Blogging can be one of the most spectacular things you can do to amp up your marketing game, especially if you want to increase your branding presence to your audiences, or even improve your overall SEO. When done right, your blog can be one of the best assets your brand can have to attract both new and recurring audiences to your company. And if you’re already in the beginning stages of your blog, starting off with the right direction can definitely help your blog become a powerhouse in the industry. How do you do this, though? A good way to start would probably be to organize a content calendar.
Content calendars definitely help ensure your content stays up-to-date and properly organized. This is basically the way you want to arrange your blog posts, articles, and even other kinds of content you plan on releasing on your blog. This might sound confusing at first glance, but it’s not as chaotic as things might seem. Here’s how you can create a content calendar:
Sort out your objectives for your blog posts first.
When you create a content calendar, you need to choose a duration for that particular campaign and objectives you want to follow through on. These are essential elements you need to determine first, as these more or less dictate your approach for your actual blogs. Remember to define actual objectives and metrics if that’s at all possible, so you know exactly what you’re expecting to accomplish and how you want to achieve them. When you have these elements sorted out, figuring out your next steps would be easier.
You can start by auditing your current blog first. This means taking a log of all posts and articles you’ve done, alongside other “promotional” elements involved with these posts, such as sharing in social media and other forms of advertisement. Doing this audit allows you to assess your current blogging efforts, and can help you take note and remove any redundancies, bad practices, and other changes you need to do to improve your blog’s performance in the long run. This also helps you have a clearer KPI and ROI expectations.
You can then proceed to identify what you want your blog to “accomplish” in the first place. Do you want more people to buy from your eCommerce store? Do you want more people to like your social media pages? Are you looking for more sponsors for your blog? Blogs exist for a multitude of reasons, and identify specifically the kind of “outcome” you want to happen can greatly help to make your content calendar much easier.
You need to identify what kind of data you want your calendar to track in the first place. A lot of apps and services let you track a ton of data across companies, and this is much more so evident in blogs. However, not all data offered by these services can actually help you determine the changes you need to do in your blog. Before you proceed with making a content calendar and going full-force on your blog, you need to identify the metrics you want to track first. You might want to start with the basic details, such as:
Genre or topic
Links to relevant social media content.
You can proceed to track more specific data or metrics in your blog, such as:
Value of the post
Organic or paid posts
Identify components and elements you want your articles and posts to have.
Just because you’re managing a blog doesn’t necessarily mean you only have to stick to what’s written in your blog. If you want your blog to shine to your audiences, you need to have a plan as to how you want to present your content to your audiences – from the moment they click, up to the very end of the piece, and even to the point where they’ll be encouraged to share your content. All these elements have to be included in your content calendar, so you don’t miss out on anything you need to include in pieces whenever you publish them.
You need to make a content library for all the pictures, assets, and other elements you’re going to use for your blog posts. If you frequently have graphics or artistic elements you’re using, you need to have a handy means of accessing them so you don’t waste time finding the right graphic or element for a particular infographic for your blog, or for other uses. You can link relevant folders and storage access to your content calendar, so you have an easy reference for graphics you need to get.
Likewise, you also need to find a means to acquire, store and use images in your blog posts. You can rely on stock image services and pay them for using photographs from their site. You may also hire a photographer to take photographs of relevant elements in your blog. You can also do this yourself. Knowing this early on will make sure you won’t have to do any last-minute work whenever you have to accomplish something in your content calendar.
Aside from these, assess the kind of social media platforms and other promotional methods you want to use to spread the word about your articles. Knowing these and the forms of content you’ll release to promote your blog can greatly make it much easier for you to follow-through on completing your posts. For instance, which articles need to be promoted on Facebook, or which ones need a Tweet?
Do your keyword and topic research for consistency in your posts.
A content calendar isn’t just there to make sure you get to post blogs on a regular basis. Rather, it’s there to make sure you’re posting content relevant to your audiences. A huge part of this is determining the right topics to write about, and the right keywords to focus on so you know your content is always spot on when it comes to the latest trends and the hottest topics in your industry. Being able to identify these topics and keywords allows you to be ahead of the competition, and this ensures your blog posts remain timely and relevant in your field.
Take the time to look for and research relevant keywords and phrases in your field. This might seem overwhelming at first, but it can actually be very easy. A lot of keyword search apps exist for you to quickly find the most trending keywords in your particular industry. List topics and keywords you think are the most important or trendy in your field and look for them online or over these keyword analytics apps. Afterward, you can then look for related keywords and topics, and search for those. When you compile your list of keywords and topics, you can at least have a reference for your topics for a couple of weeks. Make sure you update this list regularly!
We want to make sure we’re writing pieces the right way for SEO and to attract our audiences. While we can have a more in-depth piece tackling the right way to “insert” relevant keywords and phrases into pieces, it’s important to at least be aware that we should always include the most important keywords and phrases we want Google and other search engines to detect in our pieces. This means knowing exactly the kind of words you want to put in your articles. For instance, if you want to write about Android devices, you need to tackle topics important for Android users – such as finding the best mirror cast apps, or even the best games.
You might think that creating a content calendar for blog posts that are weeks or even months ahead can be “crazy,” but possessing a long-term content plan can really help you fine-tune your expectations and your plans to reach your blogging goals. This also ensures your blog stays active, especially when you experience writer’s block or if there are any difficulties when it comes to writing your work. If you can’t think of topics immediately, you can use the keywords you’ve chosen in order to look for similar works and pieces other blogs have made.
When you do this, take note of topics that need expansion. This can easily make your piece a reference for other blogs in the future, as you’ll be improving on existing work.
Likewise, look for topics that haven’t been explored in your field but may be useful to your audiences. This can be the more difficult topic to find, as you’ll have to spend time assessing existing pieces in your chosen keywords. However, if you find the right topic, you may just have an explosion of views to your blog.
Create a timeline that works for you and your audience.
When you have the above elements taken into consideration, you can now make a timeline for executing your blogging plans within the content calendar. Yeah, that’s why it’s called a “content calendar.” Aside from organizing what your blogs should contain and what you should target, your calendar should also include schedules for every post – with the time taken into consideration for your research time, writing period, editing duration, and even actually finding the right “timing” for posting or publishing your post. This is where the “bulk” of the work happens for content calendars, and the success of this stage really depends on how you tackled the above points.
You have to establish a workflow for your content releases, which is exactly what the content calendar will be helping you to do. A huge part of this process has to do with “translating” your objectives, your elements, and your keywords (as listed above) into a workable to-do list. When you make a schedule for your blog releases, you need to think about a few things:
How often do you want to release blogs on your website?
What’s the best time to post and publish on your website?
What sort of things do you want to write about at a particular time?
Who else is involved in making blogs, and what role do they have?
When you make a timeline, make it reasonable and flexible enough for everyone involved in the content creation process. Try to make sure your actual calendar is also placed in a spreadsheet or even an application that’s easy to understand and navigate. This is mostly a subjective matter, as your team will likely determine the most useful app or service to use for your calendar. However, it’s important to find a reliable medium for your calendar, as you’ll be using this for the duration of your campaign.
Content Calendars: Get Your Blog All Sorted Out
That doesn’t sound so hard, right? That’s because creating content calendars isn’t really that difficult provided you have a plan of action to follow. It’s important for you to base your content calendar on your brand’s overall objectives in order to more accurately pinpoint what you want your blogs to tackle and cover, as well as to accurately determine whether you’re actually meeting your goals.
This doesn’t mean you should slack off with your calendars, though! Just because you have a calendar with a list of articles doesn’t make this a content calendar. With the above tips, you can finally create a more accurate and more efficient content calendar that meets exactly your needs. And if you have some more tips in mind, don’t forget to share them with our readers below!
John Wyatt considers himself a very tech-savvy but also very traditional person. He enjoys typing on his laptop just as much as he writes with a pen, and this is reflected in his creative works – be it articles, blogs, or even simple posts. He loves writing about science and technology, psychology, health and wellness, and other topics