How to Build (and Run) a Content Marketing Calendar

 

Operating an Internet affiliate marketing business can be challenging. That’s especially true managing content marketing. I struggled for a while until I developed a sensible method for organizing my content marketing. Managing content is an uphill climb for many of us with a single affiliate marketing site supported by social media.

As I added niches to my marketing mix the task became daunting. Now, with many sites across several niches I keep my marketing management from the “herding cats” category. I had to develop a system that made sense to me. It had to be workable for my work habits and approach to generating organic traffic.

I realize my system may be awkward to implement. That’s why I don’t offer it as a product. However, the following article from Smartbug may be just the right method for you to organize your content marketing. I recommend using these tips as a guide for developing your marketing calendar system.

How to Build and Run a Content Marketing Calendar By Christopher Hutchens

“It’s all about content.”

You’ve probably heard this phrase uttered from your agency or marketing department sometime in the last several years, but it’s one that can’t be overstated.

Today’s consumer spends more time researching before making a purchase than ever before, and companies who are willing to provide the best and most helpful content to these consumers are usually the ones rewarded over time.

But creating a successful content marketing strategy takes time, planning, analysis, and repetition—all of which take a commitment from your content marketing team.

In this blog post, we’ll show you step by step how you can build a content marketing calendar that you and your team can use to create successful content that drives traffic to your site and improves your website’s SEO over time.

  1. Start with an Excel doc or Google Sheets and create a living document where your calendar and blog titles will live.

At SmartBug, we use Google Sheets, which allows consultants and strategists to collaborate when developing content. On the spreadsheet, there are multiple tabs that we use to plan out all of the content we produce.

The first tab is a rolling 90-day calendar, with each month broken out by deliverable, such as which blogs will be posted in a given week, which emails will be sent, which premium content will be launched, etc. The 90-day calendar tab is our go-to tool for knowing where we stand on any given piece of content.

The next tab in our content calendar is where we develop blog titles. In this tab, we keep a running list of all titles, with additional columns for targeted keywords, keyword difficulty score, and search volume (we’ll touch on these later in the post).

And finally, you’ll want to create a tab for all of your content offerings. Once you begin publishing several blogs a month and start launching ebooks, landing pages, and infographics, you’ll want a place to store these assets. So create a tab that houses everything you’ve created, and add in the URL links for easy reference later on.

Your content calendar can certainly have more than three tabs (we have lots here at SmartBug), but these are the basics we’d recommend when setting up your content calendar.

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12 Ways To Clear Out Business Clutter

 

Memorial Day each year the Indianapolis Speedway track announcer says, “Gentlemen, start your engines” to begin the famed Indy 500 motor race. Of course when female drivers are in the race the call is “Ladies and Gentlemen.”

I want you to use those words and get focused on business. Make Memorial Day when you restart your business engine. Clean out your business closet. Get rid of stuff you do not use. Cut the clutter impacting your success.

Springtime is when many of us lose the zest of our New Year energy and commitment. We don’t mean to. It just happens.

Weather draws us outdoors. For many vacation and recreation planning take center stage. Change of season can make it difficult to focus on business as we should.

So, let’s refocus today and take care of holdover tasks we keep putting aside.

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When To Find a New Web Host

You can make money online without a web site. However, if you want a sustainable business that delivers regular deposits to your bank account a domain is a necessity.

That’s particularly true for niche and affiliate marketers. They need landing pages for offers. A well put together site trumps simple landing pages. That’s my opinion. Others may have a different take on the subject.

So, having one or more domains means securing a reliable host. HostGator is my choice for solid hosting services.

Most of us sign up with a web host and don’t think about it after that. In an ideal world that would be the way to go. We do not live and work in an ideal world.

I usually do an internal audit of my service providers every couple of months. I do this sometimes sooner. If clicks or sales drop off I check my engine carefully. Q1 of this year is approaching. I’m setting aside a day to perform diagnostics on my sales systems. Routine auditing of my service providers is a necessity. That’s not a nice-to-do-sometime-task.

My livelihood’s at risk here. The downside is losing sales. It’s worse losing long time customers. And it’s difficult to repair damage to my reputation. The upside is keeping things humming. During audit I often make improvements to funnels.

Let’s look at web hosts and how to tell when is it time to make a change. Too many stay with suppliers too long. This can be exceptionally harming to your site and online presence.

Here are ten signs it’s best for you to change your web host. Your site will benefit and your business will prosper.

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Search Engine Strategies

seo canstockphoto5764453 Wonder why you don’t make more money online? Perhaps it has something to do with SEO. Your online earnings are determined by how easy it is to search and find your product/service offer.

Most likely your competitors pay attention to Search Engine Optimization. SEO is simply how to get more traffic directed to your offer by Google, Bing or some other search engine. More in this case means a higher ranking when a user searches using words associated with your product offer.

Search Basics

Let’s simplify SEO. The Internet is basically a method for connecting people with information. Search engines rapidly scan the Internet for information someone seeks.

They do this by sending bits of code called bots that look for what you seek. These bots crawl the web looking for data based on the keywords a person specifies in the search bar of a search engine.

Google is the #1 search engine in use. More than 1.1 billion people use Google each month. Compare that to Bing with 350 million average monthly users. Go to eBizMBA Rank for the list of the top 15 search engines in use today.

Online marketers do not have to know the mechanics of search engines. They just have to know how to use them to benefit a  business or campaign. We tend to make too much of technology making Internet what it is.  Some use that complexity to their advantage selling how-to programs.

A basic key to optimizing your site for search engines is selecting the best keywords associated with your offer. I use a great keyword tool Long Tail Pro. It is inexpensive, easy to learn how to use, and gives me a competitive advantage in some crowded product niches.

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Long-Tail Keywords – Worth The Effort?

seo2

This article by Jill kocher first appeared on practicalecommerce.com.

I’m reprinting it here because successful affiliate marketing has a “use all tools” foundation. Carefully choosing correct keywords and long-tail keywords are important to my marketing mix.

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