The number 1 rule in committing to a blog or news section on your website is consistency.
It’s a given not to haphazardly post things. Rather, it’s best to continually post great content with an intentional goal in mind that falls in line with the bigger picture.
This is no easy task as it takes a great deal of discipline to consistently update your readers with new and relevant information.
Do you know what you’re going to post, share, or blog about this Wednesday? What about next Wednesday? Wednesday of next month? Wednesday of next year?
This level of detail may not be your exact strategy as certain dynamic industries change from day to day, yet consistency must remain. You ought to have a strategy for each day and plan in order to be as ready as possible.
This is why it’s so important to have a firm grasp of your strategy when it comes to posting content on particular days, weeks, or months of a year.
That’s where we come in. We’ve put together a few tips to get you started.
1. Create a Calendar
Content calendars work well because they are visual representations of something that’s somewhat difficult to comprehend. They are easy to follow and break huge chunks of information up into smaller bites.
A calendar also keeps you accountable to certain days and times of a given week or month. You’re able to better visualize your deadlines and keep track of your progress as you go along.
You can see where you’ve been and where you need to go. These calendars can be as simple as organizing 2-3 posts each week or 2-3+ posts each day.
Benefits of a calendar
One key benefit of implementing a content calendar is that it allows you to take a bird’s eye view of your schedule and enables you to identify any missing pieces.
Seeing the full big picture allows you to see not only what you currently have, but also what and where you don’t have anything.
This helps with envisioning the whole picture and allows you to have your head up when planning and adjusting.
Another benefit we’ve found is that we were able to plan around key events and dates. By knowing which day a major event is going to happen in your business, such as a new product launch, PR event, or even a simple webinar, you’ll be able to plan for specific campaigns.
For example, you’ll know exactly which days are months out, 2 weeks out, 1 week out, 3 days before, 1 day before, etc.
2. Build your Content Library
So, I want to create content for my calendar, but where do I begin?
If you don’t have any content written yet, start creating some! You’ll need to start by identifying your core business offer.
To get started, answer the following questions:
- What is the problem or pain point that is out there in your industry?
- How are you offering a solution to this problem?
- What do you provide? What is your product or service?
- Which key benefit does your product or service offer?
- What makes you different?
- Who are you trying to reach? Who is your target market and ideal customer?
Once you’ve answered these questions, create categories for various types of content that can speak to answering these questions. You may have 3-5 main categories and may not need to weigh them all the same either.
By writing content that support these categories, you will be better equipped to stay focused in presenting your core value proposition.
You will then need to determine how you plan on spacing out each category of posts. Which categories of posts will be shared when and how often? You can stick to a general schedule by day of the week, for example. Or you can try mixing it up in order to not be too repetitive.
Decide the category of post by subject matter (category) as well as by nature of posts such as regular blog posts, news updates, series or themed posts, photos, videos, case studies, infographics, polls, news and announcements, industry news, holiday content, seasonal content, etc.
If you already have content and some traction going with your current audience, a great place to start organizing your future content is by reviewing your previous content.
You’ll need to analyze results from individual posts and previous campaigns and gauge their success.
Gather ideas for the upcoming weeks and months and begin inserting content into your calendar that aligns with your previous successful content. Use your Google Analytics account to help you determine this.
If you need help with Google Analytics, check out our full tutorial here!
Content Calendar Tools
Consider these 5 tools when deciding on a tool to implement for your business.
Before you decide on a tool, consider which features are most important to you and your team.
- Want to be able to collaborate as a team?
- Need to share ideas in an open forum style chatroom?
- Need the tool to include analytics?
- Need access from multiple devices?
- Desire usability?
- Does it cost money?
- Does it work with your existing CMS platform?
- Does it support social media organization? Visual content? Links, etc.
Consider your specific business needs and view the specs on each tool by following each link to their home page.
Top 5 Content Calendar Tools
This Editorial Calendar enables you to see all your posts in one centralized area. You are then able to drag and drop them in a user-friendly way in order to manage your blog. You are able to move post dates and make changes right there from the calendar view. This plugin offers an incredibly simple and effective way to give you total control over your blog’s schedule.
The GatherContent Import plugin allows you to quickly import structured content from your GatherContent projects into your WordPress site. It’s an online platform that pulls everything together for editing and review before being posted out. It’s a highly sophisticated alternative to emailing a Word doc around, making edits, and copying and pasting into your WordPress CMS area. This plugin eliminates the headache that revolves around the process. It speeds up the process and is very simple to use.
Kapost enables you to easily manage every aspect of your content lifecycle. It powers you and your content team from the very first idea all the way through tracking it’s performance. Kapost effectively acts as the engine that powers your marketing content from ideation to distribution to optimization.
CoSchedule is used by more than 10,000 bloggers, editors, and social marketers. It is a trusted tool for web admins who plan, distribute, track, and optimize pieces of content for some big name brands. From solo web admins to teams to large companies, CoSchedule offers a ton of useful tools in order to organize and manage your strategy, save time, and boost key metrics along the way.
Going this route allows for complete and total control over your own preferences and customization. And, the best part is, you don’t have to start from scratch with a blank spreadsheet. There are plenty of templates out there for free, it may just take some searching to find the right one for you.
Since there are dozens of templates to choose from, be sure to choose a template that fits your specific needs and can easily be used and understood by your entire team. It’s important to create a calendar that is quick to set up, simple to use and understand by multiple team members, and effective in keeping you organized.
For a list of templates to get you started, Click Here! Then you’ll be able to customize the template to fit your specific needs.
What about you?
What are some of your favorite content calendar tips? Can you think of anything that has helped you in organizing your content? We’d love to hear about them in the comments section below! Thanks!