You will need to write some days, and the words just won’t come. On other days you plan to write and won’t have time. And then there will be days when you totally forget that you need to write. Unfortunately, you still need content to keep up your regular publishing cadence and connect with your audience consistently. Which is why you need to have content reserves for all of these days and others.
What are Content Reserves?
Content reserves are evergreen content that you write and keep at the ready for times when you need to post, but other things get in the way. In journalism, we call this keeping a piece “in the can.” Then you always knew you had something to rely on during a slow news day or if a story fell through.
Content reserves aren’t pieces that you plan on your regular editorial calendar. They also don’t mean you don’t stick to your editorial calendar, plan what you want to publish, and write ahead. They are planned extra pieces that you’ll hold onto for a rainy day because the best-laid plans don’t always work out.
In other words, content reserves are your publishing Plan B.
Benefits of content reserves include:
- Consistency. When you have a few posts waiting, you stay on your publishing schedule, no matter what happens. Staying on your publishing schedule is critical because regularly publishing blogs get better results, with “results” being more audience attention (traffic).
- Security. Knowing that you have a few pieces ready helps you feel more secure about your publishing cadence.
- Flexibility. If a post comes in that didn’t turn out the way you expected or needs more work, you have the flexibility to make that happen without missing a publishing day.
Tips for Having Content Reserves
Content reserves are your backup plan. They’re the rainy day fund that keeps you publishing. So now that you understand what they are and why you would want them, here are some tips for planning content reserves for your blog.
Know How Many
How many posts do you need in reserve? Obviously, you don’t want to waste time or effort, so you want to be realistic about how much content you have sitting. I recommend you have a week’s worth of content in reserve. That way, if your writer gets sick or something else happens, you’re covered. How many posts that is depends on your publishing schedule. So, Content Journey publishes every Tuesday and Thursday. We keep two to three posts in our content reserves.
Understand the Type
Not every post type will work for a reserve piece. It has to be an evergreen topic, which means it can’t have a timeline. It can’t include topics or references that won’t age well. You eventually want to publish your content reserves and add new things to the can instead, but you should be able to let these items sit for a month or so without fear that they’ll become unpublishable.
Have Them Ready
Here’s a confession of sorts. I have three posts in Content Journey’s reserves right now, but only one of them is edited. So that means two of them haven’t been through the editing process, which should be at least a two-day process. That’s a fail on my part. Your content reserves should be posts that are edited and ready to publish. You can even put them on your site as drafts if you want.
The entire idea behind reserves is that they save you when something goes awry, so they need to be ready to go. You don’t want to be in an emergency or high-stress situation and be trying to prep your reserve content for publishing.
Now that I’ve publicly shamed myself, I will get those two posts ready.
Use Your Strategy
Content reserves should still follow the same strategy as your regular posts. They should still use keywords, focus on your audience, follow your format, go through your editing process, etc. They aren’t throw-away content. They’re valuable pieces that you plan to publish at some point. They just aren’t scheduled.
Plan Them, But Don’t Plan Them
You want to plan your content reserves in that you want great content there waiting. But you don’t want to plan to publish them in your regular editorial calendar. Trust me. Things will arise that cause you to use this content. You don’t say, “Oh, we’ll just use a reserve post that day instead of planning content.” It’s more like, “Oh, crap! I’m glad we have a reserve post.”
You can decide how often you want to replace your reserve posts. I don’t like them to sit more than a month or two before I add something else to the can and publish one of them. But that’s the key. If you plan to go ahead and use a reserve post, be sure you have a replacement there first.
Let Content Journey Plan for You
The great thing about outsourcing content marketing is that you don’t have to think about any of this. You can focus on running your business and know that something will get published to your blog or sent to your audience every time it’s supposed to. Want to learn more about working with Content Journey? Book a call.