Creating consistent content is important when you’re trying to build your brand and platform as a writer. And when it comes to blogging and posting to Instagram, I am usually Queen Consistency. Usually.
Last month I published ONE new blog post and sporadically posted to Instagram only when I felt like doing so. And while the blogging break was planned, the shoddy Instagram posting was not. But I know exactly why it happened.
Stay Consistent By Staying Ahead
You know how the saying goes – “When you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
Whenever I don’t plan my blog and social media content ahead of time, I fail at being consistent. And that’s exactly what happened in April. So, if you’re struggling with creating consistent content, my first piece of advice to you is to PLAN, PLAN, PLAN.
Keep a running list of ideas for blog posts, social media posts, and any other type of writing that you do. Inspiration is all around! I get ideas from reading books, magazines, and online articles. I get ideas from watching movies and television and from scrolling social media. Pre-pandemic I would get ideas from eavesdropping on people’s conversations in restaurants. Because ideas can come to me anytime, anyplace, I keep an ideas list in the Notes app of my phone. I also jot down ideas in notebooks and journals. You can draw from these ideas when you’re planning your content.
Related Reading: How to Make Time to Write and Blog
Planning Your Content Step-by-Step
To create content consistently you need a plan and you need a process that helps you to produce blog and social media posts before you need them.
Step 1: Decide how often and when you will publish new blog posts and social media posts. So, let’s say you decide you will publish new blog posts each Tuesday and you’ll post to Instagram on Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Step 2: Brainstorm blog and social media post ideas for the next month. Try to have a few backup ideas, too.
Step 3: Decide when you will publish each blog post and when you will post each Instagram image or video.
These three steps will help you create an editorial calendar, but this is only half (actually one-third) of the battle.
Plan Your Process for Creating Consistent Content
Next, you need to schedule when you will actually create your content and then you have to actually do it.
Consider all the steps it takes to publish a blog post. You have to brainstorm, research and outline, write, select images, format, edit, publish, and promote.
Schedule when you will do each step. Perhaps you’ll work on one step each day or perhaps you’ll block off a weekend each month to batch produce several posts. Be sure to include time for planning and producing social media posts, too.
You could spend one weekend day writing all of your blog posts for the month and another day planning your social media content.
If devoting an entire weekend to content creation is out of the question, just do a little each day before work, during your lunch break, or at night after you’ve put the kids to bed. Try to stay at least one week ahead.
Here’s a sample schedule:
Monday: Outline your blog post.
Tuesday: Write your blog post.
Wednesday: Choose images for your blog post.
Thursday: Format and edit your blog post. Schedule when it will publish.
Friday: Brainstorm social media content to promote your blog post.
Weekend: Create and schedule social media posts.
How I Plan My Content
To create my editorial calendar I use The Content Planner. Created by photographer, graphic designer, and entrepreneur Kat Gaskin, The Content Planner is a physical planner designed specifically for content creators to help you plan your blog posts, email campaigns, and social media posts.
Could I plan all these things on a spreadsheet? Of course, I could, but that wouldn’t be any fun! The Content Planner has stickers! Does your Google spreadsheet have stickers? Didn’t think so.
The Content Planner also features sections for you to list your goals and chart your progress, which a goal-getter like me loves!
Through my many years of blogging, I’ve learned it’s easier for me to come up with blog and social media post ideas if I have a theme for the month. So before I sit down to plan my content, I choose a theme that’s usually based on what time of year it is, what’s going on in my life, or what I need to promote that month.
The Content Planner has suggested themes and post ideas for each month of the year, space for you to set your theme of the month, and space for you to brainstorm more ideas. For example, the suggested theme for May is “Summer Prep,” which could include topics such vacation and travel, your summer book list, and other summer plans. May is also Mental Health Month.
I use the Dreamspace in The Content Planner to jot down what blog and social media post ideas I’d like to publish that month.
The Content Planner also has lists of holidays and marketing dates to help you brainstorm content ideas. Then I use the calendar pages and stickers (!) to plan when I will publish each blog post and Instagram post. I use The Content Planner to plot out social media campaigns and content for Facebook and LinkedIn, too, and to plan ideas for Instagram Stories.
I should tell you that I use erasable pen when writing in The Content Planner. Why? Life happens and plans change. You may have to move things around on your content calendar or completely ditch an idea that’s just not working. And that’s okay.
What Consistent Content Looks Like
There’s one question that all beginner bloggers ask: “How often should I post?”
Unfortunately, there’s no definitive answer for this because it depends on what kind of blog you’re writing and it depends on your goals. Many successful lifestyle bloggers publish new content 3 to 5 times a week, while creators of business-related blogs tend to update weekly.
But here’s the thing – you’re asking the wrong question. What you should be asking is “How often can I post?”
Let’s say you spend two hours on the average blog post. And let’s say that you can devote 4 hours a week to blogging. Because you also need to set aside time for promoting your posts, I would say you can publish one post per week. Decide what day of the week you will post new content and stick with that schedule.
The moral of the story is — you get to decide what consistency looks like for you.
Manage Your Mindset About Content Creation
I know what you’re thinking – “All these tips are great, Javacia, but sometimes I don’t create consistent content because I just don’t feel like it.”
A member of the See Jane Write community shared recently that her therapist told her, “Commitment isn’t a feeling; it’s an agreement.”
Your commitment to creating content consistently is an agreement with yourself. So, stop letting yourself down.
One thing that can help you manage your mindset when motivation is running low is knowing your why. Why are you creating this content? Are you trying to build a platform to prepare for the launch of a book? Maybe you’re trying to promote an important message. Or perhaps you want to empower and uplift a particular group of people?
When you’re a woman with a plan and a woman on a mission, you will be unstoppable – and you’ll be consistent.
*The Content Planner is on sale now! (*affiliate link)