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Friday, 22 December 2017

Blogmas Day 10 - Creating An Awesome Content Strategy For 2018 + FREE Content Strategy Planner!

We're so very close to the new year, and if you're eager to make 2018 your year of internet explooooosion, this is the post you're looking for, my friend!

Today, I'm going to walk you through a super easy way to create a content strategy for your blog and/or online business, and we'll also talk a little bit about planning out marketing for said content, and let me tell you, this post is overflowing with serious ideas.

Plus, I'm sharing with you an awesome, 26-page content planner to go with this post, so quick! Grab it before you read this post, and fill it out as we go!

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First, of course, I must plug a couple of posts on Goal Setting, and if you haven't read those yet, check them out below:

Today, we'll create your awesome content strategy in 3 easy steps. Let's jump right in!

Step 1: Define Your Audience

Yes, yes, you've probably done this already for 2017, or 2016, or any number of years before. But guess what! As your business grows and changes, so does your audience!

Think about it. How has your product or content changed in the last few years? Or, if your brand is fairly new, in the last few months? More often than not, you'll find that the people whom you currently work with are nothing like those you worked with when you first started out. However, chances are, you're still creating content for your first few viewers!

So before we create a content strategy, let's create an audience persona.

Think about your current audience as one single person. What gender and age group leaps to your mind? What is their day job, and what do they want out of their career? Think about how this person dresses, talks and acts, where they go on their weekends or holidays, what they spend money on, and what their problems are.

Do the same thing for your very first group of readers or customers, who may or may not still be in touch with you. Remember, it's totally okay for you to not align with them anymore, there are thousands of other people who will! Just be honest with yourself and your plan, and write down exactly whom you catered to, when you were just starting up.

Now, look at the last few products or posts you put out into the world. Which of the two personas are those better targeted to? Are they in alignment with your current audience, or did you right them with your old audience in mind?

By defining our current audience, and updating this definition every 6-8 months, we can be sure to keep up with the changing seasons of our business. This will inevitably lead to growth!

Step 2: Choose Six Medium-sized Projects For The Year

Or four large ones, or eight smaller ones.Choose whichever number is realistic and doable for you.

The number one mistake that business owners make is to launch far too much, far too quickly, then have nothing to do for the rest of the year. Not only does this make the start of the year incredibly busy, stressful and terrifying, it also means that at the end of the year, their brand is pretty much irrelevant, stale and forgotten. 

In order to avoid this consequence, as well as the initial burnout, a great idea is to pick a small number of projects, and space them out across the year.

For instance, you might want to launch an e-book, an online shop, and freelance packages. If you launch them all at once in January, not only will your audience be overwhelmed, they will most likely get tired of your new updates every other day. Result? A whole bunch of Unsubscribes. Besides, even if your audience is super ecstatic about all these new launches, I can tell you now, that will be short-lived. The hype will eventually die out, and if you can't keep up with the momentum of a new launch every few days or weeks for the rest of the year, the excitement will fizzle out to nothing. 

So, instead, pace yourself. Take your big projects (ideally no more than six big ones), and spread them out across the year. The easiest way would be to take two months per project, but you can totally divide the year up in any way you see fit. The point is to slow down and plan your launch in enough detail, so that you're not working 40-hour shifts in front of your computer in January and then disappearing off the grid for the rest of the year!

Step 3: Sub-divide Each Project

This is where the real elbow grease goes in.

Once you've got a vague idea of what each project will be about, it's time to start writing down the details, and I mean the details. What will the end product look like? What is your colour scheme for the project? Why are you working on this? 

Think about your schedule - how many days will it take to complete this project, and how many hours would you have to dedicate to it each day? Are there any important events already in your calendar? How will you work around that?

Divide your project across the months you'll be working on it for. If , for instance, I were to choose six projects and work on them for two months each, I'd divide it as follows:

Month 1:
  • Create an online landing page for my project
  • Create teaser images for my project to get my audience excited, but also keep myself accountable!
  • Think about why I'm working on this, whom I want to help, and how my product fits into their lives
  • Think about the financials: Will I make money off this project? How? How much money do I expect to earn? How much money will I need to invest in this project?
  • Plan, design and create the product/service itself
  • Plan, design and create a marketing plan for the product: which platforms will I market my work on? Will it be online or offline, or both?
Month 2:
  • Massive launch!
  • Heavily market my product, and put all that planning into action
  • Take note of how my audience responds to each launch
  • Troubleshooting and maintenance of my product
  • Take feedback and customer testimonials
  • Create reports on how the launch went, which strategies work, which marketing techniques brought me the most engagement, etc.
Then, I'd take all the information from Month 2, and start all over with my next project.

With this method, not only are you constantly occupied without being overly strained through the year, you're also working in the present. That part in the second month where I take feedback and make reports? That allows me to stay totally up to date with my audience and their changing needs, as well as the current scenario in my market, what's popular, how other factors (politics, sports, medical needs etc) affect the spending habits of my get the idea. 

Don't Forget Your Goals!

While it is absolutely amazing to enjoy the daily grind, it is so, so important to always be aligned with your goals! Sometimes, when we're making our work up as we go, we can get caught up in what's happening out there in the world, and forget to look at our own internal purpose. 

Remember, although it's great to try your best to please the customer, this is, after all, your business. It was born out of your need to share something with the world - never lose sight of why you started

With this in mind, it should be a lot easier to create a content strategy for 2018, and I highly recommend scrolling back up and grabbing a copy of the Awesome Content Strategy Planner! It will walk you through each step of creating your awesome plan, and also has some extra tips to help you along the way!

If you found this post and the Planner helpful, please share it with someone who might appreciate it too!

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Creating An Awesome Blog and Business Content Strategy For 2018 + FREE Content Strategy Planner!

As always, thank you so very much for reading, and if you haven't already, check out the rest of the Blogmas series at the links below!

I'm always open to comments, questions and requests, so please get in touch with me via Instagram, Twitter, my new Facebook Page, or e-mail!

Thank you so much for being here, and I'll see you guys tomorrow with another new Blogmas post!

All my love,

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