How to plan your blog content for 2022
So we’re a week in to the new working year – a time where we’re thinking about how the past year went, and making plans for the next year ahead. Was 2021 kind to you? Did you manage to grow your blog and your audience? How did it impact your website – did your numbers go up?
The key to being able to answer YES to those questions is PLANNING. If you want to use your blog as a tool for driving traffic to your website, then it’s important that you have a strong content plan in place to help you get there – without it, you’re likely to give up and your blog will fail. You need to know what content you will write for your blog each and every week so that you have a firm starting point.
For many SMEs, blog planning is something of an afterthought – something that we all know we should do, but…don’t. Ideas for blog posts are thought of at the last minute, when we remember that we haven’t written anything for the past few weeks, and feel that sense of panic. There’s no real purpose to the post, other than to make sure it’s published on time.
The thing is, when you’re blogging for your business, this method will never work well. Your readers won’t take you seriously, and probably won’t return – let alone bother to look around your website. You can change that by PLANNING your blog content in advance.
Reasons to create a blog content plan for 2022
It will motivate you
We’ve all been there, sitting down and staring at a blank page wondering what the heck to write about. Well, having your blog subjects planned out in advance takes that stress away, so that you can just start! Following the blog content plan below will guarantee that you’ll be inspired to get fingers to keyboard!
It will save you time
And for the same reason, knowing what you’ll be writing about will save you so much time. No more dithering about your subject for the week, researching content with no aim in mind – it’s all there mapped out for you.
You’ll be able to plan for seasonal holidays and promotional events
How many times has a public holiday rolled around before you’ve even had a chance to think up a clever idea for your themed blog post? Often by the time you’ve got around to writing the thing, it’s too late to grab the opportunities for seasonal sales – but if you can plan and publish that Christmas post BEFORE December rolls around, then you’ve got a captive audience who are ready to buy.
It allows you to focus on your marketing goals
Content is a HUGE part of every business’s marketing goals these days, but it takes a lot of time – not just blog writing, but email newsletters, social media posts, video content and imagery… it’s all vital stuff that we need to squeeze into our already busy day.
Having your blog posts planned out ready means you are one step ahead of the game, and can work on creating all of your other content around your posts, as well as having a clear idea of what you want each of your posts to achieve, whether that’s to grow your email list, sell something, or drive traffic to your website.
But planning takes all the fun out of blogging, right?
Not at all – in fact I think the opposite is true, because it takes away the need to worry about what to write about, which is never a fun bit of the process. For me, the fun part comes in creating the post, so having the idea planned out makes the process more enjoyable.
Also, even when you’ve got that plan mapped out – it’s not set in stone. If you want to change it, or get hit with a fresh new idea, just change it. No harm done.
How to create your content plan for 2022
Work out how many posts you will need for the year
First you need to decide how often you want to publish new blog posts. If you’re going for once a week, then that’s 52 posts. If you want to post twice a week, you’ll need to plan 104 ideas. Have you got the capacity to keep up with that number – or even enough ideas?
Perhaps you decide that there are weeks when you DON’T want to post – perhaps during the summer holidays, or over Christmas. Take this into account during your planning.
Create a blog content planner
The next step is to create your planner. This could be as simple as a 2-column spreadsheet with the date and the proposed blog title. Or you could do what I do and create your plan in Trello (there are similar systems, but I like this one.)
I know others swear by using an online calendar – find whatever works for you. The main thing is that you have all of the dates plotted out so that you can easily stay on track.
Work out dates for seasonal and promotional posts first
It’s always easier to plan out posts around events first – so things like Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter etc. are a given. For you, that might also mean events around special promotions, new product launches, special events within your specific industry etc.
Remember; set these out to be published IN GOOD TIME to take advantage of the event. Posting your Christmas stuff the second week in December is far too late – schedule it in at least the end of November, if not before, depending on the purpose of the piece.
Brainstorm additional content ideas
Think about your audience, and what they’d love to read about. What are the problems they face every day, and how can you solve those problems? Can you write about something that will be useful to them, so that they feel understood? The aim is to build that relationship with them, so that you gain their trust and they want to come back and visit your website again (and even be compelled to buy from you!).
Write a list of subjects that fit, and then make some notes of what you can include in each one. You could also do a bit of research now to save even more time, and include links to websites which could give you the information you need to write your piece.
Write out your plan/calendar
Now it’s time to put all of those brilliant ideas into your calendar. Make sure they’re in an order that makes sense, and think about grouping similar subjects, either together as a kind of ‘mini series’, or spread evenly among other types of subjects. Unless you are writing them as a group intentionally, I would suggest spreading the load, so that you’re not repeating the same type of subject too closely together.
I’ll mention again that none of this is set in stone – if you’re not happy with the order of things later on, you can change it. Swap your subjects around, revise and update when inspiration strikes. I often find that a brand new idea will present itself while I’m writing a post – let it happen.
I hope you have found this post useful, and you feel inspired to go off and create your own blog content calendar for the year. Let me know how you get on, comment below, drop me an email, or follow me over on one of my social channels!
Tereasa Hedges, freelance copywriter for creatives, designers and makers.
I’m a freelance copywriter who specialises in writing content for creative people, helping you to reach larger audiences through blogging, web content, email marketing, and a little bit of social media for good measure.
Want to work with me? Contact me for a chat via email@example.com