How to create a blog plan
We’re almost into a brand-new year – and no doubt, like me, you’re thinking about how you’re going to grow your business during 2020.
Part of your content marketing plan for 2020 should include blogging – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – every business should be creating regular, good quality blog posts as part of their marketing plan.
“That’s all very well,” you might say, “But where do I find the time, and how do I find subjects to write about?”
That, my friends, is where the blog plan comes in.
Without some kind of plan for your blogging, your posts will likely be inconsistent and thrown together. And they’ll never get a good readership. If you want your blog posts to be read, your readers need to know a) when they can expect to see your new posts, and b) that you are writing about stuff they want to know about.
Creating your plan
Firstly, you’ll want to decide how often you want to publish your blog posts. That might be daily, weekly, fortnightly, monthly… it’s up to you, but the key is to stick to the schedule. Make sure that you have both the time and the content to be able to produce enough content to meet those dates.
Next, you need to think about what you want to cover. The subjects, in other words. What will you write about? What will your customers want to know/read about? Don’t make it salesy, make it interesting.
Your plan could be as simple as writing a list of dates and subjects on a notepad or a Word document. The important thing is that you look at it often, and stick to it.
Tools to help you
Previously, I used an Excel Spreadsheet to plan out my blog posts. It worked, up to a point – and it might work for you. It looked a little something like this:
However, I’m the sort of person who needs to be held accountable. I found that using the spreadsheet meant that I could too easily ignore things when I didn’t feel up to the task, or move things around when I was too busy to deal with it. And that meant that my blogs weren’t being published to schedule. And guess what? People stopped reading. They didn’t know when the next one would appear, so they didn’t come back.
So now, I use an app called Trello. There are others out there, but this one works really well for me.
With Trello, I’m able to create a content calendar, by entering in the subjects that I want to write about, schedule the day I want to publish them, and I get a virtual ‘telling off’ if I miss the deadline.
It also allows me to enter links and notes, so I can research before I start to write. If I come across something on the web I want to use, I put the link in my Trello calendar, and it’s there when I want to use it.
Sometimes, we all get too busy to write blog posts when we need to. The good news is, you don’t have to write them on their deadline day – I’ve found that batch-writing works so much better for me.
So much so, that I’m thinking of rolling the same method out to some of my own regular clients.
I’m writing this posts on the 17th of December 2019. It’s scheduled to go live on the 23rd December. I know that I won’t be working on the 23rd December. So today, I’ve written a post for the 18th December (when I know I’ll be busy writing a couple of articles for one of my clients), this one, and if I’ve time, a third one due to go out on the 2nd January 2020.
So I don’t have to worry about missing deadlines, working over the Christmas Holidays, or having Trello shout at me that I’ve missed a post. And because I have no client work today, I’ve got extra time available to write my own posts in advance. My website allows me to schedule my posts to go out at a date in the future, and I don’t have to worry about it.
I hope this post offers you some courage to set up your own blog schedule – make 2020 the year that you make your blog shine!