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Even if you know how to write awesome blog posts, creating great content consistently can be a challenge.
It takes time and effort to produce even a single good post. That can make keeping your editorial calendar full feel impossible.
But with a well-planned blog schedule, you can make it not only possible, but easy to maintain long-term.
The key is to start small and work your way up while staying focused on your goals. And in this post, that’s exactly what you’ll learn how to do.
Apply the advice in this post with these three helpful resources:
Download all three now and put them into practice once you’ve finished reading.
The next step, then, is to define a blog schedule that will help you publish those awesome blog posts super consistently to increase your:
And all that, done in a way that helps you reach your goals. No sweat, right?
Chances are, you’re looking to create a blog schedule because you’ve heard publishing consistent content can help you grow your blog. It’s true! Actually, folks who publish consistent content get as much as 30% more traffic for every post they publish, all while saving about an hour per post.
And not only that, it makes your life a whole lot easier to look at a calendar full of blog post ideas instead of a blank slate and wondering, “What am I going to write today?”
But—defining your blog schedule or even planning to publish more content isn’t your goal. Start first with a few measurements that’ll help you focus your efforts on the right kinds of growth for your blog:
Social media shares, social media subscribers, traffic, newsletter subscribers, and customer conversions are great goals to start with. Before you even think about your optimal blog schedule, where would you like these numbers to be?
I’ve seen first hand how social media shares influence all of these metrics in this order to grow customer conversions. 63% of CoSchedule’s blog traffic comes from social media, so you can see how all of these metrics are super important to us. These are good goals to have for your blog:
…Essentially, think of 10x growth. This mindset is what drives every decision we make at CoSchedule on how we use our time, and it’s a good model for you, too! When you add something to your plate, ask yourself, “Will this help us drive 10x growth, or is this just a nice-to-have?”
Great goals are specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time sensitive.
You just figured out exactly what you’ll measure, so at this point, just define your goals a bit further with a format like this:
And you can do your own with a structure like this:
Chances are, you want to scale your content production while producing more blog posts sustainably over time. So, before you just jump in, let’s get your resources figured out to make executing your blog schedule that much easier once you get going.
For blogging, there are only a handful roles you need to fill:
That said, you could probably get started with as few as 3 people:
The second part of knowing your resources involves understanding what tools you’ll use to create and manage your posts. For the minimum viable post that only includes text, graphics, and promotion, you may look at tools like:
And the last part is understanding how much time each of these things takes to do. That will help you plan backward based on the amount of effort needed for your blog posts. Here are a few things to look into for that:
This knowledge will help you plan ahead far enough with your blog schedule to help your entire team have the time they need to create awesome content. It’ll help you avoid rushing folks who actually may need a bit more time, while also helping everyone on the team understand when they should start executing their responsibilities.
Um, finally?! You could skip here, but if you don’t know the goals you’re trying to reach, and you have no one and no tools to help you get here, it’s a little tricky to plan your blog schedule!
It’s always helpful to understand your dream before you get started: How many posts would you like to publish every week? How about every month?
That visualization is a great place to start just so you know how you’ll ramp up your efforts. It’s easy for the team to see how much content you’d like to publish down the road.
But for now—start with a minimal posting frequency to build your momentum.
I’ve heard of folks starting their blog and publishing tons of content right off the bat:
— Cristina Hontanilla (@CHontanilla) May 7, 2015
What I fear for newbies starting that way, especially when working with a team new to blogging, is that there is tons of room for burnout by publishing too much content too quickly. Instead, in the first months especially, focus on publishing enough content to work through the awkward newness of blogging, without overwhelming your team.
Give your team time after every post in your first two months to walk through what went well, what you should do differently next time, and what you should stop doing entirely. After that, you could shift those meetings to once a month.
Here’s what a beginner’s first six months’ blog schedule could look like:
At this point, you’ve worked though a ton of content with your team, and it’s a good chance to measure your results to improve your content.
You know your goals. Quickly review how an average post contributes to your goals.
Now that you’ve worked up a consistent blog schedule, that’s as easy as looking at a week’s (or possibly a month’s) worth of measurements for your content and averaging the numbers.
Fill in the entire team on how you’re doing. That way, everyone can figure out ways to improve their areas of responsibilities that will improve all of the content you publish (which will also help you reach your goals).
From the previous step, you’ve figured out how an average post contributes to your goals to increase:
From here, use those figures to determine the amount of posts you’d need to publish in your blog schedule to reach your goals:
When you use this algorithm, some goals may require a lot more content than others. That’s fine.
It’s just a tool to help you gauge how much content to publish to reach your goals. And keep in mind, this is only accurate if your posts don’t get more traction, which they all certainly will as you increase your publishing frequency and maintain consistency.
Now it’s time to take a hard look at your goals, the resources you have available to you to create content (specifically, the time involved from everyone on the team dedicated to creating your awesome content), and determine a super achievable publishing frequency.
Here’s what to look for:
Finding efficiencies to publish content quicker will help you scale—but be wary of the boogeyman saying, “Don’t sacrifice quality for quantity.”
Chances are, you’re able to publish a decent amount of content that helps you nearly hit your goals. From here, some of the best ways to reach your goals are to improve every piece of content you publish. That way, every post delivers more results to your goals, which means you can get more results by publishing less content.
Considering our major goals, here are a few quick wins to increase your efficiency with each:
For example, if you decide to boost your blog schedule to publish two posts a week, here is a game plan to increase your blog schedule publishing for your next 6 months:
Note that the first two months involve finding the best times to publish your blog posts. That’s something you’ll do no matter if you’re looking to publish two posts a week or more.
Use a content marketing editorial calendar template to map out your publishing frequency like this example.
This is the fun part: Execute your plan. You just planned out an entire year blog schedule for your content!
Measure your goals, improve your content, and repeat, repeat, repeat. Congrats on setting up your annual blog schedule!
You’ve got the knowledge you need to plan an effective schedule for your blog. Now all that’s left is to put that plan into action.
This post was originally published on May 20, 2015. It was republished with new information on Sept. 26, 2019.
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