I have written many articles about many startups. It is something I enjoy doing.
I really do love entrepreneurial stories.
One of the things you learn about startups is that they are nimble. By that I mean they run their business very flexible.
In fact, there is a term for it in the startup world and it is a term used often in the developer world.
That term is agile.
Basically, to do anything, you have to be a little agile. Smaller companies do this better than larger companies.
In fact, larger companies will invest in startup accelerators so that the smaller companies can come in and create innovative products much faster than the larger company ever can.
Pivot is another term in the startup world. Smaller companies can pivot, or change direction, much more quickly than the larger companies.
Being agile is a hallmark of today’s business. Rigid business plans have become a little passé. The ability to be agile is often the key to success for companies and entrepreneurs.
Yet for all the agileness that exists, there is still a need to plan.
The startup industry loves to point to the Lean Canvas as a planning tool.
The moral of the story?
We still have to plan, even if we are being agile.
So, how do we go about creating a blogging schedule? I have put together some thoughts on creating a blogging schedule that should get you started.
- Planning – includes ideation
Creating a blogging schedule beings with realizing the foundation of your process.
The foundation of your process begins with what I call the Blogging Triad.
The triad includes Planning, Implementation, and Promotion.
Planning your blogging schedule is the first leg of the Blogging Triad.
To do so, you will need to engage in ideation. Ideation is a process that helps you choose the topics for your blog.
What about keywords?
The use of hammering out keywords is not as important as it once was. Keywords can help you choose topics. Search engines have begun to change its process using semantic search and voice search.
As a result, searches are much different than five to ten years ago when people strategically used a certain keyword.
People still use those keywords, but moving forward, people will begin using voice search and search engines recognize various terms for the same search.
The other part of planning is taking those topics and matching them with monthly themes. The best way to do this is by using a calendar.
You may need a paper calendar or you may need to use an online calendar, but the fact remains you will need to begin placing topics on the calendar.
Once you have your plan completed, it is time to execute your strategy.
Avoiding or ignoring your schedule will not get you results.
If you have a team, you can assign various topics to a different team member. If you are solo, you will need to write the post yourself or solicit guest posts.
Another thing you can do is hire freelance writers. If you choose to do this, you will need to find the best places to hire a freelance writer.
Promotion is the forgotten piece of the Triad. It is easy to think that you wrote a kick-ass post and people should read the post.
We know, however, that just because we built the best website, people will not come.
There are 3.2 billion Google Searches per day.
How do you think people will find your post?
Three simple ways to promote your blog posts are through social media channels, emails to your email list and connections with influencers.
Some experts believe that you should spend 80% of your time promoting to 20% creating. This would mean you create less often. Social Triggers explores this principle. Read the entire post.
In doing so, this reduces the temptation to write a blog post every day.
It is far better to create quality engaging content less often and promote it well than create fair content more often.
Set aside some time to learn a little about promoting a blog post. This post from content marketer Kristi Hines reveals the top tactics from 32 blogging experts. Also, Adam Connell produced this fantastic Infographic which keeps the process a little more simple.
I think the key is to start with a few tactics that are comfortable for you to implement, create your own checklist, and start promoting.
It’s like a matrix
When planning out your content, the elements needed are like a matrix. You will need to keep in mind the types of blog posts you want to create, who your audience is (reader persona), your schedule, and the themes or topics you chose.
It might even be helpful to build this out in a spreadsheet. You don’t have to have the spreadsheet, but it can help you keep your blogging schedule balanced. See example
Once you have plotted out your schedule in the spreadsheet, you can then add the posts to your calendar.
Types of posts
There are various types of blog posts. Some examples include book reviews, opinion, list posts, and tutorials. Take note of the best types of content for SEO as revealed by Moz’s Rand Fishkin.
You need to have in mind you who is your audience. Is your audience clients you are trying to nurture, potential leads, other developers? Each post might be for a different persona in your audience.
Look at your calendar, at least, a quarter at a time. This will help you fill up your schedule for at least three months. It also allows you to look at the bigger picture so that you might consider the time of the year for your blog posts.
All of that ideation you did during the planning stage comes into focus here. You can begin plotting this out on your calendar. Themes are a little more long term. For example, maybe you want to do a series of posts on cleaning out old files for a theme of Spring Cleaning. The topics may vary, but the overarching theme is Spring Cleaning.
Who is the author responsible for this blog post? Have you delegated it to a team member or a freelance writer? Maybe you are writing the posts or you have a guest post author. You can plot on your spreadsheet who is responsible for this post.
There are several software programs to help with scheduling your blog posts on a calendar. There is also some other unique ways that various content producers have hacked together for their own purposes.
I am the kind of guy who, stubbornly, likes to come up with something of my own. Often, it’s because I have had to be very careful with my money and don’t want to spend it on a solution.
So, over the years I have looked for and tried various ways to schedule out blog posts.
For example, for writing at MainWP, I use Trello to keep track of ideas and when I am posting, etc. I like to use the “power up” function to create a calendar.
I can then add a card with a topic and drag it where I want it on the calendar. From there, I can, at a glance, what is next and coming up on my to do list.
Frankly, it can be a little cumbersome.
It gets worse because I am trying to do this for multiple places.
I write for my own blog and I like to write guest posts as well.
And, this is just for blog posts. It gets even more problematic if I have to write other types of content such as an ebook, email copy, landing pages, or case studies.
Thankfully, for you, there are nice efficient ways to implement your strategy that you can utilize for your business blog.
I recommend you keep up with one calendar for your blog.
We will explore various ways and software in our next post on blogging content calendars.
How have you kept up with your blog posts scheduling?
If you have thoughts, let us know in the comments!
Resources to consider