Writing new blog content for your website is an important job, but it can also be time consuming. It isn’t just writing the content takes time, but uploading it, promoting it, and even trying to decide what to write about, all take up valuable minutes. And with so much work to be done with your website, your marketing, and running your business, every one of those minutes counts.
Creating A Content Calendar
A content calendar is a great tool to help you organise your blog writing. Not only will it keep you writing regularly, but it will also help you to plan topics in advance so that you’re not scratching around for an idea every time you sit down to write. Your content calendar might be a spreadsheet containing columns for:
- the date you will upload the post
- blog post title
- date you will share it on your social media channels (one column for each channel) or email it out (depending on your content marketing strategy)
- any other relevant information that will help you when it comes to writing the post, such as external links.
Ideally, your content calendar will help you to answer the following questions:
- When Should I Blog?
The first question you’ll probably be asking is “how often should I be blogging?” There is no simple answer to this, but the general rule is that you should be doing it regularly, on a schedule you can keep up with. For example, you don’t want to be uploading one blog post per day for a week and then do nothing for three months. Whether you write every other day, once a week, or only once a month, you need to be realistic about what you have time for and when. Consistency is the key, and the best way to be consistent is to make a plan that you’ll be able to stick to.
An advantage of posting regularly is that people who visit your website will come to expect a blog post from you every Friday (for example), and eventually some of these people will come to your website just to see what new content you have uploaded. Don’t let them down!
- What Should I Blog About?
Having a content calendar gives you the opportunity to plan your content well in advance. You could sit down for a brainstorming session and spend an hour or two researching new blog post ideas and scheduling them in your content calendar. The more detail you go into about your ideas at this stage, the easier it will be to write your blog posts when the time comes. If you don’t put enough information in your calendar, you might have completely forgotten what you meant by the time you write the post!
However, you might want to leave some room for flexibility, too. For example, something happening in the news next month might be important to your field, and you might need to write about this first and reshuffle your posts a little in order to accommodate this time-sensitive content.
- When Should I Write, Upload, and Promote Posts?
Your content calendar will enable you to schedule when you are going to write the post, when you’re going to publish it, and when you’re going to share it on social media, email it, or otherwise promote it. This might not happen all on the same day – you may find that it helps to spread out your scheduling, for example by posting on Facebook on the day your blog post is published, tweeting it out the day after, and then sending a weekly or monthly roundup email of all your blog posts. This is just an example, but as you continue to write and post you’ll hopefully see some patterns in terms of interaction, and you’ll be able to identify the best days and times for carrying out each activity.
The beauty of having all of your blog posts planned out means that you don’t have to wait until the day you want to upload them before you get writing. If you find yourself with a little extra time or feeling more inspired than usual, you could write two or more blog posts in one go and schedule them to be posted in advance. You could also use a scheduling tool such as Hootsuite to schedule your social media posts in advance, so that you can write, upload and share a blog post all in one go and know that post is taken care of. This saves you time in the future, and means you’ll be able to get even further ahead with your planning, writing and scheduling.
Of course, a content calendar is a great way to get organised, but your job isn’t necessarily over once you’ve scheduled everything. Don’t forget about moderating and responding to any comments on your blog, and any replies you get on social media. Even if you’ve already got all your ducks in a row, it’s worth checking on them to make sure none of them have swam away.
If you’d like some help with blogging or creating any other website content, get in touch with SilverDisc.