How To Plan Your Blog Content In 5 Easy Steps

Planning your blog posts is one of the most important things you can do to deliver quality content to your readers.

If you have been struggling with getting your blog started or getting your blog noticed then learning how to plan your content is a must.  Over the past couple of weeks, we have covered some very important basic blogging topics including my 7 QUICK TIPS TO HELP YOU START A SUCCESSFUL BLOG and 4 QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU DISCOVER YOUR BLOG NICHE so be sure to read those when you get a chance.  Now I want to dig a little deeper and help you get your content organized and planned for the next month.  

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Why not wing it?  

It's important to learn the basics of content planning if you want to keep your posts consistent, and in order to plan your content properly, you need to get organized and think things through ahead of time. If your post topics are all over the place and you're rushing to come up with new ideas and create posts at the last minute, you won’t produce content that your readers will consider valuable, so you probably won’t have many readers.

Today I will show you how to plan your blog content at least one month in advance by creating and implementing an editorial calendar in 5 easy steps.

1. Categorize and Color Code

Select a calendar that works well for you (printable or digital) then categorize the items you’ll be regularly adding to your calendar.  

First, write out your categories on an index card and decide on a color to code for each.  Then label each accordingly, save your list for future reference. (Grab some funky highlighters!)

FOR EXAMPLE:

  • Brand Launches (PINK)

  • Blog Posts (BLUE)

  • Newsletters (GRAY)

  • Sales/Promotions (YELLOW)

  • Holidays (RED)

  • Vacations/Travel (RED)

2. Fill in What You Already Know

Then take a look at the month ahead and jot down any holidays, vacations or events, you will need to create content around.  This month for example we know includes St. Patrick’s Day along with the start of Spring so perhaps you would like to run a St. Patty's Day sale or a Spring Giveaway.  Or perhaps you are planning on launching a new product in June, so you may want to include a teaser promo in this month’s calendar, and then one every week until launch. Think of what would appeal to your audience.  

Write it down:

  • Fill in important dates already planned (vacation/travel, birthdays, appointments)

  • Block off time before and after to catch up

3. Add Blog Post Topics

Even if you don't have your topic nailed down, jot down your ideas based on the frequency you plan to publish.  Add a reminder to write the blog post ahead of time and another reminder to publish, followed by another to promote.  

For Example:

  • Every Tuesday: Write blog post

  • Every Thursday: Publish blog post

  • Every Thursday and Friday: Promote blog post (share on social media etc.)

4. Add Social Media

Schedule posting date and time of your corresponding social media posts.  Be sure to schedule your posts based on optimal times per channel if you can.

Posting ideas:

  • Schedule blog post intro (to go along with a published blog post)

  • Schedule upcoming product launch teaser promo (a hint about the upcoming giveaway)

  • Schedule announcement (when the giveaway is announced)

  • Schedule reminders (when the giveaway will end)

5. Add Newsletter

For the purposes of general planning, you don’t need to create the newsletter to plan to send it out but do decide on a schedule to send your newsletter out and add a reminder to your calendar.  I would suggest adding a date to start the newsletter prior to the date you actually plan to send.  

Give yourself enough time to write, edit and proof:

  • Last Monday of the month: Write newsletter

  • First Monday of the next Month: Schedule newsletter

When planning ahead, it's important not to get too hung up on the details as the practice of content planning will help you gain a sense of clarity and direction.  It helps you maintain balance and allows you to feel confident because you have a plan.  If you need to make changes, go ahead!  Simply look over your months ahead often, jot down ideas and most importantly don't stress!

Need help with branding your blog?  Grab my free worksheet to get started. >>>BLOG PLANNING WORKSHEET

Then be sure to sign up for my VIP list for more regular tips here:  http://eepurl.com/ciX4JT

 

Book Cover Design | Letters From Emily by ML Pennock
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Final book cover design

Today is the day! I'm excited to reveal the cover design for my latest book cover design project, 'Letters from Emily', the 4th installment in a series by the extraordinary Miranda Pennock.  I enjoyed working on this project and I highly recommend this series. 

While consulting with Miranda I learned that she wanted to go with a softer, more delicate look and she definitely wanted to see a lavender color palette. Below is the final cover design.

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Book Cover Design

COVER REVEAL & PRE-ORDER

On Oct. 2, Emily Long's letters will finally be revealed. The story that began in To Have culminates with Emily's side of the tale, a tale that is heartbreaking at times.

Letters from Emily by M.L. Pennock

When Emily Long agrees to be in her friend’s wedding, she doesn’t plan on backing out a few weeks before the ceremony and merely going as a guest.

Being charmed into a one-night stand with a flirty groomsman also wasn’t on her list of things to do. But the morning after the wedding, she finds herself hung over and wrapped up in Brian Stratford’s bedsheets.

Several weeks, a positive pregnancy test, and an ultrasound later, Emily finds herself on Brian’s doorstep questioning how her life ended up where it is.

As the new couple processes how to co-parent without loving one another, Emily’s fate takes a turn for the worst.

It isn’t until years later when Brian finds out what happened …

and that Emily left letters behind for the people she loves most.

Pre-order Letters from Emily

Universal Link: books2read.com/LettersFromEmily

Amazon US: http://bit.ly/LettersFromEmilyUS

Amazon UK: http://bit.ly/LettersFromEmilyUK

Amazon AU: http://bit.ly/LettersFromEmilyAU

Amazon CA: http://bit.ly/LettersFromEmilyCA

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/LettersFromEmilyBN

Kobo: http://bit.ly/LettersFromEmilyKobo

Add it on Goodreads: http://bit.ly/LettersFromEmilyGoodreads

 

 

 

BrandingHeather McCoyComment
3 Questions To Ask Yourself About Your Logo Design
3 Questions to Ask About Your Logo Design

This is often a question for any entrepreneur.  Is my logo good enough?  Does it draw attention to my business in a good way?  Will it attract my ideal customer?  

A good logo design is highly instrumental in establishing a business brand and creating a long lasting impression among its customers. It should be able to create a powerful impact on the viewers and successfully exude the nature and attitude of a business. Ideally, a company logo design should be able to communicate your company ethos, principles, mission and the nature of product/service offered, to the viewers.

A professional logo design would establish a professional image of your company and strengthen your brand. Actually, in most cases the consumer gets the first impression about the company through your logo. Your business logo should build a brand that is strong enough to give your consumer a visual imagery of your company. People should be able to identify your company on sight of your logo.

Trend shows, most of the good logos are simple and often text based. Think of the IBM, SONY or Microsoft logo, even if you view a part of it you will be able to recognize the company. It is extremely essential for a logo to be easy for people to remember.

This principle of simplicity applies in most cases, however, we often see exceptions in government organizations, hotels and luxury resorts etc. because they want to put up a classical exclusive image. This again brings us to a very important point that should be considered for a good logo design - the nature of business.

While simplicity can be the basic principle for any logo design, the designs might vary widely depending on the nature of business. For example, a financial institution might like to use a bold face font to express solidarity and stableness where as a courier service or transport company might prefer italicized fonts to express the speed and movement involved in their business.

I would also suggest avoiding a trendy look for your logo if you are planning for a long-term business because what we consider "modern" today might be backdated tomorrow. It is very important that your logo designer knows how to maintain this balance.

While any professional logo designer should be able to create a custom logo design once you have provided them with your specifications, you should be careful to select a designer you are comfortable with and one who can take your vision and turn it in to an effective, attractive logo design.

If you have still do not have a logo for your business or are not happy with your existing logo, it's time to consider a new logo. 

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Is my logo memorable?
  2. Does my logo communicate my brand message?
  3. Does my logo attract my ideal client?

If the answer to any of the above questions is 'no', then its time to talk.  When we create a logo here at 315 Designs, we have a specific design process to ensure that the final logo design suits the needs of our clients.  We take a look at the big picture and make sure that every detail not only looks professional but will help their business stand out and speak to their target audience.  

But there is so much more that goes on behind the scenes when creating a custom logo so here is what you can expect as a client.  Read more about our logo design process HERE.

What do you think of your logo design?  How can we work together to make it an effective branding tool for your business?

Why Your Brand needs a Custom Surface Pattern Design
Custom Surface Pattern Design 315 Designs

Have you ever been drawn to a product because you liked the look of its packaging or label?  If I had to guess, I would say yes, you probably have. We all have at one point or another, stopped dead in our tracks to check out a product just because it had a pretty (striking, bold, colorful, unique) pattern on its packaging or label.

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I know I have, not just because I’m a designer and I notice these things, but really and truly there is something powerful about patterns. They have the power to speak to you and make you want to buy a product just because of how they look.  They speak to you in a unique way, without using words, which is why patterns are very powerful and a key player in your brand marketing.  

And that is not just me talking because I love patterns, scientifically, the brain recognizes repetition so a pattern or texture that is incorporated into your brand will help it to be remembered and identifiable.

“Quite simply, humans are amazing pattern-recognition machines. They have the ability to recognize many different types of patterns - and then transform these  "recursive probabilistic fractals" into concrete, actionable steps.” https://bigthink.com/endless-innovation/humans-are-the-worlds-best-pattern-recognition-machines-but-for-how-long

 And they are everywhere 

Patterns are everywhere in the world around us. Patterns can be found on everything from clothing, housewares, artwork, and wallpaper, just to name a few. Patterns have the ability to draw people to a product by speaking to them without words by invoking a feeling.  They add color and personality to packaging and distinguish brands from each other.

 Patterns give your brand the uniqueness it needs to help your branding stand out

A custom-made pattern will add that extra special touch guaranteed to help your brand stand out from the competition while supporting your brand message.  Oftentimes a unique pattern design will incorporate core brand elements which will help build consistency and help with brand recognition.

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How to use patterns for your brand 

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Patterns can be used on everything from your business cards, labels, packaging, stamps, websites, cover photos and a whole lot more.   Gone are the days when logos tied the brand together. Now it's a pattern that pulls it all together. In fact, over time, a pattern can become so popular that it speaks to an audience in such as away that it because an icon of a brand’s reputation and fully promotes a lifestyle.

Use patterns to help your audience visually recognize your brand:

  • Business Cards
  • Marketing Presentations
  • Ad Design
  • Labels
  • Packaging
  • Stamps
  • Social Media Posts
  • Social Media Cover Photos
  • Blog Posts
  • Web Banners
  • T-shirts/Clothing
  • Tissue Paper
  • Bags
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Create an iconic brand

In fact, over time, a pattern can become so popular that it becomes iconic and therefore the brand becomes iconic.  A popular pattern has the power to sell a product even without the use of a company logo.  They become part of our culture.  

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Pattern Design Branding

Ready to create a custom pattern for your brand?  Great!