01 March 2024

Written by Oyelola
How to plan a year’s worth of content in 2 hours

Content planning taking up too much of your time? Here are a few simple steps to help you create your content plan in two hours.

The start of a new year is a good time to get your goals and priorities in order. Creating a plan sets you up to achieve those goals over the coming year.
That also includes planning your organisation’s content.

Feeling overwhelmed trying to plan content so far in advance? We get it. Though coming up with 12 months’ worth of content may seem like a lot of work, it saves you time and effort down the road. No more last-minute scrambling for post ideas!

Let’s help you also save time now. Follow our simple step-by-step process to help you plan content for the year in under two hours. Yep, that’s right – two hours.


How will a content plan make my life easier?

Developing a content plan helps bridge the gap between your marketing objectives and success. It’s a practical way to get your content consistently in front of your audience to generate high-quality leads, raise brand awareness, increase website traffic, boost brand engagement and more.

And planning in advance comes with several benefits that’ll help make your working life easier:

  • Strategic alignment – keeps your content aligned with core business and marketing goals and strategies.
  • Brand consistency – more consistent messaging, tone and content to build trust with your audience.
  • Reduces risks – lessens the risk of duplicate content or gaps that could happen when creating unplanned content.
  • Transparency – no surprises as everyone in the organisation, from leadership to interns, is on the same page.
  • Increases impact – a well thought out plan tied back to goals sets up your content to hit defined key performance indicators (KPIs).

Though content planning can take time (especially if creator’s block strikes), the upfront investment pays dividends your future self will thank you for. Here are five steps to help make the process more efficient for you and your team.


Step 1: Define your content pillars (in 15 minutes)

Great content starts with solid strategy.

So, before you start planning your content, pull out your content strategy (if you haven’t got one, we can help with that). This typically includes your mission, values, goals and audience personas. If it doesn’t already include content pillars, this is the time to define them.

Set a timer for 15 minutes to identify your key content pillars. These are the core themes that form the foundation of your content, reflect what your organisation wants to be known for and align with your audience’s interests. For example, at Writers, we have three content pillars, each tied to a specific marketing goal: connection, impact and future-focused.

If your team is full of ideas, it’s easy to get carried away with the number of pillars. Try to keep to no more than five pillars. In our experience, the sweet spot is three.


Step 2: Brainstorm broad buckets of content (in 30 minutes)

Now it’s time to get brainstorming. Before you do, reset your timer for 30 minutes.

Brainstorm themes based on your defined content pillars. Make sure you keep these themes consistent with what you do as a business. For instance, if you sell computer tech, you probably wouldn’t have ‘reducing carbon footprint’ as one of your broad content themes.

Let’s go back to Writers for a practical example. Within each pillar we shared earlier, we’ve identified themes to focus on, including:

  • Connection – telling your brand story, writing with empathy and why tone matters
  • Impact – our work with clients, the impact of words and tips, tools and frameworks
  • Future-focused – equipping teams with the right skills, knowledge and tools, future-proofing your strategy and industry technology and news.


Step 3: Ideate specific topics (in 45 minutes)

Your next step is a true exercise in creativity for your team. We’ll start by resetting your timer for 45 minutes.

You’ve got your content themes, it’s now time to get specific with topic ideas based on those themes. At Writers, we like to use a design sprint method called the Crazy Eight technique to generate ideas as a team. Here’s how it works:

  1. Each person has a piece of A4 paper and folds it three times to make a grid of eight rectangles.
  2. You then have eight minutes to write down eight ideas as they pop into your head. That’s one minute per idea. Don’t be fussy, just write it down.
  3. After eight minutes, all pens are down and it’s time to share all your ideas – good or bad.

Try this with your team and you might be pleasantly surprised with the ideas you come up with. Depending on how much content you need, you could do 2-3 rounds of Crazy Eight to build a bank of ideas. Then, take a poll of the ideas to make the final cut and choose from content formats such as blogs, emails, case studies, social posts and videos. You could even share a single topic in multiple formats – repurposing content is your friend!


Step 4: Get it in the calendar (in 15 minutes)

Your organisation’s goals aren’t the only thing your content plan should support. Align your content with your organisation’s calendar and rhythms to keep it relevant for your audience and encourage engagement.

Now, you know the drill – reset your timer for 15 minutes.

Bring out your organisation’s calendar, including events, seasonal launches and campaigns. Plot out your content across the 12 months to stay consistent with what’s happening in your organisation and with clients or customers.

This could even prompt some additional content ideas. Make sure you include any recurring content like newsletters and product updates.


Step 5: Mind the gaps (in 15 minutes)

When you skip the content planning process and leave gaps, it leads to inconsistency and affects your brand image. If your audience is used to seeing regular content but you suddenly go quiet, or there’s no regular rhythm, it could make them nervous and reduce trust.

You can avoid this by addressing the gaps upfront.

Let’s set your timer for one last time, for 15 minutes.

Go through your calendar as a team and look for any holes. Is there a week or month you’ve missed? Are you too heavy on social posts with not enough longer form blog posts to engage? If you identify any gaps, come up with additional topic ideas to close them. You can revive some of the ideas that didn’t make the cut in step three. Even add the rest to a content idea swipe file to draw on in the future and save time.


There you have it – five simple steps to plan a year’s worth of content in under two hours. When you break it down, it’s easier than you think. Remember, your content plan isn’t static. Revisit, update or adjust it as needed during the year as your organisation’s circumstances change or strategy evolves.

Need support to guide you through the content planning process (and keep your team on track)? We’re here to help. Contact us today!


Contact us

Unit 2543-53 Bridge Road
Stanmore, NSW 2048

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