5 steps to create a 12-month content plan

5 steps to create a 12 month content plan

Hey Guys! Hope you’ve enjoyed our COVID support series, if you’ve missed out on some of the articles, find them all over here. Today on the blog we have the lovely Pauliina Rasi (a writer and a content strategist) who talks about my favorite topic – creating content. This is especially useful for someone who is an entrepreneur or someone who is a full-time content creator.

There are some essential tips for reorganization and discipline that are were my main takeaways. Without further ado, let’s go into the details.

Have you got a content plan for your business? Create one now, in just 20 minutes, and speed up your content creation for the whole year.

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5 steps to create a 12-month content plan

Quarantine time can be the perfect moment to create a content plan for your business or up-level an existing one. Especially, if your business plans are on hold or you have less clients than usual, use this time for planning so you are ready to take action when things pick up again. And even if you’re busier than usual, it’s important to take time for planning. A well-drafted plan will save hours of your time in the long run.

What is a content plan?

A content plan can also be referred to as an editorial calendar or a content calendar. It’s a document that lays out the content you have planned to create and publish in the coming days, weeks, or months.

A content calendar does not need to be anything elaborate. It can be a simple Google Sheet or a hand-written list – whatever suits your style. The point is that it will help you gain clarity on what you are creating content about and how.

Step 1: Choose your channels

First of all, you need to list the channels you need content for. Especially in the beginning, many entrepreneurs and content creators tend to take on too many channels – and then they struggle to publish fresh content regularly. It’s better to start small and let yourself grow from there than the other way around.

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5 steps to create a 12-month content plan

I usually recommend my clients to choose three channels: one big, such as a blog or a podcast, one social media channel and a newsletter. If you can’t trim your social media channels down to one, pick one that is your main channel and re-purpose the same content on other channels. It allows you to populate several channels without collapsing under the burden of content creation.

Step 2: Decide your publication frequency

Now that you know your channels, you need to set your mind on your publication frequency. Again, it’s better to start with less and pick up speed as you go, because if your followers get used to a frisky rhythm – and then you suddenly disappear for weeks – it might hurt your business.

You know best how much content you can create and on how many channels. I often recommend for starters this rhythm: Create new content on your big channel (blog, podcast) weekly, for social media 2-3 times a week, and for your newsletter 1-2 a month.

Step 3: Narrow down your topics and content formats

Next step is to narrow your content plan to 3-5 key topics that you will cover on all your channels. This will speed up your ideation and content creation because you don’t need to come up with all the possible ideas on all the imaginable topics: rather you just look at your list of 3-5 and brainstorm ideas around those categories.

If you are just starting out or feel very overwhelmed with all the content creation, pick only two or three and start from there.

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5 steps to create a 12-month content plan

To make things even simpler, you can also decide which are the content formats that you’ll use. You can, for example, write long-form blog articles (like this one), Q&A posts or Q&A videos, inspirational quotes or facts and figures. Choose again 3-5 according to your preferences. This will allow you to create content more quickly – but more importantly, it teaches your audience to expect certain content types from you. That makes it easier to “loyalize” them.

For example, topics I have decided to cover on my channels are: written content creation, productivity, inspiration for entrepreneurs and my personal story. My content types, on the other hand, are blog articles, quotes, tips & tricks and lists.

Step 4: Create a monthly plan

Now you have your channels, frequency, topics and content types. Fill in a monthly calendar with these preliminary ideas.

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5 steps to create a 12-month content plan

I give you an example: First week, on Monday you publish a new blog post (article format), on Wednesday an inspirational quote and on Friday you show up for a live Q&A on Facebook. Next week it can be something slightly different: Facts & figures on Monday on social media, new Q&A format blog post on Wednesday and a newsletter on Friday. All weeks can also be similar, if it makes things easier for you.

Step 5: Replicate it for the whole year

Replicate your monthly calendar for the whole year!  You need to define the exact topics and make some adjustments according to events, launches and holidays, for example, but it will be a lot easier when you have a content frame ready to go.

Step 6: Ideate regularly

Now you know more or less what kind of content you need. To come up with the exact topics, formats and material, schedule time for ideation regularly. Many content creators like to fill in their precise plan once a month and make smaller tweaks as they go – but you get to choose what suits you best!

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5 steps to create a 12-month content plan

If you are struggling with finding ideas, you can download my guide 10 Content Ideas for You to Steal and Make Yours.

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Pauliina Rasi is a freelance writer and content strategist, with a mission to empower value-driven business owners to take their communication to the next level without stress and strain. She shares her best D-I-Y tips for entrepreneurs and content creators on her blog, Pauliina With 2 “I”s, on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Stay tuned for more resources, we have some great content lined up with experts in various fields – marketing gurus, coaches, wellness experts, chefs, and teachers to get you through this tough time. Stay safe and healthy! Make the most of your quarantine with My Swiss Story.

To read more articles from this series, click here.

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