Guest post by Debbie Thomson
Adding a blog to your business website is undoubtedly a worthwhile thing to do. A blog is the perfect platform on which to provide engaging content for existing and prospective customers. Furthermore, consistently adding fresh content to your site is a proven contributor to effective search engine optimisation.
Unfortunately, many companies allow their blogs to become neglected. All too often people browsing the Web encounter blogs that appear to have been all but forgotten. Not only does this negate the benefits of having the blog in the first place, it creates an unfavorable impression of the company that maintains it.
Conventional wisdom dictates that readers become more engaged with blogs that maintain a consistent and predictable flow of content. Occasional, enthusiastic blasts of content followed by weeks of silence can be a turn-off. If you wish to take company blogging seriously, you should use a blogging calendar to plan ahead.
What is a Blogging Calendar?
There’s nothing mysterious about a blogging calendar; it is simply a schedule of the posts you plan to publish on your blog.
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Your blogging calendar can take on many forms. Many bloggers simply use Outlook or other PIM software to plan posts for weeks or months ahead – you could even use an “old school” paper calendar.
However, there are ways to organize things a little better. If you have multiple blog contributors, you can use Exchange shared calendars or Google Docs to plan blog posts. You will also find Editorial Calendar plugins for WordPress that allow you to schedule posts for future publishing.
Blogging Calendar Tips
The following tips will help you to implement an effective blogging calendar to make sure you get the most out of your blogging efforts:
1. Establish your Timings
The first thing to ascertain is the frequency with which you wish to add new content to your blog.
Blogs don’t necessarily need content on a daily basis. The most important thing is to decide how often you wish to publish a new post and stick to it. This way, readers can get used to the rhythm of your blog. Once you’re decided on a posting interval, you can populate your blogging calendar.
2. Decide on Titles and Topics
It is usually best to decide on content in advance, otherwise you and your staff may arrive at a posting day lacking inspiration. Planning titles in batches also gives you the opportunity to ensure that your content is well balanced with different types of posts spaced suitably apart.
Consider taking the time to decide titles in batches at regular intervals, perhaps every three months.
3. Make Time for Keyword Research
Performing keyword research helps you ensure the maximum SEO benefit from your blog posts. It makes sense to do this research when you plan each batch of titles.
4. Get Ahead
When you schedule each post on the calendar, consider things that may get in the way of getting the posts published when planned; things like public holidays, busy periods and staff vacations.
Plan around these times and make use of plugin features that enable you to create the content in advance and have it posted automatically.
5. Adapt as Required
Pay attention to the success (or otherwise) of your blog. Make use of stats, analytics and reader interactions to discover what content works and engages and what doesn’t. Make use of this information when you plan your next period of posts to gradually home in on exactly the kind of content (and posting frequency) your audience desires.
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Debbie Thomson is a Content Marketing Specialist at GFI MAX, she is also a keen blogger and enjoys writing about many topics including business, technology and marketing.