Is Blogging part of your editorial strategy? If the answer is yes and you’re not working to an editorial calendar then you’re not really serious about your blogging. Let’s be honest, you’re winging it.
Ok, I’m not perfect either and I’m not casting judgement on anyone’s capabilities or commitment, it’s just that if we approach any element of our marketing (or anything else in our business for that matter) with less than a professional attitude it’s likely we will under perform.
If your Blogging efforts are about promotion of business activities and generating new leads, then taking a structured approach is critical to your success. There are several elements that can assist in your process, but not all are applicable to everyone, it depends on your specific goals etc.
The Editorial Calendar
One element that I believe should be implemented by everyone blogging for business is The Editorial Calendar. The Editorial Calendar is about planning in advance what it is you wish to communicate and how you are going to do it. It is about getting your ideas out of your head and onto paper (or electronically) in an organised manner. If you are deciding what you want to write about on the day you need to publish then that’s not a strategy.
There are several WordPress Editorial Calendar plugins that handle this well, but you can also simply use a Gmail Calendar to record your ideas and schedule. Pinning a wall planner to your office wall is also a good idea as it keeps your schedule in your eye line every day. Some bloggers use a large whiteboard for their Editorial Calendar which can be easily modified, I like this one but don’t have the wall space for it!
Editorial Calendar Features
An electronic Editorial Calendar can handle lots for the business blogger such as the following;
- A notepad for your post and series ideas
- Schedule your posts
- Post to Social Media
- Record Social Media Interaction
- Assign Authors
- Assign Authors Tasks
- Plug into Analytics and other third party applications
Some Bloggers plan their Editorial Calendar for the entire year and I can definitely see the advantage of doing this, but I’m certainly not that organised at the moment.
Here’s What I Do
I use a WP Plugin called CoSchedule. It allows me do all the above amongst other things, but most importantly it allows me to plan my ideas and posts up to 6 weeks all within Wordpress. This is really helpful as I can see exactly what I’m planning in one screen.
I can plan my post series for this editorial period. For example; I have a series starting this week going out every Wednesday that shows my readers (Tradesmen in business) how to implement habits to become highly organised. I can view each post draft and assign tasks for myself that link through to my Google Calendar.
I can see what my upcoming posts are and have a definite way forward. It allows me create Social Media posts for unlimited social profiles and see how many interactions I receive from each post. There may well be better plugins or systems out there but I like this one. It works for me.
There are many systems and tools to help the business blogger produce content efficiently and regularly. The object of this tool is to get the blogger into a rhythmic systematic process of content creation. In my opinion, using an Editorial Calendar is the single biggest difference between blogging as a hobby and blogging as a business.
In time, using structured planning, readers will see the efforts you put into your blog. Readers will come to expect your content to be consistent and regular. If you are blogging for your business then you simply must get extremely organised and methodical about your blogging, otherwise you will not stand out in a sea of content on the web.
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