What you Need to Know about Blog Editorial Calendars

Image courtesy of Jim, the Photographer/Flickr.

Using an editorial calendar is a great way to keep your blog on track and make sure it works in conjunction with your promotional tactics so your marketing plan is more cohesive and stronger. Creating and using an editorial calendar is easier than you might think and by spending a little time planning, your blog could bring bigger benefits.

Completely Customise to your Needs

While editorial calendars do follow a basic format, there really isn’t a right or wrong way to create them. You can customise your calendar so it meets your business’ needs. Some businesses create monthly calendars while others plan for several months in advance.

You can get extremely detailed and plan titles and keywords for each of your posts on the calendar or you can use more general planning by identifying themes, topics, messages and target audiences instead.

No matter how you use your calendar, it should help you define how you will use your blog to support your overall internet marketing and branding plans.

Remember Flexibility is a Must

Learn to be flexible with your editorial calendar so you can take advantage of last minute ideas, current events and spur of the moment, casual post opportunities as they arise. Stick to your calendar so that your blog becomes a more powerful marketing tool, but realise that some flexibility is allowed, and even necessary, if you want to take advantage of content opportunities.

Overlay your Internet Marketing Plan

The key to making sure your blog supports your marketing plan is overlaying your internet marketing plan and weaving it into your editorial calendar where possible. When you set up your calendar, use your marketing calendar or a list of key dates to make sure both work together.

For example, if you are holding an event at the end of the month, your blog could help you promote it, build hype about it and then update your audience after the event. If you are focusing on promoting a specific product through social media, your blog could support this goal with a few posts.

Work in Search Engine Optimisation

Your editorial calendar can also benefit your search engine optimisation plan as you outline exactly how you will optimise your posts. For each planned post, list the keywords you want to use, the pages you want to link to and the even the meta tags you want to include.

You can do this after you plan your posts to optimise them or you can create a calendar with your SEO strategy in mind. For example, if you know you are trying to rank a specific page or for some specific keywords, you can look for ways to use your blog to accomplish those goals and plan content that will help you do it.

Build in Blog Promotion

Finally, you can use your editorial calendar to help you build in ways to promote your blog. Decide how you will share content so that you have an ongoing blog promotion plan. This way, as you create content you will know exactly how you will promote it. Include things like social media, email marketing, newsletters and highlights on your homepage in your blog promotion plan.

Right now, with the approach of the new year, is the perfect time to start using an editorial calendar. Start by creating one for next month and then take note of what works and what doesn’t, so you can enhance your editorial calendars each month until you perfect your system.