I’ve had several blogs over the years which I would add to when I thought of something to write about, sometimes this would be several times a day and other times 3 or 4 months would pass by before I published anything. In that time I would have ideas but they would come and go, especially if I wasn’t near a computer at the time. Often I would think about my blog and have the fullest of intentions of adding to it but then sit at the desk, the little cursor on-screen blinking away and not have an iota of what to write. And in time ALL of my previous blogs failed – I failed to write posts in a timely manner, I rushed what I was writing and didn’t really think about my words or topic carefully, I missed opportunities to link to interesting articles or previous posts, photos were rushed or non-existent and the general quality of the post was poor overall.
Now though, I have approached this blog differently. Before I even signed up and created MyColourfulLifeUK, I started to write down ideas for this blog, I talked about it with friends and family and generated a few ideas of what they found interesting in the subject fields I enjoyed. And so started the beginnings of a content plan.
A content plan is so important as a blogger as it gives you a framework with which to create blog posts and help you with what you are going to write about on a day-to-day basis. Having a content plan is like driving somewhere you have never been before but with well written directions.
Here are 7 things that having a content plan has helped me with
- Knowing what I am going to write about
Having a plan has helped me no end. I always have an idea of what I am going to be writing about and now I don’t waste half of my time sitting and staring at a blank screen. What I didn’t bank on was that having a plan actually encourages me to write and I am always excited to sit down and draft up a blog post now.
- Helps me to prepare content (Including links and images)
Having the knowledge of what I want to write about allows me to thoroughly prepare, from researching topics, making notes, finding useful links, taking photos, writing the post and editing it. If you know then you can prepare.
- Helps me to generate new post ideas
Whenever I sit and look through my content plan I seem to be able to come up with new ideas to write about, and in researching topics I will often find something else that piques my interest and opens up a whole new set of thoughts about posts I can create further down the line. Now I have a content plan I never seem to be short of ideas!
- Provides well thought out posts for your readers
My English A Level lecturer always said he could spot an essay that had been hastily written and I didn’t really believe him back then, but now, after reading lots of different blogs on all sorts of different topics I know exactly what he means. When you have a content plan there are not many posts you will write in a rush which in turn means that your posts will be well thought out, the points raised will be clear and there will be a good flow to the words and pace. Rushed posts often meander off track, words are clumsily thrown together and even the reading pace feels rushed.
- Helps me to stick within the theme of my blog
I’m a lifestyle blogger which means that I can over a lot of different subjects and still be within the theme of my blog overall but if you have a niche blog, I had one covering art when in university, it could be really easy to stray from that overall theme. I know that it’s your blog and you can pretty much write what you want, but if you have a niche theme then it’s worth sticking to it, trust me, your readers will thank you!
- Helps me to build a schedule for my posts
Once I have a list of content that I want to write about I then open Excel and use a calendar that I created to schedule my content, colour code each topic and start placing the topics against dates to publish. This helps me to see what to write and when as well as not having too many posts on the same topic being crowded together.
- Keeps readers interested and gains return visitors and followers
All of the above points lead to this – keeping readers engaged with your writing, gaining repeat visitors and, hopefully, gaining followers who will keep coming back to read the content that bought them to your blog in the first place.
I hope you find this useful. What are your thoughts on having a content plan?