Note: this is the second article in our School Blogging Series. Read part one, Setting Your Strategy, here.
What’s more important in blogging: quantity or quality?
The answer may seem obvious, but it wasn’t too long ago that the number of blog posts you wrote on a subject was more important than how well those blog posts were written.
Back in the early 2000s, when online content marketing first seemed to catch on like digital wildfire, the advice for bloggers was clear: post as much content as you can to get the best results. The more you post on a topic, the better chance Google will consider you an expert in that topic—and send searchers your way.
Today, that advice is as outdated as my old AOL Instant Messenger handle. Because, like Google, it didn’t take online consumers long to figure out that more content does not equal better content. As audiences became more content-marketing savvy, and as content shock became a real thing, the quality of a publication’s posts became exponentially more important than the number of posts published.
And that remains true today: posting higher-quality, better-researched content is more beneficial than simply publishing a lackluster article. Today, 90% of the most successful content marketers focus on creating content that informs their audiences, rather than prioritizing their own sales messaging.
So what does that mean for your school’s blogging efforts—and, more specifically, for your school blog’s editorial calendar?
It means that, when creating your school blog editorial calendar, it’s more important to focus on developing a realistic schedule for writing high-quality posts, rather than focusing on publishing as many posts as you can in a week, month or year.
Here are my tips for structuring a successful school blogging calendar:
1. Start slow.
Before you commit to a rigorous blogging schedule, try writing, publishing and promoting a few high-quality posts. How long did the entire process take, from idea generation through social media sharing? Use that timeline as a guide to help you decide how many blog posts your school can realistically produce in a given timeframe. It’s OK if that means you’re only publishing once a month, as long as you set those expectations.
2. Keep categories fresh.
The best way to ensure your blog covers all of the topics you want to highlight is to 1) define your content categories as part as your blog strategy, and 2) rotate those categories in your editorial calendar. For example, if you have four main blog categories and you’re writing one article per week, write one article in each category. This will ensure you have an even, consistent mix of content across your blog.
3. Brainstorm ahead.
Before developing your editorial calendar, have a brainstorming session and create as many article ideas in each category as you can. Filling in your editorial calendar with actual blog post topics will help ensure that you avoid the dreaded writer’s block.
4. Stick to a schedule.
The biggest problem that can derail your entire editorial calendar? Missing internal deadlines for content creation. Once you know how many blog posts your school will aim to produce in a month, break down the steps it will take to get each post published, and use a project management tool like Asana to keep your entire team on track.
5. Track everything.
You don’t need sophisticated editorial calendar software, but you do need an actual written calendar—one that you can easily update. I use Google Sheets and color-code the cells to visually map out my content categories. (Blackbaud K–12 note: we use the free version of Airtable.)
In this document, I have four individual tabs:
- The publication calendar (seen above)
- Scheduled content, where I track the content I currently have in development
- Published content, which helps me keep an inventory of all the content I’ve produced
- Content ideas, which is an area to brainstorm
(Want access to my editorial calendar template? You can find it in Cursive Content’s free Resource Library here.)
Overall, the goal when creating your school blog’s editorial calendar is to keep it strategic, realistic and on schedule. Next up in our school blogging series: setting up your school blog. Stay tuned!
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