Do you know what content your brand will release next year?
Next year seems a long way off, but having no strategy leads to chaos. Instead of knowing what content you need, you panic. Content gets rushed to meet deadlines. Much of it ends up wasted because it doesn’t serve your brand’s needs.
You need a blog editorial calendar.Calendars help you to visualize your content strategy. They create consistency in your publishing. Click To Tweet
Now you’re wondering how to create an editorial calendar. Here’s our five-step process.
You need a strategy in place before you can arrange how you’ll publish content. Your content needs focus and must deliver your brand’s message.
How do you create your strategy? Start by finding the answers to these questions:
Your target audience is anyone who could use your content to improve their lives. That could mean professionally or personally, depending on your product. Look to related audiences too. Many content creators focus too intently on their target audiences. As a result, they underserve secondary audiences.
Don’t create content that people have seen before. They’ll just move on to the next piece.
Finally, know how to check your results. Google Analytics offers stats on pageviews, bounce rates, and conversions. Use this information to build your strategy.
Again, we’re looking at the strategy underpinning your blog content calendar. Align the skills of the team to the content it creates. You’ll have creators, planners, and somebody who manages the whole thing.
Organize a meeting to discuss ongoing roles. Check on the performance of recent pieces, and work out how upcoming content aligns to your brand. Encourage your team to share ideas for new pieces. Compile this information to create a short-term action plan, but don’t forget the long-term aims.
Assign ownership of your strategy to a project manager. They’ll keep everyone working along the right timeline, and ensure everybody knows their role.
Consistency is your biggest challenge. If you don’t have a blog editorial calendar, you can’t keep track of when your content goes live. You’ll flood the market one week, then go barren the next.
Look at your website analytics to determine optimal publishing times. Schedule content to go live when your website traffic peaks. Poorly-timed content doesn’t generate returns, no matter how good it is.
However, don’t forget to keep checking back. Your schedule must change with the data. If traffic volumes move, your content must move with it.
Now you know how often you want to publish, you need to get your hands on the right tools. You can choose from plenty of blog editorial calendar templates. However, a spreadsheet program, or Google Calendar, might be all you need.
Review your current scheduling tools. What are your pain points? Your new tools must address these issues.
Your budget also plays a part. Don’t overspend on a tool for bells and whistles you don’t need. Keeping it simple often works best.
With your tool in place, add your topics. Stick to the schedule you created in step three.
Share the calendar with every content creator on your team. It’s of no use to you if the people who need it don’t have access. Create a shared drive, or use the cloud to ensure the right people have access.
Keep it updated. Mark posts as completed as soon as their live. This serves two purposes. It tells your team that they can shift their creation focus elsewhere. Furthermore, it tells you which posts you need to analyse.
Finally, don’t forget that the outside world can influence your calendar. New events may change your content strategy. Ensure your calendar reflects these changes to keep everybody on track.
A blog editorial calendar helps you to implement the ideas in your content strategy. It shows you what to focus on, and highlights content you have to analyze.
It also provides a structure. With a calendar, your team always knows where it’s going. This means more time spent creating, and less spent scrambling for new topics for the week.
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