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How to create an editorial calendar for your blog

By Kim Harrison,

Consultant, Author and Principal of www.cuttingedgepr.com

Maintaining a regular blog with a supply of useful comment and information is demanding. Like any regular publication the deadlines seem to arrive all too soon. Using information from media releases and product promotions only goes so far – you still need to find and write attractive content.

You have to understand your target audience and write posts that connect their needs to product or service of your organization or your client. Maintaining a rate of 1-3 posts per week is the ideal.

The reality is that most blog posts are ad hoc – spontaneous – rather than systematic and strategically conceived. Bloggers tend to sit down and write on the spot. For instance, one well known PR daily blogger checks the latest industry news and posts from other bloggers and writes off the cuff. But an editorial calendar will make life a lot easier and blogging more effective.

Just as an editorial calendar is vital for commercial magazines and newsletters, great value results from using a calendar to plan the material in every blog. A calendar ensures that topics are covered in an organized way.

Also, with topics laid out in an orderly way, you are more likely to have more ideas and they will be more creative because your mind has had time to work on them subconsciously over time.

10 questions for blog calendars

Carrie Morgan, who specializes in digital PR in Arizona, asks herself 10 key questions that are instrumental in shaping a blog calendar (and is just as valuable for newsletters and magazines):

1. Who is my target audience?
2. What interests them?
3. What are other blogs in the same category or with the same target audience writing about?
4. What are the trade publications writing about, and what's on their editorial calendar?
5. What industry news/posts are shared and retweeted the most?
6. What are the competition writing about?
7. What topics are tradeshows covering in their workshops and round tables?
8. What trends are your managers or clients seeing?
9. What types of articles interest your managers or clients?
10. What publications do your managers or clients read, and what are they writing about?

At the same time you need to stay flexible and allow for changes. A hot trend may arise, or an editorial idea may become stale over time.

A blog editorial calendar enables you to focus more strategically. It is much easier to write posts that contain the content you wish to include. A calendar removes some of the stress of writing and produces much better ideas. No matter how structured or unstructured your blog editorial calendar is – from a casual list of bullets, or a more formal structure via a WordPress plug-in, use it and stick with it. Your results will be much better.

About the Author

Kim Harrison is a recognized authority in the public relations field. His website, www.cuttingedgepr.com, provides a wealth of informative articles and resources on public relations techniques and management.

 

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