One of the greatest challenges in turning a school blog into an effective marketing tool is the ability to publish quality content on a consistent basis. What is the secret to success? Planning. Here are some tried and true tips for developing a blog content planning process to ensure you have the content you need when you need it.
Quarterly Blog Planning
At least one month prior to its start, schedule a blog brainstorming session with key stakeholders to come up with content ideas for the upcoming quarter. The goal of this session is to create a list of working blog titles and complete a rough draft of the monthly blog editorial calendar for the upcoming quarter.
Helpful Tips for Your Quarterly Blog Brainstorming Session:
- Review any marketing campaigns scheduled for the upcoming quarter and select applicable blog topics to support these campaigns
- Consider the season and the business cycle phase to pinpoint topics relevant to prospects during this time frame
- Identify any special school activities or events that might be taking place during the upcoming quarter
Once you’ve come up with your list, assign an owner to each working title and determine content draft submission deadlines.
Monthly Blog Planning
At least one week prior to the start of the following month, review that month’s blog editorial calendar to ensure you have the number of blog titles you need to meet your scheduling needs.
Tips for Your Monthly Blog Editorial Calendar Review:
- Circle back with key stakeholders to identify any time-sensitive considerations that may need to be addressed (e.g. adding a blog regarding a previously-missed calendar event or a trending topic)
- Ensure the calendar includes both the appropriate content variety and content mix
- Follow up with content writers to ensure they are on target to meet submission deadlines
Once you’ve reviewed and analyzed the blog editorial calendar for the upcoming month, make any needed adjustments.
Even the best laid plans can go awry and issues will arise that can have an impact on the blog editorial calendar, such as missed deadlines or last-minute marketing campaign changes. As a result, it’s a good idea to double-check the blog editorial calendar at least once a week to make sure your efforts remain on track and to allow you the time necessary to make any last-minute adjustments.
Tips for Weekly Blog Editorial Calendar Maintenance:
- Set your blog draft submission deadline for at least one week prior to the scheduled post date to allow the time required for content review, editing and formatting
- Consider maintaining a spare blog post draft file that includes at least one completed “evergreen” blog that can be incorporated into the calendar as a last-minute backup
- Schedule an occasional break in the editorial calendar if necessary (this is not ideal; however, it is better to plan for a break than to suddenly run out of content and subsequently momentum)
Blog planning takes time, but it is time well spent as it helps ensure you are able to offer quality content on a consistent basis, which can lead to increased website traffic, more prospects and ultimately increased enrollment.
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