Content planning for a (growing) blog: 6 easy-to-use tips
Maintaining a blog is about more than just writing a bunch of blog posts. You should develop a strategy and plan your content – especially if you’re writing with multiple authors. You should also interact with your audience and respond to their comments. In this post, I’ll explain the importance of content planning and give some practical tips on how to plan your blog posts – effortlessly!
A blog post planning that works
If your blog and your audience are growing and you’re getting more serious about blogging, you should make a plan for your content. If you have a personal blog, planning your content will be fairly easy: Our own blogger Caroline explains how she plans her blog posts here.
Planning becomes much harder if you are working with multiple authors who write about different topics or invite guest bloggers. I’ll share six important pointers that will help you to create a proper plan:
1. Create an editorial calendar
An editorial calendar is essential if you’re working with multiple authors and if you post frequently. That’s why you should create an editorial calendar in which you plot all the posts that you’re going to write. This could just be an excel sheet, but it’s easier to use an editorial plugin or service with a drag and drop calendar for this, e.g. Trello, MeisterTask or Monday. In this calendar, you can easily assign posts to authors and editors and, if you like, use labels for categorization.
2. Sit down and brainstorm
If you want to fill the editorial calendar, you could start with a brainstorm. Invite all your blog authors and sit together. Ask everyone what their ideas are and which posts they would like to write in the near future. Of course, you should use your keyword research as a basis.
Make a list of the ideas and wishes, and then plot them out on the editorial calendar. Make sure your authors finish their blog posts a few days before the publish date so you can proofread, edit if needed, and find or create accompanying illustrations or photos.
3. Decide on frequency
You should blog regularly. It’s hard to give exact numbers. For most company blogs, one daily post is fine and doable. But for a personal blog, this probably won’t be feasible. Try to establish some kind of frequency and stick to it. Your readers will appreciate a reliable schedule. Once you know you can commit to your chosen schedule, make sure to communicate it to your audience somehow, so they know what they can expect.
4. Add variation
If you often write about similar topics – beware of keyword cannibalization though – make sure to vary a little. Don’t post articles about nearly identical topics one after another. Of course, you can still write blog series, but try to vary between subjects as much as possible. You could also make variations in the form of your content. A video post, for example, spices things up!
5. Use news and current events
When planning your content, you should take a look at your calendar as well! Are there any major events coming up which are worth mentioning in your blog post? Or should you write some seasonal posts? Make sure to mix these ‘current-events posts’ with the other posts you have lined up.
6. Use a style guide
Composing a style guide for your blog is a great way to make sure everyone writes and spells in the same way. In a style guide, you can agree to write words in a certain way. Of course, we should all write in a grammatically correct way, but the use of capitals and brand names could differ. As all authors write for the same blog, it will create more unity if everyone spells the important words in the same way.
In the style guide, you could also agree on the length of posts, the use of paragraphs and headings, and the use of images. It should be a document in which you write down all the things that have to be consistent in your posts. And don’t forget to add some pointers for SEO copywriting as well!
If you work with an occasional guest blogger, a style guide could be a great document to help them write a post that fits the style of your blog as well.
Content planning will help you grow!
A growing blog will ask for more content planning, especially if you’re working with multiple authors. It’s important to agree on style, the topics to write about, and the number of blog posts to write. And to evaluate your content strategy from time to time. As long as authors keep on working and talking together, a blog with multiple authors can be a great success and make your site grow even further!
Read more: Blogging: the ultimate guide »
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16 Responses to Content planning for a (growing) blog: 6 easy-to-use tips
Along with being a writer I am also an artist and illustrator. What I need to know is there a plugin that would allow me to do sequential drawings like a comic strip or comic book that I could add content to on a weekly basis?
Extremely useful post. Out blog was stagnating a bit and the right content planning has really helped us. Thanks guys!
With havin so much content and articles do you ever run into any issues of plagorism or copyright infringement?
My site has a lot of unique content I’ve either authored myself or outsourced but it appears a lot of it is popping it up
all over the web without my agreement. Do you know any ways
to help prevent content from being stolen? I’d certainly appreciate it.
we have written a post about that: What if people copy content from your site?
I hope this helps, good luck!
Good topic – it really helps to research influencers’ topics too.
Buzzsumo and Buzzstream help to see what people in an industry are writing about so you know what direction to write about. I’m not endorsed by them, but I’ve used them and they do save a ton of time. I’m sure there are other great tools too.
That helps to mix it up, speaking of your variation principle.
Great tips that you can (and should) apply to almost any type of content! Appreciate it!
That’s an excellent post.
Creating an editorial calendar is always a good idea.
Thanks for these tips.
As a blogger, I would like to tell you one thing. if you want to make your blog popular then first of all research a list of keywords at least 200-500. then try to upload at least 2 blogs each within 4 hours interval. And you should share it in various social media platforms like facebook, twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest.
Thank you for sharing this information.
I have a personal blog but what would be a good frequency to add new blog posts?
Now the frequency I use is random. Some times I post 2 blogs a day but there are moments that I don’t add a new blog for several days. Mostly due to a lack of time.
Hi Tim, It’s hard to decide for you what would be a good frequency. If you’re able to post a couple of times a week on fixed days, that would be great, because it’s predictable. Perhaps you can check which days/times you’re able to drive the most traffic to your site? If you’ve finished two posts on one day, you can also decide to schedule one for a time you’ll be to busy to write anything. Hope this helps!
Thanks for a nice article. Do you suggest any specific software for blogging. I am well versed in Drupal and could build my own HTML pages. Is word press the best to go? Please suggest.
Hi Sathiya, WordPress started out as a blog platform, so that’s definitely one of their core businesses from the beginning. Nowadays it’s used to build all kinds of websites though. We love the platform because it’s easy to use, easy to extend, flexible and SEO-friendly.
Great post! I need to work on this regularly. My website is such a niche topic though I can see that I might be doing some SEO cannibalization.
Hi Isaac, Thanks! We’ve written this guide on how to deal with keyword cannibalization on your site, perhaps it’s a nice read for you: https://yoast.com/content-maintenance/
i am a great admirer of your blog and your great work and i am a regular user of your wordpress plugin
thanks for sharing your great work and there is always a new thing to learn from your blogs.
keep shining and keep your job up to make world a better place for all.
Thanks for these lovely words, Neeraj!