Are You a Content Producer?
This episode is for content producers - people who produce visual, written or audio content (e.g. bloggers, podcasters, video makers etc).
My two main forms of content are blog posts and podcast episodes. While I handle them separately, I approach them both in the same way. This is how I did it:
Step 1: Frequency
I worked out how many times a week I wanted to release a blog post and a podcast episode. I decided one blog post and one podcast episode a week was achievable.
Step 2: Calendar
Now, I'm normally a digital girl, but for this part of my process, I used a massive whiteboard annual planner (like this). I put the dates on and then I added week numbers so I could plan on a week-by-week basis. I allocated the day of the week that I produce a podcast and write a blog post (with wiggle room). Fridays are for podcasts and Sundays for blog posts.
Step 3: Brain Dump
After that, it was time for an epic brain dump of content topic ideas.
Initially, I did this on a whiteboard, and then I started bringing those ideas across into my content calendar in Trello. I have a separate list for blog and podcast ideas. Bringing the ideas from the whiteboard to Trello allowed me to refine them a little.
At this stage, I'm not coming up with a proper headline; I’m just putting the essence of the idea down.
With very little effort I was able to come up with a good 30 or 40 topics that could either work as blog posts or podcast episodes or indeed both.
Step 4: Assign Topics to Week Numbers
After I had got these topic ideas down in my brain dump area, I started assigning them to specific weeks.
Again, I refined titles a little, but they still aren’t the final article. I always run my blog and podcast titles through Coschedule’s Headline Analyser to ensure they are SEO friendly etc.
In Trello, I created a card for each week number then added the topic idea.
When you go through this process, bear in mind any seasonal topics you might cover - perhaps build these out first.
Tip: Don’t Plan the Entire Year
I planned half the year’s blog posts and podcast episodes for a quarter. This seemed sensible. My blog content is more evergreen whereas my podcast topics tend to respond to things going on at the time.
In a couple months' time, I will do another ideas session another brain dump and start planning another couple of months worth of topics.
Tip: Keep an Ideas Bin
However you approach planning content, keeping a repository (whether it’s online or in paper format) for ideas is essential.
Tip: Keep a Record of What You Post
When I have published a planned blog post or podcast episode I move it into my “published” list and assign a date to it, so I can see my progress
Pick Your Platform
That’s it from me today. Do let me know how you are planning your content - I’d love to hear from you.
Also, don’t forget to join The Light Bulb Club
Thanks for listening.