You know you want helpful, fresh content on your website. It’s the fuel that powers SEO and gets you to the top of page one on Google. But the idea of creating content into the distant future is daunting. How do you start the process? The first thing you need to keep content organized is an editorial calendar. It’s a roadmap to ensure content marketing success. Here are a few tips to get started.
Take it Three Months at a Time
The world changes too quickly to imagine that you could predict what your readers will need in a year, or even six months. That’s why it’s best to plan your content three months at a time. Another idea to consider is themed quarters. That’s not to say every post has to be about the same thing, but you might consider doing a deep dive on a topic of interest. That way, when a reader completes one article, there are similar pieces to maintain the visitor’s attention.
How to Get Great Ideas
Now you know you need to plan three months of content. If you’re posting twice a week, that’s about 24 articles, give or take. So how do you figure out what you want to write about? First, imagine your ideal reader. Gear your content to that person. In which areas can you provide thought leadership that’s relevant to your target demographic?
Keyword research uncovers what’s out there about chosen topics. Avoid redundancy with your competitors’ posts. Check Google Trends and ride the wave of increased interest in items that are relevant to your brand story. You can also get ideas for related topics and queries on Google Trends.
Interview people at your company. Ask them what they’re reading and why. Don’t just interview company leaders. Junior employees are excellent sources because they are in the process of learning, and they’re more than happy to share what they’ve picked up. In general, ask people what kinds of questions they are answering in their email.
Always err on the side of newsworthy. That means you should be flexible with your calendar. Be prepared to quickly write and substitute an article that’s linked to a hot news topic. Move the scheduled post to a later date. Use a drag and drop interface like Google Calendar to easily time shift articles. (Bonus tip: never begin a blog post by referring to an event in the past. Always refer to a current or future state. You can get to the past in the body of the post.)
Re-purpose Long Form Content
Not only do ebooks and whitepapers help sell your products and services, but they are also great blog post fodder. Break up ebooks and whitepapers into a series of posts that roll out every week. At the end of each post, add a link to the full piece of content to spur downloads and generate leads.
Nothing gets done if you don’t get organized. Your editorial calendar will keep you on track with fresh, relevant content that your visitors will love. And love is the most powerful marketing tool you’ve got.