New year. New business and platform ideas. Here are some ideas I’ve got for 2018. One of my goals for 2018 is to help people design creative content so they can reach and serve more people. To do this, I plan to build my online platform to reach people I can serve, either through freelance work, consulting, books and courses.

The problem is, my current platform is a mess and needs some reorganization. I’ve got redundant categories and tags with only one associated post. Sometimes I look at my website and it reminds me of Star Wars where C-3PO is caught in a tangled mess of wires.

“Help! I think I’m melting! This is all your fault!” — C-3PO

How I plan to clean up this mess

Here’s how I plan to reorganize my taxonomies (i.e., my ways of classifying content), so it will help folks like you find the content you’re looking for.

I’ve been blogging off and on since 1996, but the topics of my posts have migrated from love poems to theological musings to web development to content strategy. It’s time to clean house.

What happened in 2017

The last two years have been rocky to say the least. I changed jobs, going from web development to designing for newsprint. I had started off energized at beginning of this year, ready to launch a new platform and my best year ever… but then I fizzled out in April. I lost momentum, eventually giving up and letting everything sit dormant.

However, the changes and setbacks in 2017 have helped me reevaluate my career and platform moving forward. While painful, I’ve learned to accept them as a blessing from my Heavenly Father (I could write more on this, but it would take another article or perhaps a book). Anyway, my shift has gone from writing about web design and development to focusing more on using creative tools for designing and creating content. Reading again “48 Days to the Work You Love” and taking Michael Hyatt’s Best Year Ever course has helped me along the way.

What I’m planning for next year

So here’s my plan for 2018. Hopefully what I share might spark some ideas to help you with your content strategy for next year.

Determine my intended content categories for next year

This year, I want to focus on three major categories:

  1. Content Creation: How to create and repurpose content using creative apps, mostly from Apple and Adobe.
  2. Content Management: How to manage and organize content, which will likely focus on WordPress, some Apple and Adobe apps, and perhaps some other third-party apps like Google Drive and Dropbox which I also use. 
  3. Productivity: How to make the content creation and management processes faster, cheaper and better. 

Review my current taxonomies

I use WordPress as my content management system, so the easiest way to review my current categories is to log into the WordPress admin dashboard and go to Posts > Categories.

Here’s what I’ve got so far (please don’t laugh):

  • Content Marketing
  • Graphic Design
  • Personal Development
    • Career
    • Physical Exercise
  • Productivity
  • Question and Answer
  • Updates
  • Web Design
    • Content Strategy
    • Web Development
  • WordPress

Even writing this list makes me cringe, but this is where I am for this year.

As for tags, I’ve got 122 of them, many which link to only one post. As I mentioned in an earlier article on taxonomies, having only one post for a tag is almost pointless as it doesn’t help my audience find more content.

Restructure existing taxonomies to match new taxonomies

So now that I know where I want to go and where I’m coming from, I can start mapping out how to restructure my existing categories and tags to fit my intended structure for 2018. Here’s a quick and simple table showing how I might map existing categories to new categories:

Old Category

New Category

Rationale/Notes

Content Marketing

Content Creation

Graphic Design

Content Creation

Since the graphic design tools are used for content creation, these articles likely fall here.

Personal Development

Productivity

Need to evaluate: Are these articles of a productivity or personal nature?

Note that I have a “Personal” category where I can stash articles that maybe don’t fit anywhere else. I may want to create hierarchical categories for each of the applications or software featured like this:

  • Apple
    • Pages
    • Keynote
    • Etc.
  • Adobe
    • Spark Post
    • Illustrator
    • Etc.
  • WordPress

As for techniques for creating or managing content, such as graphic design or motion graphics, I think using tags might be the best option.

Plan my topics for next year.

Since I plan to write a new article each week, I need 52 articles for next year. I can plan out creating content in a way where I cover all my content categories by creating a simple spreadsheet where I rotate through the categories. Here’s an example:

Month

Category

Theme

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

January

Creation

Adobe Spark

Adobe Spark Post

Adobe Spark Video

Adobe Spark Page

Setting up branding in Spark

February

Manage

WordPress

Managing categories

Managing tags

Managing media

Using Post Formats

March

Optimization

macOS and iOS

Finder tags

Smart folders

Using Files app

Preview and Markup

April

Creation

Apple Apps

Pages

Keynote

Numbers

iMovie

I spent less than two minutes creating that table, and I’d have it better filled if I gave it more time, but you hopefully get the point. I’ll try to address details of how to do this in another article.

Prepare content types ahead of time

Who said I need to only write articles? With today’s tools, it’s easy to create graphics, videos, audio, interactive presentations and more. Of course, each of these takes more time, but if I plan ahead, I can develop some systems to make production faster.

Just off the top of my head, here’s some possible content types:

Content Type

Tools

Hours to complete

Blog Article

Pages, WordPress

3

Static graphic

Adobe Spark Post

1

Infographic

Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop

2

Video presentation

Adobe Spark Video, Keynote

2

Live video

Facebook Live

1

Recorded video

iMovie, Clips app, Adobe Premiere

4

Podcast Audio

Garage Band

2

Presentation

Keynote

2

Like the table I created earlier, this just took a few minutes to compile, but it gives me an idea of how much time I need for each piece of content.

Recap

To recap, I plan to:

  • Determine my new content categories
  • Review my existing categories and tags
  • Restructure my categories and tags to match my new intentions
  • Plan my topics for the whole year
  • Prepare content types in advance

See you in 2018.

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