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Do I Really Need an Editorial Calendar for My Blogs?

Posted By Christine On February 16, 2010 @ 3:19 pm In Blogging, Productivity, Your Voice Inc. | 4 Comments

I create them for my blogging clients, I brainstorm about them with my strategic planning clients and yet I am slipping when it comes to keeping on top of my own Editorial Calendar.  Why?  Because the cobbler’s children have no shoes?  I am continuously thinking of new ideas, concepts, and resources for other people that the writing of my own steady stream of blogs has fallen off my project plan.  That is really not a good enough excuse so I am back on the wagon and planning my next set of blogs.

So why am I preaching about the importance of an Editorial Calendar?  Simple – because it is an essential way of maximizing the profitability, effectiveness and efficiency of your blogging.

Yes, and here’s why…

Purposeful Plan – An editorial calendar provides a blueprint for consistent themes throughout a 30, 60 or 90-day plan.  You are less likely to publish posts willy nilly if you have a set plan for the creation of your content.  This will give your blogs a sense of flow and rhythm.

Variety is Not an Accident – To expand on this notion of a rhythm to your writing, plan to add a bit of variety to the type and style of your blogs.  You may want to alternate between a How to…, Interview with…, Top 10 Tips for….., etc.  As you start to gain traction and followers you will want to make sure there is something for everyone each week.  You don’t want to have two or three How to… blogs in a row.   Depending on how you have branded yourself and your content, you may want to consider adding a video blogs into your plan to shake things up a bit.

Accountability – The sheer guilt of missing a deadline.  It’s not easy to ignore the fact that a week has gone by and you haven’t been able to check off these entries on your calendar.  Once you start down that slippery slope, be careful – you may find yourself playing catch up because you are behind by  4, 6, even 8 blogs.  Ay, the guilt.  The shame.  The overwhelm.

Antidote for Writer’s Block – By brainstorming multiple topics at a time, you reduce the possibility that you will sit down at the computer with the time running out to post a new blog and no good ideas floating around in your head.

Write it and They Will Come – Consistently writing quality blogs will secure a larger following because you are viewed as a steady and reliable source for valuable content.  You will see your RSS subscriber numbers increase as well as the number of Comments, Facebook Shares and Retweets.

How to Implement a Solid Plan

Visualize it – (Vision Board not necessary!) When you are looking at a blank monthly calendar, start picking and committing to particular days for each published blog.  Consider the following:

  • Will holidays be a factor for either content or blog release dates?
  • Are there any travel plans or breaks that should be integrated into the schedule?
  • Are there industry-specific events that should be considered or written about?

Brainstorming – Begin to list subjects you want to cover in each blog.  Some of these might be bigger topics that will require a series of blogs to address therefore knowing that ahead of time will help you pick the right time and intervals for publishing them in sequence.  Take into consideration the Categories you have set up on your blog page – those you have already posted about and those that still do not have a corresponding blog post assigned to them.

Plug and Play – Now that you have the days set up, start taking your subjects and inserting them into the pre-planned days.  As you do so, you will likely come up with more concepts and decide to move them around based on a logical sequence.

Let’s Get it Started – While you have your list of topics at hand, write out at least a paragraph or bullet points of the direction you want the blog post to go so that when you return to your list you don’t have to search your memory for what you originally had in mind.

It’s Not All About Me
-  If you are planning to commit some of your blogs to promoting your services or products, make sure you limit the number of these marketing pieces to only a couple of times per month.  You want to add as much value to your visitor as possible without it looking like you are always engaging in self-promotion.

Timing is everything – When you decide to advertise your services and products, maximize your conversion rates by scheduling these on the days that have proven to have the highest Click Through Rates when using Twitter to drive traffic to your blog.  For instance, a great resource for these statistics is Dan Zarella’s blog entitled Weekends and Afternoons Show the Highest Twitter CTRS [1].

If you want to develop a stronger following for your blog, increase conversion rates for sales and reduce your blog anxiety, commit to creating at least a 30-day Editorial Calendar.   It doesn’t have to be fancy.  Use a spreadsheet, your e-mail calendar program, Google calendar or a day planner.  It really doesn’t matter how you record it, just start playing with the concept and filling in the gaps.  You will be thankful that you did.

If you get stuck, ask your friends and colleagues for ideas….or call me!


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URLs in this post:

[1] Weekends and Afternoons Show the Highest Twitter CTRS: http://danzarrella.com/weekends-and-afternoons-show-the-highest-twitter-ctrs.html

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