You want to set goals so you know what you hope to achieve, create an editorial calendar, and more. There’s a lot to get done, but luckily, I’m here to help you out!
Before you dive into the new year without a strategy in place, walk through these steps for creating your blogging plan. Once you’re done, you’ll feel confident in what’s to come during the year ahead. And you’ll never again have to stress about what you should be posting.
Creating Your Blogging Plan for the New Year
To start creating your blogging plan, all you have to do is go through the steps that follow. It’s an easy process that’ll leave you with plenty of content ideas and the motivation to create!
1. Review Where You’re Currently At
Before we start planning your content for the year ahead, we need to conduct an audit of your blog as it currently is. That starts with reviewing the topics you’re writing about and what you want to cover in the months to come.
Are there any topics you’ve been covering that you are no longer passionate about? Is there something you’d like to start writing about in the year ahead? Whatever you choose to publish on your blog needs to be something you’re passionate about and that provides value to your readers.
Next, pull up your analytics and do a little digging. Which posts performed really well in the last year? Which ones were a flop? See if you can detect any trends between these posts so you can know what to do more of and what to eliminate.
2. Set Some Goals for Your Blog
The next step in creating your blogging plan is to set a few goals. This is something that I notice many bloggers fail to do, however I think it’s important! When you set goals for your blog, it gives you something to work towards.
So, what do you want to achieve with your blog this year? Do you want to finally reach 100,000 monthly page views? Would you like to increase the amount of returning visitors to your site or decrease your bounce rate? Whatever it is, set that goal and determine how you’re going to make it happen!
Outlining an action plan is the key to your success when it comes to achieving any goal you want to reach. Once you know what’s required of you, set deadlines, and then get to work.
Related: How to Set Goals & Achieve Them
3. Design Your Content Plan
With your goals in place, it’s time to start designing the content plan for your blog. And the first thing you need to determine is your posting frequency.
As a blogger, consistency is important when it comes to how often you’re publishing new content. You want to make sure you’re providing value and sticking to a schedule. It keeps you on track and allows readers to anticipate new content!
However, that doesn’t mean you need to post five days per week. It’s more important to focus on quality over quantity, so only commit yourself to what you’re capable of. For example, if you know you can only write three high-quality blog posts per week, that’s all you need to stick to.
From there, you’ll need to create your editorial calendar. There are a number of ways to plan out your content, whether you use a tool like CoSchedule or a good old-fashioned calendar!
4. Begin Creating Content
The next step in creating your blogging plan is where you can begin writing content. But before you can do that, you have to come up with some ideas to fill that editorial calendar of yours! This is something many bloggers struggle with because they don’t always know what to write about.
To help you round-up some great ideas for your editorial calendar, try these tips:
- Survey your audience. To find out what your readers want to see from you, ask them! It’s a simple and easy way to get feedback and you’re able to deliver what they want.
- Pay attention on social media. Conversations take place on social media all the time, which is why you should be on the lookout. Search for topics or hashtags your audience might be using to see what they’re struggling with. Create content based on what they’re talking about.
- Review emails and comments. Don’t forget that you can also discover great content ideas from the comments left on your blog and emails you receive. It’s as simple as listening to your audience when they reach out to you!
With a fantastic idea in hand, it’s your time to create! If you need some help crafting amazing content for your blog, I have a helpful video you might like. In it, I share the nine steps to writing quality content.
However, my one piece of advice for creating content consistently? Batching.
Batching has been the most effective strategy for me. Typically, I dedicate every Friday to creating content for the week ahead. Once I’ve written one blog post and I’m in that writing groove, it’s easier to keep going. With this process, I’m able to knock out three blog posts in one sitting with no trouble.
Even if batching doesn’t work for you, find what does. What will help you create great content consistently? Once you figure that out, stick with it!
5. Review Your Progress
Creating your blogging plan isn’t just crafting an editorial calendar and writing content though. You also need to check-in every so often to review your progress. My advice is to do this monthly.
Take a look at your Google Analytics each month to see which posts performed the best. Which ones got the most traffic or comments? Are there any topics that your audience seems to really enjoy? Make note of these things so you can create more of the same content to generate similar results.
It’ll really come in handy when you’re creating your editorial calendar for the next month.
6. Repurpose Your Content
Quick question for you! Are you currently repurposing your blog content or are your archives collecting virtual dust? If your answer is the latter, it’s time to make a change. And fast.
Don’t let your older content go to waste. Instead, find ways to repurpose the older content you’ve produced that’s still getting a lot of traction. There are a number of ways you can do this, including:
- Turning a blog post into a YouTube video or podcast episode.
- Expanding on the topic during a Facebook or Instagram Live and inviting your audience to join the conversation.
- Creating an infographic with key details and statistics from the post.
- Pulling quotable tidbits from the blog post, creating graphics, and sharing them on social media.
- Converting the blog post into an informative SlideShare.
Those are just a few suggestions, but the ideas are endless! It’s important to make use of the content you’ve created by increasing its mileage. Repurposing is the ideal way to do this, so make it part of your strategy! Neil Patel has some great tips on refreshing your older content.