I’ve struggled for several years to write something that makes sense. It’s not easy. But, after writing over 100 articles, blogs, and guest posts in 2012 – plus reading other amazing writing, I think I’ve got the hang of it.
You may be looking at the title of this article and thinking “no way he did that!” Well, I did, and I’m going to tell you how, step-by step.
Yes – it is overwhelming.
A year’s worth of content is A LOT of writing. Posting weekly means 52 posts. And it’s not 52 horrible posts, it’s 52 shareable posts. Content people want to read.
Writing this much takes a ton of time – countless hours. Write. Edit. Revise – and repeat. It’s a monotonous process. And frankly, one that I was not a big fan of, initially.
You have an endless amount of knowledge to share with the world (who doesn’t?). This should make coming up with a list of 52 topics easy. If you’re struggling, I’ve got tips below.
Step 1: Meet Your New Best Friend- The Editorial Calendar
What if there was a place you could dump all of your post ideas and go about your day? In 2013, there are plenty of apps, let me help you sort through the mess. Here are my three favorites:
I’ve used the WordPress plugin on several web properties. However, Google Docs spreadsheets work best for me because of cloud collaboration with your team.
With an editorial calendar picked out, you’re now faced with the hardest task of all, brainstorming topics. It’s not a one-and-done operation. There’s one big mistake people make when they brainstorm, they discard ideas before they say them. Don’t be afraid to put every single thing down on paper, even if it’s irrelevant. You can always use the idea for another part of your business. If you’re stuck, here are a couple of ways to jumpstart the editorial calendar process.
5 Ways to Fill Your Editorial Calendar
- Look to Google’s Instant Search
- Get Inspiration From Other Blogs
- Ask Current Reader’s What they Want
- Do Videos (sometimes quicker than writing)
- Collect and Post Quotes (this is a last-stitch effort)
These are just a couple of ideas. I would use your own knowledge before you hit this list.
When you’ve got your articles listed out, it looks like all you’ve got is a busy schedule, right? Now, the challenge becomes actually writing the content.
Step 2: Harness Momentum from Writing One Post
When I broke this down, I started with one post. After the first post was complete, I moved to the second one. I found myself writing a string of five posts in a matter of hours.
Pro-tip: Forget editing. Just write. Write with errors, grammatical snafus, and incomplete sentences. You should sleep on your writing anyway and edit it the next day.
Step 3: Schedule three more writing blocks
With a several posts under your belt, schedule your next three writing blocks. Set them in stone. Don’t schedule meetings, conference calls, or errands. It’s your time to sit down and write. It’s the only way you’ll get through a pile of posts in a short amount of time.
Also, pay attention to length. Don’t feel the need to draw your point out into several paragraphs, when it can be said in a sentence. I’ve read powerful & inspirational posts that were less than 200 words. Make every word count.
Congrats –Your posts are complete!
I wrote a year’s worth of content for my employer’s blog. I’m working on doing it for me personal blog as well. I don’t write full-time. In fact, I prefer being swallowed up by brand strategy and analytics over writing. What I did do was write like a bat out of hell during my allotted writing blocks over five weeks. Occasionally, I’d take the full day to write, but not often.
Step 4: Automate everything
I would have never done this if I couldn’t automate the entire process. Not only did I write everything, but I also scheduled every post in WordPress and automatically posted to LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. You want to do it to? Here’s how:
- Write and format posts (include pictures) in WordPress.
- Get a Buffer account and download the WordPress plugin (Buffer is basically social media while you sleep)
- Sit back and relax
I kid you not – that’s it. You’ve officially setup your blog to run itself for an entire year. Want to step up into pro status? Use this as a starting point – a foundation of content. Add as much content as you can. The more content, the more Google is going to like you.
Stuck again? Add timely content like current news and your reflections on industry happenings. Make it look like you’re not a robot. Even though robots are awesome.
Good luck with total blog automation!
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