EP7: The Content Creation Calendar
This may for some be an ODD subject but let me assure you that it is vital that you incorporate a “Content Calendar” into your business as soon as possible.
If you already have a content calendar created, then let me be the first to applaud you.
You, my friend, are my hero!
Let me tell you a STORY.
It will not be long, I promise.
There was this lad whom we are going to call Billy. He was wanting to be a great person, known, and respected by all.
Billy created a website.
He started creating the different pages he needed.
The usual ones.
The Home page.
The About page.
The Contact page.
The Subscribe page.
The Learn more page.
Billy was happy and satisfied.
However, when it came to writing blog posts to get his life’s work out there for one and all to read, admire, and share …
… Billy found that he was coming up short of ideas.
He had this huge dream, and he was failing (so he thought) because it was such a struggle to find great ideas to write about.
He needed to put out at least one long-form post and two short-form posts per week.
He was struggling to keep up.
His passion was turning into …
… A lot more work than he thought!
He found that more and more he was not looking forward to the days he needed to create these posts.
Billy had lost his inspiration, and his joy.
End of story.
Can any of you relate to Billy’s story?
Instead of a Website and Blog Posts, it could just as easily be YouTube videos or a Podcast.
Content Creation …
It is not as easy as some people think.
Being tasked to create “New” content on a regular basis if you’re a content creator is not easy.
But if you’re a one “MAN” or one “WOMAN” running your own business, wearing all the hats, makes content creation a true struggle.
If you have found yourself in this position, and I think most of my listeners are …
Then you cannot afford to have a full or part-time content creator on the payroll.
Do I feel your pain or what?!
As a solopreneur myself, I feel your pain constantly.
Because we are “ALL” the workers wrapped up into one living soul, we absolutely “MUST” prioritize our workload.
A Content Calendar is going to help you organize your content in a logical way so you can easily know ahead of time what you are going to be writing about.
And if you are a Trello user, you can use your Trello boards to track your creation of content from your initial idea to, preparing the content, writing the content, and then to the review and release of content.
This will allow you to work on multiple content projects at the same time and never be forgetting what is important.
Trello is not the only platform that you can use for doing this.
Trello is free, so I thought it might be something most people would like to try first.
The $0/month [FREE] plan allows for:
- unlimited members
- unlimited cards
- Up to 10 Boards
- 1 Power-Up per board
- 50 automated commands per month
- Unlimited activity log
- iOS & Android apps
- 2-factor authentication
They have pricing for larger businesses too. $10/month for teams that need to track multiple projects. Best for teams up to 100.
- Everything in Free Plan, plus
- Unlimited Boards
- Unlimited Power-Ups
- Dashboard view
- Timeline View
- Workspace Table view
- Calendar View
- Advanced Checklists
- Map View
- Plus, a whole lot more
So, what exactly do you need to do to consistently create stellar content repeatedly like clockwork?
Step 1: Have a clear understanding of your Audience.
Before you can even think about what to write, you need to know who you are writing for.
It just makes sense!
Start by knowing their demographics: age, sex, location, education, and professional background. [all a part of your avatar]
Once you have this start gauging their interests and challenges.
Now, you start thinking about how you can align your audience’s interest with what you can provide with your product or service. How does your work solve their problems?
This as the starting point should provide you with many great ideas for blog posts, video creation or podcasts.
If you know where your people hang out online, you can go and see what they talk about. What are their trends? What issues are they concerned about?
Step 2: Do a brain dump.
Now that you understand your audience, you need to write down the ideas you have so far.
Do not worry about if they are good, bad, or great ideas. The goal is to just put them down in writing.
You can do some Googling too for more ideas.
Key in a topic on the search bar and note the autosuggestions that show up.
Now note any interesting suggestions.
Well … these are exactly what your people are searching for.
Here are some Google search commands that will prove helpful.
Force Exact Match Results with Quote Operator:
Keyword 1 “phrase 1”
Football ”premier league”
This is the most basic search operator available and can be made to force Google to only show searches where the phrase matches exactly.
Override Google’s Standard AND searches and Force Boolean Operator OR:
Keyword 1 OR Keyword 2
Football OR League
This will show results that include one “or” the other of the searches, whereas a normal search would include both.
Use Parentheses to group terms you want to prioritize or search against another term:
(keyword 1 OR keyword 2) keyword 3
(Football OR League) premier
It will return results that show you articles that relate to keyword 1 AND keyword 3 OR keyword 2 AND Keyword 3.
Use Negative sign to Exclude one specific keyword or a number of them:
Keyword 1 -keyword 2
Or Keyword 1 -keyword 2 -keyword 3 -keyword 4
Football -”premier league”
This will exclude the terms you do not want to see.
Use Wildcard * when there is uncertainty in broader terms:
“Keyword 1 * Keyword 2”
“Fish * Chips”
Using * allows you to find all of the options you want but keep the keywords in the order and phrase you wanted.
Step 3: Rank your Topic Ideas.
Now that you have a lot of content ideas, you will want to filter your ideas to find the topics you should be prioritizing.
You don’t want to write all of them anyway.
You will want your blog to be about quality, not quantity.
Give each topic a score of 1-3: 3 is worth expanding upon, 2 is possibly worth looking into, and 1 is not worth it at all.
Step 4: Conduct Keyword research around your top 3 topics.
You can also run your topics through Google’s Keyword Planner [you will find it in your Google Ad account] or Google Trends. (trends.google.com)
You can also do some “social listening” and see what people are tweeting about in regard to your topic.
#Hashtags help group Tweets and conversations around a similar topic so people can easily find and follow what interests them.
If I look for #Homecooking, I will find posts for home-cooked meals.
You get the idea.
You’re just trying to find more great content ideas and understand what people are already talking about, so you can enter into the conversation.
Step 5: Perform a content gap analysis.
Here you would want to check what is being said about the topics you want to write about.
The purpose of doing this is to find the “gaps” in content that you can fill.
You can use premium tools like BuzzSumo (pretty pricey) the low end is $99/month [$79/month paid yearly].
A FREE strategy is to ask Quora.com a question.
This is a great tool when you don’t have any audience to reach out to.
On Quora, you have a network of people asking questions about hundreds of topics daily.
Simply search for your broad topic and you will see a list of questions that include your key phrase.
This should generate some great questions for you to answer in your posts.
Step 6: Review previously published articles on this topic.
Just because there are some previously written posts does not mean that they are not worthy of being revisited.
Content can always be updated and improved.
Besides, updating content lets Google know that the content is relevant and fresh.
Also, underperforming posts can get a new life if you update them.
You can even repurpose old content (as well as new content) by converting the content to be podcast audio or a video. The content can have excerpts used in other relevant posts as well.
Step 7: Plot these in a Content Calendar.
Now that you have a list of blog posts ideas that you have approved for your audience, because they were about items they had searched for, and they fill a content gap, don’t lose them.
Put them on your content calendar.
Or place them in Trello so they can be developed quickly and easily.
Inside Trello, on your boards, you can move these content ideas around. As you are developing them you can move them from proposed content to content worked on, and then to content posted.
If you do have a team, the posts can be assigned to your content creators to work on.
Content that is visible in this way is much more likely to be completed.
Every part of content creation can be structured to provide you with a reliable way to create quality content.
Start by understanding your audience.
Allow yourself to brainstorm ideas.
Use tools & techniques to qualify ideas and know which to prioritize.
Doing this will continue to supply you with ongoing high-quality content.
If you think you know of some improvements that could be made, let me know. Click on the link here.
Keep coming back for more great content next week.
Thanks for being here.