Maybe you’ve felt like your spark has been dwindling a bit. Perhaps you’ve been all willy-nilly with your blog and social media posts. Maybe you haven’t been planning or blogging at all. Regardless of where you are now, it’s time to get started on creating a content calendar that will excite you and your audience alike. Light a fire under yourself to tackle this project. It’s the way to roaring success and engagement with your customers.
Fueling That Fire
Before you see that roaring success, it takes some serious planning. That means creating a blog calendar in this case. Don’t freak out. We’re going to coach you through it, just like a good scout leader would.
So what is the fuel in this case? Your goals. Those business goals and aspirations are what drive you to build bigger, right? So sit down and write out your goals for the next quarter in relation to your business and your online presence. Think about what you want your blogs to accomplish. Is it simply all about increasing sales, or do you have other goals, too, like generating leads for particular projects, engaging more with your customers and community, increasing web traffic or establishing yourself as an expert in your field? It might be all those, and that’s OK. Just write down the magic that you want to see in the next three months.
Finding That Spark
We know we’ve got to have a spark to get that fire started. We’ll skip the flint and tell you when it comes to content, there are several things that ignite well:
- Blog topics – Good content is king, and good content requires a good topic. Schedule a brainstorming session with your team. If your team consists solely of you and you alone, that’s OK. John McClane (a-la the “Die Hard” movies) singlehandedly took down droves of bad guys. We feel certain you can rock your content on your own. While brainstorming, write down your ideas. Set a goal, say 30 ideas, and don’t stop until you’ve reached it. Consider seasons, holidays, product launches and upcoming relevant events in the next three months to help you get started. Plan three months out so you are prepared to rock the next quarter. And plan a variety of types of posts. Try this template out as a place to start.
- An understanding of your audience – Which brings me to the second piece of the spark — know your audience well. You’ve got to know who you are writing for and what they are interested in. If you thought you might hop on the pop culture trend of using the “Game of Thrones” reference “Winter is coming,” but your audience consists of 85-year-old seniors, they just might take that as a reminder to go buy more sweaters. And unless you sell sweaters, that’s probably not going to help you. Make sure you really get your followers.
- Research – So you may know who your audience is, but it’s important to research what they want to read about, too. Google analytics and the search information from your own site can provide valuable insight into what your customers are looking for from you. As you select blog topics for your content calendar — for every, single one — ask yourself, why would my audience care? If you’re got a great answer, keep it! If you don’t, move on.
Fanning That Roaring Fire
Once you get that blog calendar done, you’ve got to focus on following it. Good content is king. (Yes, we know we said that above, too, but we really want you to understand it). So, how do you establish yourself as a reliable, leading source for information in your field?
- Publish regularly. If you want people to trust you and value your information, publish content on a regular schedule. Have you ever read a blog and thought, “Wow! That’s incredible information. Let me dig into this a little more,” only to discover that the company or author hasn’t posted in six months? It’s disappointing. You feel stranded, let down even. Don’t do this to your audience. Keep them plugged in and interested by frequently giving them awesome new information.
- Build an incredible writing team – Also fanning those flames are the people you involve in your content team. Who will be contributing to your blog? Perhaps you’ll have employees, customers or a ghostwriter. If you’re a one-man or woman team, you still don’t have to do it all alone. You could pay for guest posts and hire a ghostwriter, too. It’s more affordable than you think! Your writing team establishes your voice and relatability, so you really want to nail this and make sure that everyone writing for you understands your goals, topics and your audience.
And now you’re ready to forge into the world of content with a well-planned calendar and light your site on fire. If you find yourself needing a little more assistance, we’re here to help you spark or fan your fire with you. The content professionals at All Things Writing live for lighting fires — figurative ones of course. Contact us today.
All Things Writing is a full-service content development and content marketing company on a mission to help clients shine online and in print. Our clients are from the private, government and nonprofit sectors.