Few businesses would leave their financial planning until the last minute or wait until the night before to launch a new product, yet corporate blog posts are often an afterthought. Instead of waiting until you have an announcement to make (or worse, forgetting about your blog for weeks or months at a time), plan ahead using an editorial calendar.

As content marketing continues to dominate the digital marketplace, posting regular and informative content on your blog is more important than ever. According to online marketing expert, Jayson DeMers, “While consumers continue to tune out traditional, intrusive marketing communications, they increasingly crave the type of genuine, customer-focused information that content marketing delivers.”

Your corporate blog, as well as your Twitter account and Facebook page, should be integral to your advertising campaign. However, unlike traditional advertising, social media and blogging are about building relationships with your customers. To earn their trust—and a slice of their attention—it’s important to offer them something of value first. Well-written and informative posts take time to research and write, but the goodwill they build with your customers is worth it.

The tool you use to create and manage your calendar isn’t that important. If you’ll be sharing writing responsibilities with someone else, Google Calendar may be the best choice. If you’re the sole voice of your blog, an Excel spreadsheet, a Word document, a day planner, or even an honest-to-goodness bulletin board with index cards and pushpins might work. An advantage to keeping a digital calendar is that it can be easily shared with team members, guest posters, and even advertisers to coordinate your blogging efforts. According to Angela Stringfellow, “editorial calendars can become a vital asset when working in conjunction with advertisers or coordinating promotional opportunities for your own business. The calendar provides a comprehensive guide to when and where your work will fit into campaigns and promotions or vice versa.”

Once you’ve chosen the platform to create your calendar, you need to decide how often you’ll be posting. Fast Company has a comprehensive guide to social media posting frequency here, but the short answer is that there is no short answer. Your posting schedule will depend on your market, your customers, and the amount of time you can commit. Consider the time you’ll spend on research and proofreading when you make your plan. The key thing is to be consistent; posting twice a month like clockwork is much better than alternating between daily posts and weeks of silence.

Depending on the number of posts you plan to write each month, you’ll need to brainstorm enough ideas to meet your schedule. Julia Sydnor recommends brainstorming five to ten categories relevant to your business niche and your customers’ interests, then listing five ideas for each category. Don’t forget to note holidays for themed posts; check out this site for a database of every major and minor holiday. Remember that not every post needs to be completely original—or even written by you. Curating a “Best of the Web” showcasing or revisiting relevant older posts can bolster your original content. Never underestimate the power of guest bloggers, who not only provide your blog with awesome content but also bring their network with them as readers and potential customers.

Most importantly, remember to keep it simple. An editorial calendar can be as basic as a list of dates and topics—that’s how we do it at Grammarly. All that matters is whether it works for you.

Have you ever used an editorial calendar? Share your experience in the comments!