The benefits of a content calendar

A really excellent idea, if you’re in charge of putting content on your website, is to have a “content calendar”. This achieves two things: it ensures that you cover a broad range of subjects, and it acts as a spur to actually write, or commission, an article on the topic. A good PR company or technical writing agency ought to start with a content calendar. Almost every magazine has one; I know that as an engineering magazine editor throughout the 1990s, my magazine was completely driven by ours.

But how do you create one? An obvious way might be to say “I’m planing to write a background article every month in 2015, and I have a dozen or so broad product groups, so I could cover each one in random order”. That’s better than nothing, it’s true, but you can probably do better, either in the subject selection or the scheduling.

Think about what’s really important. If you have a pressing need to improve your search engine performance in a subject, that might take priority. What about specific, targeted searches? Maybe these should be priorities for articles. Then there’s timing. Do you know, for example, of anything happening, such as new legislation? Should you be adding that to the calendar? Market sectors are another serious consideration. Would articles about a specific application benefit from being published in a particular month? I’m sure you can think up many more, just as editors of trade magazines have always had to do.

Discussion

  1. Kat Dornian

    Thanks Chris. This is an excellent intro to content calendars. I’ve been using one for a few months now, but I definitely haven’t been using it to its full advantage. I’m going to start planning ahead more and mapping out a course for the blog. If you have any examples, that would be really helpful, but even your prompting questions here are quite useful.

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