Over the last year, I’ve shared hundreds of posts containing interesting and credible information surrounding wildlife and the environment. But what goes into creating these posts?
My journey in content creation began in 2012, when I joined the team at National Geographic Kids magazine (initially) as their Editorial Intern. Over the last decade or so, I have worked my way up the ranks at various publications and, in 2019, I decided to branch out and launch my own freelance writing, editing, and proofreading business under the name Chloe May Writes – and, quite frankly, I couldn’t be happier!
But, before we get into how I create my content, here’s a little insight into how my days usually look…
Even though no two days are the same in the world of freelancing, they always begin the same. My day begins at 5:30am – not because I want it to or I’m naturally awake at that time but because my wife and I like to take our dog out for a walk before the working day begins. Venturing out for this 45 minute walk, when the rest of the world still seems to be sleeping, gives us both the opportunity to fully wake up as well as get our steps in, so that we’re left feeling refreshed and ready for the day ahead. Once home, I prepare my breakfast and get myself in the right frame of mind to write, edit, and proofread to the best of my abilities.
Check the diary
The first thing I do when I sit at my desk is check the schedule I’ve created in my diary to ensure that I know exactly what needs to be completed by the end of the day. This could include pitching ideas to a client for an upcoming news piece, which will need to be timely and relevant to the current trends, or it could perhaps involve the allocation of time to a particular long-term project.
The fun begins
Once I’ve reminded myself of the day’s plan, it’s straight to work – the best bit! Much of my time is actually spent researching as opposed to writing, which may come as a surprise. That’s because I strive to ensure that everything I do – from the content I create for Chloe May Writes to the work I produce for my clients – is factually accurate and the information that I share stems from credible sources. It’s the way I was taught back in University and is something that was strongly encouraged during my time at National Geographic Kids magazine and The Week Junior.
2022 content planning
It may be obvious what with me being a writer, but something that I absolutely love doing is creating content for my social media pages. However, trying to come up with something new everyday can be quite the challenge! That’s why I have not one, not two, but THREE diaries and planners to help keep everything on track. Next year, I’ll have my reliable BBC Wildlife calendar, which served me really well this year when it came to planning out all my various themes and content types, my Wildlife Photographer of the Year diary to ensure I stay on top of my commissions and task management, and my Wrendale wall calendar, which allows me to view my colour co-ordinated month at a glance.
To help prepare you for the year ahead, here are some of my top tips when it comes to planning content:
RESEARCH – not only does this apply to the content you are sharing but also the audience you are sharing it to. Always have you audience, or ideal customer, in mind when creating your posts. What will they find entertaining? Will this content be informative and educational? Does this post provide value to your audience or customer?
STATS – it’s so easy to get wrapped up in making sure that what you are sharing looks and sounds the best it can be. However, it’s crucial that you check your insights and audience engagement regularly so that you can continue to share posts that your audience responds to and enjoys the most.
CONSISTENCY – showing up consistently can be tough if you don’t have a plan in place (after all, no-one wants to be panic creating the night before you want to share content!). Regularly schedule in some time – whether that’s at the beginning of every week, month, or quarter – to plan out both when and what you will be posting. It will make your life so much easier and will reduce any stress or overwhelm you may be feeling without a content plan.
ENGAGE – you can share top quality content all day every day but if it’s not getting seen, what can you do? It’s simple – engage with your audience and others who are interested in the same things as you. People want to feel seen and heard, so make sure you set aside some time to regularly engage with your followers as well as those you follow. This can help lead to interesting conversations, new connections, and potentially exciting opportunities!
BELIEVE – one of the most important parts of content creation, and business in general, is to believe in yourself and what you do. Let your passion and enthusiasm shine through with every post you share. You got this!
All images (except diaries on a desk, which is my own) provided by Pexels Free Photos via WordPress.