[374] How to create a year’s worth of content in a morning

Would you love to know how to plan a year’s worth of content for your business in just a few hours?

In this podcast episode, I explain how to create a year long content plan for your business. 

I show you how to break your planning down into manageable steps: annual, quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily.  PLUS how you can use awareness days and key dates to generate content ideas for your business.  And how to make time for content planning – all year round. 

{Click on the player above to listen to the podcast episode and/or read on for a detailed overview. Scroll down to the bottom to read the show notes including all the links mentioned in this episode.}

Step 1: Schedule time for content planning

Set aside some dedicated time to create your content plan. If you can, take yourself away from your usual place of work. Find a cafe you like to work in – a quiet hotel lobby – anywhere where you can focus on this task, uninterrupted. You’ll be much more productive and creative this way.

Step 2: Create your annual content plan 

It can be helpful to approach your content like a videographer. Start with ‘wide shot’ of your business i.e. what’s happening across the year. Then gradually zoom closer, until you’re focusing on quarterly, weekly and daily content.

So let’s start with that ‘wide shot’ of your year. Think about the key things that are happening in your business in each quarter of the year. When will you be launching new products/services? Are you doing any speaking? Will you be attending any industry events? List at least three key things for each quarter. 

Next, write down a few key dates/awareness days that are relevant to your business. For example, if you have a pet business, you might want to create some timely content around Crufts dog show in March. If you design clothes or accessories, you could create some content around London Fashion Week in January. And if you run a food business, you might plan some content around National Doughnut day in June.

My 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner has tons to help you get started. 

If you struggle with this task because you don’t know what you’ll be doing at each stage of the year, you don’t have a content problem, you have a business problem. Which means you may need to take a few steps back and do some business planning first. 

If you sell just one product/service you may be thinking: “My business is static – there aren’t going to be any new launches, products and/or events?’. But that is exactly the point. Even if you sell just one product/service, you shouldn’t be promoting it in exactly the same way all year round – otherwise people will start to ‘tune out’ from your content.  So how can you create key points in your year that allow you to create fresh excitement around your product/services. The obvious choices is hosting a sale/special offer, but if that isn’t appropriate for your business, there are still many other things you can do. For example:

  • Host an online webinar/challenge
  • Collaborate with related businesses to host an online/in person event
  • Host your own awareness day/week. Find out how here 
  • Publish a special series of blog posts/podcasts around a specific theme
  • Launch your Facebook group, podcast, Youtube channel – if you plan ahead you can make an ‘event’ of it

You may also find yourself thinking ‘but what if my plans change during the year?’

Just because you write something down doesn’t mean you have to do it. Things may change in your business during the year and that’s fine. But it’s much less time consuming  to tweak a plan you’ve already worked on than to start from scratch. So just apply your best thinking right now.

Step 3: Create your quarterly content plan 

Once you’ve created your annual content plan, you can zoom in a little closer and start your quarterly content planning.

I ‘d suggest you create one key piece of content a week, whether it’s a blog/vlog, podcast, Facebook Live or infographic and repurpose it into multiple pieces of content.

This means you only need to come up with a list of 12 ideas for each quarter – ideas that complement the key business activities and dates you’ve already identified in your annual content plan. Simple when you put it like that, right?

If you need some inspiration, make two lists. On the first list, write down the ten most common questions you get asked by your ideal customers/clients. On the second list, write down ten common questions people ask about your product/service. 

That’s a list of content ideas right there.

For example, my prospective customers often ask me questions like this about content planning.

  • Why do I need a content plan?
  • How often should I be publishing new content?
  • What kind of content should I be creating for my business?
  • What are the biggest mistakes people make with content planning?
  • How far ahead should I be planning my content?
  • How flexible should I be with my content planning? Is there any room for spontaneity?

There’s six content ideas right there.

They also ask me quite specific questions about the 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner:

  • What are the benefits of buying the 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner?
  • What’s the difference between the 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner and the Media Diary Owners’ Club?
  • Can I see inside the 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner?
  • Will the media diary help me if I have a product-based business?
  • Is the 2020 Media Diary suitable for business owners based outside the UK?
  • I bought last year’s Social Media Diary & Planner but I didn’t use it. Should I buy it again?

There’s another six content ideas – some of which I’ve already turned into blog posts.

If it feels daunting to plan out a whole year’s worth of content in one go, I’d recommend planning one quarter at a time.  To make sure this actually happens, block out time in your diary for three further quarterly planning sessions across the year.

Step 4: Create your weekly content plan

With your quarterly plan complete, you can zoom in a little closer and create a weekly content plan for your business.

If you’re creating one key piece of content a week (which is what I recommend), think about how you might repurpose that content to create smaller pieces of content that can be published across the week. 

For example, you could record a video, strip out the audio and turn it into a podcast. You could use a resource like rev.com to generate a transcript and turn that into a blog post. Then you could pull out some soundbites from the transcript and turn them into infographics for social media (using a graphic design tool like Canva), audio trailers (using a resource like Headliner)and video trailer (using a tool like Kapwing). If you focus on making that cornerstone piece of content work as hard for you as possible (by repurposing it in different ways), you’ll soon have enough content for every day of the week.

And don’t be afraid to post your content more than once. People are busy and may not see it the first time round (or even the third, fourth or fifth).

Step 5: Create your daily plan 

Next map out what you’re going to publish on which platform on what day. 

I’d suggest doing this a week or two ahead and scheduling a regular – and non-negotiable – time for weekly planning on your diary. That way, you’re far less likely to skip a week. 

Don’t be afraid to repeat the same content on different platforms.  Not everyone will see what you post. You may just need to tweak it slightly to suit. 

Podcast shownotes

  • How to focus on planning your content and why you should find a different workspace to do it (3:30)
  • How to create a quarterly overview and plan your content based on your key business activities (4:56)
  • Why you might need to rethink your business if you don’t know what your key services or products will be this time next year (8:15)
  • How to map out key activities and awareness days for each quarter for the year ahead (10:01)
  • How to plan your quarterly content and why you should put dates in your diary for future quarterly planning (12:25)
  • How to plan and create the content that you are going to write about based on the questions that your customers ask you (13:25)
  • Why you should produce one key piece of content that adds value every week (and how to repurpose it) (17:36)
  • How to create content if you are a product based business (20:16)
  • How to map out your weekly content plan from your quarterly content plan (22:56)
  • How to create your daily content plan and tie in your key dates and awareness dates (23:37)
  • How to make your content planning a habit (25:48)
  • How to be creative with awareness days and make them relate to your business (26:47)


[372] How to build an engaged online audience (podcast)
[373] How to get more followers on any social media platform (podcast)
How to create an editorial calendar for your marketing strategy (blog)
Create 52 weeks of content with the 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner (blog)
How to get the most out of your Social Media Diary & Planner

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