How many times do you get up in the morning, stare at your computer screen, and wonder aloud, "What the heck am I going to write about today?" Too many times to mention, I bet. It's only natural that blog writing and other social media posting falls through the cracks sometimes. You know it's important to your company's brand, but it's not always easy coming up with topics to write about.
The key to getting a handle on your blog writing is to start using an editorial calendar. Don't panic. This isn't a big deal, or difficult to do. Here are ten reasons why:
1. Defeats writer's block – Imagine sitting down at your computer next week and knowing exactly what to write about. Isn't that a great feeling? That's what an editorial calendar can do for you, when you plan your topics a few weeks ahead of time.
2. Stay current – An editorial calendar allows you to plan your content a few months ahead of time so you can promote company milestones, reference important holidays, or cultural events.
3. Guest bloggers – A full schedule of blogging can be overwhelming. You can gain greater exposure for your blog by adding guest bloggers to the mix. An editorial calendar helps you accomplish this since you can use it to schedule guest posts. The guest blogger gets more exposure for their work, and you can get a break from writing once in a while. Talk about a win-win scenario!
4. Manage projects – If you have trouble keeping up with projects – such as a special series on a particular topic, an editorial calendar will keep you on track. Since you're planning what to write about ahead of time, you can do more research. You might find that the information you gather is more than can be covered in one blog post, and dictates a two or three-part series instead.
5. Organize creative assets – Now that you have your topics assigned in your editorial calendar, you can spend time gathering images, videos or other text to supplement your articles. List the links, files, etc. in your calendar, so you'll have everything you need when it comes time to publish.
6. Blogging consistency – An editorial calendar is great for helping people develop consistency. Successful bloggers usually find that consistency is more important than frequency. If people know that you publish a new article on Wednesdays, that's when they'll be checking your blog. If you fail to publish that day, there's a danger that you'll drop off people's radar.
7. Lead generation – Now that you're planning articles with an editorial calendar, you can make sure that the topics you're writing about meet the needs of your target audience. In this way, you'll have a better chance of generating leads from your blog and other social networking sites.
8. Social media strategy – An editorial calendar also plays a key role in your social media marketing. Track which posts on Facebook, Twitter, etc. get the most engagement, and then revisit those topics at a later time, since they are resonating with your audience.
9. Schedule posts – Believe it or not, many bloggers don't schedule their posts. They always hit "publish now." However, there's no reason why you can't schedule some of your posts, especially if you get motivated one day and churn out three blog posts in a row. If one of the articles is timely, you can post it right away, and then schedule the other two articles based on your editorial calendar. When you let the article sit for a while, you get a chance to review and enrich the content before it finally gets published.
10. Reduce stress – One big benefit of an editorial calendar is that it can reduce your stress level. Knowing you have a topic in mind before sitting down to write is a much better feeling than just staring at a blank computer screen with no idea what to write.
Most businesses today have a social media marketing strategy. Savvy businesses include an editorial calendar as a key component of that plan.