5 Ways Editorial Calendars Make for Better Blogging
Since its initial rise in popularity, blogging has remained a key aspect of many business plans, from corporations to solo entrepreneurs. Yet consistently posting fresh, engaging content can be a challenge, whether you are a new or veteran blogger.
An editorial calendar will improve your blogging strategy and simplify the work of running an effective blog. The most basic editorial calendar will include content topics of each piece and a publish date.
More detailed calendars can include intended audience, keywords, team member responsibilities and the promotion schedule. This organization provides consistency, content arcs, future flexibility, tracking and analysis, and meeting business objectives.
Consistency is one of the most important qualities that your blog needs to develop that engaged following. Consistent publishing not only drives more traffic but also increases leads.
A recent HubSpot study found small businesses posting content more than 11 times each month had three times the visitors of sites publishing once monthly — and twice as many leads as businesses posting 6-10 times. An editorial calendar helps build a consistent publishing schedule and motivates you to stay on track.
2. Content Arcs
Compared to posting on whichever topic comes to mind, an editorial calendar is far more strategic. By planning out your content in advance, you can build a sense of progression that walks with customers through each stage of the buyer’s journey, while telling the story of your brand.
An editorial calendar will also allow you to build smaller content arcs into your strategy, such as a weekly interview or current events roundup. This kind of connected content will keep your readers returning so that they don’t miss an installment.
3. Future Flexibility
Along with structure, an editorial calendar also provides flexibility to your blog strategy. A content plan lets you see the larger picture, from now into the future, allowing you to more easily refine next week and next month’s content based on the results of past content.
You’ll quickly discover the topics that drive the most traffic and that most resonate with your followers. You can then adjust your future content pieces based on the content proven to be the most popular.
4. Tracking and Analysis
Naturally, in order to take advantage of insights from your content and your audience, you need to be tracking the performance of your content pieces. The specific metrics you track for your content should be based on your overall business goals, but in general, you should be paying attention to the content themes and individual posts that drive the most traffic.
Some editorial calendars also include built-in tools for promoting content on social media and tracking that engagement as well. An organized content and promotion schedule makes it easier to track and analyze your results.
5. Meeting Business Objectives
An editorial calendar also makes it easier to ensure that your blog content and practices are focused on meeting overall business goals. Digital marketing specialist Stacy Jackson suggests ranking each content idea for alignment with specific business goals. At the very least, you should be evaluating each topic for whether or not it will contribute to your marketing and organizational objectives.
Resources to Get Started
There are great benefits in adding an editorial calendar to your blogging strategy — and there are many tools available to help you get started with an effective calendar. HubSpot offers free digital editorial calendar templates that you can adapt for the specific needs of your blog or business, while CoSchedule provides a series of free printable worksheets for strategic planning, along with their flagship digital calendar.
To help you out further in building out your content base, check out our article on planning a year’s worth of content in just one day. These resources will help you quickly develop an effective blog and blogging process that will grow your audience.