Content is the foundation on which successful blogging rests. The more great content you publish on your blog, the faster you’ll generate more traffic and conversions.
However, to do that, you need to keep publishing content on a regular basis. This is easier said than done because it takes planning and strategizing to craft blog posts that will impact your bottom line.
You can't just write posts that you feel like writing about and expect visitors to flock to them!
This is where a blog content calendar comes in handy. It eliminates many issues that bloggers have regarding content creation and allows them to publish high-quality content regularly.
In this post, we will look at why every blogger at every level needs a content calendar and how they can develop one based on their needs.
A blog content calendar is a way to plan out all of your blog posts for the month. It lets you know when you'll publish each post, which means it's easier to make sure that you're creating a regular schedule.
An effective blog calendar is about delegating tasks to the right people and ensuring that posts are being published on your blog like clockwork.
Let's say you want to publish a post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (or even more frequently, like the Ranktracker SEO blog). Before the start of the week, plot out the three posts you will publish on those three days.
Each content brief in the calendar must contain information on what your content writing team should write in the post. Once the content is written, it must pass through the editor first for possible revisions to be revised by the writers. Once all the revisions are approved, the post is scheduled for publishing on said day.
Think of content calendars akin to a project lifecycle. You initiate blogging goals, plan for posts to write and publish, monitor the results, and plan for another campaign based on the results.
A blog editorial calendar is advantageous to bloggers on all levels, whether you're a one-person team, a business blog, or an agency working for different clients. Below are the best reasons in case you don't have a calendar yet.
It’s essential to keep your brand in front of your audience, and one of the most important content marketing tips you’ll receive is this: consistent publication of useful or appealing content is an integral part of getting attention for your brand.
Also, people enjoy blogs that have something new for them on a given day. Once they are conditioned to expect new posts on that day every week, the blog builds a readership that counts as traffic.
But if you promise to publish on those days only not to deliver regularly, readers might get turned off by your inconsistency and abandon your blog altogether.
With a blogging calendar, you can plan the article you will write in advance, thus avoiding not publishing on your scheduled dates. It also helps break writer's block because all information about the post is presented to you. All you need to do now is write!
To reach success with your blog, you must set goals. And a blog content calendar helps bloggers achieve it brick by brick.
A blog content calendar works as a content marketing plan. It's not just a reminder of when you should write and publish a post whether on your blog or a guest post for another site. Aside from the content brief, it could also include which keywords the post is targeting, which pages it should link to on your blog, where the post will be promoted, and more.
An integral part of your content strategy is to develop an SEO strategy to help rank your pages on Google and generate organic traffic. It starts by searching for keywords and coming up with blog post ideas with the goal of optimizing for each. Then when the writing is done and the post is published, it’s time for content promotion to get more readers.
With an editorial calendar, every blog post you create serves a purpose in your overall content strategy. It's not just a single piece but as part of a whole, which is your blog. And all those posts aim to help your blog reach its goals and objectives.
As mentioned, a content calendar enables you to see deadlines for topics and graphs, and links all in one place. It helps pull back and see the bigger picture of what lies ahead for your blog.
As a result, a blog content calendar helps you become more deliberate in your blogging. It lowers the tendency to make random selections about your blog topic and helps you create more authoritative content for your audience. And it prevents you from getting distracted by the shiny object syndrome that takes your attention away from your objectives.
By keeping your blogging efforts organized with a content calendar, you create a structure to focus on the blogging goals and shut down the noise of trending fads and content marketing myths.
A content calendar is like a map, giving you an overview of the entire project and making it seem less overwhelming. It gives you concrete visualizations to work with so that when deadlines get closer, things feel more manageable.
Even a simple calendar is more than helpful to reduce the time it takes for people to understand complex concepts.
If you or your team manage multiple social media accounts, you need to feed them with content published on your blog. And, among the social media post ideas they can develop, the latest published posts are arguably the best for your business.
With the help of the content calendar, your team can inform your social media people to prepare to promote the latest post on all channels on their social media calendar. They can even create multiple posts promoting the content on other days to help increase visibility and traffic.
Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, YouTube, and all the rest are visual platforms, so to promote your posts and your brand, creating good social media photos can help carry the message. There is plenty of research showing that social media posts with accompanying images performs much better than posts without.
When you're a big brand, it's hard to plan for everything. You have tons of events and dates that pop up every year: Valentine’s Day, Presidents' Day weekend in February - the list goes on.
The best way to be prepared is by pre-planning (or even better yet, preparing content well before publication) with a blog content calendar.
For instance, you can block off dates when key events and holidays will take place. From here, you can create theme-based content on those days in celebration of the upcoming events. Doing so allows you to piggyback on these events and generate more interest in your brand through your blog.
Events can also be your inroad to guest posts, where you create a post for another organization that demonstrates your expertise, attracts new people to your brand, and helps with building links to your site. It goes without saying that this tactic works only with quality guest posts.
It's one thing to check Google Analytics and monitor the performance of your blog posts. It's another to use analytics tools in conjunction with your content calendar.
Since a blogging calendar allows you to strategize for your content development plan, you can analyze your blog's performance as a whole and not just by checking how the posts fared individually or for which keywords they ranked for.
And you can ensure your blog content is keeping up with your competitors by checking their backlinks and amending your content plan to stay ahead of them.
Both of these steps are vital because a blog must be greater than the sum of its part to succeed. And if all posts are firing on all cylinders thanks to your content calendar and the strategy behind it, so will your blog.
Now that you know why you need to develop a blog content calendar, it's time to start one!
First off, there's no one way you can create a content calendar for your blog. It's a matter of testing and choosing which method or process works best for you.
Below are just some of the popular choices bloggers and agencies make when using a blogging calendar.
Tools are a great place to start with your blogging calendar. There are platforms dedicated to helping you organize your blogging schedule with different features, while others are just simple yet effective tools that don't cost a dime. If you’re running your site on WordPress, there are a lot of plugins to choose from, both paid and free. Below are just some of them:
- CoSchedule - This content marketing platform allows you and your team to plan your posts, assign tasks to the right people, and improve workflow and productivity when getting the posts published. CoSchedule also has a feature where you can automatically share your posts on social media and keep sharing the best ones, so you don't have to. This allows you to simplify your social media marketing calendar so you don’t have to manually input new posts there.
- Google Sheets - Spreadsheets are as simple as it gets when used as a blogging calendar. But if you're starting with your blog, you can download a calendar template for Google Sheet and use it to plan the posts you'll write for the next couple of weeks and months.
- Trello - Trello is a project management tool used either in collaboration with your team or independently. Trello offers boards on what you want to know. As a blogging calendar, you can set up the content calendar using Kanban board to help you better visualize your workflow. More importantly, Trello has a free account you can use to help you get started.
There are many free pre-made content calendars that you can download and use right out of the box. This is an ideal option if you feel overwhelmed by tools but want to keep track of your blog post ideas differently. You can also print out these templates if you want something to write on using a pen.
A content calendar is like a map that helps you stay on course to your destination. It's not just about creating short-term and long-term goals for success and using data tools or templates from other companies, but a calendar is also about the journey.
Preparing briefs and researching for content topics has never been more convenient, thanks to an editorial calendar. As a result, you make blogging fun and exciting for yourself and your team.