Winter is coming. In fact, as I type this, the heaters are battling to warm the office up in the face of sub-zero temperatures, and Dexter still has snow speckling his coat after a quick jaunt outside. Of course, all this can only mean one thing – New Year is pretty close. And if you’re anything like me, your thoughts are turning to what you’ve achieved this year. What’s worked in your business? What are you hoping for next year, and how will you make that happen?
The current state of the economy has made 2022 a less-than-stellar year for many. We’re all looking for ways to maximise profitability, and having a marketing strategy in place that’s highly effective yet easy on the bank balance is crucial.
We all know how critical content is to ensuring visibility and growth; keeping your website updated regularly with optimised content is the only way to rank on Google and benefit from all that lovely organic traffic everyone is always raving about. But it’s easier said than done. Finding time to write a blog each week, knowing what to write about, understanding how to optimise it and what to optimise it for… it’s enough to give you a migraine.
Outsourcing, DIYing Or Something Else?
The obvious answer is to outsource your content creation. And I’m happy to oblige if that’s what you need. But I am also aware that, for many businesses, paying someone else to write their blog each week is currently outside the budget.
If you’re looking to DIY your blog, now is a great time to put a content plan together for 2023 and ensure you maximise the effectiveness of every blog you write. After all, if you’re putting all that time and effort into writing your blogs, you want to ensure they generate traffic and attract new business.
Many will be tempted to wing it, writing those posts as and when they have time about whatever springs to mind. And you can do that. But we’re currently thinking about maximising profitability. And – generally speaking – winging it is a bad plan.
You need an actual plan; a clear content calendar that tells you exactly what you’re writing, when you’re writing it, what it’s about, and the keywords to use.
If, like most business owners, you love the sound of that but have no idea how to put such a plan together, fear not – that’s why I’m here. And with New Year rapidly approaching, I’ve put together a special offer to give you 50% off a professionally designed and researched content plan to follow for 2023.
This is the happy middle ground between outsourcing your posts to a pro and doing everything independently.
There are tons of benefits to having a content plan for 2023 in place for next year; here are my top five…
One of the hardest things to achieve as a blogger is consistency. You know you should be posting once a week, but you’re also running a business and, honestly, who has the time? Of course, you can mitigate the time issue by only blogging once a fortnight or even once a month, but the results you see diminish the less frequently you blog.
Consistently posting once a week can achieve insane results without any paid marketing or other effort needed. It takes time, patience, and consistency, but it’s so worth it. Blogging once a fortnight will still achieve good results, but nowhere near the weekly return.
The time you save compared to the results you lose is, in all honesty, not worth it.
In my experience, having a plan in place is the most critical thing you can do to ensure consistency and – critically – weekly consistency. By taking the guesswork out of writing your blog, you ease the mental burden that comes with it.
You don’t have to worry about thinking of a topic, whether it’s relevant, how you’ll tie it into an offer, what you’ll optimise it for, and if the thing you decide to optimise for will actually drive traffic.
All that is already decided. It’s sat there waiting for you to go. All you have to do is sit down and write the post.
This makes it far easier to fit a blog post around other tasks. There’s no pesky keyword research to worry about and much less to procrastinate over. Instead, block off an hour or two (or however long you need) each week, park your arse in a comfy chair, and type.
Writing may be challenging, but it’s considerably easier when you have a clear roadmap to follow as you write.
#2 Aligning Your Content With Your Objectives
When it comes to profitability, one of the biggest mistakes business owners make is publishing content that doesn’t align with their objectives. You sit down to write your next blog and think, “What should I write it about?”. Whatever the answer is, it’s likely to be an ‘in the moment’ subject rather than a ‘big picture’ topic.
What’s the difference? You may have just read an article about creativity in entrepreneurship and felt inspired to talk about that. Or you could be pissed that a supplier or client has been acting shitty and feel like venting on professionalism. You may have just hit a milestone and want to share it.
The question is, will writing about creativity, how people should behave, or the fact you’ve just sold 1 million thingamabobs support your goal for that week/month/year?
Or is it just a fluff piece that might be a good read but isn’t going to further your business interests?
Is it optimised for terms that will drive traffic long-term? Terms that are intent-based (meaning that traffic is at a point they need and want exactly what you’re offering). Or is it just going to sit on your blog, not driving any traffic at all?
Are you promoting an offer that relates to what you’re talking about so the CTA is specific to your current goals? Or are you just going to end it with a generic ‘get in touch’ – because why are people going to get in touch? What’s their incentive? How will that contact lead to the results you’re looking for?
The odds are good that you’re setting goals for 2023. They may relate to doing specific things, like launching a new product or service, scaling an existing aspect of your business, or winning an award, or they could be financial or metric-related (X amount in revenue or ranking #1 for specific keywords).
Whatever your goals are for 2023, every piece of content you create should support those objectives. In the case of SERPs, that can be direct – you develop a piece of content to rank for each keyword you’re hoping to rank for – but in other cases, it can be a bit fuzzier. For example, what type of content will make you the most money? How do you create content that supports a launch? What about educating your audience about the benefits of what you offer?
Planning ahead and having a clear content calendar allows you to align your content with your objectives effectively. For example, if you’re looking a launching something in June, you need to start building interest ahead of time. Your content plan will consider this and ensure plenty of relevant, juicy content goes out in the run-up to your launch. Likewise, if you’re looking to grow your list, you need an enticing lead magnet or content upgrades relevant to the weekly content you’re putting out there, so your CTAs can support that goal, driving people to your list with relevant content designed to encourage signups.
That’s not to say you can’t create fluff pieces around in-the-moment topics, simply that you can be discerning about it. You can weigh the value of writing about your current thought over the planned article. You can create that in-the-moment piece as an extra blog, outside your plan, or use it as a guest blog on someone else’s site. You can use it on social media rather than your blog. Or, if you have a way with words, you might even get it placed on a media site (Forbes, Thrive Global, Elephant Journal, or similar).
#3 The Ability To Batch And Schedule
If profitability is the name of the game for 2023, efficiency needs to be at the top of your plan to maximise profits. Getting more done in less time will improve your profit margins. When it comes to blogging, the more content you can create for the time spent designing, the better.
That does not mean you should be sacrificing quality for quantity. Not at all. You should look for ways to make the most of your time investment.
If you’re doing your own keyword research and SEO for the year, doing the research and planning in one sitting will save you a TON of time in the long run compared to doing it for each post individually each week. Likewise, having a plan there means spending less time each week thinking about what to write.
Far more efficient.
Yet by far, the most significant efficiency hack that comes with a plan is the ability to BATCH.
Instead of setting aside a few hours a week to work on your blog, block off one full day per month. You can get that month’s content written and scheduled ahead of time. For example, you take a day at the end of December to get all of January’s content boxed off, and suddenly you don’t even have to THINK about content creation until the end of January. Then, you’ll spend a day doing February’s content.
Not only is this far more efficient, but it also ensures the consistency we were talking about. You don’t need to worry about whether you’ll post on time each week. It’s already done. Not only that, you can schedule it for the best possible day and time instead of being reactive and posting haphazardly as and when you get around to it.
Batching makes the filming process a million times easier if you’re creating video versions of your blogs (which I highly recommend from an SEO perspective). There’s no need to tackle the equipment setup and editing process every week.
#4 Plug And Play Optimisation
One of the biggest reasons we blog is to get our websites ranking for relevant keywords. We want to be high on the SERPs for all the terms and questions our ideal clients are typing into Google. Blogging is a highly effective way of achieving this, provided what you’re writing about is:
- Relevant to the search terms your audience use
- Answers the questions they ask authoritatively
- It is actively optimised for search with relevant keywords and LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) terms
Whether you’re DIYing your SEO or looking for professional help, a clear content calendar will include the keyword you’re optimising each piece of content for and relevant LSI terms. In addition, each topic will have been carefully researched to ensure it is best able to drive relevant traffic to your site.
A plug-and-play SEO plan ensures that every piece of content has search value. In addition, each blog helps raise you in the SERPs, not just for one specific keyword but in general.
For example, with a proper plan in place, you can ensure you’re creating topic clusters around your core terms; collections of blog posts all centre around the same topic but cover different aspects. You’ll usually have a pillar post covering the topic in general and then a series of satellite posts, each covering a point from the pillar post in detail.
Creating topic clusters and working other structural SEO elements into your content on the fly is tough. For one thing, you forget you need to do it. For another, there needs to be order or coherence to your efforts. So while you may do a reasonably good job, it would have been more effective had you planned it properly.
#5 Effortless Social Media Content For The Year
Of course, while blogging is vital to your organic marketing, other elements need attention. Social media is a beast when it comes to content consumption. Unlike SEO, social content has quite a different longevity. It’s not the norm for pieces of social content to continually drive more and more traffic to your website the longer they’re live.
Most social content is only actively good for driving traffic for a day or two (if you’re lucky). Then, of course, you’ll get those magical unicorn posts (by which I mean the ones that go viral and send a ton of traffic your way for ages), but these aren’t the norm.
And to get those elusive viral posts, you need to post regularly, build your engagement, grow your audience, try new things, jump on trends, and do everything social media demands.
Many businesses (my own included) struggle to keep up with the demands of social media. The good news is that when you have a content plan, it can easily include social media content.
Your blog can easily be turned into as many social posts as you need for the week. For example, an image can introduce the fact that you’ve posted a new blog. A carousel can showcase the highlights of your post. A quote can share a sentiment from the post. And you can pull chunks of text to record short videos that present tips or critical points that are easily digestible on social media.
You can even tie in current trends to the topic of the week. Find the latest trending dance or tune on TikTok and film your version, using a voiceover, on-video text, or a caption to relate it to what you do.
You can create on-trend content without it being irrelevant to your business growth.
Remember, profitability is the name of the game. There’s no point in building a social following by doing all the latest trends and trying all the things if the audience you build has no interest in what you’re offering!
One Last Thing…
Planning. It’s the key to ensuring that next year’s content supports and actively promotes your business goals. But, unfortunately, it can also be an absolute bitch to do. If you struggle to think of what to write for ONE blog post, the thought of trying to plan 52 (or 26), complete all the keyword research, and put pillar posts and topic clusters in place, and all that good stuff is likely overwhelming.
Fear not; this is why I’m here. If you’d like your very own bespoke content plan for 2023 creating, you can get me to do it. Just head over to the shop to get 50% off a 12 Month content plan, and I’ll be in touch with a brief questionnaire to ensure I have all the info about your business, goals, and needs. You’ll get your complete plan back within five working days and have everything you need for a super chilled, uber-effective content strategy.
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