10 Tips for creating a blog content calendar
10 Top Tips for Creating Your Own Blog Content CalendarWriting a blog can be a whole lot easier when you have a content plan so you know what you're posts will be about. Having a consistent schedule of blog posts is a great way to increase traffic and grow your readership - people are creatures of habit, they love knowing what to expect.

How to make a blog content calendar?

Content calendars should be shaped by your content strategy and will form part of your blog plan. You can make your calendar as flexible or as defined as you need it to be but allowing space for great story ideas that come to you at 3am is ideal.

If your desire is to make money blogging you'll need to plan for this in your content strategy and marketing strategy. For example, Jeff Bullas has a link to his online ebook at the end of every blog post. Jeff has demonstrated his expertise in the article and offers readers the opportunity to buy his book.

Content calendars are a great idea for planning your blog posts and can also be really useful for helping you craft your social media content calendar. It really helps on the days when you're struggling with inspiration and creativity. Having a topic defined and outlined in your calendar makes settling down to write so much easier.

10 blog content calendar tips

10 tips for creating your blogging calendar include:

Tip 1: Planning blog posts is as easy as settling down with a good cup of tea and having a brainstorm of ideas that relate directly to your blog's topic. 

Remember, you define your blog's content and it is important to stay consistent for readers. So if your blog is about food, fashion and travel a story on political unrest in Moscow doesn't really fit within the defined topic range expected by your readers. If your blog is defined as being on any topic that captures your attention then it's fine.

Tip 2: Be sure to include regular annual or monthly events. If you're a writer you might include stories of writer's festivals around the country and internationally, the gift giving times of Mother's Day and Father's Day, Christmas and a monthly birthdays book ideas list. 

Simply look through a calendar and see what dates are featured and if there is a story around them for you.

Tip 3: If you have any launches, events, releases or shows planned be sure to plan out the types of stories and posts you want to do around them and when you want to run them.

Tip 4: Look at a range of different types of stories such as behind the scenes, case studies, interviews, how to, curated piece, what's on, photos stories, video posts, post event reviews, competitions and top tips stories.

Tip 5: Be sure to have ever green stories that don't date as they are very important for your social media content calendar and strategy. You can schedule your ever green stories as posts that bring traffic back to your blog.

Tip 6: Have some stories in reserve - even the best made plans can get knocked around with daily life. Having some stories sitting on the back burner will make it a lot easier for when something happens.

Tip 7: Create story guidelines that detail the tone of stories, the ideal word count, style requirements and linking policy - how do you want to link to other sites. These are great for getting it straight in your own head about what your blog is going to look like and they are great to share with any guest bloggers.

Handmade bird brooches and necklaces by Creatively Belle

Tip 8: Keep your calendar simple and easy to use. My calendar is in a simple Word document I made from customising other content calendar templates I found online. Write a blog content plan that is long as you need it to be - it can be as brief as a page or as long as a novel. It simply needs to work for you.

Tip 9: When you're setting up a blog be sure to choose a blogging platform that lets you schedule posts so you can plan ahead. It's a great feeling having the week's content planned, written and scheduled, especially when you're taking a couple days off.

Tip 10: Remeber that your blog is the centre of your universe and your social media profiles are the spokes that bring everyone back to it. So look to structure a series of your stories around what's of interest to your specific audiences of the different social media platforms.

This will give you great content to share on LinkedIn, another set of perfectly suited stories for Facebook, another for Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram - whichever combination of social media sites you're using to grow your blog.

How to plan blog stories and being strategic?

Your content strategy is how you bring all the posts together so they work beyond just knowing what you're going to write about. A blog content strategy is about knowing when you're going to post and how you'll promote your stories and content.

It includes scheduling your posts and promotions. So your schedule might look something like:

3 - 4 blog posts per week at a particular time, eg. 10am on Monday, Wednesday, Saturday and/or Sunday

1 what's on listing per month, eg. posted on the first Friday of the month

1 - 2 interviews per fortnight, eg. posted every second Thursday

1 curated story sharing industry news and ideas per month, eg. posted on the first Tuesday of the month

1 RSS plugin generated email newsletter per fortnight, eg. scheduled to automatically compile and distribute on every second Monday of the month

1 Facebook post per day, eg. at 9.45am

3-6 Tweets per day, eg. between 5 am and 10 pm.

While I've suggested timings you will find out through testing and measuring results what works best for your particular audience and followers. What would suit a business audience will be very different to university students!

For most bloggers a content schedule as full as this one comes after the initial learning phases. It can be great to start your blog plan with this level of content development in mind with the aim of growing into it but it is best to start simple and grow from there. Being consistent with one blog post a week is a great starting point and adding to it as you find your way.

Want to make Twitter work for your blog? Check out our series of Twitter for Business tips.

More Content Calendar Tips

Whenever you're learning how to do something it's great to get different points of view and ideas. While I've based this article on my own approach there are more tips with these stories:

How to Plan Your Content Calendar Like a Pro - with free template

Content calendars are king, Michelle Prak

Developing Your Editorial Content Calendar for 2013

Editorial & Content Calendars – The Complete List of Resources & Templates

Share your ideas, tips and tricks for creating a blog content calendar with us on Twitter and Facebook.

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About Belinda Stinson

About Belinda Stinson

Belinda Stinson is the founder and editor of the online magazine She Inspires. 

Belinda loves the fun of competitions and runs a series of them here on She Inspires for you - so be sure to check out our latest competitions.

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