Before you sit down to actually plan your blog editorial calendar, make sure you read the steps I outlined in my previous post about How to Create Your 2011 Social Media Calendar.
Before you start planning, consider the following questions.
What is the editiorial purpose behind your blog?
- What are you trying to achieve with your blog?
- Is it entertaining, serious, educational, etc.?
- Before you pick topics for your posts, figure out the purpose behind your blog. Don't write a blog just for the heck of it - think niche and be specific. Don't be 'general' with your blog's purpose and focus.
- For example, don't write a blog about general "green-friendly" topics. Hone into a targeted topic - green-friendly fashion or even more specific: green-friendly clothing for babies and toddlers.
- Do you have sub-markets you want to reach besides your main audience? For example, your blog appeals to real estate professionals but mortgage lenders, home appraisers and title companies would also highly benefit from your information.
- What are your readers' likes, dislikes, wants, needs, demographics, etc.?
- What's the latest hot industry news?
- What problems can you solve for readers in your blog?
- Get a pulse for what's going on in your industry.
- Dig into competitors' posts and find out what's hot and not - read their comments.
- Are their posts well-received? Do they have a huge reader following?
Step #1 Look at your calendar for the year. Pick months, weeks and days according to significant milestones, events, news, etc. within your company or industry. For example, if you're a tax consultant April would be a great month to post tax tips.
Step #2 Figure out how many posts you'll write and publish each week. If you post only two times per week then remain consistent. Don't write one post every other month and forget about your blog - that's the kiss of death for a blogger. You can save time with posts by writing and auto-scheduling posts ahead of time. Hint: Mix up your blog with longer posts/articles and shorter posts. Some bloggers post every day and some only once a week - it's up to you how many posts are feasible to write/publish each week. Just be consistent with your posts!
Step #3 Create a calendar spreadsheet in Excel or Word that details the following: title of blog post or topic and "to be published" dates.
Step #4 Optimize your blog with keywords by reviewing your blog research, topics, information etc and include key words in your calendar.
- For example: Topic: How to Write Winning Content, Date: March 1, 2011, keywords: content writing, copywriting, how to write better content
WordPress and other blog platforms allow you to schedule posts at any time - day or night & 24,7. Look into social media automated software such as HootSuite or Postling - makes it easy to write, manage and schedule posts.
There is a great WordPress Editorial Calendar plugin that is very helpful and will move you in the right direction - saves you a lot of time!
Stay tuned for Part Three in my blog series...How to Plan Your Weekly Social Media Updates