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What are the great disappointments in the blogsphere?  The worst has to be spotting a great blog title and then clicking through to lightweight content. 

The other is to find a blog where no-one has posted for the last few months.  You’ve probably seen them?   A rush of interesting posts, weekly and sometimes more – and then a gap of  a month, another post and then another gap of six weeks.  And so on.

If you want your blog to be successful you need to post regularly.  That might be monthly, weekly or daily.  For most professional, business and academic blogs we would recommend weekly. 

 Here are our tips to help you create a blog editorial calendar and to post regularly

1.       Plan your blogs in advance

The way to reduce this stress is to produce a calendar for the year ahead.  That way you could write a batch of posts in one go, giving yourself less pressure.  You can spot opportunities for colleagues or guest bloggers to contribute and spread the load.

2.       Include keywords in your blog plan

What keywords do you need to include?  For some clients we have around 100 keywords and try to include three per blog.  For others there is a narrower range of keywords.

In your blog plan, spread these keywords over the year and then it’s quick to spot what you need to include in each blog.

3.       Make a list of key dates for the year

Do you want blogs to support any campaigns and activities over the year?  Could you write topical blogs around national events – such as sporting events or seasonal activities?

These could be:

* Product launches
* Events and trade shows
* Marketing campaigns
* Industry announcements – research, reports, government programmes
* Seasonal events
* Sporting events
* PR activities

4.                   Include guest bloggers in your calendar

Who are you targeting for new business?  Do you have any clients with interesting thoughts and stories to tell? 

Invite them to do guest blogs – if you have one guest blog a month, that spreads the load for you.  And it is flattering to others to be asked. 

5.       Build a team of bloggers

Are there three or four people who would all commit to blogging?  If so, you only have to write one blog a month.

6.       Put it in your diaries

Professor Chris Gale, head of Bradford University Law School, gave his tip in our free ebook on social media for businesses:  “Northern Lights suggested each of our team of bloggers should deliver one blog a month, and mine was for the 15th of every month. I’m a list person, so I put it on my list of things to do and I’ve now been delivering this for five months on a regular basis and it is all more disciplined and much better now.”

7.       Keep one or two spare blogs in hand!

In an ideal world, we always try to have one or two blogs in hand before needed.  That way if someone is ill, or you have a lot of deadlines, you can still keep posting.

Of course, in this schedule you do want some flexibility.  Good blogs are topical, so sometimes you want to respond to something in the news that day.  If you can add in a quick, newsy blog now and again, that just gives you breathing space for using the others in your calendar.

With thanks to our colleague Jonny Ross who shared some of these ideas in the workshops we have been running together.  Thanks Jonny!

8 Responses to “How to create a blog editorial calendar – tips to ensure successful blogging”

  • on January 8th, 2013 9:59 am

    7 tips to ensure successful blogging http://t.co/fnJwtbbV

  • on January 9th, 2013 9:09 am

    Victoria,

    A clear, concise and informative post here, I like it! Thank you kindly for the credit. I would also advise using something like a Google spreadsheets, this way it can be shared with the team and is a “live” working document.

    Jonny

  • Helen Robinson
    on January 10th, 2013 11:09 am

    Great blog, Victoria. An editorial calendar is such a simple thing, it’s easy to think you don’t need one. But giving structure to your writing really helps, not only with scheduling, but with inspiration too.

    Even great writers get writer’s block, and those with the most creative minds are sometimes not the most naturally disciplined. Planning ahead – using a combination of keywords, upcoming events, industry news, research or white paper publication dates and your own business or client news – helps with ideas generation. And writing ahead gives you enough spare time to react quickly to hot topics and breaking news with a spontaneous blog when needed.

    Jonny – Good tip on using Google spreadsheets. And those just managing their own blog can simply set up tasks, reminders, a content ideas schedule and timed group messages in Outlook if they prefer.

  • on January 11th, 2013 10:45 am

    Plan your blogs in advance http://t.co/fnJwtbbV

  • on February 27th, 2013 12:37 pm

    [...] goals and a blog is a good way of doing this. To achieve continuity, it is a good idea to keep a diary of when your blog needs to be written by. That way there are no [...]

  • on March 12th, 2013 4:07 pm

    [...] team here) to lead the project, organise staff training, and ensure content is regularly updated (a content schedule can really help with this). For larger organisations, this role may require a dedicated full time [...]

  • on April 8th, 2014 8:37 am

    […] How to create an editorial calendar […]

  • on May 14th, 2014 9:11 am

    […] A digital and social media activity plan, including details on the platforms to be used (ie for each segment: do they communicate through Twitter or via LinkedIn groups? And which groups?) and a schedule of activity, including an editorial calendar. […]

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    Victoria Tomlinson

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