Guest post by Glori Surban
An editorial calendar allows you to create more quality content, have more consistency and control over your blog, and save more time. Whether you’re the only writer or you manage a group, an editorial calendar will help you organize your schedule better. One of the best free tools that you can use is Trello, which I think is the ultimate editorial planning tool. But aside from choosing a good tool, you also need to consider the following factors:
- Your blogging schedule
- Time it’ll take to produce content
- Special events and holidays
When you start to think about your blogging schedule, you first need to take an honest look at how much time you’re willing to dedicate to blogging. You then need to measure that against how tough the competition in your niche is, especially when you’re just starting out. Usually, the tougher the competition, the more frequently you should blog (and guest post on authority sites). But always, prioritize consistent quality over frequent quantity. Consistent, helpful content beats out frequent, sloppy posts every single time. Here are some suggestions for setting your blogging schedule:
- Recommended posting frequency for most blogs is three to four times a week according to Problogger.
- Posting dates and times depend on your blog’s peak hours and the location of your readers. Check your analytics and social media activity and post during times you have the most visitors.
- You can also check when your competition updates their blogs. If their posts get a lot of engagement (e.g., shares and comments) at certain times, you can emulate their schedule.
- Or you can experiment with different schedules.
Time needed for content creation
When mapping out your editorial calendar, be sure to carve out adequate time to write, revise and edit your post.
- Prepare your blog content early (at least two weeks prior to publishing)
- Have a monthly or weekly content theme. This way, it’s easier for you to categorize ideas in your list and know how to arrange them in your calendar.
- Start a blog series (e.g., Monday Inspiration and Free Tool Friday)
- Once your blog is established, you can invite guest bloggers
Special events and holidays
Take special dates into consideration as well. If you’re planning to launch a new product or service, plot your calendar around building anticipation for the launch while still providing valuable information to your readers.
You could also take advantage of holidays by piggybacking on specific seasonal themes. Not only will your blog content be relatable, it’ll be more likely to do better on search engines. Suggestions:
- Research what the majority of your readers are or will be celebrating. Ask.
- Present your content in a logical order. Focus on what your customers usually do when preparing for a certain holiday (e.g., week one—finding decorations; week two—cooking special meals).
- For special events such as a launch or anniversary, diversify your content formats. Create video trailers for the new product or service or do giveaways.
Blogging takes considerable time and effort. Naturally, you’d want to spend more time on strategic tasks that help grow your business. This is where using an editorial calendar and having an overall plan pays off. It will help you stay on track and provide enough flexibility so you have more time to spend on things that matter.
Glori Surban likes making plans and going through with them. She helps small business owners and entrepreneurs save time and focus on their strategic goals by providing both ghost and guest blogging and content planning services.