If you’re considering a blog for your business, you’re already on the right track; there are ample benefits you can take advantage of (read about them here).
Once you decide on your blog’s purpose and your hosting site, your next step is planning a strategy. Investing in a content strategist and copywriter is a wise choice, but if you have the time and energy to create and maintain your own blog, it’s worth a try.
If you go the DIY route, you’ll want to create your own blog planning spreadsheet, also known as a blog content calendar. This will give you an easy way to organize your ideas, plan ahead, and track engagement, so that you’re not stuck one day wondering what to write and when to post.
Content calendars run the spectrum of simple to complex; you can add as many details as you deem necessary. But in this post I’m going to share with you an easy way to plan and organize your content in a Google Sheets spreadsheet.
How to create a blog content calendar in Google Sheets
Create a folder in your Google Drive that’s strictly for your blog. In that folder, create two sub-folders, one for Content and the other for Images. Then create and name a new spreadsheet, and fill in the following columns:
What day of the week are you planning to post? If you are unsure, you can experiment with testing different days; try posting Wednesday one week and Thursday the next, alternating for a month, to see if either one garners more traffic. Or, review your website’s analytics to see which days have higher traffic and work from there.
It’s important to give yourself deadlines, and for more than one reason. First, it’ll help you with completing your posts ahead of time, since you’ll always be aware of your publish date. Second, it’ll help streamline your planning for content. For instance, if you typically publish posts on Thursdays, you’ll want to be aware of what day Thanksgiving falls on, since depending on your business, this can be either a very low or very high day for site traffic. (And you can plan a holiday-themed post in advance, if that’s your thang.)
This is where you’ll put your finalized headline for your post. Don’t fill this in until you’ve got a succinct, compelling, SEO-friendly title; put any “working titles” in a different color if you must, otherwise leave it in the Description column (explained below). To come up with a great title, do a brainstorm for relevant keywords (contact me if you need a hand with this).
Here’s where you can outline the gist of your post. You don’t need to go into extreme detail, since this is just for your planning purposes, but you can add as much or little as you need in order to remember the messaging and content of your intended post.
If you choose to use Google Docs for drafting your blog posts, you can save the link to your write up right in your planning calendar, for easy access if you need to reference it in the future.
Decide in advance which categories would allow people to find this specific post the easiest on your blog.
Choose keywords and key phrases that people are using to find content just like yours. Hit me up if you need a hand!
This is just a handy space to have, in case you need to add a reminder to yourself, such as “Today is flag day” or “remember to add a note about the special promotion” and so on.
In the following column headers, include relevant metrics and analysis details. You might want a few columns to include: Day 1 Views, Week 1 Views, Month 1 Views, Comments, Engagements, Clicks, Social Shares, Leads Generated, Sales Made, etc., etc. Determine your needs based on your blog goals.
Start with planning the first two months, and see how well you do! From there, measure your results to find the best topics that people are most interested in, what days they are reading the most, and other pertinent factors for planning out the next two months.
As always, let me know if I can lend a helping hand!