The Ultimate Guide to Content
Here at Nora Conrad, we strive to teach business owners how to batch create content, products, and services in order to focus that time saved on building a community and properly marketing the content we create. We do this by connecting our faith, business, and systems into one workflow that will allow our business to run itself on passive income channels.
Today I'm going to show you exactly how I plan out my content for an entire year. First, here's a breakdown of the content I'll be needing:
- Blog posts (weekly)
- Youtube videos (weekly)
- Podcasts (weekly)
- Guest Blog posts (weekly)
- ProBlog Posts (monthly)
- Live FB Meet ups (monthly)
- New resource for my shop (monthly)
- Podcast Interview (bi-monthly)
- Workshop (bi-monthly)
Assuming that I'll be posting every week, that's 52 weeks in 12 months. That means I'll need 256 pieces of content for the year of 2017. Now, keep in mind that there are holidays where I won't be posting, so it'll be closer to 225 pieces, but I'm going to plan for all 256 regardless, in case things are canceled, moved or pushed back into 2016. As far as guest posts go, I just need to approve 52 guest bloggers, I won't have to create the blog post, but I still need the graphics, titles, bios and social media posts.
For every chunk of content, I'll be creating 4-5 social media posts which puts me between 1024 - 1280 social posts that can be reused through the year, along with quotes, personal posts, and instagram images.
That's a sh*t ton of work to do when you look at it like that. But don't stress too much - I can complete 256 pieces of content and 2000 social media posts in one month. Yup. That's all it takes if you plan properly.
I'm going to do something I've never done before now, and I'm going to share my entire editorial calendar with you here on the blog. You'll be able to see all my series, blog post topics, videos and podcasts that I have planned in 2017. Keep in mind, that some things do change. A series I plan in December might never happen, but having a rough idea of the flow of content can completely change your business for the better.
First, I start on a dry erase board.
I write down all the topics that relate to my business and that I consider myself to be knowledgeable about. Then I connect those topics into categories. Here's what my dry erase board looks like:
So, with these 5 categories, I begin to make some titles. This is when I write out what I could possibly use as a blog post title or Youtube video. I start building a huge list - this part I usually do over a couple of days just to get fresh ideas coming in.
I try to write titles that relate to each other. That way if I wanted to turn the ideas into a blog series, I'd already have the posts planned out. Or if I'm writing a blog post about the overall topic, I can use the ideas I come up with for videos or subsections in the blog post. This is my full list:
*Ignore the bold text, for now, we'll get into that in a minute.
1. How to create the perfect blog post
2. How to pre-write a year's worth of blog posts
3. How to start your first website
4. 5 things to do to get your blog post seen on Pinterest
5. 5 ways to get more comments on your blog
6. How to write your first ebook
7. How to sell digital downloads
8. How to develop your community through blog post comments
9. How to make blogging a job instead of a hobby
10. How to Network with your blog readers
11. What are RSS feeds and how do you use them?
12. How to get your Squarespace site onto Apple News
13. How to reuse your blog content to build your Linkedin profile
14. How to use your small business on your LinkedIn profile
15. 10 Ways to beef up your LinkedIn Profile
16. Why LinkedIn is so dang important
17. Which social channel is best for you to focus on?
18. How to create social posts for your blog content
19. How to keep your private life private online
20. How to balance your personal and professional life
21. How to use CoSchedule to plan a launch
22. How to use Grum to schedule your Instagram posts
23. How to use Feedly to keep up with your community
24. How to use ConvertKit to build a community
25. How to create a community in Slack
26. How to start your first facebook group
27. Exactly how I record and publish my podcasts
28. Why you should invest in icloud storage
29. A complete look at my client process (from lead form to testimonial)
30. Save vs. splurge on your business
31. How to read a book a week & how it can help your business
32. How to write a blog post every single day
33. The best habits to integrate into your morning routine
34. How to develop better habits for your business
35. Check your email 2 times a day - how to beat your email addiction
36. How to become a morning person
37. Why you should keep a time sheet (even if you're the CEO)
38. What you should do after you automate your social media channels
39. Is it time to hire help? Read this first!
40. How to find your perfect work environment
41. How to use IFTTT to connect your newsletters and Evernote
42. Why You Should Make your Bed Every Morning
43. A Business Owner's Workout Plan
44. My Morning Routine
45. My Evening Routine
46. How I failed at College and What it's taught me
47. Pros and Cons to a formal education
48. 10 alternatives to formal education
49. How to create your dream job
50. 10 Things I wish I knew before starting my own business
51. 10 Things to Motivate you when you're in a rut
52. 10 things I'd tell my younger self
53. How to create a reader survey for your audience
54. How to re-use your old (crappy) blog posts
55. How to create a newsletter (the ultimate guide)
56. How to customize your ConvertKit email template
57. How to create a business budget
58. The ultimate guide to Wave Accounting
59. How to grow your business and make more money
60. The Pros and Cons to blogging (re-write 1/30/15)
61. Bookkeeping Basics (re-write 2/26/15)
62. The Price of blogging (re-write 2/26/15)
63. How to host an online workshop (rewrite 9/21/15)
64. How to create a membership site on Squarespace
65. The 3-month goal method: how to achieve your goals
66. How to learn (make it stick book notes)
67. The Benefits of waking up early
68. How to use a bullet journal for your business
69. How to use Instagram as a micro-blog
70. How to use 17Hats Tasks in your daily workflow
71. How to use Google Drive to organize your business
72. How to use Google Calendar for your entire life
73. How to use GoPaywall for your membership site
74. 10 things to consider before starting your own business
75. How to host a workshop on your Squarespace site
76. How to create a blog archive on Squarespace
77. Why you need a "start here" page for your site
78. How to hire your dream team
79. 5 places to look for freelance jobs
80. How to beef up your resume
81. How to use Canva to create a workbook
82. How to use Evernote to plan your blog posts
83. How to build a library of resources in Evernote
84. 10 Canned Emails to help you get to inbox zero
85. Tips for launching your first blog
86. Why you should start a directory. Today.
87. How to brand your business as Christian-based
88. Ways to have a Christian business without being "preachy"
89. The best branding advice for soloprenuers
90. How to host your first webinar
91. How to find your business BFF and why you need one
92. How to get comfortable recording live content
93. I used Fiverr, here's what I learned
94. How to create a contract and cover your bases
95. Why you need to hire a virtual assistant
96. How networking has changed the way I do business
97. How to set up a simple facebook ad
98. How to do your hardest tasks first
99. App Review: Wunderlist
100. App Review: Asana
101. App Review: Evernote
102. App Review: One Big Thing
103. App Review: Gmail
104. App Review: Squarespace Blog
105. App Review: Google Voice
106. App Review: Drive
107. App Review: 17Hats
108. How to connect Etsy to Wave accounting
109. How to use Receipts for wave accounting
110. How to organize your computer files
111. App Review: Audible
112. How to find guest posters for your blog
113. How do you actually create evergreen content
114. Christianity is like fitness
115. How to build a lead form in 17Hats
116. How to handle leads when you're all booked up
117. How to invite clients to use Slack
118. Office Tour video
119. App Review: LastPass
120. How to build a passive business
121. How to go paperless
122. How to stay original and avoid copycat syndrome
123. The Ultimate guide to Squarespace SEO
124. 5 signs it's time for a rebrand
125. What is a lead magnet, and how do you make one?
126. A complete list of online tools that'll help you through every business snag
127. 21-day challenge: clean up your blog
128. 10 Questions to answer at the end of every month
129. 21-day organization challenge
130. How to color code everything
131. 10 types of info products you can create today
132. How transparency can transform your business
133. What is a sales funnel (plus an in-depth look at mine)
134. Inbox Zero Challenge
135. How to keep a schedule even when you work from home
136. How to create weekly office hours
137. How to read and understand the bible
138. Update: my journaling bible
139. 5 ways I'm making money
140. 5 ways I'm saving money
141. Everyone is a beginner - just get started
142. January Business Report (income, books read, goals)
143. February Business Report (income, books read, goals)
144. March Business Report (income, books read, goals)
145. April Business Report (income, books read, goals)
146. May Business Report (income, books read, goals)
147. June Business Report (income, books read, goals)
148. July Business Report (income, books read, goals)
149. August Business Report (income, books read, goals)
150. September Business Report (income, books read, goals)
151. October Business Report (income, books read, goals)
152. November Business Report (income, books read, goals)
153. December Business Report (income, books read, goals)
154. How to stop self-sabotaging
155. The Ultimate Guide to Content Planning
156. The Ultimate Guide to Asana
157. The Ultimate Guide to Slack
158. The Ultimate Guide to CoSchedule
159. The Ultimate Guide to ConvertKit
160. The Ultimate Guide to 17Hats
161. The Ultimate Guide to Evernote
162. The Ultimate Guide to Gmail
163. The Ultimate Guide to YouTube
164. The Ultimate Guide to Squarespace
165. The Ultimate Guide to Working with Clients
166. The Ultimate Guide to Selling on Etsy
167. The Ultimate Guide to Creating an eCourse
168. The Ultimate Guide to Building a Community
169. The Ultimate Guide to Branding Your Biz
170. The Ultimate Guide to Social Media
Once I have my list, I can work with my team to schedule all the content. The key here is to build your content on top of each other. For example; I'm going to create a post about creating the perfect blog post, but I also have plans to show a video on how to create a blog post framework in Squarespace, then I wanted to make a live video about 5 ways to get more comments on your blog post.
If I plan correctly, I can make sure all this content integrates into each other. First, I schedule the live video to see if people are really interested in how their blog post design influences blog comments. If the event goes well, I'll create a youtube video about pre-building your blog post framework, which I can then use in my blog post as additional information.
I start to break it up into where the content fits best. Lifestyle, simple and technical posts are best for Youtube, where I have a more lifestyle and tutorial based set of content. Anything that would work for a 1000+ word post will go to my blog. The leftovers I'll divide out into podcasts and live workshops. I don't make a section for shop products because I often make these relating to my larger blog posts or workshops, so those won't be included on this list yet.
Organizing your content in a similar way will make it much easier to focus while you batch create your content, and it will help your audience crave and seek out the information from you. If I post on, 3 different channels, tips about designing a better blog post, I can funnel all those people into the one place I really want them - my newsletter.
At the end of my blog post, I'll have a free template or a free infographic available for download. And because Sarah just watched my periscope and read my blog post, odds are, she'd like to have a reference in exchange for her email.
It is SO easy to develop your sales funnel through your content, but when you don't plan content ahead of time, it's not easy.
So, to organize and schedule my content, I open up a Google Doc and make a table with 2 columns. First I make a section for blog posts, then Podcasts, Youtube Videos and lastly, live workshops. To get a blank copy CLICK HERE.
Before I start moving my list over into Google Docs, I BOLD everything in the list, then as I move it over into the schedule, I unbold it, to help reduce duplicates and keep track of what I still have to pull from. Once I have my content scheduled, anything left bold was unused and can be scheduled as a guest post or moved to the following year.
Now that everything is divided into groups I can put my draft ideas into my CoSchedule calendar. This part I usually delegate to an assistant, because it can be a bit time consuming, but I'll show you a quick example of how I do that:
My CoSchedule Color Code System:
Teal - blog post
Purple - video
Orange - workshop or webinar
Green - podcast
Next, I'll sit down with my team and work on task creation and scheduling. The first step is to add tasks in Coschedule that remind us to create graphics, make a blog post draft, do research, record videos and write transcripts. Adding these tasks to each content set can take awhile, but it can seriously help you keep your content in check and make sure your team is meeting deadlines.
Here's the order we batch work in:
- Create blog post drafts in Squarespace.
In Squarespace, we create a draft blog post for the entire year. When we create the draft we add relevant tags, categories, titles and begin to outline the blog post. Using the H1 header, I'll start to work out what topics we're going to cover in the post. (Click on the example image to see how we do this)
That little blurb at the beginning of all my posts is also what I use as my description on Pinterest, Facebook and as a little peek to the blog on my blog feed. We pre-write these so that when it comes time to work on the content, we have a reference to what the blog post is being written about and what the goal of the post it. (For example, if the post is there to teach someone about Evernote, we'll say so in the meta-data).
Next, we make 52 blog post graphics and add them all to our Squarespace drafts. We also create twitter and facebook images and upload them to the corresponding blog post in CoSchedule.
Write social media posts
Once we have the metadata, graphics and blog post link (taken from our Squarespace drafts), we can start adding social media post to CoSchedule. This part takes the longest (besides writing the actual content), so I highly recommend hiring a virtual assistant to help you with this section.
Make the content
Now the time-consuming part. It's time to write. The first thing I do is go through old blog posts, my journal and any past writing I've done to see if there are good tidbits I can use in these posts.
Next, I'll do some research. If I'm writing a blog post about LinkedIn, I'll save some articles on Pinterest ab,ut the benefits of LinkedIn and save the link to the article directly in my blog post draft so that when I begin writing, it's quick to access those resources.
After that, I'll schedule 2-3 hours every day for writing. I sit down, set a timer and start writing about whatever content interests me that day. Some days, I feel like filming, some days I feel like research and others I feel like writing. When I plan everything out in advance like this, I can really utilize those days well and get a TON of work done because I FEEL like working.
Some days I don't feel like writing, so I'll record a bunch of videos instead. I'll read through my CoSchedule tasks and see what videos need to be made for which posts. Then I pass those raw videos on to my editor and he gets them YouTube ready.
Edit & Format
This is where a team can come in handy. I write all my blog posts into Evernote, and then I pass on my note to my team to read, edit and format my blog post into Squarespace. Now, I have a complete post, scheduled and ready to be published.
Social Media Part Two
The last step before a post can truly go live is to schedule more supporting social media posts in CoSchedule. We wait to do this step until after the blog post is complete because we often take quotes directly from the content to use on Twitter and Facebook.
We add this on to our already written social media posts and space them out through the next couple months. We also add these to a google spreadsheet so that we can pull from our own content for later months or even later years.
Doing The Work
That's it y'all. That is how I schedule and plan all my content for an entire year. Now that my team and I are finished with the grunt work, I only have 52 blog posts to write. They're already scheduled, outlined and ready to be published.
Writing posts usually isn't the hard part - it's usually all the other steps that get in the way. You have time right now to get your 2017 year set up. Take the time to plan your entire year of content. You'll produce better work and feel on top of your game.
Let me know how your planning sessions go in the comments below.