Pros & Cons to Planning Your Content Ahead
You’re ready to hit the ground running, elevating your business through content royalty. (Content is king, doncha know!) You have ideas out the ying-yang and are sure that you can map out your whole year with the buzz that’s going on inside your head.
It’s... probably not your best idea.
Listen, there are many, MANY reasons why planning your content in advance can be advantageous in business but it can be equally unfavourable to do so as well.
Can you imagine the person who, in all their zest and inspiration, wrote out their entire 2020 content before the year began? What a painstaking process it must have been to rewrite it all so as to ensure its relevance during the historically impactful events that occurred. It is vital for your content to resonate with your audience which means that it needs to be pertinent to what’s going on in the world around them.
There is merit to having a plan of action though, so let’s get down to the brass tax of when to bulk create, when to hold back, and what to do in between.
The most important part of planning ahead is not in writing the content so much as strategizing it. Creating a content calendar outline is like having a roadmap to your business goals. It assures that you remain consistent not only in your online presence but also in your authenticity and branding. Having a general outline gives direction while allowing for flexibility in what you share with the world.
Your outline can be as simple or complex as you’d like depending on your goals and intentions in growing your business. Some examples of outlines are daily themes, weekly objectives, and monthly overviews. They can be in the form of social media posts, blogs and articles, videos, etc. Repurposing content is an integral part of content strategy and a great way to avoid creative burnout.
Once you have your outline completed - typically for the quarter, broken down by months and/or weeks - you can begin thinking about block-writing in small segments (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly). The outline provides guidance and block-writing gives structure with the opportunity to try new strategies in each block.
Proceed with Caution
It can be really exciting when you get into a groove of content planning and you may have come up with some great strategies for the next quarter but remember the person who wrote their 2020 content ahead of time and consider the tactical flaws that came out of that choice.
Relevancy: You never know what’s going to happen in any given length of time. Big changes can happen this quarter, month, week, even this day! In order to stay relevant, you need to have a strategy that leaves room for swap-outs in order to address current events that resonate with your audience.
Room for growth: Just as events in the world can change what you might be putting out in the world, it would be remiss to think that a certain amount of personal development can happen at any time as well. Your personal and business ideals may change and bloom into so much more than you could possibly plan for in a year.
Redundancy: Even though you feel like you have all the ideas happening in your head right now, planning too far ahead limits the possibility of using your new, brilliant ideas that come up as you acquire new experiences in life and business. Those all-at-once ideas will become redundant in the eyes of your audience. They will become bored and disconnect from what you’re sharing.
Disregarding all of the above will seriously affect the authenticity of your business. If you choose not to braid current events, personal development, and innovation into your content then you are choosing to represent your brand without personality. Not only are you admitting to stagnancy but you are settling for it too - you get what you give.
All this to say when you have a moment of brilliance, during which you feel like you could write for days, don’t just shove it to the back of your mind because you have a strategy in place and you don’t want to get ahead of yourself. There is gold in these moments and you will want to dig it up so that it can be polished in due time. Mind-mapping, brain dumping, and idea logs are all great places to both store great ideas when they are in surplus and find fantastic inspiration when you feel that the well has run dry.
Another great way to plan and prepare for the unexpected is to be continually assessing what’s going on around you. Keep track of the world, your audience, and your competitors to see what they’re talking about and how you might want to change or revamp in order to differentiate yourself from the busy world of online content creation.
Think about your business and how you want yourself to show up; how you’re positioned in the world and in the eyes of your ideal audience. Does your content represent that? Do you know what type of strategy will bring you there? What about how much planning ahead should happen in order to be represented authentically while still working efficiently, without spending all of your precious hours creating content
There is always room to grow and every business structure is different in how they choose to be visible through content. Many factors come into play when making decisions about content strategy and it often takes a bit of trial and error to really hit the nail on the head but with the right consideration, you can and will find your sweet spot in planning, assessing, and preparing what content you put into the world.
Content is king but you can’t seem to make it work for your business.
Copywriting is taking away from the enjoyment of being your own boss and
doing what you love to do,
Stop being a slave to the words and start loving your business again.
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