When launching a blogging project, whatever its type (thematic, personal or corporate brand), an editorial calendar for your blog is not always carried out with a previously organized strategy. At least, not from the beginning.
Planning a medium / long-term strategy is always essential, especially if you want to achieve any result, whatever the scope. But when it comes to creating a professional or corporate blog, it is even more important to have a well-defined editorial calendar.
Ideally, a personalized one should be planned from the first moment you have just created a blog, but if this has not been your case, do not worry, because it is never too late to correct the error and start doing things well.
Do you want me to help you define and structure an editorial calendar for your blog?
Before starting to elaborate it step by step, think that no action that aims to achieve certain objectives, such as sending newsletters or launching payment campaigns, should be launched “in a nutshell”. First of all, you need to sit down and think and:
- Have clear goals.
- Know the profile of your ideal reader.
- Establish steps to take.
If you have a blog, or would like to have it, and you intend to keep it in time with fresh and updated content, it is not about publishing for publication, but about doing things with your head.
After this introduction of awareness, you will surely wonder how we content marketing and blogging professionals do to continue publishing posts after years of activity.
Among other practices, such as guest blogging or content recycling, the first thing you must define in order to maintain the frequency of publications over time is personalized content planning.
Let us therefore begin at the beginning.
Maybe, when reading the introduction to this article, you have been a bit overwhelmed, thinking about what it is to “make an editorial calendar for your blog”.
Relax, this is part of the routine or daily work that involves having a website with a content strategy that is maintained over time.
So let’s start by giving your definition:
What is an editorial calendar for blogs?
Before entering definitions, let’s make a summary summary of what we have seen so far: we have said that to be successful with your blog you would need a strategy and a lot of planning.
In addition, your content will be directed to a specific audience with a purpose and you will develop them according to a style, thereby positioning them and reaching more people.
At this point, and in order to collect all these ideas in an organized way, we can say that this is their definition:
“A calendar publisherHe is the resource that allows us to organize all aspects related to blog posts, in order to organize our work and achieve the marketing and communication objectives established above. ”
It not only helps you establish the content, but you will also have a follow-up of how your blog has evolved.
In this sense, you can analyze when you have done each type of action, what content you have focused on from different aspects and where your content strategy is heading.
How important is the editorial calendar in content marketing?
Often, when reading the contents of other professionals, we do not value the effort that it has taken to develop them (or yes, but perhaps we do not want to see it). However, you have to keep in mind that all those efforts are rewarded, as long as you follow a planned strategy.
Having a blog and following a content strategy will bring you benefits such as:
- Differentiate yourself from the competition: Sharing quality content aimed at your target audience will help them opt for you and not for the competition.
- Loyalty to your users: On the blog they will find added value beyond the products or services you can offer. They will feel valued and, if the content meets their needs, they will be waiting to receive more.
- Improve SEO positioning: If you work well on SEO copywriting and optimization of your articles, your search engine ranking will be positively affected.
- Attract quality traffic: Offering quality content will make it reach a wider audience, thereby leading you to develop projects that at first, perhaps, you did not have in mind.
As you can see, following a content strategy has many benefits (even more than what I have mentioned). Therefore, you should not be scared with everything that may lie ahead.
Let me tell you everything I know about the editorial calendar and how it can help you in your strategy and, most importantly, how to create your own.
Why does a blogger need an editorial calendar?
A priori, it may seem that having one is not so necessary. You will think that it is easy to remember what you have done the previous week, or you can even be clear about your target audience and believe that you do not need to focus more on the content.
This can really be the case when you are starting, but soon you will need to organize everything in writing. When the contents begin to multiply, it will no longer be so easy to have everything in your head.
Also, as you go deeper into the topics, you will see that sometimes you will focus them on users who are already clients and other times on those who are beginning to know you.
Therefore, it is necessary to have an editorial calendar, in which to keep an organized control of all the publications, and a lot!
What more benefits can you find working with this tool? I tell you here:
- It helps you define the needs of users: When you go to define the contents of your blog you will look for the keywords related to your business, you will hear what users ask for on social networks, or even their suggestions by email. All this helps you to focus on the content to meet the needs of the target audience you are targeting.
- Avoid inspiration locks: Going down on an editorial calendar the topics you are going to talk about, helps you plan ahead and always have content ready.
If you work the blog without prior planning, the time may come when you have nothing prepared and you lack ideas.
- You optimize time: As with any other task, defined strategy and planning helps focus efforts. The work is done more quickly and the time is used much more.
- It serves as a good team cohesion tool: If the blog is worked between several people, and even more so if there are different authors, the editorial calendar becomes indispensable. It is used to see where others are going, what topics they are going to deal with and how they carry out their work.
Thus, you will avoid overlapping themes or working in vain.
How to make an editorial calendar for blog?
To create a personalized editorial calendar for your blog, you must take into account your own needs. Creating the ideal calendar structure will depend on your subject categories, the variety of formats you develop for your content, your publication frequency, the number of authors, etc.
Still, there are certain minimums that must be taken into account in order for the calendar to be effective and really supportive when following a content strategy.
So you can create your own organized calendar, at this point I will share with you:
- The basic criteria to take into account.
- The stages that make up the creation process.
- A template that you can download with a single click.
Ah! Before continuing with so much theory, I leave you an infographic, which I prepared from the hand of my friend Virginia Jiménez, who gladly gave me a wonderful interview, which you can see summarized here:
Criteria to consider in an editorial calendar
There are certain criteria that you must take into account when considering how to make an editorial calendar. Aspects that you should include in your own and not overlook, that answer the following questions:
- Why? Taking into account the needs of your audience and your own project, you can determine the reason for your blog. In this sense, you will have to determine a series of quantifiable objectives in terms of visits, engagement or conversions of another type over a number of months, starting from a main objective, such as increasing sales and specifying measurable short-term objectives. and realistic.
- Than? To meet your goals and engage the audience with your content strategy, you will need to solve the main question; What kind of content can you offer? Whatever the theme, it must have a practical background that solves a real problem in your market and fits into your calendar planning.
- When? You should think about the frequency of publication. If you are going to publish once a week, you will have to structure your content in weeks. If you post once a month, then structure it into months. You define this aspect according to your time and the needs of your audience.
- Where? Depending on the activity in digital media of your audience and the frequency of your publications, some channels of content dissemination or others will be more practical. For example, if your audience is present on Twitter and you decide to share your posts there, you have to be aware of the frenetic pace that this social network demands and be able to share information with a high frequency.
- How? You should also think about how many people are going to participate in the development of the content for your blog. If you are going to manage everything, the calendar will be easier, but if it is a collaborative work, you will need to structure it so that you understand who is doing each task.
In this case, it is also good to include a column or section that specifies where that task is so that the whole team is aware. On the other hand, you must also follow a sequence of planning in the short, medium and long term, establishing objectives from more general to more specific depending on the proximity in time.
The 5 stages to develop the ceditorial book of a blog
After predefining all the commented aspects and responding to the starting questions, you will have to start following a series of organized steps over time.
In this sense, you should be doing recurring reviews of your calendar:
- Annually: To establish global objectives, define the profile of your audience and plan a medium / long-term strategy.
- Monthly: To establish concrete objectives, analyze the evolution of results, include improvement ideas, program themes and prepare evergreen content.
- Weekly: To generate current or new content, establish specific dissemination actions and carry out tests.
According to this planning, we are going to see the different tasks that you will have to review over time if you want to have a 100% effective and personalized editorial calendar:
1. Analysis of the needs of the target public and “sub-public”
Perhaps I have not yet emphasized the idea of having, not only a single buyer persona or target audience, but also a “sub-audience”. I explain to you:
Surely you will have an ideal reader profile in mind, the one that you want me to read to you and show interest in your content, so that you can obtain certain results from their actions. However, when it comes to giving visibility to your blog articles, you will also have to take into account other profiles.
For example, your objective may not be to sell training courses to highly recognized influencers in your sector, but think that they will need your content to nurture their social profiles and add value to their large communities, who indirectly may end up being your customers.
In short, attending to the content needs of different “sub-audiences” will help you define related and interesting topics for the editorial calendar of your blog.
2. Definition of objectives, channels and content formats
Here we stop at all the tasks related to the definition of aspects that will condition your entire strategy over time.
It is clear that having clear objectives helps you better define the relationship between each other and the content you are going to share.
But where will you share them? And in what formats? Video, text, infographic …?
If you really have a well-defined dissemination strategy, that is, you know what platforms your audience is present on and what is the ideal format to share your publications, you should write all this down in your calendar to work consistently.
Keep in mind that, in addition to sharing content on your blog or website, you will have to spread it in other media, such as social networks or email marketing.
Also, it is good to contribute something different on your blog. Consider, for example, offering free ebooks from time to time, or presentations, audios, infographics, or graphics.
So, think carefully about what type of files you can offer and if you will have time to prepare and do it in a sustained way. Knowing that you can make, for example, two ebooks a year or an infographic a month, will help you guide the topics in relation to those extra contents that you want to offer.
No matter how planned your editorial calendar is, you will always have to do creativity once in a while. To help the generation of ideas, nothing better than to give free rein to creativity and, if you can, brainstorm as a team.
Write down everything you can think of and want to post. Things you know your audience wants or needs, topics that you can develop with a colleague, etc.
For example, in a previous stage of more long-term planning (something you will do annually), it is just a matter of taking out all the possible ideas, there will be time to refine them or eliminate those that cannot be carried out or do not fit well into your editorial calendar when the time comes.
4. Automation and scheduling of publications
All these ideas that I was talking about, you must enter into your calendar, distribute them over time based on the frequency of publication established and in a logical order.
Each idea must be associated with its target audience, its extra files, its focus, the channels in which it will be published and shared, the author, the work process, etc.
The more information you include, the easier it will be to develop all the content weekly.
5. Content update
From time to time you should check the status of the calendar. For this, it is interesting that you write down all the changes that are necessary, check what is already published or details in what situation each content is.
In addition, you should check that you have the following weeks or months well planned. When you arrive at your end date, you should spend time again to expand it further and continue working.
Customizable template to create your calendar
After so much theory, and how could it be less, I always fulfill what I promise, so I want to make it easy for you to download one of my templates for free, to create a personalized editorial calendar.
Here I leave it, you just have to click on the image!
Having a blog is very interesting for any company or independent professional, even if you have an idea in mind that you would like to share as a hobby.
The difficult part of all this is not launching the blog, but maintaining a content strategy that is sustained over time, which is why many people tend to quit after a few months.
For this reason, in this article I have shared with you all the aspects that you should take into account to follow a planned strategy and how it can help you to have your own editorial calendar.
Creating and customizing a calendar may seem like an arduous task a priori, but think that this tool is essential if you want to get real results with your blog (whatever they are).
I hope that from now on you will make good use of this template, to manage your own editorial calendar or that of your company!
Freelance Digital Marketing Consultant and Content Manager. He has university training in International Business Management and Teaching. She is currently the Marketing Manager of MadridNYC and administrator of the blog Diseñocreativo.com