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Laura James Studio Content Planning Process

My website, Laura James Studio, is primarily used to promote my business, which is graphic design and visual branding. I have a blog, but have rarely used it beyond the “salesy” promotion type posts – most of which were “look at this gorgeous identity I designed! Want one? Call me!”

I’ve recently decided that I needed to take my website, and primarily my blog, to the next level. After a full visual redesign, I’m now doing a fully restructured look at content – both the promotional type and the type that draws in engaged readers.

Purpose

  • Content Marketing
  • Earn Money/Increase Revenue
  • Increase business contacts

Audience Demographics

  • Female
  • Approximately 23-45
  • Freelancers, Entrepreneurs, Business Owners
  • Years of experience in their specific field is irrelevant, however years of experience within branding would be little to none – which is why they would hopefully want to read what I have to say.
  • Geographically based in the United States, as I don’t currently work with clients outside of the US.
  • Internet Savvy

Audience Psychographics

  • Modern, stylish, fun, driven, independent
  • They believe in high quality products, hard working individuals, and honest communication and feedback.
  • Family is priority number 1, but it isn’t the ONLY priority in life.
  • They are positive, go-getters, highly motivated individuals, and strong willed
  • They are interested in growing their small business, investing in techniques to create an efficient work balance and lifestyle, and learning how to do some of the “smaller” identity and website development items on their own – a DIY-er of sorts.

Blog Style

As mentioned in the video, some companies have a style guide. I’m one of those companies. As it has been my job in the past to put together style guides for larger corporations, I decided to make my own for organization purposes. If you really want to see a glimpse of it, you can check out my style guide in this skillshare class: http://www.skillshare.com/classes/design/By-The-Book-Create-a-Style-Guide-for-Your-Brand/1475658477/projects/37080

SMART goals

  1. I want to increase my client inquiries by 20% each month for the next 12 months.
  2. I want to use my tutorials to increase the number of custom design requests I receive by 3-5 for each post made.
  3. I want to book 3 clients per month between now and January.
  4. I want to be able to increase my current pricing due to workload so that I’m closer to industry standards by February 2015.
  5. I want to have a steady income by December 2015.

Brand Statement

Again, see my style guide if you’re interested :) 

Content Pillars

  1. Wordpress Development Tips
  2. Small Business/Entrepreneur Tips
  3. Inspiration Posts
  4. New designs/works

Source Library

  • Feedly
  • Twitter
  • StumbleUpon
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • Facebook

Storing my Library

  • Evernote (primary)
  • Dropbox
  • Dropmark (inspiration images)

Interviews/Guest Posts

So far I’ve created a list of 28 potential blogsites that I actively follow on feeds such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. I’m currently brainstorming topics that would fit for each site. Some sites are more design focused, and others are focused on other entrepreneur interests where they may prefer a less specific article. My current thought is to come up with 2-3 topics with drafted pitches, and then submit to the correct sites.

Publication Channels

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • Hootsuite

Publication Frequency

  • Currently I blog new client work in phases (2-4 posts per client, depending on the scope of the project). These posts are done once weekly on Tuesdays.
  • Other topics from my content pillars will currently be scheduled bi-weekly on Fridays.
  • I would like to ideally be writing engaging content weekly.
  • I typically do a rough draft of ideas when they come to me (whether that be bullet lists, notes on the topic, etc.) within Evernote. I transfer that over to my Wordpress calendar plugin when I schedule posts, and then write them in more detail as time permits – which is usually when I have “free time” twice weekly for an hour. 

Define Roles

As a freelancer, and fortunately in this case a graphic designer, I get to fill all of the roles listed here. I do not currently have a proofreader, other than myself, as I typically wind up being the proofreader for everyone else. I am going to look into finding someone who could assist me there – perhaps another freelancer. 

Project Flow

  • Content Calendar Created: 3 months out
  • Content Written: 2 months out
  • Design Elements created: 2 months out
  • Content Proofread: 1 month out
  • Content Revised: 1 month out
  • Published: 0 days
  • Advertised (I currently do not have a budget for this, so I soley use social media and services such as Hootsuite): 0 days to 2 weeks after (continuously depending on social media service and topic).

My project flow right now is skewed slightly from my typical as I’m due with my second child in early 2015. I’ve decided to plan my content almost 8 months in advance so that I am not overwhelmed or inactive during that hectic time in our lives.

Editorial Calendar Template

Currently I use the wordpress plugin for my site, however I don’t like that I can’t see more than a few weeks at a time, so I’m going to give the spreadsheet a go!

Schedule My Content:

  • Business Critical
    • Currently scheduled all new design pieces from now until mid-November
  • Date Specific
    • Color Trend Reports
    • Inspiration posts based on holidays/events
    • 1st quarter 2015 tax tips for small businesses
    • April reminder for filing taxes (and birthday wishes to me – yay!)
    • Store launch (need to prep this first then schedule announcements etc.)
    • Any new products going to the store for specific events (though this would then fall within the business critical as well).
  • Posts that require planning
    • Compilation posts/inspiration color boards
    • Videos – would like to create a how-to video eventually, but currently am not in the position to do so.
  • Evergreen content
    • I have loads of these ideas that I’m excited to schedule out. Currently I’m scheduled until April 2015 with just Evergreen content alone.

You can view my editorial calendar here. As of this post, it’s simply the spreadsheet shared with us. I’m much better at handwriting first so I’ll probably print it out, schedule my content, then type it in for future reference :)

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