Pros and Cons Of A Content Publishing Calendar For SEO
Many content marketers will tell you the importance of having an editorial calendar; a 30-day strategy (in essence) with details of when you’ll be writing which pieces, when you’ll be posting them etc. Many content marketers advocate for them; keeping an editorial calendar offers a number of clear benefits for business bloggers. But the fact is, working strictly off a set calendar isn’t always the solution for everyone.
Whether or not you need an editorial calendar, and how much you’ll benefit from one, will depend on many factors, such as the number of contributors, how often you publish new posts, whether or not you have advertisers to answer to, how long you’ve been blogging, and so on.
What Exactly is A Content Publishing Calendar?
An editorial calendar is a timeline, of sorts, that charts your upcoming marketing communications. It can help you track the subjects, dates and authors of future blog posts, promotions, tweets, and Facebook posts, so that all of your marketing content is scheduled and planned for in advance.
Companies can share and even plan this calendar with their marketing team, so everyone knows exactly what content is needed and when. Editorial calendars can be planned out weeks or even months in advance, depending on the business and its organizational needs.
Below are some of the pros and cons of creating an editorial calendar to keep in mind when deciding whether you need one for your own blog and content marketing efforts.
Advantages of Using A Content Publishing Calendar
- Consistent Posting. When you plan your posts ahead of time, this helps ensure new content goes out at regular intervals. Instead of scratching your head for topic ideas, the topics are laid out before you. Regular content dispersion is important because it means you avoid the typical ups and downs in traffic and audience that come from inconsistent posting. Through a content schedule, you spread out your content throughout the month, setting yourself up as a resource to be trusted.
- Diverse Content. If you have to come up with a new topic every day, it won’t be long before your ideas start to sound repetitive. Whether you’re a real estate agency that leans towards posts about selling or a retail store that likes to post new products, not having a content schedule usually means you’re going to default to the same posting style every time. With a content schedule, on the other hand, you can predetermine how many posts will be about what, allowing you to prevent being predictable and boring.
- Easier Teamwork. When you write a blog with more than one author, having a content schedule is key. With a content schedule, you have assignments to give to writers, not to mention the ability to assign those topics far in advance. Whether you’re working with in-house writers or outsourcing, planning post topics gives you a leg up in looking forward. Likewise, a content schedule makes it easier to budget time and costs for the future.
- Improved SEO. Planning your posts is helpful in terms of SEO because you can think more strategically about keywords. Each month can target a specific market, with corresponding keywords in all your posts and social media activity for that month. Planning ahead makes this process more efficient and controlled.
- Advertising Benefits. Should you want to work with advertisers on your site, it’s helpful to be able to tell them what content is coming up soon. When you can say, for example, that this month will feature a series on the business benefits of certain social media tools, you not only show yourself to be professional but also have an extra way to entice companies specializing in those topics.
Despite the many advantages drawing companies towards using content schedules, keeping a content poublishing calendar is not without its downside.
Disadvantages of Using A Content Publishing Calendar
- Feeling Confined. Setting all your topics ahead of time can sometimes feel constricting. Rather than freeing up you and your writers to respond to current events and trends or to write about something that catches your attention, a content schedule can set you up to feel locked into the prescribed topics.
- Can Seem Disingenuous. There’s nothing like having your scheduled post about enjoying fall weather go up just as a hurricane hits your community. With a content schedule of automated posts or tweets or updates, what you’re saying can sometimes come across as stale or canned because it’s written days or weeks before it gets posted.
- Little Flexibility. The reality is that planning your blog content ahead of time can turn out to be counterproductive when your company’s goals change, roles shift, or strategies get re-imagined. A content schedule gives you less flexibility to instantly adapt to changes as they come.
- More Demanding. Here’s the reality about content schedules and writing teams: Everyone needs to be on board. If you keep the schedule but no one else does, you’re faced with the undesirable task of hounding writers for their finished pieces. Schedules are helpful only if they work!
Content Publishing Calendars: Yes or No?
As with most things, content publishing calendars may not be right for everyone.
If you have a small team or are simply not publishing a lot of content, you may find that a content calendar takes more time and effort than it’s worth. For example, if you are the sole proprietor of content marketing for your company, you may find the upkeep of a calendar especially restricting and tedious.
However, for any business that wishes to maintain consistent customer contact and a strong digital presence, a content calendar can help keep your efforts on track. Content publishing calendars can be especially helpful for companies that have a group of people managing their content, as it can clearly lay out the responsibilities of each member of the team.
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