You love to write, and you love to help others so a blog seemed like a great option for you, right? Of course. You got your hosting and your website all ready, set, go. But, you’re stuck. You hit a wall and you don’t know why you’re so overwhelmed. You may even feel like you should just give up because you can’t pop out the content like you thought you could.
Stop right there! Don’t give up. I did a recent survey of some fellow bloggers and over 80% who participated said that they felt the #1 reason new bloggers fail is that they don’t have a blog content plan. But wait, there’s more.
Creating a blog content plan is not as difficult and overwhelming as it sounds. It’s actually fairly simple as long as you have your niche and categories set. Just a short while ago I was in the same position you are. I wanted to pump out great content but I had no idea how important a blog content plan was.
Creating Your Blog Content Plan: Pre-Planning
There are a few beginning steps you’ll have to take before you can begin to create your blog content plan. Creating a killer blog content plan will require you to know the categories and the general theme of your blog. In order to do this you’ll have to follow these steps:
- Define your target audience. In order to do this well, it’s easiest to think of your audience as one specific person. What are their needs? What are their goals? Where do they struggle most? Think of things like this person’s age range, their occupation, do they have children, are they married, etc.
- Second, we’ll decide on an overarching theme for the blog. It is possible to have sub-themes. For example, Lessons From A Student Mom targets moms who are pursuing a college education. But I also cover content from mental health in a more general perspective. So what will be your main topic for your blog? This may be one of the hardest decisions to make because if you’re anything like me, you want to write about a bunch of different things.
- Last, you’ll need to decide on 2-4 categories for your blog topics. These categories should fit under your general theme. This is something I struggle with sometimes. Because I write about college, some of my information can apply to college students who aren’t parents. Just be sure that whatever your categories are, you keep your target audience in mind. It has to be relevant to them in order to generate traffic.
The Blog Content Plan
You may be wondering how you plan all of this content. I was lost too and tried many different methods for planning and nothing seemed to be working. I bought a brand new planner and started writing stuff in it, I tried a notebook, a dry erase calendar, etc. Nothing. I still felt overwhelmed and buried by everything I had to do for my blog.
Once I got my blog content plan set up, my life began to smooth out. Because I’m a newer blogger, I felt like I could share with you the methods I used and how they help me get continued traffic for my blog. To create a smooth plan, you’ll have to have a clear idea of how you want your blog to run. Here’s how you’ll be able to generate your blog content plan.
Create One or Two Long-Term Goals For Your Blog
These could be anything. Your goals should be measurable. So setting goals such as making X amount per month by next year. You could even measure by followers or email subscribers. For example, by next year I’d like to have over 2,000 email subscribers on my email list.
My goal is measurable. I can clearly and easily track my progress towards reaching that goal. I can also break it up into smaller goals that I can work toward on a monthly or weekly basis. You may be wondering what goals have to do with a blog content plan, but just wait I’ll get to it.
Break Your Long-Term Goals into Small Monthly and Weekly Goals
By breaking your goals up, you’ll have a much better idea of what you need to accomplish in a week’s time. This will help you tailor your content to meet your goals. While blogging is a lot of writing for other people, it has to give us some benefit. So while you’re writing for that ideal reader, be sure you have your goals in mind.
If the content you are writing doesn’t lend itself to your goals and your reader’s interests, it may be time for you to make some changes. Don’t worry, change isn’t always a bad thing.
Create a Blog Schedule
By blog schedule, I mean a set day or days that you’ll post weekly. The more active your blog, the more traffic you’ll end up receiving. But be sure that the content you’re putting out is all quality. Don’t write something just because you haven’t hit publish in a week.
Publishing content once a week is a great goal for when you’re starting out. It gives you a lot of extra time to learn other aspects of blogging and getting used to using social media and search engines to your advantage. Pinterest is a tool that you should definitely use. But it isn’t a social media site, it works more like a search engine.
I try to publish 2-3 times a week. Mondays I reserve for Mental Health, and Friday’s I’ll either cover College or Parenting. Recently, I added the third day so that I can share my blogging knowledge with other new bloggers. Saturday’s I’ll share some blogging knowledge and usually a free printable that you can use for your blogging journey. (This week’s freebie is HUGE but I’ll get to it in just a few moments.)
Create an Editorial/Content Calendar
This is crucial to your planning success. Your blog content plan is going to rely on a system that you set in place. If I’m going to have an article ready for Friday morning, I know that between Tuesday and Wednesday (at the latest) I should have my post written in full. This leaves time to create graphics and a social media plan. Again, Pinterest will be your savior here. I still get traffic on pins from posts that are a month or so old. No effort on my part. Once your pin is out there and starts gaining traction, you start gaining traffic.
This is where my super huge freebie is going to come into play for you. Because I try to be a helpful bloggy friend, I’ve created a printable editorial planner that you can download absolutely free!!!
♥ Password Tracker
♥ Blogging Goals & Improvement Tracker
♥ Long-Term Goals Tracker
♥ Important Dates
♥ Monthly Content Planner
♥ Weekly Content Planner
♥ Income Tracker
♥ Expense Tracker
♥ Sponsored Post Tracker
♥ Content Ideas Keeper
♥ Stats Tracker
♥ Post Planner
♥ Post Checklist
♥ & more!
If you’re more of a digital-friendly type of blogger, I’ll be releasing a digital version of the Blog Like a Boss Planner within the next week or so. Be sure to get your email on the list so you’re ready for the launch.
Why You Need A Blog Content Plan
If the thought of writing a new blog post causes stress or makes the idea of blogging less appealing, it may be because you have no plan in place. There are plenty of benefits to creating a blog content plan but these are the main benefits of creating one.
Save You A Lot of Time
If time management isn’t your strong suit, this is definitely something you’re going to want to use. The fact that you have a set schedule for posting and working on blog content will ease your mind when you think of the tasks at hand.
Gives You A Structured Idea of What Content to Produce
Knowing what topic you’ll be covering when allows you to do any research you may need ahead of time. This way, when it’s time to sit and write you really are sitting down to write. Not spend hours on wondering what to write, and then researching, and then writing.
Allows You To Plan for Special Events & Holidays
If you sat down and planned your posts out for each month, before the month even starts, you’d have the opportunity to post holiday-relevant content. Such as back-to-school. Many parents will be doing their school shopping throughout the remainder of the summer. A parenting blogger could easily create a back-to-school series that runs throughout August. By planning ahead you could do any research necessary to create the best content possible.
Allows You To Schedule Time For Social Media Planning
As a new blogger, social media is going to be your gateway to traffic. Especially when you’re blog is brand new and only has 5-6 posts live. If you plan your blog with a blog content plan in advance, you can schedule yourself time each week to sit down and only focus on social media. This prevents those instances where you have 10 tabs open and your mind is in twenty different tasks. But then when you get up you realize you got next to nothing done. (I still do this some days, don’t worry.)
Even though we have all of these handy social media schedulers available to us, we still have to make time to sit down and put the content into the tool. This will be the time that you can implement your Pinterest strategy, which you can learn even more about by going here.
What methods have you tried for planning your blog content? Let me know in the comments!