Having a company blog is crucial for building a strong web presence, as it provides a space for helpful content and drives search engine optimization results. But, it’s not always the easiest portion of your site to maintain. It takes a lot of work. And in order for a blog to be effective, it must be updated with relevant content on a consistent basis.
But where do you start? We suggest developing an editoral calendar! And we're going to show you how to get started. The following 4 steps will help you begin to craft a comprehensive editorial calendar for your blog.
Determine Your Goals
There are tons of goals that you can accomplish with your blog, but when considering an editorial calendar, there are a few specific goals that should be determined before implementation. Here are some questions that will help determine those key goals:
- Who are the personas you want to address in your posts?
- Of these personas, which are priorities?
- How many times would you like to post per month/week/day?
- What formats will you want to use (text posts, videos, webinars, free downloads)?
- And most importantly, what would you like to accomplish with your posts?
By classifying these goals, you will create a guideline by which you can conduct the direction of your blog. At this point, you can really begin to brainstorm relevant topics for your blog and pair these with the authors who will create this content. However, it’s important to remember that goals can change, and you should revisit them regularly to ensure you remain on the right path.
Brainstorm Post Topics
When you're in the middle of the brainstorming process, don’t get stuck on the idea that you should only post about your products and services, because this isn’t true. Providing relevant content gives viewers the opportunity to learn more about the topic while linking your company to a positive learning experience. If the customer has a need for your product or service, they should be able to easily draw a path between the relevant post and the products you offer.
With that being said, consider what topics your personas will find valuable and determine how you can generate content of that nature. Still stuck? Here are some ideas;
- Is there a trending topic that you can give your own take on? You can look to the trending hashtags on Twitter for inspiration
- Is there a how-to (like this blog post), that your viewers would value?
- Is there a product/service review that your viewer would appreciate? For example, this post: Why all B2B Companies Should be Using Facebook.
- Do you have any relevant suggestions? Like this one: 15 Must Read B2B Blogs for the Modern B2B Marketer
- Consider a weekly theme like, “Social Media Monday", where every Monday you post a tip about social media
Organize Content Work-flow
Now that you’ve conceptualized an ample amount of topics, you need to detail a blueprint for content distribution. Going back to your initial goals, separate topics based on the personas they relate with. Using a tool that all blog contributors can reference, like this Blog Editorial Calendar Template, begin to divvy out topics, distributing them so that different persona topics will be spread out throughout the month.
At this point, the devil is in the details, and the more information you provide in the initial stages, the less work there will be when it comes time to create the posts. Including items such as the author, due date, and SEO key words into the editorial calendar is very helpful, but also consider including a task for someone else to proof the work, references for the author, and/or opportunities for guest bloggers to post as well.
Our last bit of advice is to strive to keep posts cohesive in their appearance, and share somewhat of a similar tone throughout. Every author has a different writing personality, which is great in giving your blog a personality of its own, but differences that are too drastic in writing and design can look haphazard and hard to follow. Consider assigning one person to publish all blog posts after they’ve been written to ensure there is a sense of consistency.
Make it Your Own
Not everyone responds to editorial calendar formats in the same way, so make sure your team works together to make yours as effective and beneficial as possible. Introduce them to a template like this and discuss how it can be shaped to meet your team's working style. Don’t be afraid to go back to the drawing board, as this will arrange that your blog is as effective as possible, which will ultimately lead to more sales. And who couldn’t use more sales?
Still not sure how to get started building an editorial calendar for your business's blogging efforts? Download our editorial calendar template for some extra help:
Topics: Demand Generation