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To Be Successful on Substack You Need to Have a Content Plan For 2024

  • 4 min read

SERIES: HOW TO START WRITING ON SUBSTACK

Often we get lost in the what, how, where, and when. You need a strategy for 2024.

Substack with its recommendation engine is in everybody’s mouth.

But what’s the buzz all about?

In my Substack series, I’m answering questions I received from the Medium community about starting a newsletter on Substack.

Today we want to discuss the importance of a content plan to reach your goals in 2024.

Here’s the harsh truth:

Oftentimes people just start writing on Substack.

They are randomly writing about everything that comes to their mind.

They are super excited to jump into the what, how, where, and when.

Publish a newsletter issue. Start a Substack Chat. Share the posts in Notes.

But these are all tactics and often we get lost in them.

Although I’m a marketing manager I recently also found myself in this vicious circle and when I laid my head on my pillow at night and my to-dos were still whirling through my head I knew a key element of my part-time newsletter business was missing.

A clear sense of who I’m serving and why.

From my over 15 years as a journalist, marketing consultant, and brand manager I know, at some point, you definitely need a clear content strategy and a plan.

A content plan is a way to document the content marketing you want to create.

This helps you to set yourself up for success in 2024.

The benefit of a content strategy and plan is that you become strategic and intentional about the growth of your Substack and can set expectations.

You want your subscribers and readers to know what your newsletter is all about.

Tell them:

“This is what I’m going to be doing here. This what you can expect”

“Stick to that schedule and be consistent”, shared Christina Loff who is working together with some of Substack’s top writers.

How to create a content plan?

1 — Ask yourself:

What are my goals for 2024?

Who is the audience I want to serve?

How will my content support my goals?

How will I measure success?

2 — Build a content pipeline

Write down any significant events or dates that you want to create content for in 2024.

Here’s a template I use to break content plans down by quarter based on my goals:

Grab my Goal Setting Planner here.

Ask yourself:

Are there any awareness days I want to use?

Are there product launches I want to feature?

It’s important to have them in the pipeline so you can brainstorm and prepare far ahead of time.

3 — Choose a reasonable cadence

Ask yourself which cadence you can realistically maintain.

I attended multiple masterclasses by Substack and I always hear once per week is a good cadence.

4 — Brainstorm 1–3 months of content at a time

Sit down and make a post-it notes party by setting the timer (10 mins) and write every idea you have for a specific month.

Once you have your list of ideas, think about what order you will want to publish them in.

Get my 1-month content calendar by clicking here.

About Substack there aren’t many guides out there so I hope this mini tutorial will help you become clear about your goals for 2024 and your content plan. Any questions?

What’s your strategy for 2024? Do you have a (content) plan?

For more about Substack, check out my Substack series:

I also started my “Substack for Beginners series” on YouTube with tutorials:

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