AskPat 820 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 820 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always I'm here to help you by answering your online business questions, five days a week.
We have a great question today from Greg, but before we get to that I do want to thank today's sponsor, which is ZipRecruiter. An amazing service that makes it really easy for you to manage people. That process can be quite cumbersome, and you have to go out there and post your job to 200 plus different job sites, just to make sure you find all the potential candidates. Then you have to screen them, and you get phone calls, and you get emails. It's really hard to manage.
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All right, now here is today's question from Greg.
Greg: Hey Pat, my name is Greg from MusicianMonster.com. Before I ask my question I just wanted to sincerely express my gratitude for all of the hard work that you do, and the sacrifices that you make to add value and help others succeed in their online business. I sincerely appreciate that, thank you. My question is in regard to content scheduling, and staying on top of a consistent content calendar. I know you've been on fire with this lately, and it's something that you're really proud of that you've done with your business in 2016. I've listened to all of the episodes related to what you use for scheduling, CoSchedule's an awesome tool, Google Sheets, and kind of how your assistants help you manage all that.
What I am not clear on is how do you actually determine how to get your content into that actionable format?—sorry, my phone just went off—into that actionable format. What steps can I take specifically that you recommend to help me get clear on how to get my content on a consistent schedule using the tools that I know you've already recommended. Also, I don't have a VA, it's just me. Specific action steps would be awesome that you'd recommend. That's it. Thanks so much Pat, I hope my question gets featured. Have a great day, and I'm sure I'll meet you one of these days at a conference or something. Anyway, take care, bye.
Pat Flynn: Hey Greg, thank you so much for the question, I really appreciate it. For those of you listening, if you haven't heard those episodes, the one I would recommend related to my editorial content, Manager Janna, and also the way we work, and we process things. That's episode 215 of the Smart Passive Income Podcast. You can check that out at SmartPassiveIncomePodcast.com/Session215. That one's great. It’s actually inspired a lot of people to create their own sort of spreadsheets to manage their content so they can plan ahead, and also get access to things like CoSchedule, a great tool to help manage, especially if you have a team. Even if you don't, it helps you plan ahead as well.
The most important thing, and that's what it is Greg is planning ahead. You want to sit down and actually consciously think to yourself, and with the goal of, “Okay, I'm going to sit down and plan out the content that I'm going to post across all the different platforms,” if you have multiple platforms. If it's just your blog, then just your blog. Knowing whatever rhythm that you want to go in, whether it's once a week, or twice a week, or whatever. You want to have everything laid out in terms of what it is that you're going to be writing about.
You can just start with ideas first in terms of what you want to post and when, and then you can kind of get into creating the titles and stuff, and things like that. Then what we actually do as a team, and you can do this by yourself if you want to. After you have it all planned out, and I would say three to six months ahead of time is great. Things change over time of course, and it's actually going to be a pretty tough exercise I think for some of you. It was tough for me at first because I was always the person initially who would open a blog post and then kind of write from scratch, without even knowing what I was going to be writing about.
Now, going into it knowing what I'm going to be writing about, it just makes it so much easier, and it just clears my brain of everything else besides what is that topic I'm writing about. Anyway, after you get to the point of three to six months and have those topics in mind, literally creating the titles for them, and then even creating the drafts for them as well. This is something that we do. We create the drafts for each of those posts in WordPress ahead of schedule. What's really cool about CoSchedule is that it does that for you, and then you can keep track of your progress for each of those things.
In terms of getting them on the calendar, I mean that's really what it is. Knowing what you're going to be writing about. What I would do is actually even pulling back even more. Having your content that you're going to be posting and publishing, surround certain events that are happening. For example, you might want to do monthly themes that relate to things that are happening that month. Kind of depends on your niche, but for people in the online business space, you know there's people who do launches, and JV affiliate partnerships and stuff throughout the years. It could be every other month, or every month. You might be doing a specific promotion for a product that you have, or that you're promoting of somebody else's, like an affiliate.
Then you'd be able to have content that comes out, that doesn't necessarily directly recommend those things. It might not even mention those things, but it would support the lead up into those things. For example, last year when Will It Fly? was coming out, and that was something we knew. It was a hard date on the calendar, when we knew it was coming out in February, my book, Will It Fly? The month leading up to it was all about books that have come out, and the book writing process, and things that I did. I knew that ahead of time, I even knew that back in September or October from the previous year. Again, planning ahead.
That made it so that I can make sure that I could keep track of that content, and when I was writing that content, again, ahead of schedule, or interviewing people related to that content. It just gave me more time, more flexibility, more breathing room, but also it made my head very clear in terms of, “Okay, here's why we are writing this.” I think that's one of the big things that has changed. The big major mindset shift is not just writing to write, but writing for a purpose. Writing because it's going to support something that is coming out, or something that is going to be really helpful, a theme of the month.
We've had email marketing themes, we've had themes about podcasting, leading up to podcast movement last year. July was all about podcasting. That's when it was really easy for me to focus on, “Okay, what kind of guests should I have on the show, when will they be put into the calendar on that spreadsheet, or into CoSchedule, when should I be posting about other podcast related tips, and tricks, and what not. Stuff for beginners, stuff for advanced, that way it's kind of a mix.” That's what really was helpful.
In terms of your question, how do you get content into an actionable schedule? Well, having it be around things that you're already doing is probably the easiest thing to do, plus it just clears your mind and makes it super focused when you're writing. Then I have it setup so that my writing days are on Monday, so on Monday I go in and I see, “Okay, well this is the post that I'm writing today. It's already in the schedule.” Kind of putting those blog posts into the schedule, and then knowing which . . . How far in advance I'm going to begin writing those things. I try to keep a rhythm where I go into Monday every week with a post in mind, that I'm going to finish that week. Then the next week it's the next one. Now, it's not a post that's going to come out for a couple months, but that's what happens.
Now, there are times where I cannot finish the post, because there are certain things that I need to know that aren't happening yet, or haven't happened yet. In which case they just kind of get written as much as possible, or the setup, or the introductory paragraph is there. Again, just so that when it's time to actually write those things, it's already setup for me and I can just go.
Hopefully that helps Greg, thank you so much for your question. I really appreciate it. Best of luck to everybody out there who is just crushing it with their content calendars. Keep going. Greg, I want to send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show. For those of you listening, if you have a question that you'd like potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to AskPat.com and you can ask right there on that page. Thank you so much, I appreciate you, and here's a quote to finish off the day by Heraclitus. That quote is, “There is nothing permanent, except change.” All right guys, take care and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat. Bye.
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