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6 Ways To Build A Killer Blog Editorial Calendar

by Mike Schmidt

blog editorial calendar

We all understand the importance of blogging for SEO and generating website traffic and leads for our businesses. Yet many small business owners fail to update their blogs regularly with new content. It can be a challenge to come up with blog topic ideas and keep a blog updated multiple times per week.

Below are six detailed actions that you can take to build a killer editorial schedule for your blog. These tips will help you plan ahead and have content ready to go for weeks or even months in advance. A blog editorial calendar will also defeat those frustrating bouts of writer’s block and enable you to keep posting that high-quality, fresh content that Google and other search engines love to index.

1.  Hold A Brainstorming Session

The best way to jump-start your calendar is to brainstorm. Break out the coffee mugs and get all your ideas down on paper. No idea is too small or too strange, just let the ideas flow. If you work as part of a team, then bring colleagues into the mix. Keep a running list of all potential blog topics in a shared document in Evernote or Google Docs. Return to the list every few weeks to see if any hazy ideas evolve into more fully-formed posts.

2. Research the Competition

Find out what kind of content gets shared and linked to the most in your industry by going to Topsy and looking up common industry keywords. What kinds of posts are highly visible in this space? Are they predominantly short tip-based articles or longer involved tutorials? How are the blog headlines formatted? Do the headlines include numbers? Are the headlines short and to the point or more “punny” and humorous? Look for trends across the most popular content and think of these trends as best practices to emulate for blogging success in your vertical.

3. Consider Seasonal Trends and Events

When planning content in advance, think about those hallmark events or trends that occur throughout the year. If you are a retailer, then you may want to plan a special blog series leading up to the back-to-school shopping season. Perhaps there’s a way for your business to put a fun spin on mass media events like the Super Bowl or the Grammys. What about big industry conferences or local hometown events that happen annually? Go through the calendar in this way and identify trends and events that you can use as anchors for upcoming blog content.

4. Build Posts around Long Tail Keyword Searches

6 ways to build a killer editorial calTo attract more organic search traffic to your blog, come up with topics that answer long tail keyword searches. Use Google’s AdWords Keyword Planner tool to find sets of long tail phrases with medium or high search volume. For example, if you owned a pet store, you could find out how many people search for terms around dog shampoo and allergies. You may learn that “dog shampoo for allergies” has a higher search volume than “allergy dog shampoo.” Create a blog headline that incorporates the most commonly used search term and craft blog content that effectively answers the search question. This is a great way to win new visitors through search and then convert those visitors into customers by answering their questions.

5. Get Organized

Organization is key to a killer editorial calendar. If you are using a content management system like WordPress, you can save upcoming blog posts as drafts and enter in a blog headline, tags, categories, keywords, and even assign an author. Many bloggers also use a spreadsheet to manage this information. When working as part of team, dedicate one person to be the project manager for the editorial calendar. It will be this person’s responsibility to keep the blog content on schedule, add new ideas to the calendar as they come up, and check in with writers about upcoming deadlines.

6. Outline

When you enter a new blog topic on a brainstorming list into a CMS like WordPress or onto a spreadsheet, leave yourself a trail of breadcrumbs so you can remember the intended focus of the blog post. If you found a study or article online and want to write about it later, then put a link to that study in the editorial calendar. Many times when you come up with a post idea, you can already visualize the subheadings within the blog. Capture those subheadings in drafts or on your editorial calendar. When it comes time to sit down and write the post, you will save time and eliminate writer’s block by having a mini-outline and any supporting links ready to go!

What’s your strategy for coming up with fresh blog content each month? Please share any tips in the comments.

image credit: income.com

Article by

Mike Schmidt is the Founder and CEO of Anchor Wave, an internet marketing and web design agency based in Tucson, AZ. The Anchor Wave team has more than 10 years of experience building websites and achieving SEO and online marketing success for hundreds of small and medium-sized businesses.

Mike has written 2 articles at iBlogzone.com

1

Robert Ryan

September 6, 2013 at 2:55 am

Hi Mike, great tips and I agree with them all.. One thing I like to do to help with the editorial calendar, which is kind of like an amalgamation of your last 3 points, is to use the WordPress app on my phone so that I can quickly draft and breadcrumb any fragments of a potential blog post.. At times I find brainstorming sessions can sometimes come in an ad hoc fashion and being able to quickly store an idea is useful for a healthy store of blog fodder..Cheers for the read, Rob

2

Mike Schmidt

September 6, 2013 at 2:14 pm

Hi Rob, thanks for the suggestion. I think that’s a great idea… I usually use the Evernote mobile app since it syncs to my other devices very easily. Since I also use that app to jot down other business ideas it makes the most sense for me. But I really like the idea of having the posts as a draft right away. Best, Mike

3

Mike

September 6, 2013 at 4:38 pm

Great tip R0bert. It helps to have a method for capturing those great blog ideas you have while on the go. Thanks for sharing!

4

Val Frania

September 6, 2013 at 5:14 pm

Good ideas, Mike. I will begin implementing your suggestions today. Organizing thoughts really is the starting point of any post – I especially made note of keeping helpful links on a spreadsheet as well as ideas for subtitles, etc.

5 Daniel Johnson September 6, 2013 at 5:50 pm

Hey Mike,

Some really good points, and things that I didn’t consider, especially building links directly to the blog posts, though to be honest I don’t know how effective this would be in practice… It would be too much work to build a guest post to each blog right?

I’m not keen on comment spamming or fiverr gigs whatseover for my site too.

Any ideas?

DJ

6 John September 8, 2013 at 8:53 am

hey mike…
terrific ways to build a kiler bolg……nevertheless content matter is the utmost important thing and ofcourse presenting way cannot be neglected

7

Gerald Ford

September 9, 2013 at 11:28 am

Thanks for the informative post! It’s simple, really. An editorial calendar is a way for you to organize your blog posts and control content – it’s the best way of planning and understanding the overall goal of your blog. Think of the editorial calendar as the company blog’s blueprint. Avoid a smorgasbord of random blog posts and ideas; get organized instead! Thank you and your helpers for all the research and information. : D

8

Maninder Pal

September 11, 2013 at 12:23 pm

very nice information now I came to know that how make a killer mlog editorial calender….. thanks for sharing….:)

9

Richard Truitt

September 14, 2013 at 8:02 am

Hey,

You have given a great idea.Long tail keyword searches is the best way in my opinion.

Thanks,
Richard Truitt

10 Sahil September 17, 2013 at 7:24 am

Hey Mike,
Brightpod.com has an editorial calendar that is web-based and supports blogs. Check out what we posted: http://blog.brightpod.com/meet-our-new-editorial-calendar/

11

Taniya Madan

September 24, 2013 at 4:34 pm

Hi Mike !!!
Great ways, These all are very nice useful way to increase Killer Blog Editorial Calendar & I must say this post must be shared to everyone that can learn much more about Blog Editorial & specially for Blogger because they must need to know about Blog Editorial 🙂 well thanks for this nice post Mike !!!

12

Mike Schmidt

September 25, 2013 at 9:17 pm

Thanks everyone for the feedback. What other ways do you guys come up with blog content ideas or organize the process?

13

Mohit Rajwani

September 27, 2013 at 2:27 pm

hello mike!!

great work sir its a great post.i read many posts and research but this post it great and lots of information in it. i am using long til keywords and planing keywords from adword.

14 Angelina September 28, 2013 at 9:31 am

While making a calender, you should always keep in view the seasonal trends, as it is the best strategy appreciated by the peoples. The seasonal trends will make your calendar more beautiful and amazing. So follow the above mentioned tips while building a Killer Blog Calendar.

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