Wednesday, January 4, 2012

4 questions to help you plan this year's content

Had the great opportunity to  edit and be acknowledge in Barb Sawyers recent book "You write like you talk" below is great information to set up plan for your writing for the year. Enjoy

Planning how you're going to share your expertise this year may be almost as important as those promises about getting in shape.

To make those content resolutions, ask yourself  how often, what topics, how to manage when you're too busy and how to improve. 

 1.   How often will I publish?
Be realistic. Bloggers who vow to post every day or newsletter publishers who aim to publish weekly can end up like those dieters who give up because they didn't lose 10 pounds every month.

Decide what you can commit to while maintaining high quality and your sanity.

Allow some flexibility. While it's wise to have a schedule, don't be tempted to pass off inferior quality because you haven't posted in a few days. Your readers should notice if you fall off the map for a while, but will probably not care if you miss the odd slot or veer off

2.      What will I write about?
Draw up an editorial calendar. If pressing issues come up, feel free to switch topics. But if you don't start with a plan for about three-quarters of your content, you'll end up missing commitments or staring at a blank screen.

Start your calendar with seasonal issues.  I almost always discuss planning in January. Accountants may want to talk about tax preparation next month. Gardening experts will soon offer tips on seed germination. 

For the times you don't have seasonal issues, plan topics that are important to your clients and will further your business objectives. For example, real estate agents will talk about the top renovations to boost your price, while specialty bakers will explain why you get different results from gluten-free flours.

 3.      What can I prepare in advance?
Expect that you'll have times when you're unable to write much. While you're planning, go through your archives and see what you can dust off and update. Draft content on other topics, so you can quickly edit and publish when you're in a pinch.

Because you have a calendar, you'll  know which  research to save for later use. Collect and mull as you go. The writing process will become so much easier. 

4.      What do I need to improve?
The new year is a great time to reassess your content vehicles. How you can you improve them? How can they better serve your objectives? How can you update them to reflect changes such as mobile communication and new social media? What's new with your clients, prospects and community?

If you need to upgrade you writing skill, or make the process faster and funner, this is the time to read my book Write Like You Talk--Only Better, now available in print from Amazon.

Barbs sig

Barb Sawyers
Sticky Communication

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