One of the things I learned the fastest when I started my own business doing copywriting?
That I needed to write a lot of words about copywriting in addition to the actual words for websites and captions and ads that I routinely write for my clients.
If you’re a service-based business owner, you get this too: in order for your clients to trust you, they need to see quality examples of you actually knowing what you’re talking about. It usually looks like an abundance blogs posts, social media posts, guides, and other tangible resources that our clients can benefit from before they have ever bought anything from us.
Man, it’s daunting though, isn’t it?! We know that creating valuable resources for our ideal clients is one of the best ways we can serve them, but it can often feel like we have nothing to talk about, nothing valuable to share. It’s easy to sit down to write, and tap our feet and look blankly at the screen end up frustrated and claustrophobic and feeling like we have nothing to say
Since I’ve begun consistently “creating content” (not my favorite phrase, but I will use it anyway for this post since it’s the most familiar term for what I’m talking about) I’ve had to learn how to do it in a sustainable way.
Enter quarterly content planning. It has changed the process of creating content for me in every way. Planning my content ahead of time is now how I write even when I feel like I can’t think of anything new.
This blog post is to teach you how to do plan content yourself, if you don’t know how; or at least to refresh your motivation if everything idea you have for content feels old and redundant and stops you short like holiday traffic on a Friday afternoon.
1. Keep a running list of ideas
Keep a Brainstorm List. This is one of the most non-negotiable ways to ensure that you never have nothing to write about. I have a list of ideas in my iPhone Notes app, and also a list of ideas in an Excel sheet on my computer. If you’re walking through Target and have an idea—write it in that note on your phone! If you’re working on a client task and have a brainstorm—scribble it down before you forget! That way, when you sit down to plan, you have an abundance of options to select from.
2. Decide when you will post
All of us who regularly create content know the existential dread of “I know I need to be writing but I don’t know what to write about and if I don’t write then no one will buy anything from me and then I’ll have to quite my business and I always knew I’m a failure anyway and….” Wow! It’s draining! To help lift that constant weight hanging over you, simply decide what days of the week you will be posting. Will you do Wednesdays? Or maybe Tuesdays and Thursdays? It can be as frequently as you want but decide on something that is attainable and stick to it. Then you will know exactly how many posts you need to plan out for each quarter.
4. Set aside a time and PLAN
Block out a couple hours or an afternoon for this part of the process. I usually do it at the end of every quarter. Use your brainstorm lists and compile a map for the next quarter with an approximate title for each post. Rearrange and tweak as needed, but make sure you have something written down for each post you are planning! Don’t leave any blank spots!
4. Relax and write in batches
I probably shouldn’t be teaching about batching content because I personally still am not consistent at it. I’m doing good if I can write two blog posts at a time😊. However, I still highly recommend blocking out a chunk of time to tackle the next two or three or four headlines on your list. The pressure is largely relieved because you already have your topics planned—simply look at the idea already written down and compose your thoughts about it.
In conclusion: regularly creating content for your business doesn’t have to make you despair. Keep that running Brainstorm List. Decide how frequently and precisely when you will be posting content. And then set aside the time to plan and batch ahead of time and get rid of the last-minute desperation.