A simple 4-step framework can revolutionize your content.
Some creators spend too much time planning their content. Others don’t even think about it. But they are both wrong.
If you are trying to become one yourself, you may have one of two problems:
- You either spend too much time procrastinating with busy work.
- Or you work on pieces of content that will fail.
In both cases, you lose time you could use to produce more and grow faster. But if you learn to plan your content better, you could reach more people and work more quickly.
Why You Should Never Pick Last-Minute Topics
How often did you pick a last-minute topic for your next piece of content?
Even if sometimes this strategy could be beneficial — if you produce news content, for example — it doesn’t help in the long run.
Sometimes, you will produce things you haven’t studied well enough. You will lack enough market research, and your post will sink into the depth of the Internet. Other times, an innovative idea might still need to grow. But you will burn it by sharing it too early.
Yet, if you build a framework to plan your content, your reach will increase, and you will work faster.
How To Build a Framework To Plan Your Content for Higher Reach
What could you ever need in a content creation framework?
After a few years in the business, I spot four fundamental keys. So I built a framework that could help you create many successful content pieces:
- A few small achievements.
- A well-known audience.
- Creative ideas.
- And a few distribution channels.
1 — Small Achievements
Everything starts with achievable goals. If you don’t have a purpose, you can’t succeed. But unreachable goals are also worthless.
So how can you stay in between these two tendencies?
You need to solve three problems.
- Don’t focus too much on others. If you do, you might set goals that are too big for your current situation.
- Build simple goals. Writing online is already complex. Do not worsen it even more.
- Learn to deal with failures, or you will give up at the first setback. Successful writers fail many times before achieving greatness. So focus on what you learned from your defeats instead of what went wrong.
2 — Well-known Audience
If you don’t know your audience, why are you even writing?
When you start an article, you must give something to your readers to make them stick with you. But without a valuable offer, they will search for someone better.
Modern readers built a scanning system that helps them avoid useless content. I do it myself, and if the author doesn’t convince me with the introduction and a few paragraphs, I close the tab immediately.
But if you study your audience and understand which problems they face every day, it will be easier to come up with ideas they might appreciate.
Many tools allow you to study your audience efficiently, but your experience will always prevail over everything else. So use it to understand your readers:
- Which articles performed better?
- When did you publish them?
- What were you discussing?
- How did you structure the introduction and the rest of the article?
- Did you use a lot of analytical data or focus on personal experience?
3 — Creative Ideas
When you start writing online, everything seems simple. You have plenty of ideas to use, and you don’t feel the pressure of searching for creative solutions.
But your ideas will decrease rapidly. And you won’t have anything left to say. So your creativity can quickly become a burden if you never prepare for it.
In my experience with online writing, my patterns changed many times. And everything I felt the need to try out new things, my creativity benefited from it. So if there is one thing you should always do to keep your mind fresh and productive is to change your patterns often.
If you feel comfortable with your writing patterns but cannot find new ideas, you can force them with a few techniques.
- The flashcard technique is the easiest one. I often use it when I have many ideas I want to discuss, but they look banal.
- But you can even use boredom to find new ideas. Your mind hates not doing anything, so it starts wondering about things you could do. And if you learn to convey that stream of consciousness to your readers, you could create wonders.
- It doesn’t matter how many ideas you have if you don’t store them. So use an idea journal to track the concepts you want to discuss and avoid forgetting them.
4 — Distribution Channels
Most content creators think their job finishes when they publish their piece so people can see it. But if you lack distribution channels, nobody will ever know about it.
The Internet is full of goodies the audience would love but will never find. More often than you think, authors become famous after years of online writing. And people love their pieces no matter when they have written them.
Maybe your first 100 articles will suck. They will. But sooner or later, you will become pretty good at writing. Still, nobody will ever discover you if you don’t throw your work in front of an audience.
Here are a few questions you might answer to advance the next step:
- How do you plan to distribute your work? The platforms you choose will determine the extra content you create. You cannot take pieces of content from your articles and splash them into your social accounts. A few will work, but to boost efficiency, you must use specific languages for each platform.
- How much time will you dedicate to promoting compared to creating? Providing new content with regularity is important, but you also need to reserve some time for promotion.
- How will you repurpose content? You can promote an article in many ways. Facebook and Twitter might have similar languages, and you can write short-form posts to share there. But Pinterest and YouTube use different mediums, so you need to adapt to reach their audiences.
How To Use the Framework To Plan Your Content Better
I build a framework that deals with the fundamental topics you need to address to prepare your content better and reach a bigger audience. Yet, you may adapt it to your habits to get the best out of it.
Define your goals before everything else. Start with small steps that are simple to achieve to improve your motivation. You have plenty of time to aim for bigger goals afterward.
Then, study the audience you want to approach to understand which topics you may discuss. And remember, it is always simpler to start with something you love and search for an audience. Therefore, search for common subjects that interest both of you.
Creativity becomes more challenging with time if you have never built the tools to keep it alive. So practice it every day, even when you have had enough ideas.
But the most influential thing is distribution channels. If you don’t have any, you will never find an audience. And without an audience, you are only a lonely voice in the depth of the Internet.
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Cover photo by the Author for How to Plan Your Content Better and Reach More People.