If you're struggling to make your publication the passion project you've always dreamed of, you're not alone. Not everyone has the natural ability to gather and present their thoughts in presentable and palatable packages for easy audience consumption. This week's newsletter is about giving yourself and your content the love you both deserve by getting organized, jumpstarting your creation process, and standing in the spotlight. Let's go!
In this week's issue 📨
- Streamline using a content calendar
- Eight ways to generate infinite ideas
- How to make your content stand out
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Do you ever have those moments where you've got so many ideas swirling around in your brain that you feel like your head will explode? Only to sit in front of your computer, fingers pressed against the keyboard, and nothing comes out? Well, if you need some content fiber to unclog your noggin, we have just the thing to help you snap out of it.
Let's take a look at how to streamline your publishing process using your very own content calendar so that you can get more done in less time.
Why are content calendars important?
- Creating an easily accessible central location is a great way to organize your ideas so you're not wasting time looking through random emails, notes, and texts. (The Notes app is where ideas go to die.)
- As your publication grows, you're bound to bring on more editors, authors, and contributors. An organized calendar lets everyone know what needs to be done, by when, and who’s responsible.
- A robust content calendar helps set clear expectations and boundaries to prevent burnout. Taking the time to plan weeks, or even months, of content in advance, you'll be able to pace yourself for long-term success.
How do you begin?
- No matter the variety of content you provide to your audience, all of your content should fit within a single calendar. You'll first need to decide what you're scheduling so you can allocate your time and energy appropriately.
- One of the measures that will influence your build process is your content volume. Are you a daily, weekly, or monthly type of publication? The more content you have, the harder you'll need to work to keep things organized.
- Whether you're flying solo or have a team of editors, you'll want to ensure everyone has what they need. Your content calendar should support all of your responsibilities and staff members.
What tools should you use?
- Digital calendar tools like Google Calendar, Notion, Coschedule, and Trello are part of an ever-growing collection of easy-to-use content organization and project management software.
- If you need something more "real," consider going low-tech with a physical content calendar you can hang on your wall. Add extra layers of organization using different colored pens, markers, and sticky notes. Art!
- Whatever you choose, the best options will always be the tools you're most familiar with. Don't be afraid to try different options, but it's ok to uncomplicate things by sticking with what you know.
How will you be successful?
- We recommend you schedule your content in batches to give yourself some breathing room. If you publish daily, plan on a bi-weekly basis. If you publish weekly, map out your content in monthly or quarterly increments.
- Include your audience in the fun by arranging your content around milestones like holidays and product launches. This injects more vibrancy into your content calendar and reminds you of your publication's purpose.
- As you organize, schedule breaks and recharge time for yourself and your team to prevent content fatigue. It doesn't matter how organized you are if you're not taking care of yourself.
Interesting stories & ideas 📚
- Keep subscribers by making it easy to leave – Journalism.co.uk
- Top newsletters for entrepreneurs – Indie Hackers
- Navigating the new 2024 email guidelines – Media Makers Meet
- AI and publishers, don't panic – One Man & His Blog
- Work to strengthen local journalism – Free Press
Whether you're just getting started on your new publication or you're a well-known legend in the blogging business, constantly creating content on demand can be tiring work. If your well has run dry, it's time to hit the reset button on content generation by harnessing the concept of content ideation.
#1 Answer questions that people ask about your product, your publication, or your industry. Be sure to prioritize the questions that your work can help answer. Encourage your members to submit feedback and questions of their own.
#2 Address sales objections by identifying the problems that prevent people from becoming subscribers and write responses to their issues. Start with exploring the differences between you and your closest competitor.
#3 Capture your success by documenting your wins, how you achieved them, and the role your team or subscribers played. Go ahead and brag to the world about any winning business strategies and metrics.
#4 Challenge your competitors by improving upon their most linked and most popular content. However, don't forget to generate original ideas of your own. You don't want your entire content strategy to be a clone of someone else's.
#5 Analyze your industry and use your experience to explain why things happen and how people should respond. Feature new technologies, spotlight the latest trends, and share high-performing strategies.
#6 Challenge industry truisms by explaining why the most commonly held ideas may not be the best approach. Start thinking outside the box, approach best practices in different ways, and explain your angle.
#7 Share useful personal experiences like challenging problems you've solved, processes you've built, and the lessons you've learned. Let your audience learn from both your successes and your mistakes.
#8 Document your vision by stating why you exist, why you publish in a particular way, and what you value. Not only are your members buying a subscription, they're also buying into your mission statement.
"Having original, creative ideas is a serious challenge, but the more tools you have in your mental toolkit...the easier content ideation becomes. And, with every idea you create, the easier it becomes to create another, as previous ideas plant the seeds for future ones." – Ryan Law
When floating in a sea of thousands of other publishers and content creators, getting noticed and being memorable is no easy feat. Now that you've generated and organized all of your great ideas, how do you make your content awe-worthy so that people love your work as much as you do?
‣ Find your unique spin to breathe new life into tired ideas. Learn what your audience likes to engage with and find commonalities. This will enable you to create a better brand persona and produce more fulfilling content your readers can't get enough of.
‣ Properly format using the Hook, Story, and Offer method to capture people's attention, keep them engaged, and show why they need your content. The "hook" is often a captivating title or subject, the "story" is where the reader can see themselves in your content, and the "offer" keeps them coming back for more.
‣ Make your content actionable to drive engagement and grow your business. Your members aren't just drawn to your work because they think you're great; they're sticking with you because of the solutions you provide. Presenting and explaining your content clearly will make it actionable for your readers.
‣ Provide more than an answer by making your content precise and relevant with a human touch. Focusing on word count is easy, but creating big posts doesn't equal higher-quality work. If you're not providing clear information and solutions to which your readers can relate, they'll find someone else who will.
‣ Use multimedia in worthwhile ways to enhance your content. If the charts and graphs you're searching for don't exist, make them yourself. Try incorporating different types of mediums into your posts, like audio files and videos. Don't be afraid to get creative!
Curator's pick ✍️
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