Remember when we talked about how a blog can help your health club generate more qualified leads? We’re willing to bet that if you’re committed to blogging, you’re probably now reaping some of the benefits, including helping to bring prospects to your website, building your brand’s identity, demonstrating your expertise, and of course helping to boost membership sales.
As your blog continues to grow and attracts a larger or more engaged audience, so does the need to plan and manage your content. This is particularly important for blogs that have several contributing authors. If you’re not managing content, you run the risk of covering the same topics.
But don’t worry, we have you covered! We’re sharing our top five tips to help you create a 12-month blog editorial calendar that is easy to manage.
Tip 1: Keyword Research
Before implementing a new plan make sure to do your homework. Utilizing the right keywords is critical. After all, this is how your target audience will find you from search engines. Not only that, it optimizes your blog and determines your online ranking. Using a tool like HubSpot’s Keyword tool or a free Keyword research platform will help you identify these opportunities. Here’s what you need to look at:
- Which keywords need to be boosted to maintain your ranking?
What new keyword opportunities should you be going after?
Tip 2: Internal Content Audit
Take an inventory of your health club’s promotions, programs, content offers, and upcoming events that would work well for a blog post. Also, consider the following:
- What are the types of popular posts on social media? What are the posts that work well for organic search?
- Talk to your sales and fitness teams. Ask them how you can best support their initiatives, or if they hear things from members that could work for your blog’s editorial content.
Tip 3: Brainstorm Topics
Gather your team for a brainstorm meeting to discuss new topics and ideas. This should be fun! Also, keep in mind that in the brainstorming session all ideas are fair game. While they may not all make the final blog editorial calendar, this will help your team think outside the box and get creative. Use these guidelines to help you brainstorm:
- Remember this goal: all topics should resonate with your target audience. What past content has generated the most interest, likes, or shares?
- Can you expand on a topic? You don’t always need to reinvent the wheel. Pull from past content that provides an opportunity to share additional knowledge or tips.
- Many health clubs tend to focus solely on their own offerings, sales, promotions or amenities. Remember that you should be writing about things your audience cares about in your industry, not just your company! In general, you should use the 80/20 rule - 80% of your content should be fun and useful for your readers and only 20% should talk specifically about your company.
Tip 4: Planning
The planning stage is important because you’re creating your blog editorial calendar and organizing content. Specifically, consider the following:
- Think about the time of year and seasonal topics. A good example: If you have a post in mind that offers fitness and nutrition tips for people jumping back into a fitness routine, consider scheduling the post for the end of December. The New Year is a popular time for many people to make fitness resolutions to get back into the gym, and you could use this seasonal tie-in to frame your content.
- Make sure you have content for all of your buyer personas. From your busy mom to seasoned athlete, cover a wide range of topics that provides unique value for each of your personas.
- Have blog content for each stage of the buyer’s journey. Just as it’s important to provide fitness tips for beginners, don’t forget that your members will continue to evolve in their fitness journey as they take advantage of services such as personal training and group exercise classes.
- Manage your content with a spreadsheet. Looking for a template? We like this blog editorial calendar created by Hubspot.
Tip 5: Get to Work
You’ve conducted your research, brainstormed topics, calendared content and created a spreadsheet to manage your content. Now it’s time to put your hard work into action.
- Give the topics to your internal employees or outsource to a professional writer. Make sure to assign due dates for each blog post, and have a plan in place to edit all content prior to publishing.
- Schedule and optimize your posts. Don’t forget to include your keywords and link to outside sources when appropriate.
We know blogging takes time and effort, but when carefully thought out, the process should feel more manageable. Also, remember that your blog editorial calendar is not set in stone. If your health club creates a new social media campaign, or extends an offer for a special promotion, you can make adjustments as needed. As long as your team works together and continues to discuss your overarching goals so your content can reflect them, we are confident you will find success in blogging.
So what are you waiting for? Let’s get to work! We can’t wait to see what you come up with.
And now it’s your turn: what are your best practices or tips in managing your health club’s blog editorial calendar? Please comment and add your best tips below!