I am a planner; there’s no doubt about it I absolutely love to plan. That’s not to say that I always follow through with my plans but I love nothing more than writing out a good old to-do list and schedule. Planning things, whether my blog content, video ideas or just general life helps me to feel so much more in control and organised and I really think it’s an essential part of blogging. Now you may be someone who simply wants to blog as and when they choose to; sharing perhaps their children’s milestones as they come about, holidays as they go on them or DIY hacks as they discover them and this is absolutely fine. For a long time, mainly when this was all a hobby I only blogged and vlogged when I wanted to and it was wonderful. Now though, as things like stats have become more important for me on the career aspect of things I’ve pushed myself to have a bit more of a regular schedule. The reason for this is that one of the things that brands look at when working with you is your stats. This is just one thing though so please don’t fret if your stats aren’t seen as high; I will do another post on what brands look for but there is so much more to it like quality of content and how wonderful you are to work with. However, like I said, stats are still a factor and for me I find that when my viewers know when to expect my content they’re more likely to view it and blog and vlog posts are less likely to go under the radar.
If I go onto a youtube channel and see that they haven’t uploaded any content for more than a couple of weeks I tend to unsubscribe as I like to see new things. My instant assumption when I visit a blog that hasn’t posted for a while is that they’re not blogging anymore and there’s no point sticking around. This may sound harsh and of course people take breaks for a number of reasons but that is the way of the blogging and vlogging world; people want content, if they love a blog or vlog then they want to see more and there’s nothing more frustrating than checking in on a Youtube channel that usual posts daily or weekly and them not uploading anything for much longer than that.
I’ve recently started a schedule on my Youtube channel whereby I post three videos a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 7am and I’m currently daily blogging for a month and then will most likely set a schedule for the days that I’m not vlogging to upload a blog post, so Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. This all sounds simple right? Well it is, as long as you’re good at planning that content, otherwise it can all get a bit on top of you and you can be left (as I annoyingly have been tonight) at 11pm about to finish your blog post that was supposed to go live at 9pm (don’t ask, cheese and wine got the better of me!).
Now onto the point of planning; if you’re thinking of uploading regular content, whether it be daily or weekly then unless you’re able to create ideas on the spot it may be a good idea to plan some of that content in advance. This will not only help you to feel more in control and organised but it’ll save your butt if you have a sick day, your internet goes down or you have a holiday and need to take a break. Now I don’t mean that you need to actually write or film your content and have it uploaded but to have the topic or post title written down on set dates will save you from having to think of content ideas at the last minute and will help you to post things like valentines gift guides in plenty of time for your readers/viewers to pop out and buy your suggestions for their loved ones.
I tend to plan my Youtube videos one to two weeks in advance but I have some content planned for months away. I was even told by Louise from Sprinkle of Glitter that some of the big Youtubers plan a whole year in advance! This may sound crazy but with the tips I’m about to share that is actually quite manageable! I then film about a week in advance and try to have videos edited, uploaded and scheduled in about a week in advance too. So even though as we speak I’m uploading tomorrow mornings weekend vlog (I couldn’t do that any further in advance and wouldn’t want it going live any later than tomorrow or it wouldn’t be relevant) I actually already have Wednesday’s and Friday’s videos uploaded and have next weeks topics written down ready to film.
So if you’d like to get planning ahead of time here are some fab content planner fillers. Simply pop the topics/titles into an annual calendar and at the beginning of each month plan when you’re going to film/write each one. It’ll mean less to do each month/week/day and will majorly take the pressure off of your year leaving more time to spend smashing all of your other wonderful goals!
1 – Events There are some events to pop in your diary that you know for certain will not change; things like birthdays and anniversaries, Christmas, Easter, valentines, halloween and any other public holidays. You can also plan content around seasons e.g. a Winter fashion post or a Summer outdoor activities vlog. These kind of topics can be scheduled in for certain a year in advance and will give you plenty of time to get planning your content.
2 – Occasions like holidays, parties, day trips and such may not be planned too far in advance but I tend to know at least a few weeks beforehand if I’m going away for a day trip of two week break or celebrating a party; so these are great ones to schedule in. When I’m going on holiday I tend to plan content on what’s in my suitcase, how to travel with kids, holiday look books and then a vlog and blog post on what we got up to.
3 – Milestones – Big milestones may not all be set to certain dates such as starting school but things like potty training, weaning, sleep training and such are all going to happen at some point and you can certainly plan what kind of content you’re going to share when they do. Have a list of ideas such as how to start potty training, when to know if your child is ready and what products you used; and then when the time comes you simply need to fill in the blanks with your personal experiences.
4 – Mini Series – Planning a mini series such as this blog and Youtube tips one helps you to fill a lot of content space. I already know the next ten or so topics I’m going to cover in this series which has really helped to plan my content calendar. Other ideas for mini series may be guest posts; scheduling content from other bloggers is a great idea and gives your readers a bit more variety. Having a date set not only frees you up from writing on that day but it also give your guest blogger a chance to create and promote it on their side.
5 – Linkies are a fab way to plan content as they’re so regular. Most linkys are weekly but some are bi-monthly or monthly. If you’re not sure what a linky is it’s basically a post where other bloggers can share their posts of a similar topic; for example my bestest Sarah from This Mama Life hosts ‘What my kid wore’ on Wednedays whereby other parents share links from their kids fashion posts onto her blog post. It’s a great way to be discovered and find similar content to yours and if you know you’re doing it weekly or monthly then that’s a a load of content dates you don’t need to find new ideas for.
6 – Brand work – Working with brands is great as quite often they will request a date in mind for your content to go live. If they don’t provide you with a date then it may be a good idea to spread your brand work out and mix it in with some of your own content to keep a good balance. I tend to have at least two non branded pieces of content between each branded piece but quite often there are a lot more between.
Well those are some great ways to fill your content planner up to a year in advance but here are a few tips to make it all go as smoothly as possible.
*Be flexible – Sometimes plans change, brand work gets pushed back, the internet goes down and kids need our attention so as important as it is to plan, allow for change and embrace it!
*Pencil it in – Pop your content ideas down in pencil (or on your computer/iPad/phone, that way if you do need to change things around your plan will still look neat and organised
*Ask for ideas – If you’re stuck for content ideas and really want to plan ahead then ask your readers what they want to see. Quite often I’ll ask my followers on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and even on here and my Youtube channel to comment letting me know what they want to see, it’s a great way to get content idea’s if you’re having a mental block whilst ensuring your content is going to be well received!
I hope you found this useful! Please do let me know how you plan your content ahead of time in the comments below,
Thanks for reading,