Plans are what make the world go round in such a happily structured and well thought out way, certainly not just the nagging domain of your GCSE English teacher. A plan comes in all shapes and sizes and manner of forms; ranging from the seemingly mundane bungalow structural integrity plan to the blueprint plans for an ultra-fun mega-laugh-coaster. Some say that even God has a plan!
So plans are pretty important. Yet in spite of this, and however organised in his plan making and colour coded document filing God may be, he probably won’t be helping you too much when you’re coming up with your next piece of content. Failing divine intervention, you’re going to have to find your own way to structure your process of content creation. Doing this can be a frustrating experience if there’s no focus. Yet it can all boil down to five steps to get you from bashing your head on the screen in frustration, to being ready to start your piece of content.
1. The Idea
The idea is the first and perhaps the hardest part of creating good content. Hours and days spent sitting at a notepad or blank word document (depending what century you’re in) scratching your head and racking your brain; all the while managing to draw a complete blank with a grand total word count of seven.
This is where the diagrams and good old chin wags come into play. Noting down or talking about your ideas while placing them into a simple spider diagram or flow chart can be invaluable in the writing or content creation process.
2. The End Goal
Now that an idea has been created, the end product needs to be considered. What is it that you want to be saying or getting across from the idea? Setting an End Goal helps to bring everything into focus and what it is that you want to achieve.
So you have an idea and what you want from it. But is this idea sliced bread or is it a flop? To find out, research is going to have to be done to see where it can sit in your focus market. Three questions that you need to answer are whether the idea is realistic, relevant, and achievable. If so – get your research and data sources prepared.
4. “Chunk” It
The art of chunking is nothing new in the world of planning, but it is always effective. Breaking things up into sections or relevant categories is the easiest way to manage what might seem like an overwhelming and jumbled up mass of information. This method is also relevant to your time management, giving yourself a set of stepping stones which need to be traversed in order to get to that End Goal.
5 . Structure
Now that you’ve got all the information you need for your final grandmaster plan, all you need is the structure. Take your categories and consider in which way you want to develop the subject for the audience or reader. Jotting the key points down on sticky notes so you can swap and change the order can be an easy and visual way to see where you want each point or goal to be placed.
Voilà . You’ve got yourself a structured content creation plan!