Blogging takes dedication. It takes planning too. And there is no better tool than a well-organized editorial calendar to help you stick to your plan.
An editorial calendar will cut down on the time and effort involved in creating content, act as an internal to-do list that everyone can rely on, and help you frame the content required for campaigns.
If you want a robust editorial calendar that will keep you blogging effortlessly all year long, consider these ideas:
Begin with a goal
Creating an editorial calendar is just like any other project. To do it right, you should create a work-back schedule with S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-based) goals and give people an early heads up.
With blogging, it helps to outline what you want to achieve. Higher engagement, more sales and building a positive reputation around your brand are often top considerations. Your answer will drive your creative, so make sure you’ve got buy-in from the whole team.
Build a team
To keep readers engaged and interested, you’ve got to publish through good times and bad. To do that, you need commitment. The best way to ensure you stick to your schedule is to create a reliable team of high performers who can make things happen from a content perspective.
So far, you’ve found your goals and you’ve put together your writing team. Now what are you going to write about?
If your goal is to plan enough blog posts for an entire quarter, and you plan to post once a week, try to leave that brainstorming session with at least a dozen ideas for blog content.
Keep any extra ideas you don’t plan to use in the upcoming quarter … they might get you out of a pinch one day. We’ve found it helpful to build a database filled with as many blog topic ideas as possible.
If you’re looking for some guidance about leading effective brainstorming sessions, click here to read our post on the subject.
Even if you’ve built out your editorial calendar for three months, six months or a year, you still have to expect the unexpected.
Let’s say something dramatic happens in the markets, but your scheduled post is about an investing book you want to recommend. Well, it’s time to write a different post. Write about what’s happening in the news instead, and save the book review for another day.
With a little dedication and an editorial calendar, your blog will always have fresh content.