Developing a Content Calendar for your Web Site
If you really are interested in mastering the challenge of creating effective Web site content, one simple way to start is to develop a Web site content calendar or messaging schedule. Magazines and newspapers have used editorial calendars for years to notify writers and advertisers what types of content would appear throughout a certain editorial cycle (i.e. a year). Media relations and advertising personnel are then able to know when to approach a particular publication with an idea or ad.
Web site marketers can borrow the same concept and use it to organize content across their organizations. A Web site content calendar can be organized in whatever fashion you wish. It can also evolve throughout the year as new ideas and topics emerge. It is important to craft it in such a way that everyone on the team has a general idea of topics, roles, and schedules. It is certainly advisable, especially at the outset, to keep it as simple as possible. The table below is a simple representation of how an accounting and audit firm might approach content creation in a given fiscal year:
While the format can be much simpler or complex, this one should give you a place to start. The key components are as follows:
- Roles & Responsibilities – This allows you to establish a formal breakdown of which members of the organization will create, coordinate, and/or authorize content. Documenting this structure will help to establish a division of labor as well as clear understanding of accountability.
- Editorial Style – Establishing your target audience and editorial tone will help to create a common understanding of writing style and readership. Without this, your content may stray in terms of focus or language. Whether you want your Web content to be humorous, professional, or casual, it’s important to be consistent.
- General Topic – Establishes a general direction for that period’s content. Naturally, this should be coordinated with the seasonal concerns of your target audience.
- Article & Writer – Shows the planned article titles and authors.
You can explore a wealth of other attributes to add to this calendar. Simply having one, though, can be a great first step toward injecting your company’s expertise into your Web site. A calendar like this can be created very efficiently amongst team members. Like many other company challenges, involving the participants in the planning process may help to attain overall project consensus.