Content schedules, and why your business should have one
We recently wrote about idea generation for your blog posts, giving you some great examples of ways you can encourage yourself to be creative, think outside the proverbial box and come up with content that’s sure to impress.
However, once you’ve made your mind maps and scribbled your notes, you may find yourself with a list of ideas with no logical structure to them. This is why your business, and every other business that blogs, needs to develop a content scheduling system, to ensure your posts are getting to the right people, at the right time, in the right context. You might think that the last thing your company model needs is more admin, but trust us – it doesn’t take long and it makes the whole blogging process much more structured and straightforward.
Follow our helpful tips and see how much time and effort you could save.
- Count on the calendar
The first thing to do is set yourself a target for the number of blog posts you’re going to post, either on a weekly or monthly basis. It’s down to you to decide how flexible you’re going to allow yourself to be, but try to post reasonably regularly – for the benefit of your readers, and your Google ranking. Once you’ve made this decision, create a monthly calendar and plot your proposed dates for posting on it. It doesn’t matter whether it’s on some fancy software, your Outlook account or even on paper, but you’ll need it to keep you on track.
- Be strategic
If you’re writing a blog for business, it’s advisable to schedule your posts during the working week. Yes, we know, in the advent of smartphones and tablets and the 24 hour working day, many people do read corporate news outside of office hours, but you’re much more likely to get a better response when people are at their desks.
- Tie in the topical
It doesn’t matter if it’s local, national or global: if there’s an event going on that’s relevant to your industry (or big news to all of them – think of how many articles you saw about the Jubilee, or the London 2012 Olympics) you should schedule a blog about it. It’s important to tie in your company’s press releases or promotions to your blog as well. For instance, if you’re launching a competition at the end of the month, ensure that there’s a post planned to announce it.
- Spread it socially
A strong, positive presence on social media is integral to any contemporary business strategy, and platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are great for promoting your brand, and your blog. If you’ve got an upcoming social media campaign, schedule in a related blog, and tweet links to your Twitter followers or ask your Facebook fans what they think with a status update. This helps you to engage a wider audience, drive targeted traffic to your blog/website and extend the reach of your content.
- Leave room for flexibility
Thinking ahead is great, but there are bound to be some stories that you didn’t plan for. Headlines are breaking constantly, and you don’t want your blog to fall behind the times just because you had a different, non-time-critical piece scheduled for that day. It’s advisable to leave a couple of gaps in your schedule for ‘newsworthy’ content that’s centred around your key words, but don’t panic if you’re caught out – anything that’s not time-sensitive can be replaced by a topical title, put to one side and used another day.
- Don’t over-post
Whilst it’s good to update frequently, make sure that you don’t schedule too many posts for one day. Bombarding readers with excessive amounts of content makes your blog seem spammy and overbearing, and even the most loyal readers can get overwhelmed by this information overload and switch off entirely.
So there you have it – our top tips for planning your blog posts. How does your company keep on top of its content creation? Leave us a comment and let us know!