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There are a lot of ways to approach planning content. The framework I’m going to outline below is one way that works well for me and my clients.
This process doesn’t apply to every situation. But for the kind of businesses we focus on at Rogue Mogul, it works well.
Planning a content campaign using the following approach will do several things for you including:
Numbers 2 – 5 are important for creating content that is cohesive over time.
You already know that storytelling is a big part of creating content for your business. But what that looks like isn’t always clear.
With this approach, the story is clear to you and your audience.
The diagram below is a generic visualization of how this looks. At the bottom of this post is another diagram of the Rogue Mogul plan we’ve been following so you can see how it looks in a real-life setting. I’ll also be using Rogue Mogul as an example throughout so you get a sense of how each step looks in real life.
Your overarching story is a big picture view of the story you want to share with your audience. A common example is the hero’s journey.
By itself, the hero’s journey is a story, but it’s devoid of the details to make it interesting.
The hero’s journey, according to Joseph Campbell, looks like this:
The hero’s journey provides the structure that is your overarching story. It’s not the only possible structure but it is a good one.
If you haven’t already, read the Rogue Mogul business backstory so you get a sense of who our hero is (hint, it’s you).
It’s not enough to know your audience, you also have to know what they want to achieve. You may not know that for every individual but you have an understanding based on that ideal customer profile.
At Rogue Mogul, the hero’s goal is to build 1-person businesses that are profitable and fulfilling.
In the hero’s journey, there is always a point in the story where the hero has a setback, loses a battle, or hits rock-bottom.
When creating your content plan, be sure to address some of the issues and challenges that will arise for your audience. Many times, how to overcome those challenges will be your most popular content.
The experience of building a business is full of challenges, setbacks, and failures. Inside of Rogue Mogul, we address those things head-on.
For example, if your content isn’t getting the search results you want, we make sure you’re covering the SEO fundamentals.
If you’re stuck coming up with a compelling name for your business, we have content to help you with that too.
I sometimes think of my content plan as if it were a book. I start with the overarching story to put structure in place. Then I break the story down into chapters.
Chapters are sections of content that logically fit together to tell a sub-story.
For Rogue Mogul year 1 those sections are as follows:
For reference, this article is near the end of the Content section.
But as you can see we start with figuring out what our business will be and who our ideal customer is. Then we move on to learning how to build and create content for that audience.
Next, we’ll talk about building the platform to engage that audience.
Finally, we’ll cover how to get it all done as one person (or a very small team).
The overarching story of year 1 is setting the foundation for your 1-person business.
One question that often comes up is “How often should I publish?”
For purposes of this discussion, we’re talking about publishing a newsletter or article.
There is no one answer for all situations but as a rule, I recommend one to two times per week.
Rogue Mogul publishes once a week.
Another common question is “When should I publish.”
There is a lot of data that suggests different times and days are ideal. In my experience, Tuesday and Thursday mornings work well.
On Monday everyone’s inbox is full from the weekend and a lot of stuff gets cleared out without regard.
Friday everyone is gunning for the weekend.
No matter when you choose to publish, the most important part is to pick a day and stick with it.
If you miss a day, as I have from time to time, don’t beat yourself up. Get your content out there as soon as you can and get back on track.
But consistency can give you a huge leg up so don’t slack off either!
Within each chapter are the individual newsletters or articles you write.
Since we’ve taken a strategic approach to plan our content, the individual articles will each tell a discrete part of the overarching story.
But each article will also be able to stand on its own.
What that means is that if someone only reads one newsletter or article, they don’t have to read the content leading up to that for it to make sense.
Even though you have content planned out doesn’t mean you can’t deviate from the plan.
Some of the content I’ve published on Rogue Mogul wasn’t in the original plan. Extra content ideas have come from:
The goal of year 1 is to lay the foundation that we’ll build upon. In year 2 we’ll dig into more advanced topics but we’ll refer to foundational pieces along the way.
Below is the outline of what the Rogue Mogul content plan looks like for year 1. I hope this gives you a clear idea of how this type of content planning plays out in real life.