Calendarizing content

(And verbing nouns, but that’s an entirely different topic.)

You may have heard of the acronym WiFLi, which stands for Wider, Faster, Lighter and is used by one manufacturer within the bicycling community.

WiFLi is SRAM’s name for a 2x drivetrain with wide-range cassette. The short cage eTap rear derailleur officially maxes out with a 28-tooth cog; the eTap WiFLi rear derailleur can take up to a 32-tooth cog. This provides lower gears—for higher cadences and easier hill climbing—than a traditional 2x drivetrain, without needing to sign up for a triple-chainring drivetrain.

(Um, has anyone in the bicycling industry heard of benefit statements rather than feature statements? Is the 28-tooth cog missing the wisdom teeth?)

So maybe you’ve heard of bicycling’s WiFLI. But you may not have heard of MY acronym WIFLI, which stands for “when I feel like it.”

For the most part, my blogging at Bredemarket and other places is conducted in a WIFLI fashion. I’ll get an idea, jot down some things about it, sleep on it (sometimes), and then distribute it to the world at the Bredemarket blog and other online locations.

More often than not I DO “feel like it,” so my social outlets don’t necessarily suffer from lack of content. But do my momentary whims lead me to create the RIGHT content?

And this, my friends, is why people suggest content calendars. Although you don’t need to keep them on paper these days.

A calendar from the Petaluma and Santa Rosa Railroad. By Visitor7 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26340569

Content calendars exist not only to make sure that you’re generating enough content, but that you’re generating the right content.

One of my goals at Bredemarket is to assist general technology customers, so this, my first post under my new Bredemarket content calendar schedule, is supposed to be a technology post. (I can’t post about identity all the time, after all.)

And I chose to write this technology post about content calendar technology.

I think that’s cheating. (If it were identity day, would I have posted an autobiography?)

But there ARE technology issues to consider when creating a content calendar. You can either adapt common tools such as Excel (example) or Trello (example) to create your content calendar, or you can use special-purpose applications such as Agorapulse or DivvyHQ or Loomly or Monday to do it.

As of now, I’m leaning toward the “adapt common tools” route, and the common tool that I adapted was…Google Calendar. I just created an additional calendar, called it “blog/social content calendar,” and marked the days on which I wanted to address different topics. I’m putting notes in the calendar entries as needed to spur my creation, distribution, and so forth.

Perhaps I can get fancy later, but for now this is getting me started. In the future I may iterate toward something more complex, or alternatively I may iterate away from the entire idea of a content calendar altogether.

The important thing is to start, evaluate, and then adjust.

Now I obviously can’t go to clients and tell them that I am an expert at content calendars, with deep knowledge of the topic. But I at least know the questions to ask.

  • What are the important topics that your company wants to address?
  • How will you address those topics? Blogging? LinkedIn? Paper planes flown through potential clients’ open windows?
  • How often do you want to create content?
  • Can you truly create content at that pace?

If you want me to fire a bunch of these and similar questions at you, and possibly to help you create content that aligns with your content calendar, contact me.

Revisiting my “have fun” goal

When thinking about content to create, there’s one idea that I’ve had. “Over the course of 2021, why don’t I make a point of revisiting my 2021 goals and seeing how I’m doing on them?” (Content repurposing and extending for the win.)

I hope to soon revisit my multiple income streams goal. But for now, this is an ideal time to revisit my “have fun” goal.

I’ve already talked about how I snuck iguanas into a proposal for a potential client.

Well, I just had the opportunity to write a proposal for a particular opportunity.

The title of the opportunity?

“Funny and Witty Creative Writer.”

The potential client needs to create some content, but fears that if the content is too dry, it won’t be digested by the people who read the content.

So the opportunity description talked about how the content needs to be funny and witty.

I certainly had fun when I wrote my proposal to this client. Iguanas made another appearance, for example. But I also pointed out that funny and witty is NOT enough.

Here’s how my proposal began.

Having read your description of the work needed, I believe that I can provide the balance that you implicitly requested – namely, a balance between conveying the necessary content, but conveying it in an interesting manner. A service provider that can only do one without the other is as useful as a two-wheeled automobile – you’re not going to get anywhere.

My proposal continued by describing the types of content that I could provide before veering into…iguanas. (I’m going to need to find another example. The poor iguana is getting tired of being used over and over again.)

My iguana content started with a story about my former coworker who despises the cliché “best of breed.” She managed technical proposals, not entrants to the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

By Kjunstorm (Lori) – https://www.flickr.com/photos/kjunstorm/3346671755/, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6605832

This example served to explain why one of my 2021 goals was NOT to “eat my own dog food.” Continuing my story, I then reproduced some of the text that I’ve already reproduced in this post.

After some more of the same, I changed from a yuk-yuk tone to a more serious tone. Leaving out some of the “fun” text, this is what I said to my potential client.

So what have I done here?

I have satisfied the requirements in your description by using a conversational tone that employs storytelling.

I’ve provided you with links to my web and social media content, and given you an incentive to explore them….

I have ensured that you understand my distinction between “fun writing” and “fun writing with a purpose.” You still need to convey the content.

The examples that were provided, including the attachment, exhibit different facets of my writing style, and also exhibit the breadth of topics that I can address.

We’ll see if my conversational, iguana-infused tone will actually help me get business with this particular client, and if the client is prepared to address more serious topics, such as the overall goal of the content that the client wants me to create.

While it’s important to have fun, it’s important that the fun contributes to the overall goal. Remember when I told a group of people at work that I was going to “play” with something? Some of my coworkers understood that I wasn’t going to play for play’s sake. They understood that I was going to play and ensure that the item in question achieved the goals set by the corporation.

Have fun…with a purpose.

And remember that different clients have different needs and require different conversational tones. Perhaps I may have fun while RESEARCHING the benefits and risks of using temperature sensors as a COVID-19 response, but I may choose NOT to exhibit a “fun” tone while WRITING about these benefits and risks.

(Oh, and if the “funny and witty creative writer” potential client happens to read this particular post while reviewing my writing examples, I’ll give you a bonus iguana color: orange. Let’s talk about that…and other things.)

If your marketing channels lack content, your potential customers may not know that you exist

[Update, January 27, 2021: a July 2020 study from Demand Gen Report explains WHY up-to-date content is important. I addressed that study in this post.]

One of Bredemarket’s most popular services is the Short Writing Service. It can help small (or large) businesses solve the content problem.

You know what the content problem is. Your business has established one or more marketing channels: a website, blog, email list, Google My Business site, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Tumblr, Twitter…or many others.

But the marketing channels are useless IF THEY HAVE NO CONTENT.

Or old content.

Or poorly-written content.

Maybe the information on the marketing channel is six months old, or a year old, or nine years old. (Trust me, this happens.) Or maybe there’s content on one marketing channel, but it’s never cross-posted to the other marketing channels for your business.

What are the ramifications of this? If your channels lack content, your potential customers may forget about you. And that’s NOT good for business.

I’ll use myself as a BAD example. In addition to my business blogs at Bredemarket (https://bredemarket.com/blog/) and JEBredCal (https://jebredcal.wordpress.com/blog/), I maintain several personal blogs. One of those personal blogs is Empoprise-NTN (https://empoprise-ntn.blogspot.com/), and that blog is obviously the ugly stepchild of the bunch. Between 2016 and 2019 I authored exactly ZERO posts on that blog. So if someone is looking for authoritative commentary on NTN Buzztime games, they’re obviously NOT going to look to me.

The obvious solution to the content problem is to CREATE CONTENT. Some people have no problem creating content, but others may need some help. They may not have the time (https://bredemarket.com/2020/09/25/when-you-dont-have-the-time-to-craft-your-own-text/), or they may need some help in selecting the right words to say.

Bredemarket can help you solve the content problem, one post at a time. The Bredemarket 400 Short Writing Service (https://bredemarket.com/bredemarket-400-short-writing-service/) uses a collaborative process, in which you and Bredemarket agree on a topic, Bredemarket provides a draft of the text, and the text goes through two review cycles. At the end of the process, you have the text, you own the text (this is a “work for hire”), and you can post the text on your blog or Facebook or wherever you please. Your content problem is solved! And if the post includes a call for action, your potential customers can ACT, potentially providing you with new business.

Speaking of a call for action…

If you would like to talk to Bredemarket about ways to solve your business’ content problem, contact me!

Bredemarket 400 Short Writing Service

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