Last week, in How to Decide What to Blog About, you learned how to generate at least 25-50 new blog post ideas. This week, we’ll discuss the role of an editorial calendar and how it brings structure to your business blogging strategy.
Every Marketer is a Publisher
Creating an editorial calendar, with a publication schedule and internal deadlines, may seem daunting at first. But it doesn’t require the purchase of any fancy software. Retain your sense of spontaneity and freedom while you grow your base of readers. Your editorial calendar simply allows you to deliver better blog posts more consistently. Your goal should be to have a plan to meet the informational needs of readers with fresh, relevant content.
Develop Your Editorial Calendar
- Develop Categories
- Pick Topics
- Consider Recurring Themes
- Choose the Right Keywords
- Remember Special Events
- Explore Seasonal Ideas
- Plan Your Promotions
There is no need to panic as you decide what to blog about and you never have to feel totally locked in. An editorial calendar is about strategy and it’s about timing but you can retain some flexibility. It describes when you’ll be covering certain topics in your blog, and it’s usually mapped out for several months down the line. We recommend blogging a minimum of once a week and, if possible, you should consider blogging daily to get the most traffic and leads.
Some bloggers like to have a distinct style of post for each day of the week. Others like to make sure they map everything out well in advance and establish firm deadlines for the completion of blog content. Just make sure you take an approach that includes a schedule of what blog posts will be published when.
Then stick to your editorial calendar as you would a contractual deadline. Take the creation of your web content as seriously as you take every other aspect of your business. Failing to stick to a pre-determined schedule can make your blog content seem sporadic and impulsive, which can diminish your online readership.
Are you already blogging about industry events, interesting data, and new products? Your calendar should include deadlines for any predictable events. However, unplanned events will have to be included less formally since you don’t know when they’ll occur. You can have core topics you strongly adhere to and a looser system for writing when the spirit moves you.
The concept of an editorial calendar may sound like something only professional publications should deal with, however you want to ensure your blog posts are consistent and relevant. For example, if you’re planning on writing a series of seasonal or event-related blog posts, the time to do the writing is far in advance. An editorial calendar will help guarantee you’ve got the content ready when it’s time to roll it out.
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