How To Use a Data-Driven Content Calendar To Boost Your Blog Performance

Blogging—is it art or science? We believe it’s both! While creativity plays a huge role in content creation and brand development, without a data approach developing your blog beyond a creative outlet will be a struggle.

Clarity, consistency and a deep understanding of your audience are essential for the continuous growth of your blogging business. So it’s time to add these qualities into your publishing processes by developing and sticking to a data-driven content calendar.

Why a Data-Driven Content Calendar is Your Secret Weapon

We’ve said this before: having an editorial calendar is super important. It adds clarity to your publishing process and strategy, plus reduces the overwhelm of constantly producing epic content.

Spicing it up with some data adds even more benefits to the mix:

  • You can understand how often you should publish new posts to meet your goals.
  • You can estimate the best time to publish new blog posts, and create a consistent and let’s be honest…more realistic blog schedule that you can actually stick to.
  • You gain insights for improving/repurposing your old content.
  • Your content calendar actually helps you drive measurable results for your blogging business.  

How to Create a Data-Driven Content Plan: Step-by-Step Guide

Jot down the main goal behind your content calendar.

Let’s go back to the very basics—why are you blogging? Blogging is fun and thrilling and might have been a creative outlet for you at first.

But as your blog evolved into a business, your goals have changed too. So ask yourself again—what are you trying to accomplish through your blog? Attract more sponsors? Launch a new product? Increase your revenue?

Answer this: I am blogging to __________ {#1 reason}.

 

Create a measurement for your goal.

Let’s say you are blogging to get more traffic and increase your affiliate commission. Google Analytics (a must-use tool for any publisher) can provide you with the following metrics:

  • General traffic stats (page views, monthly unique visitors, etc).
  • Conversions per page (for affiliate links).

Next, think about this: what metrics will be the most important to define the success of one blog post? If you want to grow your traffic, that would probably be page views.

Now, answer this: For my broad goal to __________ {#1 reason}, I’m going to measure success with this specific metric: __________ {metric}.

 

Calculate the baseline monthly performance for that metric. 

Scroll back through your Google Analytics and take note of the numbers. How many page views on average did your posts receive in the last three months? Now calculate the average number. This will be your new benchmark to measure your blog’s performance.  

Now answer this:  how many average __________ {metric} have I received per __________ {time frame} over the last three months?

 

Determine how one blog post contributes to that metric.

Now you’ll need to estimate how individual blog posts contributed to that metric within a set period of time.

To calculate your number, take a good sample (at least 10 blog posts) and jot down how many page views each one received within 30 days after publishing.

Then, you will need to do some math. Take the sum of the metric from all posts in the sample and divide it by the number of posts in the sample and you’ll receive your average post contribution.

20,000 pageviews ÷ 10 blog posts = 2,000 pageviews—your average post contribution.

 

Set your content goals.

10x growth month over month is a good aim. This means that you’ll need to generate a 10% monthly increase in your metric.

So if you are currently getting 20,000 page views per month, 10% more means that you should plan to score at least 22,000 views. That’s your aspirational blogging goal.

Here’s a quick formula to calculate yours:

{average month contribution} × {% aspirational growth} = {new month contribution goal}.

 

Pinpoint how many blog posts you’ll need to publish monthly to meet your goal.

You know your ideal growth number and you’ll know how each blog post contributes to that monthly goal.

The rest is simple: add up how many blog posts you need to add to your content calendar for next month to slay your goal. Here’s your formula for that:

New month content goal ÷ average post contribution = # of posts needed to reach your goal.

Now you know exactly how many posts you need to publish per month, plus how much effort should go into promoting that content to meet your blogging goals. You have a clear commitment and can build up your stamina towards blogging consistently, reaching your goals, and even over-delivering on them!

 

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