Do you struggle to come up with ideas for your weekly blog posts? Although it’s the way you communicate your message and values to your customers, it can be difficult to know what you should write about, and when. Wouldn’t it be great to never again scramble for a blog post idea? Putting together an annual content plan, also called an editorial calendar, will allow you to prepare well in advance to help you meet your deadlines and achieve your goals.
Important considerations when creating your content plan
Your post should always have a strong link to the product, service, or idea that you are selling. This is part of your branding. It allows your website to present a consistent message to the people reading it. Rather than just publishing something because it is due, your content should be an integral contribution to your business goals. This might mean:
- Increasing traffic
- More sales
- Growing your email list
- Gaining credibility
This doesn’t mean that every post has to instantly convert your readers to customers. Some may do that, but the goal of a lot of your content is to offer readers something of value in exchange for the time they spend reading it. It can educate, entertain, inspire through humor or touching stories. Every post you write is an opportunity to build trust with your readers and customers.
How often are you going to publish your content?
What kind of consistent commitment can you make to your readers? More frequent posting will keep your brand and your message in front of readers, but consistency is the key. This will determine how many ideas you will need to come up with for your content plan.
|# of Posts
|Every 2 weeks
|Twice a week
What topics are you going to focus on?
Brainstorm a list of topics for your content calendar. Get input from business partners, employees, and others who care about your business succeeding and who understand your goals. Once you’ve decided what your main topics will be, think about subtopics that fall into those categories. This is where you can start to consider ideas for specific blog posts.
Where to find ideas for posts to include in your content plan
- Social media groups and forums where your ideal customer spends time. Look for posts asking for advice. Are there certain questions that are asked more frequently? Which questions elicit a lot of interaction on the page? These are clues to the things your ideal customer needs.
- Check out Pinterest. It’s not just for visual ideas. You can find out what people interested in your niche are looking for.
- What are other bloggers in your niche posting about? Don’t just chase after trends, but answer the needs that are raised in your own way.
- Are your customers asking you direct questions? If it is appropriate, share the question and answer it on your blog to help other readers that have the same concern.
- How is your perspective distinct from the other voices writing about the same topics? Find your unique angle! Don’t bother to write the same thing someone else has. You have to add something to the conversation. You may even oppose the crowd, but make it worth reading!
- Are there common misconceptions about a topic you specialize in?
Use the calendar to create your content plan
Every business pays attention to what time of year it is and how it affects their customers. It’s why we get pumpkin spice…everything…in October and iced tea in July. Grocers focus on festive savory and sweet foods around the holidays, but in January it is all about healthy eating. The seasons bring with them special promotions and sales, and times of the year when certain subjects are searched more often. For example, this post is being published as we ring in the New Year, so readers can start the year out right with a solid content plan.
Look at your list of topics and decide where they will fit into your content plan. Do some seem more relevant at certain times than others? Will you have a special feature that runs monthly? Once you have all of the spots filled in, you are ready to start writing.
If all of this seems a little overwhelming, and you would like some help creating a content plan that propels you toward your goals, send us a message. The professionals at Iceberg Web Design would be happy to help.