You’re definitely not the only one!
Most bloggers find themselves scrambling at the last minute to pump out new content.
Unfortunately, the content ends up being unfocused and less than stellar simply because there was no planning or strategy involved.
There’s no denying that growing a blog and filling it with fresh, awesome content can be overwhelming. But it can be done faster – and with less stress – if you do one key thing:
Create an editorial calendar.
Creating an editorial calendar is key to creating awesome content ideas, planning ahead, and most importantly, staying consistent.
So how do you start an editorial calendar? Let’s walk through the steps to help you get started!
Step 1: Plan your timeline
How far out do you want to plan your content? 30, 60, 90 days?
I recommend doing a 30 to 60-day editorial calendar when your blog is newer because you’re still finding your voice and may want to stay fluid and flexible with the direction of your content.
Think about your timeframe and get very clear on your content strategy for that period.
This takes us to step #2…
Step 2: Plan content around product and service launches
When planning out your content strategy, you’ll want to revolve your articles around any product launches, events or service offerings.
For example, if you are planning to launch an e-book called “How to Organize Your Child’s Bedroom”, you may want to lead up to that launch with a series of blog posts on kid’s room organization to “prime” your readers for your e-book.
Let’s say you plan to launch a virtual assistant service in January.Your editorial calendar for November and December would include content that will educate your readers on the value of a virtual assistant; what they do, how they can save time, etc.
Again, your content ideally is priming your readers for an offer of some sort.
Of course, if you are not planning to offer any products of services in the near future, that’s okay. You can still have a strategy around your content and “lead” your readers in a particular direction.
Planning ahead is the key!
Step 3: Do a little keyword research for your blog titles
SEO and keyword research should be a quick (but painless) part of your editorial process.
When you are planning out your content, think about keywords, and long-tail keywords that could attract organic Google traffic!
For example, a keyword might be how to start a blog. A long-tail keyword would be how to start a vegan food blog. Long-tail keywords are great for attracting really targeted readers (and customers!).
To do this research, go to www.google.com/adwords (you’ll have to create an account if you don’t have one). Click on Tools and then Keyword Planner. From there, you can type in your ideal keywords and get ideas for blog topics.
Use your research to craft your blog titles and help fuel your SEO.
Step 4: Use an editorial calendar tool
Now that you have an overall content strategy and a list of topic ideas, it’s time to put the plan into action.
I highly recommend putting all your blog titles into a tool that will allow you to visualize the flow of your content. Don’t keep all those ideas in your head!
There are two tools I have used and really like:
-WP Editorial Calendar (free WP plugin)
This is a free plugin that you can install right in your WordPress dashboard. It will appear as a “Calendar” under your Posts.
This calendar is great because you can create your drafts right in your calendar so you can see what you have planned for the month. You can even drag and drop your posts to different days for easy planning.
-CoSchedule (starts at $15/Mo)
CoSchedule is a premium plugin that allows you to schedule your editorial calendar and your social media promotions all from your WP dashboard.
It’s a great tool for not only scheduling and planning, but for assuring your posts get pushed out to your Pinterest, Facebook and/or Twitter accounts.
I have used it for myself and for clients and it’s well worth the money!
Step 5: Work your calendar!
Now that you have an editorial calendar, it should be MUCH easier for you to stick to a schedule, batch your writing (since you won’t be scratching your head for blog topics the night before publishing), and stay consistent.
Stick to your calendar, but remain somewhat flexible for things that may come up or change during your timeline.
All of this will result in you growing your blog faster and with less headache!
What a relief, right?
So now it’s time to take action! Start with Step 1 and move through each step to plan out your editorial calendar.
Already have an editorial content strategy?
Please share your tips and questions with us in the comments below!
About the Author:
Susan Osborne is a blogger and founder of www.FreshScribes.com, a blog editing and proofreading service for new and busy bloggers. Grab the coupon code BLOGELINA50 for 50% off your first month!