5 Steps to Creating an Editorial Calendar for Your Blog

blogging calendarCreating an editorial calendar for your blog will make a marked difference.

Without one your content will tend to be posted aimlessly. It won’t be in sync with any predetermined objectives, and you run the risk of having lots of content on a few topics while others are ignored.

Here’s a step-by-step plan for getting an effective editorial calendar up and running:

1. Start With a Strategy

Think through the following:

  • What are your content marketing objectives? Who’s your target audience? Have you developed a buyer persona? What actions do you want visitors to your blog to take?
  • What will be your publishing schedule? Daily posts? 2 to 3 times per week? Weekly? Bi-weekly?
  • What timing issues need to be factored in to your editorial calendar?

- Seasons
- Sales cycles
- Holidays
- Company events or product launches

  • What channels are you going to promote your blog content through? Why these channels?

2. Decide on What Tool You’ll Use For Your Editorial Calendar

It may not need to be elaborate. If you’re a smaller company, an Excel spreadsheet may do the job just fine.

A WordPress plugin is now available. If you’re using the WP platform, this may be completely adequate.

Or you may need to think through the dedicated software options available. A few of the popular solutions include: Divvy HQ, Kapost, and Gather Content.

3. Brainstorm With Your Team

One of the most fruitful discussions you can begin with is about what content is already available within your organization.  Do you have whitepapers that you can take excerpts from to republish as blog posts? What about company videos or speeches that can be transcribed to form the basis of more posts? Get creative and you’ll probably find you already have a ton of great content available right now that can be re-tasked quickly and easily.

Then move on to make a list of topics of interest to your target audience. Bring in staff from your sales and customer service teams. Ask them what questions they are hearing regularly in the field.

TIP: Run an “MVB” (most valuable brainstormer) competition with your team and have a great prize for who can bring the most ideas with them to the brainstorming session.

Once you’ve created your lists, begin to prioritize them ready for scheduling on your calendar. This might be part of the brainstorming session itself, or it may be a second session, or even assigned to one or two staff. Just don’t let the process stall. Have deadlines, and hold people accountable.

4. The Essential Bits to Include When Creating an Editorial Calendar for Your Blog

  • The date the post will be published.
  • The topic of the post. You can include draft titles if they occur to you.
  • Keywords to be targeted.
  • The call-to-action.
  • Promotional tasks.
  • Personnel responsible. Who will create it? Who will edit it? What is to be outsourced? Who needs to approve it?

5. Schedule Regular Usage & Review

Perhaps the most obvious solution is to have a regular slot in your weekly marketing team meeting to go over the editorial calendar for the week ahead. Be very clear on who is responsible for every piece of the implementation.

This simple plan for creating an editorial calendar for your blog can be adapted and repeated for all your other content marketing channels. You should have an editorial calendar for your social media strategy, and another for offline publications, and so on. Once you do, you can combine them to form a master calendar for all your content marketing.

 

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