If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my time at The Squad, it’s that the key to consistent blogging begins with developing a plan; no blogging strategy has ever worked by winging it. When we start working with a client ongoing, one of the first meetings we have with them is an editorial meeting where we discuss areas of the business they want to grow, talk about, and share with the world. The discoveries that come from that meeting are what we use to develop their editorial calendar, typically for three months at a time. The editorial calendar is a tried and true plan we’ve used for years to help guide our content creation process.
The thought of an editorial calendar is intimidating to some because it’s uncharted territory. Doing something for the first time or doing something entirely new leaves a lot of people feeling timid, but trust me when I say that no blogging or content plan can be developed and stay on track without the help of an editorial calendar.
Below are a few tips for creating an editorial calendar, including how you and your team can begin filling it up with content ideas.
How to Create an Editorial Calendar
- Start one month at a time. Don’t boil the ocean when you’re just starting out. Instead, focus on what content makes sense one month at a time.
- Discover your blogging frequency. Most of our clients blog an average of twice a week. If that’s too ambitious or realistic for you, start with once a week and try increasing that after a few months.
- Identify writers. Who will primarily be writing content for your company? Make sure to coordinate the topic and frequency of posts with their work schedule and availability.
- Start with a template. Your calendar can be pretty basic. If you don’t like any of the templates I linked up, create your own in Excel. I recommend including the following information in your calendar: blog title, author, publish date, and category the topic falls under.
Topic Ideas to Fill out Your Editorial Calendar
A variety of things will influence topic ideas and what your focus will be. Here are a few suggestions that should get you headed down the right path of brainstorming ideas:
- What areas of the business are a key focus? Write about these different areas and be sure to work in your core keywords.
- Piggyback on industry news. If you read an article online or in print that relates to your business or is big news for your industry, piggyback off of that content and create your own spin on it. Just be sure to cite any sources you use and link back to the original article when appropriate.
- Think about company events or trade shows happening that month. Will your team be attending conferences or meetings? If so, write about the event a few weeks before it’s scheduled and then write a follow-up post about your experience there. Make sure attendees get pictures while there to go along with the follow-up post.
- Are there any big holidays that month that would be worthy of a blog?
- Spotlight an employee or customer once a month. Believe it or not, some of our most high performing blogs are ones where we announce a new hire or spotlight an existing employee. People love to see the behind-the-scenes things that are happening in a business.
- Create a good mix of sales posts, internal news or happenings, and industry topics.
Learn From the Best
Still not feeling confident in your blogging ability? My advice is to just do it. You can get better and revise your process over time. Or, learn from those who came before you. (i.e. check out some business blogs in your industry that are doing the whole content marketing thing really well) Here are a few of my favorites from the marketing industry:
Need help or a consult to get you moving in the right direction? Reach out to The Marketing Squad. We’ll be happy to help you set up a manageable content marketing plan.