We’ve all heard the benefits of setting up an editorial calendar for organized and well-planned blog creation. But how many of us have actually done it? *crickets* Yeah. That’s what we kind of figured. And we get it: Planning out a month’s or even a few weeks’ worth of blogs seems like a drag and terribly time-consuming. But it doesn’t have to be! We boiled down your blog editorial calendar to some simple basics so you can get back to the important things in life (like searching for cricket noises on the Internet).
Any old calendar, whether printed or online, serves just fine as an editorial calendar. We like Google Calendar for this kind of thing, given its awesome sharing capabilities. When glancing at the month coming up, we ask ourselves what we want to write about, what we haven’t written about before and what topics are worth revisiting. Also, we take into account what time of year it is and see if the month’s holidays or events can inspire posts. Answering these questions alone often inspires a week’s worth of posts. And when it doesn’t, just dig a little deeper. See if the blogs and articles you read can fire up your creative engines for several days’ worth of posts. Devoting an entire week to one topic, product or service is another easy way to bust out some content. Ditto with days of the week; this blog, for example, publishes a Top 5 list and Blog Like the Big Brands every week on Fridays and Mondays, respectively. But make sure the calendar serves just as a flexible guide to provide direction for your posts. You’re the boss, so if you want to deviate from the calendar, no biggie. No one will scream at you. It is here to make blog creation easier, not more stressful.
If you have multiple bloggers contributing, an editorial calendar can help serve as a schedule as to who’s posting what on which day. Assigning posts or type of posts to a group of bloggers will help eliminate writer’s block and confusion. Plus it gives your readers a variety of voices on different days, which is always a good thing. Interviews, video posts and other non-traditional blog posts can also be put on the calendar. Does your company have any upcoming events, promotions, contests or conferences you’re attending? Put those on the calendar, too, as that stuff makes for excellent blog posts.
If this looks like it could provide you with a lot of potential content, good. That is a good thing. You want your calendar to be full. In order for content marketing to really work, you must have lots of content. Go figure. But this mountain of content can all add up to less work. All of this planning takes about 30 minutes once a month, maximum.
Readers, do you use an editorial calendar for your blog? If so, please enlighten us to your organized and insightful ways in the comments section below!