A blog content calendar, also known as an editorial calendar, is a planning tool used by bloggers, content creators, and marketing teams to organize and schedule their blog posts in advance. It helps ensure a consistent and organized approach to content creation and publication.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed when it comes to creating content, developing a content workflow and publishing content on time, you can definitely benefit from a blog content calendar for your business. But, before we get into how to create a blog content calendar, we will first address why a consistent blog posting schedule is a critical part of your marketing strategy.
Why a business blog is important
A business blog offers many benefits and is pivotal in your business’s marketing strategy. It significantly enhances your SEO efforts by expanding your indexed pages and boosting your online presence.
Through the creation of informative and captivating content, it actively engages, educates, and attracts potential leads. Simultaneously, it positions your business as an authority in your field, establishing expertise and nurturing trust among your audience.
Moreover, your blog serves as a platform to showcase your products and services, fostering deeper connections with your customers. It has the power to yield long-lasting results through its evergreen content, making it a valuable asset to your marketing strategy.
In essence, a business blog is a versatile tool that not only strengthens your brand recognition but also drives increased website traffic, ultimately contributing to your business’s overall success.
Why consistent blog posting is critical
Maintaining a consistent blog posting schedule is not just a good practice; it’s a critical component of your digital presence. This is because blogging consistently:
- Boosts SEO: Search engines love fresh, relevant content. Regular blog posts signal to search engines that your site is active and worthy of a higher ranking. By consistently publishing valuable content, you increase your chances of being discovered by a broader audience.
- Engages your audience: Consistency is vital to building a dedicated readership. When your audience knows when to expect new content, they’re more likely to keep returning for more. This engagement can lead to higher conversion rates and more significant community building around your brand.
- Establishes authority and trust: Over time, a consistent posting schedule can position you as an authority in your niche. When you demonstrate your commitment and knowledge through regular, quality content, your credibility soars. This newfound authority can turn casual readers into loyal followers and customers. Also, consistency in posting reassures your audience that you’re reliable. It shows that you’re dedicated to providing value, which, in turn, builds trust that can translate into business growth.
- Leads to long-term growth: A consistent blogging strategy creates an evergreen archive of content that continues to draw in traffic long after initial publication. It’s a powerful asset for sustained growth and a steady stream of new leads.
- Allows adaptation and feedback: Consistency allows you to gather valuable data and feedback from your audience. This insight helps you understand your readers’ preferences, allowing you to refine your content strategy for maximum impact.
How a content calendar helps with consistency
With specific dates for each blog post, a content calendar helps you stick to a posting schedule, which enables you to manage your time more efficiently. You can allocate time for research, writing, editing, and other tasks, reducing stress and ensuring high-quality content.
By scheduling content in advance, you can ensure a diverse range of topics and content types. This variety keeps your blog fresh and engaging, catering to the interests of a broader audience.
A content calendar can also include plans for content promotion, such as social media sharing and email newsletters, to ensure that your blog posts are not only created but also effectively distributed to a broader audience.
What you need to know before creating a content calendar
Before building your content calendar, it’s important to consider the different types of content you want to post to ensure some variety.
Here are a few styles of blogs to post (although some might not apply to your business):
- How-to guides and tutorials: Provide step-by-step instructions on accomplishing a specific task or solving a problem related to your industry or products/services.
- Listicles: Create a list of tips, resources, or tools relevant to your target audience. For example, “Top 10 Productivity Tools for Entrepreneurs.”
- Case studies and success stories: Share real-life examples of how your product or service helped a customer achieve their goals or solve a problem. Highlight the challenges faced, the solutions implemented, and the positive outcomes.
- Thought leadership and industry insights: Share your expertise and insights on industry trends, best practices, and emerging topics. Establish yourself as a trusted authority in your field.
How to create a blog content calendar
Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating a blog content calendar:
Step 1: Define your goals and objectives
Determine the primary objectives of your blog, such as increasing website traffic, generating leads, or building brand authority. Your content calendar should align with these goals.
It’s also important to understand your target audience’s interests, needs, and preferences to tailor your content to address their pain points and provide value.
Step 2: Choose the right tools
Select a tool or platform to create and manage your content calendar. You can use spreadsheet software (e.g., Excel or Google Sheets), project management tools (e.g., Asana or Trello), or specialized editorial calendar tools.
Step 3: Brainstorm content ideas
Brainstorm a list of potential blog post topics and content ideas. These ideas should align with your goals and resonate with your target audience.
Then, conduct keyword research to identify relevant keywords and phrases for each blog post. Here, you should think about the most relevant keywords you’d like to rank for that are associated with your business niche and the type of content you can create that will create long-term results — evergreen content. Evergreen content is content that remains relevant and valuable to your audience over an extended period. These are often the how-tos, tutorials, and answers to common customer questions.
Remember to optimize your content for search engines to improve visibility.
Step 4: Determine posting frequency
Decide how often you’ll publish blog posts. Common frequencies include monthly, weekly, several times a week, or daily.
The frequency of blog posting for businesses can vary based on several factors, including the industry, the resources available, and the specific goals of the blog. You may want to start with less frequent publishing to ensure you can meet your goals and increase frequency as you establish a good workflow.
Renowned digital marketer Neil Patel suggests that, for new blogs, posting 2-3 times a week is a good starting point. However, Orbit Media’s annual blogging survey revealed that the average blog post length has increased over the years, and many bloggers spend several hours on a single post. This might impact the posting frequency, as more in-depth, high-quality content may take longer to create, and quality is always more important than quantity.
Step 5: Create a content calendar template
Create a content calendar template with columns for publication dates, post titles, keywords, author assignments, and promotion channels (e.g., social media, email).
There are many different ways you can set up a content calendar template if you are building your own. Hubspot has some great advice on setting up a template in Google Sheets and a calendar template you can download. SEMRush also has a free downloadable template. Feel free to use and adapt these to suit your needs.
Step 8: Plan publication dates
Schedule publication dates for your blog posts on your content calendar. Spread them out evenly to maintain consistency.
Then, assign specific topics or content ideas to each publication date and ensure you have a balanced mix of content types and topics.
Once you have a content calendar, you must establish a process within your team to ensure the content gets created, edited, published and promoted according to the schedule.
Depending on the size of your team and the type of template you are using for your content calendar, you may want to build these timelines into your calendar. For example, ensuring content is created by the writer two weeks before the publishing date to ensure it has time to be reviewed, edited and prepared for publication.
You may also include which social media platforms you will promote content on so your copywriters can prepare copy and graphic designers/photographers can prepare images or videos.
The last step is always monitoring success and making adjustments. As you develop a workflow, you may need to adjust your content calendar to work most effectively for your team.