Maintaining a blog has many clear benefits. Blogs connect you with your audience, they boost your site’s search engine optimization, and they establish you as an expert in your field. Unfortunately, blogging is hard.
We’ve already written about how to improve your blog. Today, we’re going to narrow in on one specific tip: the editorial calendar. An editorial, or blog, calendar is a tool used by publishers to control when they write and publish content across various platforms.
Editorial calendars keep from coming up with ideas at the last minute.
Think back to your days at school. Your scrambled, last minute assignments probably weren’t your best. That’s true for blogging, too. Planning out topics in advance helps you research and understand what might be a successful topic.
Plus, you can never use writer’s block as an excuse.
They help you write strategically.
Are you releasing a new product or hosting an event? What about industry trends or holidays? A blog calendar helps you write about events other time-sensitive topics at the right time.
Hint: If you are unsure what to write about, consider looking at a general calendar for national holidays, conferences, or other events that your audience might enjoy.
They keep you consistent.
If you’ve been around our site at all, you know we value consistent blogging. Without an editorial calendar, your blog is subject to the whims of your busy life. We all know life gets busy.
Don’t keep moving your blog to the last bullet on your to-do list. Instead, create an editorial calendar that is non-negotiable.
Multiple writers? An editorial calendar is a must.
If you’re the only writer for your blog, you might be able to keep a mental editorial calendar. Although we don’t recommend this, it is doable. However, you cannot expect other people to do this too. Blogs with more than one writer absolutely need an editorial calendar to ensure that the job gets done.
Editorial calendars help writers distinguish who is writing what and when they are writing. They help prevent overlapping content.
Your editorial calendar should be fluid.
An editorial calendar is a tool for you. You’re the boss, so use the calendar for whatever you need. We use a blog calendar because it keeps us on task. However, we also know that any system is limiting. Here are a few tips to get the most out of your calendar.
- Stick to the calendar, but don’t be controlled by it. Did you region experience a natural disaster? Ditch the plan and write about it. Did a major breakthrough happen in your industry? Again, write about it. You can go back to the calendar next time.
- Communicate the importance of the calendar. If you introduce a blog calendar to a group that isn’t used to using one, you might not have success at first. Communicate that the calendar is the new expectation, and explain why you have chosen to use it. After all, they only work if everybody is on board.
- Experiment with how far in advance you want to plan. Obviously, plans change, and planning out a blog calendar for future months might not be the best use of your time. See what works for you, and adjust from there.