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How We Plan and Create Content at Classy Career Girl (Part 1)

I started by asking you all what you were struggling with, and many of you said you really struggle with consistently creating valuable content. So, I created this blog post with all the tips and tricks I have learned over the last 10 years of creating content just about every day.

It isn’t easy, but it is doable! Here is what works for me, I know some of these tips will work for you, too.

Coming Up With New Ideas

One of the biggest struggles when I started was coming up with new ideas to write about. I was working, going to school in the evenings for my MBA…I didn’t have time to spend hours coming up with ideas to write about!

So, I am going to share where I get my ideas. Not all of these will work for every situation, but I know there is at least a few that will help you come up with some awesome Ideas.

Read magazines and write my own take on popular topics. Sometimes a random line will spark my creativity and I run with it.

Use Google Trends to search topics my audience is interested in, then look for related topics. Does anything spark my interest?

Q&A on Instagram. This is my favorite way to come up with topics these days! I love asking questions, then using the responses to fuel my content. Then I know I am giving my audience what they want!

Engage with your audience, whether that is through email, on Facebook, Twitter, or wherever else. If you don’t have an audience, then answer the questions you had when you started! You can also ask in Facebook groups where your target audience hangs out.

Do interviews. People enjoy sharing their stories, and I love getting to know other people. You can share lessons they learned, or ask for tips, or even just ask them how they got where they are.

Document processes. If you are learning something new, share your journey with your audience. Or, if you have a process for creating a week’s worth of social media posts, share it!

Sometimes, content isn’t about writing! If you have trouble coming up with topics to write about, try flipping on a camera and talking! You can share those videos with a quick recap and there’s your blog post!

Keep in mind, there is a fine line between copying and being inspired by someone else’s work. There are plenty of times I jump on Pinterest and look for interesting topics. Then I ask myself, “How can I make this mine? Can I look at it from another angle, share my own experiences, or share what didn’t work for me?”

How to Repurpose Content

A lot of times, we get stuck thinking the only content is written content, and that just isn’t true! You can repurpose and repackage content. This way you get the most out of all your hard work. Here are a few ways to repurpose your content.

Audio—>Blog post: If you do a podcast, then create a blog post about the podcast. Write up a quick review, or use a company like Temi to transcribe your podcast. You’ll have to do a quick edit, then publish!

Create a course: If you have a popular blog post or podcast, can you create a short course by diving a little deeper into the content? You can sell the course or just set up an email drip campaign. Or, combine several posts into a long-form guide. You can use that as a lead magnet to drive more emails subscribers or as a thank you to people who follow you.

Record it: When you have a topic you really love, there is no reason you can only cover it once! Record a podcast on the same topic as a popular blog post, go live on Facebook or Instagram to talk about a topic you wrote a blog post about.

Host a webinar: This works for posts on Instagram, podcasts, really any type of content your audience got really excited about. Take that content and turn it into a webinar, which will also help increase your email list. I usually try to mix it up and add more value to webinars, but start from scratch. The whole point is to make the most out of content you’ve already created.

Turn it into an email: Another way to get the most mileage out of content (and reach a new audience!) is to recap your content and send out a short tips email. People might not have time to read your 1,000-word article, but they will be willing to read a shorter email that gets right to the point.

Repost your content: Hey, people are busy. They don’t see every post on Facebook or Instagram, or maybe they saw it but didn’t have a chance to read or watch it. There is no issue with reposting great content a few times. Just spread it out a bit so you aren’t spamming people.

Planning content for your website

Plan Your Content in Advance

Here is the thing: You are in control of your calendar. Don’t let other people dictate how you spend your time. It took me a really long time to learn this. It might mean getting up early, or staying up late, or working during your lunch hour.

Whether you are working your business as a side hustle or already building your business, you need to make time to plan out your content so you aren’t stuck at the last minute trying to figure out what to write.

If you can, work a few weeks in advance. I try to have all my content for one month done by the 15th of the month before. It doesn’t always work out, but that is my plan. That gives me a bit of breathing room if the baby is up more one night or if I am just worn out.

At least get topics planned out so you have a starting point. If you can outline a few points, even better. Don’t let this overwhelm you, the goal is to make you more productive, not more stressed!

Sometimes I find themes help keep me from getting overwhelmed by too many options. Like, okay in February, we are going to talk about social media, March we will cover staying motivated, etc. It doesn’t have to be super specific.

For tools, I love Asana for setting tasks (even for myself!) and Trello for keeping my ideas organized. You can keep one card of ideas and add to them throughout the month. One card for each month of content, then another card for each post. Really, it can be as complicated or as simple as you like!

Create an Editorial Calendar  

I struggled with this for way too long. I had way too many ideas and was not very organized. The results were I didn’t get as much done. If you want to be consistent, you have to plan out an editorial calendar.

There are plenty of ways to create an editorial calendar. You can build it in Trello, or you can add topics to your planner, so you remember when to write. Or you can use plugins for WordPress that make it easy to create a planner in WordPress itself.

You can also use Google Docs to create your editorial calendar. It is a totally free tool, and it is saved in the cloud, so you can access and edit from anywhere, even on your phone.

The goal is to find a way that works for you. Don’t let anyone tell you what the right or wrong way to create content! 

Hi, I'm Anna!

I’ll help you create a career strategy and plan so you can finally have a job or business you love that supports the life you really want.

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