This is an old post. I like this one better.
This is one of those blog posts that's like Inception, ie “a dream within a dream”. But in this case, it's an idea within and idea.
My idea was to sit down one day and write out 30 possible topics to write about for the month of April. One of these topics was the importance of making long term blog schedule and topic plan for those days when you don't feel very inspired to write anything.
Today is one of those days.
So, I consulted my list, and whadda' ya' know?
Here we are.
So point in case, making a schedule can save your ass, and keep your content flowing.
There ARE some cases however to be made against scheduling, which kept me from doing it for a long time. I will reveal and debunk these cases below.
The Case for NOT having a content schedule
(for video, writing, or audio content marketing)
1) It feels forced
The reason I produce content is for my audience. I want to give them nothing but the best. Developing a system seems contrived, and might alienate my audience. They will be able to see through the facade. My content will suffer.
Why You're Wrong
Writer's block is a content killer, and you might go for days without blogging. The same goes for any kind of medium, including video, music, podcasting, etc. Not knowing what to do could mean large breaks or dry spells in delivery. This also alienates an audience, who doesn't know when or what to expect, and may move on to something else.
For me, sometimes it just takes a spark of an idea to get started. Heck, today I didn't know what to write about and I'm already 300 words into a post that will probably end up about 800. How's that for inspiration?
Just create a long list. The longer the list, the more the ideas. The more the ideas, the bigger the chance you'll be able to match your feelings for that day with some kind of idea from your list.
2) I've got plenty of ideas
Why should I plan? There's absolutely TONS of topics to write about in my niche, and I've got things popping up in my mind all the time. I'll think of something, and if I can't think of anything, I can just browse the net and get inspired.
Why You're Wrong
Sure, you've got tons of ideas now, but what about 6 months down the road when you've been blogging and making videos every day. That's several hundred pieces of content. Do you REALLY have THAT many ideas right now? Probably not. Will you remember them all when you're really desperate for something? Definitely not (I know from personal experience).
Though you're right about browsing the net, the issues with that is that you're creating your piece directly after reading someone else's. I have found that this greatly influence my opinion and how the content comes out; either as an extremely similar result or as a ‘reaction piece', which is basically saying they're wrong. I don't totally disagree with this method though as it can make your posts more topical.
3) I've got other things to do
I'm super busy. I don't have time to sit down for 30 minute and plan. Really. I know what I'm doing in my head, and writing it down is just going to waste my time.
Why You're Wrong
I find it hard that anyone would really try to justify this, but that's exactly how I think in my head sometimes. It's such a chore to stop, pause for a moment, and plan three months ahead when I have so much to do today. But actually, doing this kind of planning can clear your head and make you work more efficiently on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
Sure you feel busy, but being busy isn't important. Getting stuff done is. Planning, making goals, and keeping track of productivity can help you feel like you're doing more, and probably free up more time to do the things you love (or fit more work into the day).
Planning is important. We all know it, but knowing something and acting on it are two different things.
So do it.
Plan out some kind of content production (whatever it is that you do) for at least a month in advance. You might find that later on down the road that minor changes need to be made, or that the whole plan needs to be scrapped, but that's a whole lot easier that starting at the computer screen for an hour wondering what the hell you're going to do today.