One of the most important things you can do to ensure your business blog is successful is to plan it. Rather than sitting down every day or week or fortnight and trying to come up with an idea under pressure, it’s far better to have a schedule of topics the you’ve worked out in advance.

This is not just a case of reducing your stress levels. Thinking about your blog topics in advance means you can link your posts to key events. You can ensure there’s a balance between different types of blog posts, plan linked series, line up guests posts.

And then you can write, source images and upload content in batches, which is a much more efficient way of doing things. Plus, you can use your editorial calendar to inform your social media content planner.

An editorial calendar is particularly important if you have more than one person contributing to your blog, as it will act as a scheduling tool, allowing deadlines to be set - and hopefully met!

Getting started on your editorial calendar

STEP ONE: Brainstorm a bunch of topics and ideas that you could blog about. Remember to consider what it is that your audience is interested in, not just what you want to share.

STEP TWO: List as many relevant dates as you can think of. These could be from within your company (new product launch, expansion plans), the wider market (industry conference, awareness days) and society (sporting events, Easter).

STEP THREE: Think of some ways that you could write posts that link in with those events. Be creative!

STEP FOUR: Now focus all your ideas - the general ones and the time sensitive ones (i.e. those linked to particular events) - and focus them some more until you have a list of really tightly angled topics that will stand out from the crowd

STEP FIVE: Divide your ideas into types e.g. ‘how to’ features, company insights, image driven posts, reviews, news posts, testimonials etc.

STEP SIX: Begin slotting your ideas into your calendar, starting with the time sensitive ones.

STEP SEVEN: Make sure you have a good mix of posts rather than clumping all the ‘how to’ posts together one after another, and that overall there are more value adding posts than ones that overtly promote your business.

Using your editorial calendar

How far in advance you produce your editorial calendar is up to you but it’s worth keeping an ongoing list of rough ideas that can be incorporated into the schedule as you need them.

It’s also important to remember that your editorial calendar shouldn’t be a static document. Review it regularly to include unexpected events, for example, as well as to make adjustments based on your analytics in order to give your audience more of what they want.

And don’t forget to share it with the rest of the company. Even if they’re not actually contributing written posts, they might be able to suggest ideas or help promote posts via their own social media channels.

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