If you have been following us for the past couple months you know that the blog is once again on the top of the priority list for finally getting under control. We haven’t done so well lately despite our best efforts. It’s always a struggle finding time to do it and do it well while balancing out client work and keeping the company running. It still remains one of those things that we have been trying to treat just like any other project though.
So what’s changed?
Well a lot. It started with me researching a lot of how-to blog posts as well as checking out how other busy business owners keep up with everything. I kept reading about editorial calendars but that was nothing new. I’ve tried it. It works for a while but then I get stuck. How can such a tiny company have enough to say to fill 2 – 3 or more blog posts 52 weeks out of the year? An then to do it year after year, the task seems so daunting.
Research successful bloggers.
A few weeks ago, I got smart and started trying to find actual examples of blogger’s editorial calendars. I’m a visual person so seeing what they are actually planning helped me relate to my own work. Then I found some great templates for monthly, weekly and individual post planning and things started to make a little more sense. I highly recommend checking out pishandposh.com for their printable options. I also printed myself calendars for the next 12 months.
Define your ideal client / reader.
Around the same time, I was listing to a webinar about defining the ideal client and once I sat down and started defining the single, perfect, ideal client instead of just a generalized group, it all started to fall into place. I should talk more about the target audience in another post but for now, I’ll say that once I had that outlined in detail, knowing what to write about today, tomorrow, next week, next month, and beyond seemed to come into focus.
Brainstorming & Editorial Calendars
I sat down with my 12 months of calendars, my outlines and some blank paper. I marked days on my calendar that I knew were significant like holidays, back-to-school, etc. Next, I took about 10 minutes and just started brainstorming ideas. As it turned out, I was able to come up with may more than ever before because I took the time to define my ideal client.
With my brainstorming list, I started pulling topics out and plugging them into my 12 month calendar thinking about the time of year, where that is in relation to our “wedding season” and making sure to leave open days for things that may come up unplanned. I try to keep certain days for certain types of projects for consistency so it was easy to start finding patterns and even new ideas from existing ideas.
Do it again, and again.
Setting aside an hour or so every few months to go through this process is realistic and now I know that I don’t have to stress about what I’m going to write about. I just need to schedule the tasks that need to be done for the topics that are already planned. It feels much more manageable now and I feel less stressed about it all.
So, while I’m trying to get up to speed with all this new paperwork, I’m realizing just how helpful this is going to be for me and the company moving forward. I love online planning, but having actual, hand-written outlines that I can see and touch makes it so much more real for me. I feel like I’m finally starting to get a handle on this monster people call a blog!