When did you write your last blog post? If you hung your head and sighed a bit, you’re not alone.
There are many reasons why intentions to write new content on a regular basis can get sidelined. Writer’s block, procrastination, and other priorities can easily distract from a content marketing plan.
An editorial calendar is a must for those who are using content as part of their marketing strategy. Not only does it help with the hardest part: what to write about, it ensures that the messaging is in line with the business plan, and serves as a pesky reminder to give it priority.
Sort of a strategic kick in the pants, if you will.
But how do you build an editorial calendar? It’s really quite simple – just three easy steps:
1. Call-to-action: What do you want them to do?
Look ahead one month. What action would you like your readers to take within the next 30 days? Sign up for your email list? Follow you on Twitter? Comment on your blog? Buy your service or widget? Attend an event? Tell a friend?
2. Calendar: What’s going on?
With your desired call-to-action in mind, make a broad list of events that are scheduled to occur over the next 30 days. Holidays, programs, advertising schedule, programs, specials/sales, etc.
3. Brainstorm: What value can you provide?
Armed with your call-to-action and list of upcoming events, sit down and brainstorm a list of potential topics that would interest your readers. From there, fine tune your topic ideas into headline drafts to be more specific.
Now that you have a list of content ideas, assign responsibility and due dates and stick to it. If you are the only author, it may be as simple as a pop up reminder on your calendar. Or, if you have the luxury of an editorial team, a monthly meeting with formal assignments may be in order.
And finally, don’t forget to look back to see how you did each month. Review your metrics from the previous month to see which content worked best and why. From there, you will continually learn what works best.
So move past any guilt you have about past infrequent writing, and make it happen for this next month. Your readers are waiting!