Great content does not always have to be planned, in fact many bloggers believe that creating a content plan stifles their creativity. While everyone can work in their own way, a content plan is the key to creating great content on a consistent basis rather than it being a matter of chance. A content plan allows bloggers the time required to create valuable content and helps them avoid the last minute rush to get a blog out on time.
Bloggers that already have a content plan will need to make changes for 2017 as the new year brings newer trends. Re-doing your content plan is a great way to make it more efficient and fill in more current topics. The first step for any blogging plan is to find ideas and topics for the next few weeks/months. Once you have all your amazing ideas, you can put them into the blogging calendar using the below tips:
- Decide on themes
Themes are a great way to create a sense of continuity throughout the year. Not every post has to pertain to the the theme but at least 1 or 2 a month can have a certain theme. Shorter theme posts also make sense in the context of major events or holidays. New Year, Christmas, Halloween and other major seasons like the end of the school year are opportunities to cater to a wider audience than usual. Once the theme has been chosen, the schedule and the content plan will change accordingly.
The number of times you post in a month or week dictates what you can and cannot cover. The lesser the posts, the less leeway bloggers have to comment on all the latest happenings. However, posting high quality content on a less frequent basis is widely considered to be better. Bloggers need to figure out what frequency works for them and then create a content plan accordingly. The frequency of posting can also increase/ decrease throughout the year. For example, bloggers that have h0lidays and don’t have the time to maintain their regular posting frequency can tone it down during the holidays and then go back to their original posting schedule.
Your content plan does not have to be extensive but it has to be detailed and contain the number of weeks in a year, the days for posting and the topics. In the planning stage, exact titles do not need to be entered but a general idea can be mentioned. Posting dates can also change in the case of personal reasons. To make this process easier, fill in the topics that you are certain about. These could be related to the theme and other posts that you create on a habitual basis. Also, make it a point to mark off key personal dates when you can’t blog.
- Going the Extra Mile
When planning posts, go the extra mile and create exciting content. Apart from the regular posts, add posts based on reader feedback, posts based on latest trends, time of the year, create series that play out over a certain time and create sponsorship opportunities. If the latest trend in your industry is something that you oppose, fill the topic into your plan in such a way that you are allowed to do your research, create a solid argument and put across your thoughts in a sensible manner. Series are also a great way to pull readers in and create anticipation. As time goes by, series post become more manageable and less time consuming. For example, a fashion blogger could interview local fashion experts for their take on the current state of the industry, to create an exciting series for readers.
A blogging calendar ultimately gives bloggers freedom while making them organized at the same time. More and more bloggers are catching on to this method and it has been proven to be effective.
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