For many, part of the year-end business planning process involves creating an editorial calendar for a blog. Unfortunately, this also sounds like a huge to pain to a lot of people, especially if they don’t naturally like to write or do market content creation.
The reality is in this world of online marketing you need to be putting out content on a consistent basis. It helps establish your expertise in your field, gets the word out and helps you find leads. Truth be told, if you’re not focusing on content, you’re likely leaving money on the table.
That being said, for many, the easiest way to stay on top of the game with their content marketing is to create an editorial calendar. This helps hold them accountable and helps them see what’s working versus what’s not working throughout the year.
Here are some tips for creating your own content calendar for a blog in 2017.
Step 1: Talk to your market before you do anything.
The easiest way to come up with content ideas that will fill your editorial calendar is to ask your market what they need.
Most people will tell you to brainstorm, but I think it’s a bit of a waste of time when you’ve got people you can just ask directly. Additionally, this helps put you into their shoes so you address their specific issues. If you’re able to do that, you can build trust and they’ll be more likely to purchase your products or services.
This why I tell people to talk to their market before they sit down to create an editorial calendar for a blog. It will make your life much easier, especially if you hate the writing and marketing side of running a business.
Step 2: Find a calendar system that works for you.
Some people have a really elaborate calendar or project management system when they create an editorial calendar for a blog.
I’m personally not one of them because I find that simple is the best for me. All I do is create a running Google doc with each month of the year and enter in potential ideas.
In addition, you can use a calendar to your advantage in terms of coming up with content ideas. For example, I know that come January everyone is going to be creating financial New Year’s Resolutions. That means it would be a good time to publish content about debt repayment or earning more money in the new year because people will be looking for it.
Step 3: Plan the execution.
After I’ve created the editorial calendar, I may have my assistant put it into my Google calendar or our project management system.
For example, for the January content, I may have her put a reminder in during December so that I can plan my time in a way that allows me to create the content.
I’ve found that the busier I get with client work, the more important it becomes for me to plan my time according to my editorial calendar for my own blog. The bottom line is I don’t want to drop the ball on building my own brand because that’s part of why I can command the rates I do for my work. If it’s not in my calendar, then it doesn’t exist which could lead to neglecting it.
Creating an editorial calendar for your blog is not as complicated as some people make it sound. All you need to do is talk to your market and create a system that works for you as a business owner.