If there is one thing that will save you time, stress, and blank moments, it’s planning your content in advance. With a simple calendar you can plan and schedule topics in advance – before you’re in a panic about what to write.
But with a few planning tools you can really do a great job of content planning. Here are the tools I recommend.
Calendar in Word Format – I use the landscape layout, one month per page. Yes, I could keep it on my computer, but I tend to plan in restaurants and on the road. So having a paper calendar with me helps the planning process.
Holiday & Events Calendar – Need an idea for what to promote or write about? This calendar has a lot of obscure celebrations and holidays that will tweak your thinking.
Monthly Planning Pack – Alice Seba and her team provide an excellent planning tool. It includes a content plan checklist and instructions for using the monthly planning worksheet. And if you’re a mindmap user, she includes one of those as well, to illustrate the process.
Now that you have the tools, here is the process I recommend:
- Block off your own holidays first. These are family birthdays, national holidays (if your family takes them off you want to be available, too), vacation time, business trips. You don’t want to be writing or posting on any of those days, so you now know when you need to “write ahead.”
- Using the holiday calendar, block those holidays you want to “celebrate” with your readers and subscribers. So you may have a Valentine’s Day customer appreciation sale, a Fourth of July giveaway, a special discount for Mothers’ Day, etc.
- Plan promotions of your products and the events that you want to promote.
- Start writing!
You’ll notice that it’s a lot easier to fill your content machine when you know what to write about – and your planning process has just handed that to you on a silver platter.