Good content is vital to the success of any technical blog because it provides brand awareness, promotes consumer engagement, and helps the company connect with its audience. This is why it?s important for you to start working on some quality technical writing for your online blog and social media sites.
However, before you begin making software blog posts, you might consider a bit of planning. A content schedule gives you and your writers a plan to follow and makes it easier to generate content over time.
A content schedule can be as simple as a sheet of paper filled with titles for upcoming blog posts or as complicated as an Excel document that contains subject matter, items you want to touch on in each post, keywords and phrases that will improve SEO, and specific names of products you want to feature.
Regardless of how detailed your content schedule might be, here are three reasons why a schedule is a must-have for technical blog posts.
Benefits of a Content Schedule for a Technical Blog
1. Content Schedules Keep Content Organized
A content schedule is the best way to organize your calendar of upcoming content. It not only helps you manage your blog, but it also allows you to tie together other platforms, including blog posts, email newsletters and social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Determine how far in advance you want to plan content. Also, ask yourself if you want to create the calendar on your own or if you want input from your writers or other members of your team. Some businesses have content strategy sessions where they bring together a creative team to generate ideas for a year or more of content in one sitting.
The more you can plan posts in advance the easier it is to keep your blog active and up-to-date. Too many businesses fall victim to not having content ideas in ?the hopper,? and wind up with a dead blog after a few weeks or months.
Also, have a plan for promoting your new software blog posts and always share or re-post previous blogs that have an evergreen theme or that have been updated with more information.
Finally, consider designing your content schedule to include holidays and current events. This tends to help SEO and keeps the blog posts interesting to your audience. It can also prevent technical content from feeling too dry or uninteresting.
Content Schedules Reduce Stress
Imagine keeping up with a weekly or daily blog without any ideas. You might have a few ideas floating around in your head that will carry you through a few posts, but with tight schedules and the need for fast turnarounds, the well is sure to run dry.
Having to come up with content ideas on the fly can also affect your creativity. You?re writing for posting sake instead of offering insight into a relevant topic in your industry.
Rather than losing out on creativity, use your content schedule to manage your content days or weeks, in advance. You want to optimize your posts based on timing as much as possible and give yourself the time to really share your thoughts on a topic that is relevant to your audience. The more you reduce creative pressure with a content schedule the better your final posts will be.
Content Schedules Make It Easier to Plan
Lastly, a finished and detailed content schedule helps you (and your developer marketing team) see your strategy in timely blocks. This makes it easier to plan out other marketing strategies in addition to your blog.
For instance, if you know you will be posting a blog on a new piece of software at the end of the month, you?ll have time to take photographs and prepare social media content that pairs with that post. You can also discuss the related information in your newsletter. Content schedules make it easier to create consistent plans across all platforms.
How Technical Writing Companies Can Create a Content Schedule
1. Make a schedule for 1-6 months
Plan content for blogs and social media platforms as far ahead as you can. You can also add to it or move posts around as events in your industry occur. Events like seminars, Q&As, talks, eBooks, and other product releases and press conferences can be addressed on the fly or planned in advance, as long as you?ve established a good foundation of planned content.
2. Check your content before putting it on your schedule
Ask yourself the following:
- Do your software blog posts match your developer marketing profile?
- Is the content captivating (witty, shocking, funny, thoughtful, recent, exclusive) and entertaining?
- Does the content trigger engagement and encourage people to share it across various platforms?
3. Be flexible
- Keep an eye on other technical writing services and events to make sure you?re addressing the hottest topics in your industry
- Check your blog analytics and see what is most popular with your audience
- Don?t be afraid to take risks and make changes if it seems appropriate
How to Make Technical Blog Posts within a Content Schedule
Here are some tips and tricks that can work for technical blog post content:
1. Aim for about three long-form articles each week
Put some time, work, and research into making long-form content every week. Dig deep into stats, studies, and other research articles in the niche for better blogging. Not only does this make a technical blog post more useful to your viewers, but it?ll also make you a vital source of trusted information reliable down the road.
2. Make two SlideShare presentations every week
SlideShare acts as a free content-sharing platform that makes your company useful to a larger number of clients. Your SlideShare presentation will be completely embeddable and free to download and open to social shares and likes.
Here?s what we recommend when preparing a SlideShare:
- Collect your data from one or two of your long-form blog posts
- Make a visually attractive SlideShare
- Embed the slide on your blogging platform with a precise description and then share it along your other social media channels.
3. Syndicate your work
Just a few times a week, syndicate your content to different blogging platforms all across the internet. Doing so allows you to build links and grow your reputation online. Here are some platforms that you can use:
4. Post comments every day on influencer sites
You want to connect with internet thought leaders within your industry and make them want to help your brand. Connect with influences through Klout, PeerIndex, and Kred.
Try to make comments on two to three blogs every day. Commenting gets you attention and allows influencers to learn about your projects and services. You?ll also learn more about your industry by taking the time to engage with other blogs and people in other forums that are familiar with your products and services.
5. Leverage your content
Once you?ve got a content schedule in place, you?re able to post content without as much thought and without investing as much time each week. This frees up time to leverage the content you?ve created. As mentioned above, you can share that content, syndicate it, or use it to attract the attention of influencers in your industry.
Leveraging the content you?ve created or the content you?ve had created for you is a great way to get as much bang for your buck as possible. From one investment in a 1000 word blog post, you can generate a week?s worth of content on other forums. This is one of the reasons if you do not intend to create your own blog posts that you hire an experienced writer familiar with tech. You need a blog post strong enough to carry the attention you intend to generate for it once it?s posted.
It?s understandable why you might feel overwhelmed when it comes to creating content. Though you can eventually begin to promote the content on your blog and use it to grow your business, you first need to get started. A content schedule makes it easier to do this. A solid schedule gives you a map through creating content over a certain period of time. It also takes the pressure off generating ideas as you go.
If you aren?t sure where to begin, gather a few trusted members of your team together or set aside a few hours to be alone with your thoughts. Begin jotting down ideas about topics in your industry you?d like to discuss. Peruse other blogs and see what people in your industry are talking about. Turn to trade publications or newsletters that are in your inbox for ideas.
Once you have a chunk of blog post ideas, you can begin to plug them into your content calendar based on how often you intend to post blogs. And from there, you can work on all the other details regarding the promotion of the blogs and marketing.
If you haven?t already begun creating a content blogging schedule, there?s no time like the present.