You cannot underestimate the value of good content. Yet, many business owners still struggle to plan, organize, and create content which will align with their businesses’ mission. If you’re interested in planning and organizing your content in a better, more efficient way, be on the lookout for the new book on this subject coming this February: The Content Planner by Angela Crocker. And today you have a chance to meet its author.
Tell us about yourself, Angela.
I’m a writer, instructor and information organizer. I’ve worked in a variety of marketing, communications, fundraising and leadership roles in for-profit and non-profit organizations. Since 2009, as a communications consultant, I’ve enjoyed working with a wide range of clients from arts organizations to bestselling authors. My current work is focused on business and technical writing, instructional design and teaching. A lot of that revolves around business communication and content planning.
My academic background includes an honours degree in communications and publishing as well as a liberal arts certificate both from Simon Fraser University. I am also alumna from Douglas College’s self-employment business program. Lifelong learning is important to me. I think it’s essential to continually update and enhance our knowledge. I’m currently on campus at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) finishing my associate certificate in technical writing.
On a personal note, I’m married with one child who fills my world with wonder. In my spare time, I enjoy vintage toys, doodling with fine art supplies, and collecting Star Wars novels. I also enjoy aquafit, beaches and binge-watch historical dramas like Downton Abbey.
Tell us more about your book, The Content Planner. Why did you write it?
The Content Planner is for anyone who publishes online. I want to help established business owners and new entrepreneurs to raise their profiles and share their work with a wider audience. Those working alone, as part of small team or within the communications department of a larger organization will all be able to make the most of limited content marketing time with The Content Planner. I want to help readers get their ideas online efficiently and effectively.
Online publishing can take many forms. This book works well for those writing for a website or blog. It’s also helpful to those in charge of an email newsletter, producing a podcast or creating a video series. The goal is to help readers gather their ideas and make a plan to publish that content regularly and with purpose.
What else have you written?
The Content Planner is my third book. I am also the author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Creating a Social Network. Together with Kim Plumley and Peggy Richardson, I am co-author of The B4 Plan: The Plan You Make Before You Start, an audiobook about business plans.
What was it like to write The Content Planner?
I love writing. When I’m in writing mode it consumes me fully and nothing can distract me, much to my son’s frustration! I work in layers starting with big ideas on notecards that evolve into the table of contents and ultimately the full book.
I illustrate some points in The Content Planner with examples from a blog I write called Toy Rhapsody. This fun project is all about vintage toys, especially the toys I played with as a child in the 1970s and 1980s. More than once, I got swept in my love of Fisher Price playsets and original space LEGO. I laughed every time I realized I’d been swept away from the work at hand.
Finishing The Content Planner was a personal and professional challenge. About a month before my manuscript was due, my grandmother had a bad fall. As her primary caregiver, organizing her health care and companionship was my responsibility. Sadly, she passed away due to complications. In grief, I struggled to write anything at all some days and it was a hard-going to finish the book.
What three books would you recommend as must-reads?
I am definitely a reader. Growing up, I was often the kid under the blankets with a flashlight!
I think of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice as a comfort book, familiar and reassuring. I collect different editions of this classic. And, lately, I’ve been enjoying all the new books imagining other parts of the story. Most recently, I read Longbourn by Jo Baker which retells Pride and Prejudice from the perspective of the Bennet’s household staff.
Other favourite books that come to mind cross all sorts of genres – Nick Bantock’s The Pharos Gate, poet Brian Wood’s Winter Walk, Helene Hanff’s 84 Charing Cross Road and Rob Cottingham’s Noise to Signal cartoon collection. In huge contrast to this, I have been collecting (and reading!) Star Wars novels since 1991.
Do you feel you have another book in you?
Yes, most definitely. I’ve been exploring ideas around digital decluttering. I think of a digital cleanse as tossing out all the digital things you don’t want or need anymore. Then it’s essential to organize the data you keep so you can find it when needed. Successful digital decluttering let’s you use technology to serve your own needs and happiness.
Although a departure from my usual writing, I’m also thinking about a book on activities to do with people afflicted with dementia. From casual observation, I surmise that many people are afraid to visit. Perhaps, I can write a guidebook to make visits less intimidating and more enjoyable.