There’s nothing worse than sitting down to write a post and having no idea what to write. Or having too many ideas that they all get jumbled and you don’t know what to choose. This is where having an editorial calendar comes in super handy!
Today in Week 3 of the Build Your Blog Foundation series we’re going to make sure that you never get stuck in this predicament!
So far we’ve discussed all the steps needed to build a strong foundation and how to choose a niche. If you want to catch up you can read the posts here:
After all, you have wonderful ideas and lessons within you. And we want to get them out of your mind and heart and out into the world!
So let’s create some content!
Ideally, you create your content in a strategic way: aka – an editorial calendar!
I’ll be the first to admit, when I started I had no strategy. I had an idea of what I wanted to teach and whom I could help, but my ideas seem to come all at once. Ideas fly into my mind and I need to quickly catch them and write them down or else they’ll fly right out again. Whenever an idea comes to me, I throw it onto a Trello board. As a result, I have a large list of post ideas. And when it was time to write a post, I’d randomly pick from that list.
The result – inconsistency. With both my posts and the frequency on which I posted.
I needed a plan.
And the truth is, I know how to plan. I’m a teacher after all.
Then I thought about how I prepare my lessons for school
- I look at the curriculum to see the major topics or big ideas that my students have to learn that year.
- Then I figure out when I’m going to teach each topic
- I look at the curriculum again to see what they need to learn in each topic and find lessons that will teach to each outcome
You can do the same for your content but you get to create the curriculum and the lessons!
- Figure out big ideas within your topic of what people want to learn
- Decide the order and months of when you’re going to teach
- Create lessons (aka content) that teach to each theme.
But before we figure out the big ideas, we need to create a simple curriculum… aka the learning journey.
Creating The Journey
Have you ever looked at your child’s curriculum? They are massive documents. You can google it and find your local curriculum easily.
Now, there’s absolutely no need to create a curriculum as detailed as a government issued one. But they are important because they clearly lay out the learning journey that the student is supposed to take in a year. You as a blogger/online teacher can do the same to have an epic content calendar. You should do the same process for your course.
Here are the steps:
1. KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU’RE TEACHING AND TO WHOM
You need to know who your readers are. You need to know where they’re starting from and what outcome they desire.
Questions to ask:
- Who is my reader
- Why are they coming to my site?
- What is there problem and what do they need to learn to solve it?
Say you want to teach healthy eating for people who want to lose weight. I’ve made up an avatar named Patricia for this example.
“Patricia really wants to lose weight. She’s started but isn’t finding success and is hungry all the time. She thinks losing weight is only about calories. So she eats 1000 calories a day of highly processed foods and she’s wondering why she isn’t losing weight.”
2. WHAT DOES SHE NEED TO LEARN?
Help her out! She’s coming to your site to learn how to lose weight. List out all the big ideas she needs to know to get from fluffy and frustrated to trim and lean.
What does she need to learn to get to her desired outcome?
Patricia needs to learn:
- about processed foods and why she should avoid them
- about meal prep
- about her own thinking towards food
- what healthy foods are
- easy, healthy ways to cook for herself and her family
- about positive mindset
- how to feel good now
Each of the above ideas are big ideas. Each big idea requires a handful of lessons to fully understand the concept. Generally speaking, you can devote a month to each big idea.
3. BREAK IT DOWN
Within each big idea choose 3-4 lessons that are all geared towards teaching to that big idea you’ve chosen for the month. These are your weekly posts. Ta da!!
Example: Monthly theme – mindset
- How to find motivation
- How to feel good in your body right now
- The stories you’re telling yourself are keeping you fat
- How to eat healthy when you really just want to stuff your face.
And then you can create filler posts to help your readers get to know you and your brand better.
Some additional posts you can create are:
- Curate – find other people’s content that you can share
- Document your journey
- Round up post
- Interview post
- List posts
If you have something to sell, like a course or a 1:1, create a series of posts that lead up to your offer.
4. BATCH & SCHEDULE IT!
The marketing gurus out there say that you should spend 20% of your time creating content and 80% promoting it. But if you’re a mama and this biz is a side hustle, time is not on your side.
I don’t know about you, but it takes me a while to create content. But this is where batching will help you out!
Take your calendar and (virtual or real, whatever works best for you) and plug in the monthly themes.
Going back to our example:
- March – mindset
- April – Nutrition 101
- May – Meal prep
And then the last week of each month get your lessons ready
- Monday – Blog and content upgrade outline
- Tuesday/Wednesday – first draft
- Thursday – edit
- Friday – images
- Saturday – format and schedule
Repeat the last week of every month so you have a new month ready to go.
And now you have an awesome editorial calendar for at least the next 90 days ready and raring to go!
What are is your first monthly theme going to be? I’d love to hear about them!
Written by: Alessandra Johnston
Alessandra is a mother, wife and avid learner who teaches others how to start and grow an online business by teaching online. She believes that a mother shouldn’t have to choose between her work and her kids. That you really can have it all – You can stay home and build a business. Kids and a Biz is a place to learn how to effectively teach online, create an online presence, manage work from home with littles and how to tame the inner gremlins that so often stop us from moving ahead.