How to Create a Blogging Schedule You’ll Actually Stick to
As marketers, we tend to wear a lot of hats, especially when it comes to managing content for our business. Publishing blog content is one of those things that tends to get placed on the back burner, despite its incredible potential to drive users to your website.
For even the best bloggers out there, sticking to a consistent blogging schedule can be challenging. So what’s the secret to producing consistent, high-quality blog content? A blogging schedule that helps you stay on track and break down large, seemingly daunting tasks into manageable subtasks to achieve your goals.
Let’s dive into exactly why blogging is so important for your business and how to create a blogging schedule that you can actually stick to.
Why Blogging Is Critical for Businesses
There’s no denying that blogging is one of the best opportunities to drive a high volume of organic traffic for your business. Especially if you don’t have in-house SEO, your blog is a useful tool to increase your weekly traffic — and we have proof. For instance, check out how we increased this business’s organic traffic by more than 600% through consistently publishing SEO-focused blog articles, and we have a lot more case studies like it.
When it comes to blogging, consistency is everything. Publishing new content to your website frequently is one of the most important factors in search rankings. It demonstrates to search engines that your site is regularly updated with new and relevant content, which can boost your performance and get more eyes on your business. This is particularly important if you’re a small business or startup with a limited marketing budget, since organic blog traffic is completely free and saves on advertising costs while still attracting potential customers.
Publishing fresh content also helps build credibility with your audience. After all, consumers tend to trust organic search results more than paid ads, which means increasing your searching ranking through blogging is the way to go.
Lastly, blogging consistently shows potential customers that you’re willing to show up for them, which helps build trust in your brand. With more than 80% of consumers considering trust a deciding factor in their buying decisions, businesses should jump at any opportunity to cultivate trust and build stronger relationships with potential buyers.
How to Create an Effective Blogging Schedule
Creating a schedule for your blog content doesn’t have to be overly complicated. By following a few simple steps, you’ll be able to set a posting cadence that works for your audience, keeps your ideas well organized, and ensures that each member of your team is accountable for keeping things on track.
Here’s how to design and optimize your blog schedule to fit your goals:
1. Determine Your Blogging Frequency
When it comes to figuring out how often your business should be producing new content, there’s not necessarily a one-size fits all solution. However, there are some industry best practices that can put you on the right track.
Research from Marketing Insider group suggests that publishing blog content 2-4 times per week provides the best results in terms of both traffic and conversions.
In any case, the more often you publish, the more likely you are to increase your search traffic, since it gives search engines more opportunities to find your website and drive visitors to it. But for some businesses, publishing great content multiple times a week can prove challenging.
To determine your ideal blogging frequency, here are some important factors to consider:
When determining how often to publish new blog content, a good starting point is to revisit your content marketing goals and overall business goals. Is the goal of your blogging strategy to drive more traffic to your website, or supercharge your website’s Google ranking? Or perhaps you’re trying to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry. Depending on your goals, you might decide to publish blog content more or less frequently.
Like almost everything in marketing, it all comes down to your audience. How often does your target audience want to hear from you? Are they looking for new posts daily, or weekly articles and longer guides that add more value?
If you’re a new blogger, you may have to play around with your frequency to figure out what resonates. Using tools like Google Analytics or your backend website analytics, you can determine when your audience is most active and engaged, then tailor your blogging frequency to meet the demand.
Content creation is a full-time job. It takes a lot of time and energy to consistently come up with innovative content ideas and then write a high-quality, well-researched article.
Take a look at your resources, including how much time and budget you have. For business owners of lean teams and startups especially, fitting in even a single quality blog post per week can prove difficult.
If you’re feeling pressed for time, consider if you can afford to outsource some or all of your blog creation to an external partner or agency. If so, hiring an SEO-focused agency can be a strategic move. Using an SEO specialist eliminates the need to hire full-time bloggers and can lead to higher domain authority, brand recognition, organic traffic, new leads, backlinks, and much more.
Chat with our SEO experts now to learn more about if an SEO agency is the right fit for your business.
Although each business is different, it never hurts to get a quick pulse on what the competition is doing. Check how often your top competitors are publishing content, the types of content they’re publishing, and what topics they’re covering. You can use this information to determine how often you need to post in order to stay competitive.
Ultimately, the blogging frequency you land on should match your resources and ability to consistently create valuable content for your audience. If you’re finding yourself sacrificing content quality for volume or driving your marketing team to burnout, it might be time to bring in an expert for support.
2. Plan Out Your Blog Content
Creating a successful blogging schedule requires advance planning. If you struggle with time management, a content calendar where you can brainstorm blog post ideas ahead of time can keep you more organized, consistent, and strategic with your content.
At Growth Machine, we plan out client’s editorial calendars three months in advance. This allows ample time to plan, write, edit, select photos and visuals, and publish top-notch content for our clients.
The benefit of planning blog content in advance is that it can protect you and your team from burnout. Especially if you’re ramping up your content marketing, filling out your blogging schedule in advance can prevent a crash-and-burn and help your team manage their time more effectively.
Part of the reason planning ahead is so beneficial is because it allows you to optimize your blog topics for SEO. A clear plan can help you target specific keywords and phrases that your audience is searching for and better incorporate them into your topics.
When it comes to keyword research, we love using the tool Ahrefs to figure out what keywords our clients are already ranking for, which ones they aren’t, and how we can amp up their rankings.
Once you’ve identified all the keywords you can go after, combine them into an Excel spreadsheet that outlines:
- Keyword: The keyword we want to target with each blog article.
- Difficulty: A scale of 1-100 for how hard it is to rank for the keyword (with one being the easiest).
- Volume: A rough measure of how many people are searching the keyword.
- Disqualify: A yes/no column for if you should ignore the keyword in the content plan because it’s not relevant.
- Scheduled: A yes/no column for tracking which keywords you’ve already scheduled in the content plan.
From there, you can start planning out your content topics for each week and putting your finalists into your project management system.
3. Organize Your Ideas Into a Blogging Schedule
Once you’ve got your content ideas ready to go, it’s time for the final step — putting them into a blogging schedule that works for your business.
When it comes to creating a successful blogging schedule, project management is just as important as content creation. For example, every piece of content published by Growth Machine involves collaboration between four different players: a writer, project manager, editor, and the client. To stay organized and ensure the process runs seamlessly, we create our blog calendars within a project management tool that lets us plan, track, and publish each piece of content.
Our tool of choice is Asana, but you can also check out Trello or Monday if you’re looking for a similar alternative.
To keep your ideas organized in your project management tool or board, we recommend creating columns for each of the following:
- Ready to Publish
Next, refer back to your list of content ideas and place them in the “Planned” column. To save time, you can simply download your Excel sheet as a CSV and import it directly into your project management tool. We use Zapier to make this more customizable.
Finalize your schedule by setting a due date for each blog article, and title the task cards with the keyword you’re trying to target. You can also add the name/email of the team member you want to assign each task to, so they’ll get notified.
As you work through your blogging schedule, you can move the project cards through your workflow, all the way from the “planned” stage to the “complete” stage. You can even incorporate subtasks for each stage to ensure accountability for each team member involved and make sure everything stays on track.
This is also why having great writers from the start is so important. In an ideal world, you want someone who can send you articles that requires very little editing, not ones you’ll waste hours going over. Especially if you’re producing a high volume of content, setbacks like these can eat up unnecessary time and resources, and prevent you from hitting your deadlines and publishing consistently.
Tips for Sticking to Your Blogging Schedule
Creating a blogging schedule is only the beginning. After all, what use is a great schedule if you aren’t able to stick to it?
Here are some tips for adhering to your blogging schedule, even when things get tough:
If you’re having trouble posting consistently or can’t keep up with the schedule you’ve set for yourself, it might be time to revisit your goals.
Our advice: Start with a small, manageable amount of content and gradually increase it as you get more comfortable and in the habit of producing blogs each week.
If you’re finding it difficult to stick to the schedule because your team’s plate is full of work for socials, email campaigns, landing pages, and more, it might be time to offload the work to an SEO expert who can supercharge your results while you focus on other areas of your business.
When it comes to your content schedule, subtasks are your best friend.
At Growth Machine, we use subtasks to indicate who is responsible for each portion of the blog article, from drafting to editing and publishing. Assigning a team member and setting deadlines for each subtask allows you to identify where gaps are forming and resolve them quickly before things escalate.
If there’s a member of your team that’s having trouble keeping up, you might want to meet with them one-on-one to better understand their challenges and see if you need to adjust their workload accordingly.
Have a Backup Plan
The phrase “the best offense is a good defense” applies to both sports and marketing. Whether one of your team members is out sick or Wordpress decides to crash on you one day, unexpected issues have the potential to derail your blogging schedule. We recommend building up a reserve of blog posts that you can draw from when you need to publish something quickly – trust us, it can be a lifesaver!
One strategy you can employ is to build up a bank of blog content by having your writers write several evergreen blog posts and save them for later use. If you’re in a pinch, you can also repurpose existing content or optimize older posts to keep them relevant and fresh.
Let an Experienced SEO Agency Manage Your Blogging Schedule for You
While a blogging schedule can help your team produce content more consistently, the reality is that it’s going to be nearly impossible to outrank competitors in your niche who have hired their own SEO experts.
Poor SEO performance has the potential to hold back all your incredible marketing work from actually being seen by new customers. That’s why most people come to SEO agencies like us for support — so they can free up time to focus on growing their business and leave the heavy lifting to us.
Contact us today to learn how we can help you reach your blogging goals with an expert-designed, SEO-focused blogging schedule that will amplify traffic and drive more results for your business.
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