Create a content schedule todayTaking on a blog can be daunting – you need to commit to producing consistent, effective and regular content, or you might as well write the whole thing off, and invest your time elsewhere.

The meaty benefits of rising up Google’s search rankings, building a keen following, and reaching out and engaging your customers, are too significant to ignore, however, so it’s time to start taking your blog seriously, and creating great content on a regular basis.

Using a content schedule 

Creating – and continually updating – an effective ‘content schedule’ is the best way to keep yourself on track, and ensure that you’re never stuck for ideas when it comes to content creation.

This schedule doesn’t need to be anything too complicated. You’re simply looking for a way to plan out what content you will create, and when you will release it. In doing so, you’ll be ensuring it has optimal impact.

Create a spreadsheet – or download a template from places like this one – and simply decide choose the dates that you want to publish on – so Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, for example. Then, you can brainstorm some content ideas. Once you’ve got a chunky list, it’s time to start adding adding them to your calendar.

You can add extra details such as which copywriter you will use, the deadline for publication, and who is responsible for uploading it if you want.

Taking this organised approach may seem a little dull – especially if you enjoy the spontaneous nature of social media – but you can of course supplement your plan with some sprinklings of off-the-cuff content too, so that should keep your spontaneous side happy.

Benefits to using a content schedule

Crush writer’s block and stop repeating yourself!

If you’re rushing when trying to come up with a blog idea, chances are you’re going to start repeating yourself, or covering old ground. Your schedule will keep you on track, and help you to keep your content fresh. You won’t be stuck for inspiration at times when you’re up against the clock, or are overloaded with other work.

Focus your search engine optimisation

If you’re targeting several keywords, then you want to ensure you’re creating content based around each one on a regular basis. Add a column to your schedule, and you can easily monitor how often you’re targeting each keyword. In doing so, you can make your SEO efforts even more focused and effective.

Create quality content for special events

As you’re so well organised, you can work on your content for special days and holidays well in advance. Blog content is best when it’s relevant, and by planning ahead, you’ll be able to roll out your special Valentine’s Day video, or Christmas advent calendar of free gifts for email subscribers, at exactly the right point. No last minute rushing around, you’ll have created it well in advance.

Monitor your content

Once you’re publishing regularly, you’ll be able to see which pieces of content are hitting the spot with your audience. If you notice that your hotel’s posts describing the best local attractions start to generate a lot of interest, then guess what – you’ll want to spend more time creating that kind of content.

Your audience will tell you what they want. You just have to listen. To listen, however, you need to think about analyzing the content you release, and how your audience responds to it.

Repurpose your content

When you’ve published a new blog, chances are you’ll immediately share it on your social media accounts. The problem is that it’s highly likely that some people will miss it the first time around – so you’ll probably want to share it again a week or so later.

Schedule in the dates that you’ll share each piece of content. This will stop you from overloading your followers with the same content, and ensure that you don’t overlook blogs that still have some life in them.

Be careful not to share the same content too often, or mislead the people who’ve already seen it by offering something new. Experiment with your own audience, to see how many times to share, and how often.

Think long term

It’s often worth creating your content around either one, or several, central themes. Eventually, you’ll have covered the topics you’ve chosen in-depth, so can reshape it and extend its usefulness.

So a series of posts on your hotel marketing blog can easily be turned into an e-book. Or, you could create an animated video series that covers similar ground, and use your blogs – and the research contained within them – as inspiration.

- Image courtesy of Gualberto107 –