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:
- What are some of the common questions that people ask when they email you?
- What is your favorite piece of industry news that you’ve come across recently?
- Is there something that is frustrating you?
- If someone was about to start in your field, what are the top things they should know?
- 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.
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.
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