Blogging is a useful tool for helping you increase traffic to your site, position your company as a thought leader, and connect with your users. With so many valuable benefits, it’s important to take a thoughtful approach to your blog. A blog content calendar is critical to building a successful blog strategy and meeting your larger business goals.
A blog content calendar is a written schedule outlining what upcoming content you’re creating, when it will be published, and, depending on your needs, where your content will be shared. Creating a blog calendar will help you determine the status of upcoming content, keep your content team organized, and ensure your business is regularly producing or updating site content.
Before you begin drafting your blog calendar, you’ll need a place to organize your ideas. One of the easiest options is to set up a Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets spreadsheet. For a digital marketing agency, Google Sheets are extremely helpful for customizing calendars for each account, collaborating with clients, and sharing the rationale behind each blog. In the example content calendar below, you’ll see we created sections for blog descriptions, notable holidays, and which target audience each blog is targeting.
Depending on the purpose of your business and the size of your content team, you could also choose to use a project management tool like Trello.
Before you home in on specific blog topics, consider each segment of your audience and what’s important to them. For example, if you own an eCommerce store that sells dog toys, some segments of your audience may care most about quality, while others want to learn more ways to keep their dog engaged.
Determine what business goals you want your content to support this quarter or this year. If you’re focusing on lead generation, more of your blogs should target prospective customers. If you’re focusing on retention, you’ll need to create high-quality content for existing customers.
Now that you know what your audience cares about and what content will support the greater business, perform keyword research to tap into current search trends. Using SEO tools like SEM Rush, Moz, and Google Trends can help you identify popular keyword searches and what long-term keywords you may be able to focus on. While you’re performing keyword research, be sure to look at what your close competitors are ranking for using a 3rd party tool. Not only can this help you develop new blog ideas, but you may be able to steal traffic away from your competition
With all this knowledge, it’s time to start building out your content calendar. Plug in topics to each month, keeping in mind holidays, events, product launches, and other timely events.
The “Notes” column in our content calendar example is there for a reason. Most content teams plan content a quarter or more in advance, which means you may not remember all the details you spent so much time researching. The notes column is a great place to add ideas, resources, and potential keywords you’d like to use when writing the piece.
Planning content in advance is a great way to keep your content team on track and ensure you have enough time to put out quality pieces. However, it’s important to leave some time for unexpected events. Add some flexibility and placeholders into your calendar so your team can balance both pre-planned and responsive content.
Having a strong content calendar is the cornerstone of great content. If you have questions about how to build or execute your blog content strategy, contact us today. Our talented content team can help you develop, write, and optimize your content to connect with new and existing audiences.
As Fruition’s Content Manager, Emily designs and executes short- and long-term content strategies for each client. Emily is passionate about storytelling and capturing the unique voice, tone, and perspective of various brands. Her time as a copywriter for a Fortune 250 company deepened her love of content creation and sharpened her skills for writing everything from advertisements and press releases to video scripts and more.
President & Founder, Tru Family Dental
Marketing, Dependable Cleaners
President & Founder, Family Travel Association