The importance of a blog editorial calendar
Clearly, great minds throughout history have seen the value of keeping a calendar.
The world’s oldest known calendar, discovered in Scotland in 2004, dates back more than 10,000 years. The most accurate calendar was created in Persia in 1079; the length of a year was calculated to 365.24219858156 days. Whoever made this calendar was obviously a stickler for detail and fanatic about keeping track of time.
Just such a mindset will help you widen your customer base and grow your business.
What Is a Blog Editorial Calendar, and Why Is It Important?
Simply put, it’s a strategic marketing tool. It provides a framework for reaching your audience with just the right message at just the right time.
Having clever, creative content isn’t enough to win over consumers who are inundated with it every day. Scattershot blogging on diverse topics doesn’t hold their attention, engage them on an emotional level or help them identify with your brand.
The best reason for keeping a blog editorial calendar is to rein in random content, so to speak, and make it more intentional, timely and relevant.
Consider your personal calendar. Using it to plan far in advance makes your life a lot easier. You stay healthy by scheduling yearly checkups. You save money on airfare by booking trips early. You avoid unpleasant surprises like forgetting that your mother-in-law is coming for an extended visit in two months.
In the same way, a blog editorial calendar will keep your ad campaign running smoothly and help you get more mileage out of your content. You can consider each idea for a future blog in the context of the business year and schedule it to have maximum impact.
Tips for Getting Started With a Blog Editorial Calendar
There are several approaches to choose from:
• An old-fashioned paper calendar
• A wall chart
• A whiteboard
• A spreadsheet
• A fully digital calendar
There’s nothing wrong with using a paper calendar if it will help you form a habit. Indeed, the results of a number of studies point to benefits associated with jotting things down or taking notes in longhand. You’re more likely to remember something you physically write down on paper than something you type in on a laptop.
However, a paper calendar is somewhat limited. You won’t be able to make it very detailed, and it won’t do for very long if you’re working with a team. A format that everyone can access is preferable. That may be something as simple as a large whiteboard that serves as a centrepiece at brainstorming sessions.
There’s a lot of customizable software out there. You can start separate spreadsheets for specific types of content. You can consolidate blog posts, email campaigns, tweets and other communications onto one calendar. User-friendly drag-and-drop features keep the calendar flexible.
Next, add details, such as keywords or calls to action, that will help you manage each type of content.
Finally, mark holidays, busy seasons, product launches, expansion plans and other dates that will influence the content of your blog. Time each post for optimal consumer interest and results.
Generating Traffic and Getting Conversions Through Consistency
The importance of consistency can’t be overstated. Cathy Armillas, marketing expert and author of “The Unbreakable Rules of Marketing,” goes so far as to say that consistency trumps ability.
If you’ve done your homework and know your audience, then you know when they’re most likely to be on the internet or social media. Mark your calendar and post or tweet your content at the same time each day, week or month. The regularity will reinforce your brand. The message will become familiar and start to sink in. Potential customers will start looking for you on their own.
If most of your customers are local, there is a special advantage to keeping a calendar: You can incorporate highly specific and relevant details into your blog.
Anticipate community festivals, important sporting events or even weather changes. Writing about them will help the locals connect to your brand and motivate them to support your business. You’ll draw more traffic, get free word-of-mouth advertising, expand your customer base and grow.
In short, when it comes to seeing a great return on investment, the calendar is your best friend.
Additional Benefits of a Blog Editorial Calendar
There are even more benefits that will become evident over time:
• A calendar keeps short- and long-term goals in the forefront of your mind.
A study conducted at Dominican University in California revealed that people are 42 per cent more likely to achieve their goals if they write them down. Something about putting your objectives in writing increases your commitment to them.
Even if your calendar is digital, mark yearly, monthly, weekly and daily goals on it. You’ll be astonished by how much more focused and efficient you become. You won’t waste time or get off topic, and your productivity will increase.
• A calendar keeps everyone on the same page.
If one or more employees are helping with the blog, create a master calendar that everyone can access. Being able to see the week, month or year at a glance will help bloggers maintain focus and organise their efforts. It will also increase accountability.
• A calendar makes it easier to see what’s working and what’s not.
You probably use metrics software or other analytical tools to monitor statistics. Comparing the results to your calendar will reveal what sort of content and which time slots are most successful. You can easily pinpoint disappointing results and rearrange the schedule.
Around 2.7 million blogs are posted every day. With the help of a calendar, you can make yours more timely and impactful.