How to maintain a successful blog using a content calendar

When it comes to your digital content strategy, SEO should be top of mind. Maintaining a blog or newsroom is a great way to optimize your website so it’s always in your audience’s top search results. But it’s critical to keep the content fresh and relevant.

What’s worse than having no blog at all? Having a blog that hasn’t been updated since the day it launched.Keeping your content up to date doesn’t have to be a nightmare. You don’t have to scramble every week to figure out a new idea. There is one easy solution to this problem: create a content calendar. At Integrity, we create and manage content calendars for a variety of clients, including the Eason Law Firm, a top-notch firm specializing in consumer protection and injury cases.

Thanks to our content calendar, we know what blog posts we need to write and when they’ll be published. This allows for a stress-free content creation process because we have done enough research and planning that writing the post is the easiest part.

We follow these six steps to build content calendars that result in successful, search engine optimized content strategy:

Target the right keywords.

Before you begin your calendar, targeting the right keywords is essential for success. You wouldn’t start a project without listing your goals, and the same goes for blogs and keywords. Having a small list of keywords will allow you to target the right audience. Selecting keywords should be about identifying keywords that have low competition but still provide value. Once you have selected your keywords, remember to evaluate them regularly, as their success can change over time.

Pick a calendar platform that works for you.

In order to start your content calendar, pick the right platform — one that allows you to easily visualize the plan and stay on schedule. Here at Integrity, we’re big fans of Google Sheets. With Google Sheets, you can easily make a spreadsheet with dates and content topics. This platform is especially helpful if you have multiple bloggers. You can access and share the calendar with your team, so everyone knows what is being blogged about, which avoids any possible confusion on repeat blog posts.

Establish a posting schedule.

Are you going to blog once a day? Once a week? Once a month? Depending on what you are blogging about — products, industry insights or company updates — the most effective schedule will vary. It might take some experimenting to figure out what works best for you, but whatever you decide, your posting schedule will help you stay consistent so your followers will know when to expect a new post.

Do your research.

It’s great if you already have multiple ideas for your blog topics. However, you wouldn’t write content for a web page without doing your research, and the same rules apply for blogging. Spend time making sure you’re knowledgeable on your topic before you start writing. Target the keywords that your audience is likely to be searching for.

Write about topics relevant to your schedule.

After you’ve done your research, it helps if you plan to post about certain topics that coincide with seasons or events. For example, our August blog post for Eason covered how to handle and prevent boating accidents. This blog came just in time for Labor Day Weekend.

Share on social media.

After you’ve spent time coming up with a killer content calendar and publishing awesome, relevant posts, don’t just let them sit there (or you’ll just hear crickets). Share your posts on your social media platforms — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. This is a great way to keep active on your social sites and make sure your followers are benefitting from your expertise.

These six steps for creating your content calendar will help you maintain a successful blog that ultimately boosts your SEO. Content calendars will keep your fresh content organized and ready-to-go. Over time, your content strategy will change and grow. Constant evaluation and analysis of your blog plan will truly benefit you, so you can showcase your skills by staying on top of the blogging game.

Want a team of SEO enthusiasts to help you build a kick-ass content calendar? Let’s chat.

Originally published at integritystl.com on September 21, 2016.