In our article ’10 powerful stats that prove the phenomenal ROI of business blogs’ we noted the value of creating and maintaining a regular business blog to help build your website traffic. Along with other stats, it mentioned that businesses who post at least one blog a week are 66% more likely to generate business leads than those who do not, which is all very well and good to say, but not so hard to put into practice if you don’t have a solid content calendar in place to drive these regular articles. Here are our top 5 tips on how you can start to build your blog content calendar today:
1. Choose who will write the content for your articles: This will be tricky depending on how big your business is and the resources you have available. The first step is to find out if anyone within your business would like to write content for your business blogs, and secondly, if they are any good at it! Remember, writing for the web is a completely different kettle of fish to writing advertising copy or PR articles – your writers need to have the right tone and for your audience, and also the know-how to structure their posts in a way that will generate the best shares and likes on social media. Don’t have the time or resources to do it yourself? Or maybe you’re not sure if you want to have internal writers at all? There’s always the option of outsourcing your website and blog copy to a professional freelance copywriter.
2. Define your target audience: If we’ve said it once, we’ll say it again – defining your target audience is one of the most crucial things you must do before you begin posting blog articles! You may have one specific type of visitor you wish to attract to read your articles, or (as is the case with most businesses) it is likely that you will have several. The type of audience you wish to gain will determine the style, tone and topics of all the articles you write, and the more successful you are at building a clear and precise picture of who it is you want to read your articles, the better (and more shareable) your content will ultimately be.
3. Put down some measureable (and realistic!) goals: The only way you will be able to measure the success of your business blog and content marketing calendar is if you first put some thought into what success looks like for you. Writing and posting regular content on your business blog is still a regularly new form of digital marketing, and all signs point to it being a successful venture based on longevity. Write goals for 3 months, 6 months and 12 months to start with. These could include:
- I want to write x amount of blogs a month
- I want to post at least x blogs a week
- My website traffic is current x amount of visitors, by the end of the 3rd month I would like to have achieved x amount of visitors
4. Brainstorm possible headlines for future articles: This will seem like a time-consuming and at first difficult task, but at the end of the day it will not only save you time but also provide immeasurable help each time you sit down to write a blog. The idea is to write down a ‘brain dump’ list of at least 20 to 30 (as many as you can!) possible headlines for articles you would like to write. Don’t waste time trying to refine the headlines, you just need a general idea (they can be refined at the time you start writing each one). A great way to think of ideas for headlines is by googling keyword search terms you want to rank for, and then refining your search results on the right hand side to just ‘blogs’ (click on the ‘more’ option to bring up ‘blogs’) – this will show you the types of blogs people already read on those topics you wish to be known for as well. Another great way to think up ideas is to subscribe to similar blogs within your industry, or use LinkedIn’s ‘News’ section for inspiration.
5. Populate your calendar: Once you have the headline list, the calendar will be a snap! This can be populated using a good old fashioned excel sheet or outlook calendar etc. Download our free blog posting calendar example here.
Creating a content schedule is almost as hard as writing the articles themselves, and once you’ve created your calendar you should find that the groundwork you’ve done makes it far easier for you in the long run. Do you have a business blog? What are your top tips on how to create and maintain a regular content posting calendar?
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