Sometimes I wish I was a Disney princess and all I had to do was believe in my dreams. Believe in my dream to have a 25-hour day or my dream that blog posts would write themselves. Sadly, I will never have hair as nice as a Disney princess and I probably will have to keep writing those posts on my own. Fortunately, Allee CEO Melissa Harrison is a little magical and has created a process that makes creating blog content more efficient and less stressful.
And I have permission to share some of her secrets!
Creating 30 days of blog content in just one week
Step one: Create a content calendar
A content calendar is a Word document that contains anything and everything you and your team need to get writing.
Page one should be filled with your blog strategy information so it is always easy to access. Information to include:
- Posting goals
- Content categories
- Target audience
- Popular keywords
- Any notes you need to remember
The next section of the document will be about specific posts. Create a table for each month with the following columns:
- Publishing date
- Article title (working titles are a-ok)
- Article synopsis with sources
- Content category
- Due date
The final page of the calendar should be a source list. This is a list of websites, social channels or magazines you can look to for inspiration. See below for tips on keeping this list fresh.
Step two: Fill out your content calendar for a month
My best advice: leave no column empty and fill up the synopsis column with lots of links and information. Looking at a content calendar with lots of information will make it much easier to encourage yourself to write the posts. You will know all the information has been collected and all you need to do is write.
Step three: Write
I am sure you could have guessed this was the final step. Depending on how many posts you publish each month, you could write a blog post or two a day for a week and not worry about it the rest of the month.
Don’t forget to write “published” in the status column on the calendar. It is so satisfying.
Tips for keeping your source list fresh
Your source list is a living document that should always be growing. The following are a few ways to find sources:
- Twitter: When your favorite accounts mention other accounts in a tweet, take note and add them to your list.
- Facebook trending: Look at the “trending now” list on the top-right section of your newsfeed. This will be inspiration for writing real-time posts.
- Google Alerts: Set up Google Alerts for keywords relevant to your blog. These emails are sources themselves, but will also introduce you to websites you may have not known existed.
- Industry magazines: Take the time to read these. They are full of topic ideas and information on industry experts.
Tips for making the calendar work
To make your content calendar ultra-effective, follow these tips:
- Deadlines need to be hard deadlines – not suggestions.
- If you have a team of writers, make the calendar a public document. Everyone likes to know what’s been done and what’s next.
- Keep the status column updated. Whether the article is written, you have a email out to the writer, it is being edited or it is published, write that in the status column. It is easy to lose track of a post’s status when you have a lot going on.
- Select your categories for each post before coming up with the exact topic. This will guarantee you cover all your categories equally.
- Make it your own. Our list of information to include in your calendar is just a base. Build your calendar and add columns where you need them.
After you set up your content calendar and start using it, you will feel so good about your blog that you just might start believing in magic.