The Trick to Making a Content Calendar Work for Your Business

Content Calendar

If you struggle to post regularly on your business blog, or you find yourself sitting down to write but staring for ages at a blank screen, a great solution is to create a content calendar. Six years ago, I struggled with this concept. But, I needed to optimize the workflow of my blog, WPBeginner, which has since become one of the largest free WordPress resource sites.

Having tried and perfected the method over the years, I’ve successfully implemented it across all of my Web properties, including a popular entertainment site with a few million readers and my software company.

Here’s the simple guide I’ve used to make a content calendar work:

Step 1: List 10 Ideas

 

When I’m creating a content calendar, I don’t start off by drawing up a calendar for the month. Instead, I start off with a list of ideas. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself staring at 31 blank days with no idea how you’re going to fill them.

Start by answering these questions:

  1. What are some of the common questions that people ask when they email you?
  2. What is your favorite piece of industry news that you’ve come across recently?
  3. Is there something that is frustrating you?
  4. If someone was about to start in your field, what are the top things they should know?
  5. What are the top 10 things you wish you’d known when you started?

If you’re still struggling, here’s an idea exercise with more tips from my own blog. Now, set aside time on a regular basis—perhaps every couple of weeks—to come up with more ideas. The more you practice generating ideas, the easier you’ll find it, and the fewer blank screens you’ll have.

Step 2: Decide on Your Posting Schedule

 

Once you have a list of blog post ideas, you need to decide how often you want to post. This way, you can slot each idea in your content calendar. For my own blogs, I post once or twice a week. Trying to post daily may burn you out, so I recommend starting with once a week, and then increasing frequency when you’re ready.

For example, in the earlier days of WPBeginner, I would only post every other day. However, over the past six years, I’ve built an editorial team, which allows us to now publish daily content and have things planned out for 30 to 45 days in advance.

 

Read more at www.businesscollective.com…

 


Syed Balkhi is the co-founder of OptinMonster, a conversion rate optimization software that helps you recover abandoning website visitors and turn them into subscribers and customers. On his blog he writes about his business experiences and lessons learned along the way.

BusinessCollective, launched in partnership with Citi, is a virtual mentorship program powered by North America’s most ambitious young thought leaders, entrepreneurs, executives and small business owners.

The Trick to Making a Content Calendar Work for Your Business

Content Calendar

If you struggle to post regularly on your business blog, or you find yourself sitting down to write but staring for ages at a blank screen, a great solution is to create a content calendar. Six years ago, I struggled with this concept. But, I needed to optimize the workflow of my blog, WPBeginner, which has since become one of the largest free WordPress resource sites.

Having tried and perfected the method over the years, I’ve successfully implemented it across all of my Web properties, including a popular entertainment site with a few million readers and my software company.

Here’s the simple guide I’ve used to make a content calendar work:

Step 1: List 10 Ideas

 

When I’m creating a content calendar, I don’t start off by drawing up a calendar for the month. Instead, I start off with a list of ideas. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself staring at 31 blank days with no idea how you’re going to fill them.

Start by answering these questions:

  1. What are some of the common questions that people ask when they email you?
  2. What is your favorite piece of industry news that you’ve come across recently?
  3. Is there something that is frustrating you?
  4. If someone was about to start in your field, what are the top things they should know?
  5. What are the top 10 things you wish you’d known when you started?

If you’re still struggling, here’s an idea exercise with more tips from my own blog. Now, set aside time on a regular basis—perhaps every couple of weeks—to come up with more ideas. The more you practice generating ideas, the easier you’ll find it, and the fewer blank screens you’ll have.

Step 2: Decide on Your Posting Schedule

 

Once you have a list of blog post ideas, you need to decide how often you want to post. This way, you can slot each idea in your content calendar. For my own blogs, I post once or twice a week. Trying to post daily may burn you out, so I recommend starting with once a week, and then increasing frequency when you’re ready.

For example, in the earlier days of WPBeginner, I would only post every other day. However, over the past six years, I’ve built an editorial team, which allows us to now publish daily content and have things planned out for 30 to 45 days in advance.

 

Read more at www.businesscollective.com…

 


Syed Balkhi is the co-founder of OptinMonster, a conversion rate optimization software that helps you recover abandoning website visitors and turn them into subscribers and customers. On his blog he writes about his business experiences and lessons learned along the way.

BusinessCollective, launched in partnership with Citi, is a virtual mentorship program powered by North America’s most ambitious young thought leaders, entrepreneurs, executives and small business owners.

How Your Marketing Can Appeal to Students (and Turn Them Into Brand Ambassadors)

students

So you want to connect your business with the students on a college campus? This sought after demographic can sometimes present companies with a logistical challenge. So, we thought we would offer tips on how to best connect with campus student organizations, and in doing so, forge the connections necessary to connect with college students on campus.

Here are three ways to connect with college organizations:

Help Them Fundraise

 

Student organizations often partner with companies or brands for fundraising purposes. The best time to reach out to these groups is often at the start of the fall semester, when new leadership begins settling into their positions and clubs start developing fundraising goals for the year. You will likely work with one or two members of the group’s executive board, who will try to motivate their fellow members to participate, but may end up shouldering the bulk of the work themselves.

Include incentives for superior performance into your program to encourage participation. Every organization is different. For some participation is voluntary, and for others, it’s mandatory. Be sure to ask how the executive board motivates its general membership.

One of our client’s charitable arms followed a similar strategy. It supplied each team with a $500 stipend to use toward their campaign and a video camera to document their journey. The students built websites, integrated campaigns, built a strong company brand using graphics and slogans, and planned fundraising events, among other things. Upon the conclusion of the initial challenge in spring 2012, the student agencies raised over $10,000 for their organizations, and had their proposed campaign materials and techniques implemented by their clients.

Help Them Get a Job 

 

Ultimately, you want to help students land an opportunity, whether it be through building their resume, getting them an internship, or offering your advice. Some student organizations have hundreds of members. Attending a meeting as a guest speaker can be a smart way to reach large groups of students in a short amount of time. Contact the executive board and express interest in becoming a guest speaker at an upcoming meeting. To secure face time, focus your presentation on topics relevant to their membership, such as “how to land a job” or “how to network.” Tie in your services or product at the end of your presentation—and always bring handouts to distribute during your speech.

We used this strategy with Men’s Wearhouse to give talks on dressing for success in front of student organizations. It’s also best to target campus organizations that share missions similar to your business. Our friends over at Campus Buzz gave us a great example. For instance, if you own a pet store, you should reach out to the pre-veterinarian or humane society organizations on campus. Create meaningful, sustainable relationships with these organizations. A list of student organizations can usually be found online through student life activities boards, programming boards, or department websites. The organizations often list their contact information on their website.

Read more at www.businesscollective.com…

 


Adam Grant serves as CEO of Campus Commandos, a top youth marketing agency helping you market products / services to college students. 

BusinessCollective, launched in partnership with Citi, is a virtual mentorship program powered by North America’s most ambitious young thought leaders, entrepreneurs, executives and small business owners.

How Your Marketing Can Appeal to Students (and Turn Them Into Brand Ambassadors)

students

So you want to connect your business with the students on a college campus? This sought after demographic can sometimes present companies with a logistical challenge. So, we thought we would offer tips on how to best connect with campus student organizations, and in doing so, forge the connections necessary to connect with college students on campus.

Here are three ways to connect with college organizations:

Help Them Fundraise

 

Student organizations often partner with companies or brands for fundraising purposes. The best time to reach out to these groups is often at the start of the fall semester, when new leadership begins settling into their positions and clubs start developing fundraising goals for the year. You will likely work with one or two members of the group’s executive board, who will try to motivate their fellow members to participate, but may end up shouldering the bulk of the work themselves.

Include incentives for superior performance into your program to encourage participation. Every organization is different. For some participation is voluntary, and for others, it’s mandatory. Be sure to ask how the executive board motivates its general membership.

One of our client’s charitable arms followed a similar strategy. It supplied each team with a $500 stipend to use toward their campaign and a video camera to document their journey. The students built websites, integrated campaigns, built a strong company brand using graphics and slogans, and planned fundraising events, among other things. Upon the conclusion of the initial challenge in spring 2012, the student agencies raised over $10,000 for their organizations, and had their proposed campaign materials and techniques implemented by their clients.

Help Them Get a Job 

 

Ultimately, you want to help students land an opportunity, whether it be through building their resume, getting them an internship, or offering your advice. Some student organizations have hundreds of members. Attending a meeting as a guest speaker can be a smart way to reach large groups of students in a short amount of time. Contact the executive board and express interest in becoming a guest speaker at an upcoming meeting. To secure face time, focus your presentation on topics relevant to their membership, such as “how to land a job” or “how to network.” Tie in your services or product at the end of your presentation—and always bring handouts to distribute during your speech.

We used this strategy with Men’s Wearhouse to give talks on dressing for success in front of student organizations. It’s also best to target campus organizations that share missions similar to your business. Our friends over at Campus Buzz gave us a great example. For instance, if you own a pet store, you should reach out to the pre-veterinarian or humane society organizations on campus. Create meaningful, sustainable relationships with these organizations. A list of student organizations can usually be found online through student life activities boards, programming boards, or department websites. The organizations often list their contact information on their website.

Read more at www.businesscollective.com…

 


Adam Grant serves as CEO of Campus Commandos, a top youth marketing agency helping you market products / services to college students. 

BusinessCollective, launched in partnership with Citi, is a virtual mentorship program powered by North America’s most ambitious young thought leaders, entrepreneurs, executives and small business owners.