The online world moves at a rapid pace, and businesses need to publish fresh content often to stay top of mind.
But how can a company push out quality content at a fast pace? And why do businesses need fresh content to stay successful anyway?
Here’s why every business needs a regular content publishing schedule for its blog and how to create one.
According to Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, consistency is a major key in compelling your audience to take a step forward. Consistently publishing new content will build a solid reputation for customers and clients, letting them know your brand isn’t going anywhere. It’s easier to trust a company publishing fresh content than one that hasn’t published anything new for a few months.
Most readers (including myself) may start to wonder if a business is shutting down or changing direction or selling off the company, if it doesn't publish for a while. So don’t let your content go stale causing your customers to question your reputation.
If you have a pool of freelance writers or guest bloggers who write for your business on a monthly basis, you need a regular posting schedule that’s organized and well thought out. Otherwise, your company blog can turn into a free-for-all mess of topics and ideas strewn about the blog archives.
A content calendar will allow your business to develop a strategic posting schedule that’s anywhere from a few weeks out to several months in advance. You can plan ahead for exciting announcements or updates, and share any upcoming changes or news, while even giving yourself and your team time off.
Social media channels need current content to share in order to interact with your target market online. A content calendar will allow your business to schedule posts, as well as plan for upcoming events and announcements.
Potential customers and clients are looking to social channels to see if the company is chatting in real time while offering up-to-date content. By sharing the content from your company blog, you’ll be able to share updates and keep your readers interacting with your brand on a daily (or even hourly) basis. It's the perfect strategy to help stay top of mind and ensure buyers remember your company’s name for their future needs.
There are several ways you can create an editorial calendar for your business, and over the past three years of being a managing and content editor, here are the best ones I’ve tried and tested.
If your company manages a small or large writing and editorial team, collaborating on a shared Google spreadsheet takes the headache out of the whole process. Each freelance writer, editor and blog owner can make updates, changes and other notes to the doc that will alert the rest of the team.
A spreadsheet is also the simplest method since it’s:
You simply start out with a blank sheet and insert dates, times, topics, author and other notes.
If your business uses a blogging platform like WordPress you can install a plugin like Editorial Calendar. It’s simple to install and setup on any site, and it enables everyone who contributes content to the blog to have access to it.
You can easily drag and drop the content to change the publishing date based on any changes or upcoming announcements that need to take place. It's also completely free.
If your company needs a more robust service, something like CoSchedule works with both social media and content publishing to streamline the editorial process. All of your content connects to your social accounts, and you can write, schedule and publish from one place.
It is one of the best, all-inclusive tools I’ve used for creating and managing a content calendar. You can try it free for the first 14 days; the subscription costs $10 a month if you choose to continue.
While creating the layout of your editorial calendar, here are some must-haves to include:
Your target market is interested in what your business is doing, so it’s important to create a regular editorial schedule to share the latest goings on with the business and industry. New content can establish your company as the go-to expert within your industry, especially if you cover topics that solve your customer’s problems and address the issues important to them.
Consistent content is a powerful thing, and having a content or editorial calendar will ensure your business builds trust with your readers and stays at the forefront of their minds for better conversion of leads.
Have you developed an editorial calendar for your business blog? Share your experiences in the comment section below.
Carrie Smith is a writer and editor who quit her full-time accounting job in May 2013 to pursue entrepreneurship and blogging. She writes about social media and content marketing for Heroic Search. You can connect with her in real time on Twitter.