According to HubSpot’s 2015 Blogging Frequency Benchmark report, companies that published 16 or more blog posts per month generated approximately 3.5 times more organic traffic than those who published just 0 - 4 monthly posts. In order to churn out more than 15 blog posts a month, your business needs a system for managing content. A blogging calendar, or editorial calendar, can help keep you and your team on schedule, so you can continue publishing a high volume of great content on a regular basis.
The Benefits of Using a Blog Content Calendar
As a busy professional, there’s likely limited time in your day to dedicate to inbound marketing efforts, and your team probably faces the same challenge. Between having little time for topic generation, an unorganized editorial process and zero posting consistency, you may find yourself overwhelmed at the very thought of writing a blog post. But have no fear, a well-thought-out blog schedule can quell your worries and help you stay on track.
A content calendar is an essential component to any well-oiled blog strategy. Not only does it help you organize blog topics in one central location, but it also lets you sort out a month’s worth of content for your blog, so you know exactly what you need to write about and when you need to write it by. By planning topics and assigning dates for writing, editing and proofreading, you take the guesswork out of generating blog posts. Plus, an efficient blog schedule goes hand-in-hand with your marketing calendar, making it easy to line up important events, sales and other occurrences.
Have we convinced you yet? Keep reading for four tips on creating an organized content calendar.
1. Find a Template That Works for You
While you may prefer calendars created in Microsoft Excel, your team may favor an online service, like Google Sheets, Google Calendar or Trello, that can be accessed at work, at home or on the go. No matter which calendar you use, you’ll need a template that suits your business. There are many templates available free of charge on the Internet that you can download and use for your own blogging calendar. Sections that may be important to your business include, but are not limited to:
- Blog topics and categories
- Suggested titles and subheadings
- Calls-to-action (CTAs)
- Assigned editor
- Assigned proofreader
- Published date
2. Generate Ideas for Blog Topics
Before you decide on a blog schedule or fill out your content calendar, you should first perform research and come up with blogging ideas. When drawing up a list of potential topics, you want to make sure that the subjects you choose are relevant to your business. Ask yourself:
- What does my audience need to know about my industry?
- What products or services do I provide, and how can I make readers aware of these offerings?
- Is there any relevant research or news worth sharing?
- How can I promote my brand?
- Are there any common questions I can answer with a blog post?
- Does my company have any upcoming events?
These are just a few examples to get you started, but there’s a wealth of ideas floating around on the World Wide Web just waiting to be discovered. Once you’ve come up with one or two month’s worth of blog post topics, you’ll be able to begin filling in your blogging calendar.
3. Map Out Your Publishing Schedule
Although creating over 15 blog posts a month may be your end goal, you should never pursue lofty objectives that result in subpar content or that you won’t be able to accomplish on time. It’s okay to start with one quality blog post a week and then slowly work your way up as you and your team feel more confident. As long as you have a set plan and adhere to it strictly, you’ll be putting out a steady stream of rich, engaging content that’ll help drive organic traffic to your site.
4. Fill in Your Calendar
Who’s writing the blog post, and who’s in charge of editing it? What kind of proofreading procedures and checklists must be completed before publishing the post? These are all questions that can be answered by filling in your blog content calendar. First, add the blog post topic and write down the author’s, editor’s and proofreader’s names. If you’ve done your research, you’ll also be able to add in a quick description, targeted keywords, buyer personas and even the CTA you want incorporated. And don’t forget to schedule a due date for the draft to make sure the blog post is completed on time.
If you’ve tried to implement a blogging calendar, but just can’t seem to find the time to create a well-rounded content strategy, you may be considering the option to outsource content creation to a copywriting agency who knows the ins and outs of blogging and can help keep your blog schedule on track. Download our free ebook, Outsourcing Content Creation: 6 Essential Questions for Choosing the Right Partner, to see if hiring a blog content provider is right for your company.
About Virtucom Group
Consistent business blogging yields results – more clicks, more subscribers and – ultimately – more conversions. Whether you’re writing an automotive blog, an accounting blog, a healthcare blog or a home renovation blog, blogging for business and content development are useful for any industry. Follow the content writers at the Virtucom Group blog as they share digital marketing tips and discuss website content writing services that can optimize your business blog.