How to: Make and Maintain a Blogging Editorial Calendar

Too much content to create, too little time? This is when having a blogger staff and an awesome editorial calendar are key. Not only are they key but vital. As a freelance blogger as well as a marketing communications manager I definitely have a few tips on the topic. Here I share a few of my most helpful tips on how to create an efficient and user-friendly editorial calendar for your every-day use!

What to use?

In my opinion an Excel spreadsheet is easiest in order to be organized with a table/chart and to be able to alter/revise as needed. However, I also advise to use a Google Doc version (or upload to Google Docs) in order to share with bloggers and have the ability to easily revise and show revisions without having to constantly email out. Efficient and easy to use.

 

How to divide it up?

Up to your own Type A and/or OCD nature. However, I suggest columns which include the following:

1. Category

2. Topic

3. Due date

4. Author

5. Post date

6. Status (aka under revision, etc).

Scheduling Bloggers

 

1. Ask them to pick a weekly or monthly due date (and be stern about deadlines)

2. Schedule out posts according to frequency of blog posts and category/topic type of said posts

3. Always have some extra content in case you encounter a “lull”

4. Don’t forget to schedule time to review/edit/revise

5. Make sure publish day/time is a good time for readers – aka 9am with coffee not 5pm on a Friday

Bonus Strategies

1. Hard part: finding the right bloggers who can produce great valuable content that people actually want to read. Not only do you need awesome bloggers but you need to find out what your target market is searching for in regards to content in your category. What keywords they are using and what they’re reading. Inboundwriterallows you to do just that! How? Here are the perks:

  • You can explore what words they are using when searching for content or while sharing content via social media.
  • Just provide Inboundwriter with a few keywords and websites that relate to your topic or content category
  • Inboundwriter looks through search engines, social media sites and specified competitive websites to determine words and phrases directly relevant to your topic of choice.
  • Based on this real-time research, Inboundwriter recommends the best words that will increase your content popularity and competitiveness for each specified topic.
  • And it’s Free!

 

2. Developing a content strategy which aligns with your business/marketing strategy. This takes more thought and should be planned out with your CMO and/or VP of marketing in order to be most effective.

3. Make a bank of blogging content ideas for bloggers to choose from and/or add to. This saves time and make bloggers excited about the topics they write about. Need help thinking of topics for the bank? Check out these awesome blog topic ideas for your brand! Remember, the more excited your bloggers are, more likely the better they write, and in turn your target market will see the value.

4. Tip: It’s not always easy to review, critique and revise blog posts of your blogging team, especially if they may technically be your superiors in your company. However, you must remember that in this area of the company, it is your job to critique and be honest. It’s ok if you “rip apart” their writing because it is for the benefit of the brand. In addition, it teaches your blogging team the best tactics, learning their voice in writing, and within time it’ll be like clockwork. Critiquing isn’t always easy, but it’s essential to creating valuable content for your target market.

5. Have a social media policy? Community guidelines? Why not have editorial guidelines to make things more unified and efficient too? For example, in your guidelines you should/could include criteria for hyperlinking to previous posts, pages of your website, images, embedding videos, word count, style such as headings and bullet lists, and whatever else suits your fancy.

6. Cool new tool: WordPress editorial calendar plugin! Although I suggested Excel and Google Docs above, there is a new tool available for you WordPress junkies! The new plugin is an editorial calendar, which “gives you an overview of your blog and when each post will be published. You can drag and drop to move posts, edit posts right in the calendar, and manage your entire blog.” Awesome, right?

Final Thoughts

Experiment! You need to give it a shot, try out a calendar, and see what works for you and your organization. Adapt to what works best and create that awesome content!

Note: this post was originally written for oneforty, which was acquired by Hubspot. 

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