Creating an editorial calendar can help small business owners kickstart their blogs
Few big brands have a company blog. According to a report from researcher Dr. Nora Ganim Barnes, only 81 of the Fortune 500 companies own and maintain an official blog. Barnes notes this is likely a legal issue – owning a blog can be a risk to bigger companies in specific industries, and as a result, lawyers discourage businesses from launching one.
This means small businesses have a unique window of opportunity through which they can reach consumers that big-name companies are largely ignoring. According to Barnes' data, approximately 39 percent of Inc. 500 companies (which is comprised of smaller organizations) – this indicates that many entrepreneurs are jumping into blogging to capitalize on a market untapped by bigger companies.
But blogging isn't as simple as just writing posts. A social media strategy that involves blogging shouldn't be executed by the seat of a small business owner's pants – it needs to be well-planned and carefully executed.
As MarketingProfs notes, "A blog editorial schedule or calendar is the holy grail of blogging. If you have an editorial schedule, you won't be left staring at a blank screen, thinking… 'What am I supposed to blog about?' An editorial schedule helps you plan not only what you are going to say but also when and how often you're going to say it."
Creating an editorial schedule
An editorial schedule helps small business owners determine what they are going to blog about, when they are going to do it and decide upon various other objectives. The goal is to make blogging as easy as possible, while also ensuring a steady stream of content is being produced.
An editorial calendar is exactly what it sounds like – a schedule that is produced ahead of time with specific blog ideas, relevant keywords, timing and other promotions. Editorial calendars can be produced far in advance – sometimes for a full year at a time – while others are more short-term, ranging from months to weeks.
Calendars should be set up around the categories – meaning, on one day a business will write a blog about Category A, while the next it will write about Category B. The goal is to spread content evenly throughout the week so that you are creating media that will appeal to all of your readers.
For example, if a mechanic wanted to write a blog for his company, he might set one category as "warning signs you might need a tune" and another as "tips to keep you car in top shape." People reading a mechanic's blog would likely be interested in these topics, which creates value and encourages them to come back to read it. At the same time, this helps kickstart the writing process for the mechanic – it provides a direction for him or her to get started.
"Once you have a blog editorial plan and the content is flowing, test and adjust your strategy using simple tools such as Google Analytics," MarketingProfs adds. "Closely tracking your site visitors and clicks will help you make informed decisions about the type of content to create to meet your goals and help you learn what your audience is most interested in."
What strategies does your company use that help you create regular content that appeals to your readers? What do you consider as you develop an editorial calendar?This entry was posted in Beginner, Branding. Bookmark the permalink.