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Content Calendar

managing your content calendar

A Step-By-Step Guide To Managing Your Content Calendar

You wake up on Monday, ready to start managing your content calendar. You take a sip of your favorite coffee (or tea) and breathe. Then, you decide today’s the day you’re going to get it all together. You open your calendar, and it hits you. 

It looks like a mess! Where do you even start?

Right when you start to organize, you remember a client meeting you have in 10 minutes. At this point, it’s easy to let the idea of planning go and move on. But then you’re back at square one every following morning. It becomes a pattern that you don’t know how to stop.

Don’t give up yet! There are steps you can take to reach peak efficiency and productivity. You can find a way to crack down on managing your content calendar – no matter how many meetings you have. 

Even if you don’t have the time, we do! Hire a copywriter to help create your business’s content.

10 Steps To Managing Your Content Calendar

Take each of these steps at your own pace. It’s essential not to feel overwhelmed while you make changes to your content management process. Loading up on too much can leave you feeling burnout and unmotivated to follow through.

1. Applications To Use For Improved Prep & Planning

Today, there’s an app for everyone! Regardless of what industry you’re in, everyone from social media managers to engineers can use these tools.

ClickUp

This project management app has everything you need in one place. Delegate tasks, track progress and even insert documents, pictures, and so much more. ClickUp is popular with marketing and advertising pros, IT teams, and project managers.

Monday.com

A nod towards the beginning of the workweek, monday.com is an app with plenty of templates for every industry, business, and team. People like it because it’s ultra customizable and has in-app automation. This app is good for growing businesses, enterprises, and small businesses.

Hive

Program managers and even attorneys like Hive. Why? Because it’s a visual project and time management tool that keeps things organized. Users note that it even saves time on billing.

2. Utilize App Features For Your Benefit

Don’t be afraid to dive into whatever project management tool you use. Explore all of the features that your app has to offer. You don’t need to use every feature, but experiment to find what works best for you. Hate the way your dashboard looks? No problem! Most applications are easy to alter without changing the settings for everyone.

You can find a video on YouTube to walk you through using the app and find what you like. Features like color codes can highlight the client you’re working on, which stage in the process you’re at, or pinpoint your task among many. And don’t forget to use your calendar to ensure you don’t miss a thing.

3. Organize The Old School Way

Physically writing your notes helps you remember and understand better than typing them up on a laptop. This doesn’t mean you need to write everything down, but there are some classic tools you just can’t beat, like a notebook.

Additionally, use sticky notes for ideas or notes you need to jot down quickly. If you allow too many of them to pile up, you’re more likely to take a look at them to clear them out.

Also, it’s important that you don’t leave out a handy desk calendar. Yes, you can still have all of your meetings recorded online. But let’s face it, computer and mobile alarms fail! So, it’s helpful to write it down and increase your chances of remembering it later.

4. Map Out Your Content Ahead Of Time

Plan ahead and make your life easier by having the following information ready to go.

  • Your Industry
  • Products or services
  • Strengths and goals
  • Social platforms you plan to post on

That way, the content can flow out of you, and you’re already on top of your publishing schedule.

5. Prioritize To Avoid Feeling Overwhelmed

Prioritizing goals is a must for any industry – delegate responsibilities wherever they need to go. If you’re a perfectionist or even a people-pleaser, assigning duties is tough. Talk to your people and ask if a task fits in with their workload. Set reasonable and defined goals for yourself and others to avoid feeling like you have to do it all.

6. Treat SEO As A Separate Task

Don’t lump your search engine optimization (SEO) tasks into your writing tasks. Not only is there a chance you’ll skip it, but SEO should be its own assignment. You don’t want to rush the process of searching for keywords. Additionally, you should allow yourself time to compare, do a little research, and give your content a better chance to rank higher than other pages. 

7. Ensure Your Team Is In The Loop With Open Communication

Errors and mistakes happen, but you don’t want them to become part of your regular routine – especially if a lack of communication causes these mistakes. Diminish the chances of making a copy fail by keeping the conversation open with your teammates. If you have questions, ask! Check-in with your colleagues, so you’re all on the same page.

Doing so keeps everyone involved in your process as you go.

If you need a content writing team in your corner, we’re here to help!

8. Keep An Eye On The Workflow

Don’t lose track of where you are on a project. Think about adjusting certain calendar settings that can help you keep up. Using features like weekly views and time slots will help you remain aware of which phase a project is in. However, avoid going overboard and onto the extreme micromanagement side. Finally, stick to deadlines, so you and your team don’t fall behind.

9. Leave Room In Your Schedule When You Need It

We’ve all overbooked our planners on the self-made promise of… I can absolutely get all of this done today.

But how’s that going for you so far?

Spread out your workload, remain within client deadlines, and keep your clients happy. But more importantly, leave room to breathe and make yourself happy, too.

10. Have Extra Content Ready To Go Just In Case

Missing information, unreachable clients, and emergencies happen. So work every month and get ahead of the game! Create evergreen content (for your business and your clients) like blogs, newsletters, and social media posts. That way, they’ll never age out, and you can use them to fill in the gaps when you’re behind on regular content.

Talk To The Team At FocusCopy For Your Next Project

We know managing your content calendar is important. Clients appreciate the extra effort, and that effort allows the work you produce to truly shine. We know because we’re always working on multiple projects at once. Without processes for content management, we’d be lost!

Looking to partner with a group of content writers for your next task at hand? Give us a shout!

Focus Your Copy On Conversation & Conversion

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Prioritizing Marketing Tasks

Prioritizing Your Laundry List of Marketing To-Dos

As an entrepreneur, many things are pulling your attention – growing your team, serving your clients, keeping your books in order, and so on. 

But what about your marketing? 

You’re told to write a blog, send an email newsletter, create SEO content, post on social media, create video content, learn all the algorithms, paid advertising, speaking engagements, and the list doesn’t stop there.

But through the noise, do you feel like marketing experts think about you and your capacity (brainwidth) as a small business owner?

Here are some things you can do to start prioritizing marketing tasks.

Get Organized And Start Prioritizing Marketing Tasks

A great place to start is by making your dream list. Come on, let’s brainstorm together! 

Ask yourself, what is your all-the-bells-and-whistles checklist? You know, the whole laundry list of marketing ideas you’ve ever wanted to implement. If you’re stuck or need some suggestions, you can:

  • Review your website copy. Does it still fit you and your company’s vision? Find a copywriter who can spice it up.
  • Are you getting any traffic? Use a writer who knows SEO to help.
  • Do you have social media followers? Work on a social media strategy that can boost sales for your business.

Now look at your list and ask, what is your more sensible barebones checklist? 

This checklist is what you need to begin and get going on building your marketing strategy.

Whether you’re running the show or you have a team of helpful employees, there are some small things you can do to be productive and get organized. 

ClickUp is an online task management tool that you can use to plugin projects you need to get done, set deadlines, assign tasks to staff, and so much more. Because it’s such a user-friendly system, prioritizing your laundry list of marketing to-dos is that much easier.

A Breakdown Of Marketing Strategies

Let’s talk about several marketing strategies you may have seen over time. Let’s determine if it’s something that you want to focus on and use for your business.

Blogging

If you don’t have an SEO strategy or you don’t have a lot of website traffic, blogging could be a useful channel. With blogs, you can kick up your ranking through SEO best-practices. Doing so gives your prime audience helpful information and a sneak peek into your industry.

Lead Magnets

Your traffic rate is reasonable, but you don’t have a substantial email list of current and potential customers interested in your services. Lead magnets can get you into your customers’ minds to find out what their pain points are and what’s important to them in a solution.

Call-To-Action

It’s okay to put your customers on the spot. Ask them for their email or create other ways to encourage them to take an action on your page. Use phrases like:

  • Subscribe
  • Sign Up
  • Learn More
  • View Pricing
  • Order Now

Landing Page

A useful landing page is an engaging and easy-to-read snapshot of your business and its services. It helps to lead a viewer to click and take them to the next step. Whether the page leads them to a phone number, email address, or order form – you want your customer to take action here.

Cheat Sheet Or Guide

Post a simple cheat sheet or guide informing others of your business model or the way you produce a product. This is a quick way to get them to understand more of what you do. Again, you want them to take action and reach out to you.

Video Or Audio

Think of a video or audio bite as a more modern version of a cheat sheet. Not only can you show off a bit of your personality here, but you’re also giving your audience a way to interact. By doing so, they are more likely to make an action on your page and seek your services. 

Quiz 

There’s nothing like a fun quiz to get an audience engaged and interested in signing up for future emails (check out this fantastic example here). Quizzes are an interactive way to get your audience to question themselves and realize they may need your help. Whether you want to lead them to make a purchase or sign up for your emails to reveal their answers, you really can’t go wrong with a winning quiz.

Email Marketing

Some lively and informative email marketing can help you turn your traffic into leads and eventually into buyers. A good email marketing strategy keeps subscribers in-the-know and consistently aware of your brand.

Social Media

It’s okay to start small with social media. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself with the idea of posting on all outlets every day. It’s better to create a stable community of advocates and promoters for your business little by little.

Paid Advertising

Paid ads can kickstart awareness of your business. This can help grow your following, traffic, regular subscribers, etc. It pays to invest in yourself.  

What Are Your Marketing Priorities?

Keep in mind that you can do it without feeling like you need to do it all. 

For this upcoming quarter, make a list of 3 things you’re going to do well. It could even be cross-sections of a topic (i.e. send one newsletter a week instead of full email marketing campaigns). Then determine whether it genuinely looks doable to you.

If you know the direction you would like to go in, but you’re struggling with writer’s block, take a look at our blog 11 Tips on How To Overcome Your Writer’s Block.

Check Us Out & Check Off Your Marketing To-Do List

We’ve listed some insights into what you should really focus on between all of the agencies, consultants, and experts so you don’t skip the important stuff. Make reasonable requests for yourself. Can you put out one email a month? One blog a month? What about one social media post a week?

As a small business owner, it’s important to be true to yourself, your capabilities, and your budget.

Need some help with your prioritizing marketing tasks or creating content? Give us a shout, and we’ll get you where you want to be – operating in a timeframe that works for you.

When Was The Last Time You Updated Your Home Page?

Answer these 6 questions and spruce up your home page in 15 minutes (or less).

Content Splintering to Maximize Content ROI

Over the last couple weeks on the FocusCopy blog, we’ve talked a lot about this one fact… There is an obscene amount of information and competition out there fighting for your prospective customer’s attention. It’s tough. We get it. We see it. 

So how do you make your content stand out and become the authority for that topic? The strategy all comes down to content splintering.

What is Content Splintering?

So what is content splintering? 

Often when we talk about blogging, the intended author says something along the lines of “there is too much to unpack in just 1000 words” or “there’s no way I can write all about this topic in one blog.”  

The answer is similar to that given for the question,

“How do you eat an elephant?” 

One bite at a time.

It’s too large to eat in one mouthful!

Cue content splintering.

This is when you take a big topic and splinter it into smaller, bite-sized topics that you can actually tackle. It also helps you get super specific on your post and create solutions that your readers can implement. 

For example, you own a coworking space where you lease offices to companies. Coworking space is a really big topic to cover… So break it down into the following:

  • Benefits of coworking
  • When to move into coworking
  • Warning signs to look out for when signing for an office
  • Difference between coworking and office space

Then take those big topics and either write in a series (i.e. 5 benefits for non-profits, 5 benefits for SMB, etc.) OR splinter it even more (i.e. moving from a remote work environment to coworking, moving from an office to coworking space, etc.).

Hopefully, you get the picture. If not, comment on this blog, and we’ll answer you right here.

How Does Content Splintering Maximize Content ROI?

Content splintering maximizes content ROI because… 

  1. It’s simply taking a bigger piece of content, slicing it up into smaller chunks,  refreshing it, then republishing it. When companies create a cornerstone post (i.e. a massive piece of content that everything else derives from), it becomes so easy to take any topic discussed and blow that up into a standalone piece. 
  2. You are also stretching the amount of times you can discuss any given topic. There’s so many angles that you could take to produce a brand new piece of content – making your time go that much further. 

One company that I worked with was in the financial consulting space. One of the topics we wanted to write about was accounts receivable. Whoa! That’s a mighty big topic. 2/10 net 30, collections, reconciling, etc. Obviously, you can’t cover everything about accounts receivable in one blog or even in one book (unless it’s going to be 1000 pages long). But did you see what I did a sentence ago? 

Yep, that’s right. I splintered a massive topic into small topics. I would even argue that those topics were too big for a blog or piece of content, so I continued to  break it down even further to – you guessed it – bite-sized pieces.

More variations or angles on a given topic allows your company to grasp a larger share of the market. 

Content Splintering Methodologies

One of the books in our current stack is Rest by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang. We love it because it talks about getting more done in less time AND how to use your brain to its full potential. Hello creativity! In this book Pang claims that “new ideas are created in a two-step process: first, the brain generates lots of ideas, and second, it evaluates them” (page 44). So how does your brain, creativity, and rest relate to content splintering methodologies?

Glad you asked! All the methodologies that we mention follow this 2-prong approach. Brain dumping first then sorting through the chaos later. This is by far the most effective way to find the best content for your readers. They need what you have to say. You need to get access that creative zone to answer their request

Splintering Methodology #1: Mind Maps

I’ll start with this content splintering methodology first because it is my FAVORITE! You see I wasn’t the best student… I studied all the time and worked into all hours of the night; however, when it came to take the test, I wouldn’t be successful. 

My co-founder, Stuart Broderick, introduced me to mind mapping (invented by the late Professor Tony Buzan in the 1960’s) when nothing else was working. Whether you are a visual person or an analytical person, this simply works.

Start by putting your big topic in the middle of a blank page. It can be anything – vague, specific, etc. Whatever. Just write it down.

Hint: This works for more than just content splintering. If fact, we used a mind map when founding this company, FocusCopy, to gain clarity on what we wanted to accomplish. Oh, there I go again. Clarity, Focus, Execution – our company mantra.

Then write down topics that are related. Again, it doesn’t need to be super specific, but it needs to be big enough to “splinter”.

content splintering

For example, if my topic is content marketing… I’ll write publishing, types of content, scheduling, splintering, etc. Those are all related to content marketing. You may offer executive coaching, so some of your branches may be: how to reach your audience, what makes your audience tick, who is your audience, what times you should send topics… The key is to just start writing subtopics.

After you have those big topics, start breaking apart those topics. This is where the real magic happens. Do not worry about if it’s a good idea or a bad idea. Just write it down! You can make that decision later. This is your brain dump!

Once you’ve finished mind mapping, it’s time to filter it and create valuable content around those splinters. I promise you there is enough content for each of those subtopics.

Now, on to the next content splintering methodology!

Splintering Methodology #2: Excel Spreadsheets OR Word Documents

content splintering

Beyond mind maps, we love lists and organizing lists. We’re weird, but those frameworks (like our CFE Framework) help us maintain quality, pump out high-quality content/copy quicker, and please our clients. So it’s a no-brainer than our second content splintering methodology uses excel spreadsheets or word documents.

First, write a list of topics in one column. Keep writing until you cannot write anymore.

Then start writing specific segments of that big topic. For example, writing a landing page has multiple angles… Unique selling position, writing a hook, creating a golden thread, and design. Write it down.

Finally, you need to identify what you’re actually going to talk about in that piece of content. So write those subtopics!

Now here is where this methodology may be better than #1…

You can schedule out the blogs or pieces of content. In the same spreadsheet, literally put dates in. This will help you to create series (i.e. a month of landing page copy) or create variety. 

On the other hand, sometimes working with technology can mean more work than good. It’ll slow down your creative thought process.

Improving Your Content ROI

The key to improving your content ROI is to make it super specific and highly valuable. If you are writing about a big topic (i.e. water consumption), you aren’t going to be able to reveal secrets, how-tos, or specifics in a blog post. But if you write about a splinter of that big topic (i.e. how increased water consumption helps your gut), then you are more likely to see a return on that piece. 

Remember, specificity is key to improving your content’s ROI.

Focus Your Copy On Conversation & Conversion

Let’s Grab A Virtual Coffee With Us To Discover How To Boost Your Words