(And if you don’t know either of those things, you should definitely click those links before reading any further – because this is the third part of our Guide to Blogging series!)
In this post, we’ll tell you how to manage a publishing schedule and how to promote your blog posts easily and efficiently.
Tell me if this sounds familiar. You start a new blog. You’re pumped! You’re committed! You’re so jazzed about it that you’re posting every day. Good for you, right?
Except that sooner or later, you get burned out. You get busy with other things. You run out of ideas. That daily blog goes from being exciting to being a chore, and you’re falling behind in your business because you’ve been so focused on it. So you write less. And less. And less.
And then you just sort of stop altogether.
This is where a lot of businesses get tripped up. The solution? Stick with a sustainable schedule — one that you can actually maintain over the long haul. You’re much better off writing one amazing post that takes three times as long to write as three mediocre ones.
As you read on, you’ll see that you don’t need a ton of blog posts in order to have a really active social media presence, and to drive a lot of traffic back to your site. Putting a new post up on your blog is not your only reason for posting on social media (but we’ll get to that).
Start out simple, with one post per week. If that’s too much, one or two posts a month is totally acceptable. Again, you’re better off hunkering down and making something that you’re really proud of once a month than churning out mediocre post after mediocre post. Remember, people link to content they actually like, so you don’t have anything to gain from rushing out a crummy post just so it’s there!
If you need to, ask someone you trust to read your posts before you publish them and get their feedback — you might be surprised how much a fresh set of eyes can help!
Of course, just wanting to blog on a consistent basis isn’t going to help you make any progress (because you know where a pathway paved with good intentions leads). If you aren’t developing an actual, concrete plan for the future, you’re planning for failure.
An editorial calendar is the best way to make sure that you’re setting yourself up for success.
So many of us, when it comes to marketing tasks like writing blog posts, go into panic mode on a regular basis. We decide on a schedule — maybe we’re going to write every Monday — but we procrastinate, and when Monday arrives, we have no idea what to write about, and it doesn’t get done.
Don’t let that be you! You know that you’re going to have to update your blog, just like a magazine editor knows what articles they’re going to run for the next issue or a TV news producer knows what stories they’re going to film and broadcast for the next week. That means you need to know what you’re going to write about before the day you publish it on the web.
That’s where an editorial calendar comes in. This calendar is just a fancy way of making a plan — it allows you to plot out your blog posts ahead of time and stay organized, so you always know what’s coming.
Think of it this way: if you’re blogging once a week, and you sit down and come up with 12 blog topics and plot them out on your calendar, you’ve just set yourself up for the next three months. All you need to do is come up with 12 ideas for things your customers might want to read about — doesn’t sound so bad, does it?
The most important part, though, isn’t just filling in the calendar — it’s actually using it. Plan it out quarter by quarter, and, four times a year, take a good, hard look at it. Ask yourself, “Do I think my audience is going to dig what I’m writing about?” Once you feel good about your topics, actually writing about them is way easier — even if you’re sitting down and writing the post on the day it goes live, the hardest part is already taken care of before you even sit down at your keyboard.
But publishing blog posts is only the start for bringing traffic to your site. Once you write a post, you can log into your social media accounts and actually start promoting it.
How to Promote a Blog Post
Once you’ve written an amazing blog post, you probably just want to log into your social media accounts, put out the link once, and move on with your life, right? Wrong!
One of the worst things you can do with a blog post is to under-promote it — because you absolutely do not need a new blog post to justify a social media update. When you’ve written a blog post, you’ve created a leverageable piece of content that you can share over and over (and over) again.
That’s why writing high-quality content is so important! If you write a post that isn’t very good — and you know it isn’t very good — the last thing you’re going to want to do is promote it for the world to see. If you write something that you’re proud of, though, and that you think your audience will love, you’ll be more inclined to share it again and again.
You’ve heard the phrase “measure twice, cut once,” right? Well, when you’re just starting out with blog posts, you should write once, promote twice. As time goes on and you build up a bigger library of posts, you’ll be able to revisit older ones and promote them again for a new audience (something Edgar is really good at doing for you.)
So now you know why it’s important to have a blog, how to use it to build a relationship with your customers, how to manage a publishing schedule, and how to promote it to grow your audience. So if you haven’t started blogging yet, what are you waiting for? Get writing, and let us know how it goes in the comments!