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!
Victoria TomlinsonChief executive, Northern Lights PR
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Ben PindarCommunications director, Northern Lights PR
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Helen RobinsonAssociate, Northern Lights PR
Jonny RossAssociate, Northern Lights PR