For many bloggers, a content calendar is at the very heart of a successful blog. Creating a publishing schedule does not only make it easier for you to organise the creation of content but having a regular schedule of posts gives your readers an idea of when they can find fresh content on your blog. An editorial calendar is not only a great way of managing your workload but it is also a great way to show brands how your content fits in with their products and services.
Choose your Platform
When setting up an editorial calendar, you have a few options. You can choose to create a schedule using a virtual calendar on your computer or if you want something more technical you can use Microsoft Excel. Using Excel will also give you the benefits of unlimited space as well as the option to create separate tabs for social media schedules should you wish to include them. If you prefer, there are a number of Wordpress Plugins that can help you organise your blog posts.
The first step to creating a content calendar is to research what your readers want to read about on a weekly basis. If you are starting your calendar in January you may wish to focus on topics that are relevant for February so that your posts are relevant. There is no use blogging about Valentine’s Day the day before if your readers will be looking for gift inspiration in the weeks leading up to it. Your editorial calendar can ensure that you are always one step ahead.
What to Include
A content calendar can be used to create a posting schedule but it can also include details such as article titles, guest post ideas, keywords and stats. Your calendar should include relevant post ideas and one way to decide when and what to post is to note down a few relevant categories for example beauty, fitness, food, travel and fashion. You may also wish to break it down into different types of posts such as interviews, features, reviews and giveaways. The first step will be to identify seasonal events throughout the year including Valentine’s Day, Easter, Summer Holidays, Halloween, Bonfire Night and Christmas. Note down any festivals and events that are relevant to your blog for example, London Fashion Week the Vitality Show or the British Vogue Festival.
Creating an editorial calendar in Microsoft Excel gives you the advantage to use colours for different categories. Not only does this look professional which is essential if you plan to show it to clients but it makes it easier to differentiate between themes.
Monitor your Progress
It is essential to keep your content calendar up to date and keep track of the work completed. Like a traditional to do list, you should tick off the posts that you have published and the events that you have attended. Remember that your calendar is not set in stone. It is an organisational tool that you can tailor to meet your blogging needs and this means that you can swap posts around as you please.
Georgina Morley is an internet marketer at the WebMarketing Group an SEO company in Leeds.