Planning is vital in every area of our business.
I’m a big-time planner by nature but there is one area that I have struggled with.
Planning my content.
What I want to talk about when. What to write a post or do a video about. Etc.
I’ve recently made a major effort to change this. Today I want to talk about what I’ve been doing and what I’ve learned through the process.
A Little Backstory
The obvious first question is what I’m doing to change this horrible habit of “going with the flow.” There are times when its good to be spontaneous, sure, but your content is not one of them! Here’s a little peak behind the scenes.
One of the main reasons I haven’t planned content out in advance is because I’ve never enjoyed writing. I always barely passed most of papers in high school and college. I was lucky to type more than just 2-3 pages on any given topic.
We’ve always joked that my mom and sister have a “BS gene” because they can write in circles around ANYthing to make it as long as necessary. I write only in quick, succinct details which is why my blog posts and videos are rarely long. It’s just not in me.
I let this idea of being a “bad writer” hold me back. I didn’t start my blog for awhile because I just knew it would be awful and I didn’t enjoy writing anyway. I finally saw the benefit of having a blog, so I started writing back in December 2018.
Over time, I realized that I actually enjoy this blog style of writing. It’s free from grades and pressure and the only people who read it are the ones actually interested in my topic & not my writing skills.
Writing these posts is slowly coming easier for me and I can think and write faster!
What I've Changed
Now that I actually enjoy writing I’ve realized that I really need to start planning my content and not just picking a topic right before it goes live. I’m not doing myself or you, my readers, justice by flying by the seat of my pants and not giving me time to really think about what I’m writing and what I want to convey.
The first thing I’ve started doing is actually asking my audience what they want to learn about. One of the entry questions for my Facebook Community is asking what their top three challenges are when it comes to organizing their physical & digital space. I also message all of the followers on my Facebook Page and ask them the same thing! Their answers are golden! People are telling me exactly what they want me to write about. It eliminates the guessing game for me.
The second thing I’ve changed is my mindset. While it’s easier for me to write in the moment now, it means I have no content strategy. As a service-based business my blog isn’t my main draw for clients, and I don’t have any intention to make it such. However, it should be structured in a way that makes it evident that I know what I’m talking about and is most helpful for my audience. Even if they never become paying clients.
Now that I’m planning my posts out, I can do them around certain topics, services, or promotions that I have going on instead of individual posts.
Why It's Important
I hinted at it a little already, but if we don’t plan our content we are doing ourselves a great disservice. We are putting more pressure on ourselves every week to write quickly and our readers never really know what to expect from us. Our blogs also then don’t serve our businesses well because they don’t draw in subscribers or clients.
Our readers deserve better. They deserve the bottoms of our hearts, not the tops of our minds. They deserve posts that are fully researched and thought out with helpful links included. Our readers deserve posts that they actually need right now. If we aren’t taking the time to plan out our posts, there is little thought that goes into them. We write them, schedule them to post, and move on to the next thing. Or worse, we write them and post immediately because we aren’t even consistent in our posting.
How I Plan
As of two weeks ago, I started time blocking my calendar. You would think as a productivity expert, this was something I started doing long ago. Not so. I kept putting it off and saying “I’m doing fine. I work mostly in the pockets of my calendar anyway.” Anyone else laughing? Because I definitely am. I’m still a huge proponent of working in your pockets of time. I still do it inside my time blocks. I’m just even more productive with them now.
I now have two dedicated time blocks, on Monday & Friday, to creating my content whether its social media, a blog post, or a recorded video. That week, I decide what I’m going to work on when and then dive right in when that time block hits. I also have a time block on Tuesdays designated to working on my business. That’s when I plan my strategy of what I’m going to talk about over the next few weeks and how I want to do it.
At the very least, I suggest that you write your post one day and reread it the next.