“How far in advance do you plan your content?” is a question many of my clients ask me.
It is a good question.
Here is the reality, some people create their content and then publish it immediately.
Other people plan and then create their content meticulously weeks and months in advance.
It takes time to adjust to planning and then creating content in advance, but like anything with practice, it becomes easier, and you get better.
Planning your content is helpful for several reasons.
Here are five reasons why planning your content is beneficial.
1. Define the Purpose of the Content – First Focus on Revenue or What Offers You Are Promoting
Creating content requires time and resources, so it is important to understand why you are creating each piece of content.
The content you create can establish you as an expert. Also, content can segment your audience based on the topics and where the person is in your customer journey.
So, when you are creating content, ask yourself, “Why am I creating this piece of content?” or “What is the purpose of this piece of content?”
Often, people create the content first and then ask, “How is the piece of content going to be beneficial to my audience?” or “How is the piece of content going to beneficial to my business?”
A piece of content can have many different purposes.
- Build rapport with your audience or introduce you to new people who just discovered you.
- Establish credibility
- Generate traffic – This can be to a website via SEO, the content promoted across social media, republished on other websites, or distributed in some other way.
- Promote a lead magnet or a freebie to encourage people to subscribe to your email list.
- Promote a paid offer for first-time customers or to help ascend customers to a higher level in your customer journey.
So, first define your revenue goals for the month, before you create your content.
Next, determine how you are going to achieve your revenue goals.
Starting with your revenue goals helps you plan your offers and what you are promoting on a monthly, weekly and daily basis.
2. Create Content to Support Your Revenue Goals
Once you know your revenue goals for the month, then determine what content you will need to support reaching your revenue goals.
For example, if you send a weekly newsletter, first start with what you are promoting in the newsletter. Once you know what you are promoting, then ask yourself, “What content do I need to create to help promote the offer in the newsletter?”
This exercise helps you stay focused on why you are creating each piece of content. Every piece of content does not have to promote a paid offer directly related to revenue. A piece of content may promote a lead magnet or some other type of action. The content’s purpose may be to engage your audience.
Defining the purpose of each piece of content and why you are creating helps you stay focused.
3. Removes pressure from hard deadlines
Creating content in advance takes a lot of pressure off missing hard deadlines. If you plan and then create your content, then it is easier to plan and then create future content. Furthermore, it is less stressful, if something happens and you miss a deadline. When you plan and then create the content, you have more lead way to finish, and then schedule the content. Overall, it produces a more relaxing and enjoyable experience.
4. Outsource some of the content creation
I write a lot of promotional content for other websites. Recently, I wrote an email campaign for a client launching an online course. The email campaign consisted of 9 total emails. Plus, I wrote the sales letter for the program, the Facebook ads, and other promotional copy that was needed.
Earlier this week, I worked on a campaign for another company launching an online course. This campaign was like the previous campaign. It required me to write a lot of different types of promotional copy. With the copywriting that I do for other clients, it is helpful to plan and schedule the content. This way I can help more clients, and we all know the deadline for when the copy is due. Planning allows everyone to benefit.
When you plan, it gives you time to outsource some of the content creation. This can be articles, podcast editing, promotional campaigns, video editing, etc.
5. Repurpose Content into Other Types of Content
One of the biggest advantages of planning ahead is it allows you to repurpose content for other channels. For instance, a quote in a newsletter can be a great meme for social media. A question in a blog post can become a great way to engage a social media audience also.
If you plan far enough in advance, you can repurpose a blog post to create enough social media content for a week. This makes content creation so much easier than creating original content for every single channel.
How to Plan Your Content
Planning your content takes practice. But like anything else, the more practice, then the better you get at planning and then creating your content.
Essentially, I use two different tools to plan content. The first is a spreadsheet or Evernote. I create a file that I call “An Idea a Day.”
Each day I write down at least one idea. Over time, the spreadsheet of ideas grows. When I start to write an article, I peruse through my list of ideas. Sometimes, I combine multiple ideas, somedays I pick one idea to create content. This process makes writing articles and creating content much easier.
The second tool that I use is a spreadsheet that I created that allows me to plan all of my articles, blog posts, social media posts, etc.
Once I know how much content I need for a week, then I can plan the blog posts, the newsletter content, any promotional emails, and all my social media posts. This content calendar makes creating and then scheduling content far simpler than trying to decide on topics randomly and then create the content.
In conclusion, planning your content provides many different benefits. It allows you to plan your revenue goals first, create content with a purpose, generate less stress while creating content, and the entire content creation process is more enjoyable.
Do you know that email is the most profitable marketing channel?
Today, when it comes to building your audience one of the most profitable marketing channels is email.
According to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing yields a 4,300% return on investment for businesses in the United States.
ExactTarget reports for every $1 spent on email marketing, the average return on investment is $44.25.
One of the most profitable ways to build your audience is to increase the size of your email list.