You look back.  You look back to the start of the year when plans were being drawn up. Back when it all seemed so simple.

It is simple. Well no perhaps that’s a tad simplistic, if ‘it’ is life. I’m not a lifestyle guru. There are many other blogs which will promise that life should be simple. I’m just offering you hope, to shape your content in the New Year.

Content is simple. Stop over analyzing.

Or rather make sure you analyse the right things. Study past projects – look at the metrics (the facts), talk to the people involved, and respect the history. In the excitement of a new project it’s easy to rush ahead making plans for what ‘could be’. If there wasn’t an up-to-date distribution list in 2012 there won’t be one in 2013, and enthusiasm for producing the next issue of the newsletter will come to nothing.

The past provides a rich seam of content. Consider mining it to produce case studies or tell a story. Use your understanding of the past to show your experience. Has this happened before? What did we do? What was our approach? What did we learn?

I write content for the financial services sector, and ‘past performance is no indicator of future success’, is the oft-repeated phrase. I also work on public health campaigns, and human behaviour doesn’t change that much either – or we would have stopped smoking, drinking and eating to excess. So, if you haven’t produced, placed or curated content as frequently as you intended, don’t expect to become a content mill in 2013. The blog wasn’t updated as often as you wished, the newsletter was more quarterly than monthly and the annual report never got published, so what (OK the annual report may be a procrastination too far). Look at what you achieved and make a more realistic schedule for 2013.

When the present is uncertain and the future unknown, it’s worth taking a look at the past. Words are like people, it helps to understand how they came to be where they are (in print or online), where they came from and what has happened to them.

2012 was the year of ebooks, a booming self-publishing market (hello EL James and Fifty Shades of Grey, voted the most popular book) and more people accessing the internet via handheld devices (smartphones and the tablet computer being on this year’s Christmas wish list).

There are now more places for content than ever. You can’t control how people access your content, or what they do with it. But you can grab their attention and make an impact with the right content.

Make 2013 a good year for content. Unless you want 2013 to be the year you drop a dress size or get control of your finances, in which case thanks for reading this far, and good luck.

But what do you think?