Most bloggers and business owners know that a blog schedule is helpful. They know that they should develop one. The problem is that the whole process just seems a bit overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be, though. Here are some blog schedule ideas that will simplify your digital life.
1. Decide on Frequency
How do you decide whether you are going to publish once a day, once a week, or once a month? It all depends on your niche, your available time, and your end goal. Consider your audience and their interest level in your expertise. Are they online all day every day reading tips and tricks on technology? In that case, you’ll want to post more often. If they are checking their favorite blogs once a week, in hopes of finding a great new tip to dig deep into, then a less frequent schedule will work for you. Look at what your competitors are doing. If everyone else in your industry is posting three blog posts a week, it wouldn’t make sense for you to post only once a month. The trick with whichever frequency you decide on is to schedule blog posts ahead of time so you aren’t on a crunch when a post is “due” tomorrow morning.
2. Focus On Quality Over Quantity
Going from zero to five posts a week is a little daunting. Avoid pushing yourself too hard in the beginning by starting small and working your way up to a more rigorous routine. It’s always better to offer the most possible value to your readers to establish a loyal following instead of just chasing blog traffic. Wouldn’t you prefer 100 people who read your blog weekly because they know you post amazing, original content to 1,000 people who click onto your page for two seconds before bouncing off somewhere else because it’s content they’ve already seen? Another tactic to keep readers on your site is sticking to categories
3. Choose Categories Wisely
Your categories are like your best friends. You want to choose friends that you won’t get tired of and ones that you never run out of things to talk about with. So let’s say my friends are named Blogging, Marketing, Technology, and Design. Anything I post on my blog will have something to do with one of those topics. So this post would fall under “Blogging.” A post about social media strategies would nestle into “Marketing.” And an article about the best video conferencing apps would fit nicely with “Technology.” Check out our three part series on understanding tags and categories.
4. Brainstorm Blog Headlines
You could write the best blog post in history, but no one would read it unless you have a headline that captures their attention. Very few readers are browsing the web in search of a post about your business in particular. They are looking to solve their own problems. If you can offer advice or a resource that helps your readers with bite-sized tips and easy to digest information, you will gain a following. Just make sure your headline sells your copy. “5 Tips for Writing Content” is not something I am particularly drawn to click on. I’d prefer to read “5 Foolproof Tips for Writing Engaging Content.” Wouldn’t you? It’s just like attracting a new date. If you don’t fix your hair, put on something nice, and smile you’re less likely to catch someone’s attention.
5. Develop An Editorial Calendar
If you post once a day for a week in August, then nothing for two weeks, then once during September, you are going to come across as inconsistent and as someone who doesn’t have their act together. You want to portray the best version of yourself online and with that comes committing to consistency in your blog schedule. If readers know what to expect from your blog, they are more likely to return to read your latest post. Building an editorial calendar is the first step toward achieving that consistency. This calendar or blog schedule template should contain your blog titles, any relevant links/resources, keywords, and call to actions or lead magnets that you plan to include in the post. No need to reinvent the wheel. We have a free editable editorial calendar for you in excel. The bonus is that our calendar will also help you outline your social media strategy.
6. Create a Promotion Strategy
Unless your blog is already performing well with search engines on keyword search alone, you’ll need a promotion strategy. Consider where your audience is hanging out. Are they networking on LinkedIn or hanging out on Google+? Are they posting in all of the groups on Facebook or are they in Twitter chats while they watch videos on YouTube? Find one or two social media sites to become an expert at and put time and effort into learning how to maximize the medium. You’ll want to do more than just post a link to your latest blog post. Join the conversation. Retweet others’ posts, adding a new perspective of your own. Post clever memes or quotes on Facebook. Share a video or an infographic you created. Be diverse, be interesting, be involved. Use a editorial and social media calendar to streamline your process and syndicate your content through multiple platforms.
Now that you have the steps for creating a blog schedule, take some time to consider your goals. Once you have an idea of what you want to achieve through your blog content, you can work backwards to build a framework for reaching each goal and turning your blog into a lead generating machine. Just as with many other areas of life, planning, implementation, and consistency make for the most successful web content strategies. Don’t waste any more time gathering information at this point. Start planning while the ideas are fresh in your mind and get that new blog schedule into motion.