6 Steps To Plan Your Content + Video Tutorial
Being a content creator is no joke, you consistently need to be putting out valuable content to stay engaged with your audience.
Do you plan ahead or do you come up with your posts on the fly?
Hopefully you’re planning ahead — you’ll save yourself a lot of stress and time this way.
If you find yourself struggling to get posts done on a consistent basis, then stay tuned my friend. I’m going to walk you through how to set up a simple Content Planning Spreadsheet that will allow you to know what you’re creating and when.
I keep it simple and use Google Sheets to house my content topics and schedule. (also works in excel)
Here are the steps you need to get started:
1.Determine how often you will be creating new content
The key to seeing results is to stay consistent with your content. You’re developing a fan base essentially, and week by week you are gaining their trust by providing new and valuable information. If you miss a weeks post, they will know and they will be less likely to continue their trust building.
I recommend putting something out at least once a week. This is very doable for keeping up with, you just need to plan ahead. You can easily knock out a months worth of content in a few days if you wanted to. Showing up once a week for your audience will keep you top of mind and allow you to build your relationship over time.
2. Pick the day and time you will be putting out your content
Consistency is key! Be very intentional with your content. Pick a day that you want to release your content and stick with it. For example, I release my content every Wednesday at 7am EST and send an email at 8am EST to inform my email list about my new content.
This is all scheduled ahead of time so I’m not rushing to my computer to send emails at 8am. I write my posts weeks in advance and an email announcement to go with it. I have my post scheduled in Squarespace to go live at 7am and then my email broadcast scheduled in Convertkit to go out at 8am.
3. Know your areas of expertise
This one may sound silly, but really think about the topics you want to be talking about. If you’re a vegetarian health and wellness coach, you probably shouldn’t be releasing a post about how to set up an email automation.
Know your niche and stick to it.
Only put out content that will help your ideal customer/client with a pain point or problem they might be having. For example, a health and wellness coach for vegetarians might want to release content such as recipes, where to find fresh produce, what to look for when eating out, products that may use animal products...etc.
These are all in the interest of someone who would look towards a vegetarian health and wellness coach for guidance. Jot down your expertise that your ideal client/customer would come to you for advice on. These will be your different content topic buckets to use going forward.
4. Pick your subtopics
Once you know what your content topic buckets are, it’s time to fill them up with ideas. Using the same example of the vegetarian health and wellness coach, let’s say we chose these three content topic buckets:
For each topic, expand on them even more by thinking about what you can share about it. Using a sheet of paper for each bucket, you can jot down all the things that come to mind and then narrow them down later.
To help generate topics for your headlines:
Think about questions clients/customers have asked relating to these areas
Go back to old blog posts and see if there are any comments that ask a question or for more explanation on a certain topic
Go into Facebook groups relating to your content topics and see what people are asking questions about
Ask your audience what they’d like to know more about (you can do this via social media or an email blast)
Type in keywords relating to your content topics into Google and see what results come up in autofill, this shows things people are searching for
Once you have these subtopics, you can work on creating your headlines.
5. Create your headlines
Right about now you should have a lot of different ideas down relating to your content buckets. Go through your lists and pick out the ones that excite you to create content about and you know the topic well enough.
Take these subtopic ideas and format them into headlines. A great tool to help you generate an interesting headline is CoSchedule Headline Analyzer. This will help you play around with the wording to come up with an enticing and clickable headline.
6. Create your schedule
Now that you have a list of headlines, it’s time to set your schedule. So already you picked out which day of the week and at what time you’re going to be posting at. Choose your start date and stick with that day going forward.
Using Google Sheets you can create this very easily so you can see all your posts and publish dates in one place.
Here is a video that will show you how to easily set up your content planning spreadsheet in Google within minutes.
Once you have everything into your Google Sheets, all you have to worry about is creating the content and staying on schedule. To be even more efficient with these due dates, you can transfer these into a project management system such as Asana, so you can assign yourself due dates for each task.
I found that batching my content creating process works best for me and allows me to feel less stressed about releasing content. Another benefit of batching content creation is you’re always ahead of schedule and never miss a publish date.
I encourage you to plan your content ahead of time so you save yourself the stressful feeling of “what am I going to post about this week?”