Create a content schedule for your business with these 4 steps!
I will show you 4 powerful steps to create a content schedule with the Swim Bike Run Rest technique I used for my Sprint Triathlon and how you can apply this to organize your business.
Swim- Etsy Shop (craft/talent)
Off/Rest day-Pinterest Traffic
I am inspired to write this post today as I hear the cheers out side my balcony window. It is the 21st Annual Key West Half Marathon. It was delayed a couple of hours due to rain. Now a number of soggy runners are going by my building as I listen to the people on the sidelines cheering them on.
One man’s encouraging words “Four miles to go! You can do it!” There was nothing but respect and admiration as I watched these determined runners working so hard to achieve their goal.
It’s bringing me right back to the day I ran that race.
It was 1-19-2014 and the weather was perfect.
My goal for that day: FINISH THE RACE!
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Set Big Goals For Your Content Schedule
It came to mind as I was preparing to move to Key West I wanted to be a part of the Key West Half Marathon. I had completed the Chicago Half Marathon in 2012 (another story) so I knew I could do it again. However, there was the Key West Sprint Triathlon on 12-7-2013 and I wanted to be a part of that race even more! (Nope, never participated in a sprint triathlon)
I made a decision to do both of them: the Sprint Triathlon first, in December of 2013, then the Half Marathon, in January of 2014. My thoughts were if I can train for the triathlon beginning in October, after I FINISH that race, I would continue training for the half marathon the following month.
Decision made. Now a plan. After the move to Key West in October of 2013, I started a training schedule.
Preparing for a Sprint Triathlon-Preparing a Content Schedule
Swim Bike Run Training Schedule
Before I moved (as I had made the decision) I began to research the kind of schedule for training that would work for me. It had to be a schedule that I could work into my work week, as I was also starting a new full time job. Back in 2013 I found Jeff Galloway’s Beginner Triathlete-The Original 13 week Sprint Training Plan– Pre-requisites: Swim at any pace for 20 minutes straight, Bike at any pace for 30 minutes straight, Run at any pace for 20 minutes straight. In addition, this was a program designed by one of the coaches. His Mom was racing her first sprint triathlon. She was 59 years old.
Key Words- At Any Pace for Your Content Schedule
This is crucial to understand. AT ANY PACE. Yes, a marathon is really hard work. So is building your own business. But like a marathon, go ahead, make the decision to set that BIG goal! GO FOR IT! Create your plan and make it at YOUR pace. There are no records to break.
However, the mindset is to COMPLETE the race. In a marathon it happens all in one day after weeks and month of training. In a business, it is days, weeks, months, and years to COMPLETE. It is your pace. The absolute point is to never give up. There are lots of set backs. Life happens and then you are a week behind. No worries cuz you are going to COMPLETE your race/business. Get back to the plan no matter how little the step is. Just DO IT! And before you know it you are right back on track.
Just like my training schedule for the triathlon, I could see the comparison in Suzi Whitford’s The 12 Month Blog Plan and the 4 major actions per month.
1) Swim-Etsy Shop-Monday am/Friday
Generate income (Money) – Creating beautiful pins for my customers in my Etsy Shop. This is an on-going process and includes updating SEO (Search Engine Optimization), making new pins/listings for my shop, filling orders for timely deliveries, and communicating with my customers.
I think goals should never be easy. They should force you to work, even if they are uncomfortable at the time.
Affiliate Marketing within my blog to generate income. This includes adding links within my blog that leads to a specific product I have used and recommended. Therefore, when reader clicks through the link and makes a purchase, I receive a commission.
Generate content (Blog) – Creating useful information for my readers. I love this part! I write on topics I have experienced. This information is set in a format for my reader to follow and apply in their daily lives and includes tools I am using to expand my business.
Life is like riding a bicycle. In order to keep your balance, you must keep moving.
3)Run-Email List-Monday pm/Thursday
Generate newsletter (Email) How do I serve them?- Sending fun newsletters to my subscribers about my adventures of building an Etsy business in paradise! Here I include my stories of customers from my Esty shop or a funny Key West story. Cuz you just can’t make this stuff up!
Life is often compared to a marathon, but I think it is more like being a sprinter; long stretches of hard work punctuated by brief moments in which we are given the opportunity to perform at our best.
4) Off Rest Days- Pinterest Traffic-Tuesday/Saturday
Generate traffic to my Etsy shop and Blog- All the above hard work can go to no avail if there is no one reading your content! For instance, a couple of times a week, using Pinterest pins and Tailwind, I pin to a number of my own boards and most importantly I pin to several group boards that are relevant to my content, my niche.
I filled in the next 6 months of my content calendar utilizing these steps. It’s beginning to become clear what to do and when each and every day. I had just been jumping around with all that was coming at me. Oh! I got an Etsy order! Oh! I need to pin 30 pins in Pinterest! Oh! My email newsletter is due!
Now I have a plan to the end of this year. Every 13 weeks I start my training for the next “marathon”.
How To Maintain the Content Schedule You Have Created
Learning is an on-going process
Continued education through books and podcasts can help tremendously as you grow your business. I listened to encouraging words that got me through the training for the day. It was podcasts on living life, and becoming an influencer, to name a few, which lead me to a growing list of excellent books to help me grow my business. It can get tough at times when life gets in the way, and sometimes just pressing play on one of my favorite podcasts, or reading a page from a book can help me press on.
Taking Care Of You
As we plow through our schedule each day it is so important to remember to take care of you. Yes, getting up an hour or so is a big change, so be mindful of getting enough rest, exercise, and eating right.
In training for a marathon, these are all part of the plan. But there are only so many hours in the day. How do you squeeze all this new stuff in? So, I got rid of some of the old stuff. I watch hours less of TV. I used to turn it on first thing in the morning and turn it on first thing when I got home from work. Now it’s a half hour maybe an hour a day total.
Living by myself, I have created the quiet time I need to focus on writing, reading, and listening. I make good meals for myself, I have water with me at all times, and work in 30-60 minute walks on my days off. I invested in a Yoga video I rotate am or pm depending on my work schedule.
Proper gear to avoid injury- Proper Tools to Succeed
The final piece of our content schedule is to have the proper tools. For my training and the actual day of the marathon, I knew I needed to have all the proper gear to complete the race without injury.
This would include proper shoes, socks, clothing, water bottle, and a waistband to hold the proper hydration packets while running just to name a few.
With a new and growing business there is an investment in the proper tools to succeed.
This would include a cell phone, a laptop/computer, and a planner to log in all steps of building your business. As mentioned above, I invested in books, a few courses, and a new laptop to grow my business. Investing in the proper tools is vital to growing a successful business.
We all have cell phones but now it’s time to use it as a business tool instead of a social outlet. While I am on break at work, I check my business email, work on my Pinterest/Tailwind account, or create a new pin for my blog on Canva.
My laptop is the best investment I have made. This has proven to be my best tool to get many tasks done and well worth the cost. It is the biggest investment I have made so far to grow my business.
The bullet journal I have mentioned in other posts, has been a must-have tool. It is the first thing I look at in the morning and the last thing I refer to at night. So far, it has kept me focused on all aspects of my life to move in the direction I say I want to go.
For the record, fellow bloggers share powerful free material to help you every step of the way. I have read, printed, and applied many useful tips from many fellow bloggers. Tips such as keywords for blog titles, 4 steps to setting goals to keep you motivated, tips for growing your email list, to name a few. There is an unbelievable amount of free information just for your taking!
To Wrap Things Up
Go ahead and set a BIG goal. It is really scary but that is good! Write it down. Keep it in front of you every single day. Put it all in a calendar. Because once you see your schedule all planned out, it is now possible to take action. You can see it all laid out right there in your everyday activities.
Being consistent is so important as there will be all kinds of things that will distract you. Have all the tools you need to succeed as it is difficult to reach your big goals if you do not have the proper tools to help you get there. Be sure and research the information you need to create the life you say you want. It is there for your taking.
What is the hardest part for you in setting a schedule?
Let me know what is most difficult for you. Let’s talk!