Do you ever struggle to think of your next blog post idea? Do you ever arrive at your computer ready to write, only to spend the next 30 minutes staring at a blank screen, or straining to produce a few rambling paragraphs you’ll just delete later?
This article will help you to plan your next 90 days of blog posts faster than you probably think is even possible.
But for this system to work, you must first choose the transformation you want your readers to achieve in the next 90 days.
Think of your blog like a paid product. What promise can you make your readers if they do everything you tell them?
You don’t need to share this promise publicly, but having one is foundational to the system we’ll use to plan out your next 90 days of content.
Try to think of a promise that is easy to understand, measurable (readers will know if they succeeded or not), compelling, and doable in 90 days.
For example, “I want to help the moms who read my blog fully potty train their kids.”
Or, “I want to help the writers who read my blog finish a complete book outline.”
What will you help your readers accomplish in the next 90 days? Once you have that figured out, there are five types of blog posts you should start writing.
Type 1: How To
“How to” posts teach readers the steps they need to take in order to achieve a transformation.
To identify the “How To” posts your blog needs, you should start with the 90-Day Promise you chose.
Then, work backward to figure out the steps your readers must take to reach the destination.
- 6 steps to build your chicken coop in the next 90 days
- 8 steps to improve your ACT practice test scores by 5 points in the next 90 days
You should have at least one post devoted to listing out these “How To” steps. (This will be an extremely valuable article that you’ll link to often.)
Or, if the process lends itself to multiple phases, you could have a post for each stage with the individual steps your readers need to take. It’s up to you.
Type 2: What if
“What if” posts are where you address special circumstances many of your readers will face.
You’re anticipating the questions readers will ask and teaching them how to customize your “How To” posts for their unique situations.
For example, if your 90-Day Promise is to help people lose 10 pounds through healthy eating, your “What If” posts might include: How to follow this diet if you’re a vegetarian, a type 2 diabetic, or if you have picky kids you have to cook for.
Although it’s rare for a “What If” post to apply to every reader, every reader does have special circumstances in their lives. And teaching them how to cope and customize is essential to helping them change their lives.
Type 3: Limiting beliefs
If you’re trying to lose weight, should you eat more broccoli or more ice cream?
If your goal is to get out of debt, should you look for ways to spend or ways to save?
The truth is, most of us already have lots of how-to information in our heads.
What holds us back from achieving a breakthrough?
I once heard a man say, “I want to be a motivational speaker, but I can’t because I’m an introvert.”
This man didn’t need “How To” content.
He just needed to believe an introvert could speak in public. Until that happened, he would stay stuck.
For this reason, blog posts that help readers overcome limiting beliefs are some of the most transformational posts you’ll write.
Here are some common limiting beliefs you can address:
- I tried this before and failed, so I must not have what it takes.
- Making this change isn’t worth the effort.
- I can’t do this because I have [this obstacle]…
Type 4: Getting started
Remember the way your “How To” content is divided into steps?
You should spend some extra time breaking down the steps you listed into smaller steps, which help people get started and find some momentum.
If your 90-Day Promise is to help people pay off $1,000 of student loan debt, your “Getting Started” post might be “How to create a budget in under an hour” or “How to find the courage to start paying off your debt.”
You can write posts like these for any steps where you see people getting stuck.
Type 5: Staying motivated
Changing your life is hard work. Without encouragement, most people will give up before they reach the finish line.
For this reason, devote some of the posts on your blog to encouraging people to stay focused and consistent.
These posts are also a smart place to talk about habit formation or tips to make following through a bit easier.
It’s time to plan your 90 days of content!
Start listing out your ideas for each of the five categories above, arrange them in a smart order, and decide how often you want to post.
If you end up a few ideas short, there’s a 6th type of blog post you can sprinkle in. I call it Reviews and Quick Wins.
Reviewing books, products, services, or even other blogs that are relevant to your audience is a great way to save your readers some time and give them advice they can trust.
Quick wins are similar. By themselves, they aren’t life-changing, but they’re easy to implement, and readers love them. On my blog, these are posts like a Caviar coupon, a BiteSquad coupon, etc. For a tech blog, this might be a time-saving keyboard shortcut.
If you enjoy this process for planning out 90 days of blog posts, do it again in 90 days! And make sure to leave me a comment letting me know how it goes.