If you manage a blog for your business, a content calendar can help you keep it running smoothly. As Benjamin Franklin said many years ago, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Even though this quote came decades before the internet and blogs, it definitely applies, which is why you need a content calendar.
A content calendar shows the inner workings of your blog. When you keep it up to date, you’ll never be left struggling to think of something to write about at the last minute; you’ll always know what topics you’ll be tackling next. But, you don’t have to worry that a content calendar will take the spontaneity out of your blog. After all, you created the content calendar, so you can change it as needed.
Here are five reasons to start your content calendar today.
1. You can build a long-term vision
What is the point of your blog? Who are you trying to reach with your content? “A content calendar can keep you focused on the long-term vision of your blog. ” You can write down your blog goals at the top of each month, and ensure that every post you think of helps move your goals forward.
Without planning, your posts might not be taking you in the right direction. They might lack the focus they need to ensure your audience keeps coming back for more. A content calendar helps you keep your eye on the big picture. It helps you really define your niche and think about your ideal target audience.
When creating your vision, you can plan a couple weeks or a month in advance. If desired, you can even go longer-term, and plan out for six to twelve months at a time. You can think about important dates in your industry and plan for strategic posts around those. That way, you’ll have a plan for timely content when it’s needed.
2. You’ll know what you’re going to write about
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? A content calendar can help with that, too! Not only will you know what your next blog post will be about, you’ll also know what your next several will be focused on. This allows you to plan out connections between posts. You can complete your outlines for several posts in one work session, and then go back and write in the content.
By not stopping all the time to think about what to write, you’ll be a more efficient writer. You’ll know how much to cover in each post, and what you can leave out until the next time you address the topic. Your posts will have a deeper focus because you’ll know what you’re hoping to accomplish with each one.
3. You can plan out series
There’s something about a series of posts covering a topic that adds credibility and authority to a blogger. Your audience will know that they can count on you for solid information, so they’ll keep coming back to see what you have to say.
But, planning out a series takes time. You have to sit back and look objectively at all the pieces you want to cover. You have to see how they go together so you can publish them in an order that makes the most sense. Having a visual representation of your series is helpful, which is where your content calendar comes in. If you opt to create one where you can drag and drop post ideas, you can physically rearrange them easily and compare posting schedules.
Your content calendar will also help you fill in any gaps between posts in your series. Then, you’ll be able to look at everything objectively and decide if each topic is on the best date.
4. You’ll be more consistent
Having a content calendar will help you become more consistent in blogging. When you’re putting out posts on a schedule – whether it’s once a month or once day – your audience knows what to expect. Publishing sporadically is hard on your readers; they never know when to check back.
Being consistent also makes it easier for readers who have subscribed to your RSS feed. Your content will always arrive in their inbox when they’re expecting it, and they’ll be eager to read what you have to say.
5. You can easily delegate duties
When you have a content calendar, delegation becomes a lot easier. If you have someone writing a guest post, you can check your calendar to see what topics would be a good fit with what you already have planned.
If you have writers that contribute to your blog, your calendar also makes assigning posts easier because you’ll already know what topics you want to cover. If your writers pitch ideas to you, you can take what they come up with and arrange them in your content calendar as desired. You’ll also avoid duplicate ideas, have an idea of what topics your blog needs more of, and just overall do a better job staying organized.
Do you have a content calendar for your blog? What benefits have you discovered from keeping one?