Its already July 2015, I bet at the beginning of the year you set up a goal to keep your company or personal blog as active as can be.
According to BAKE (Bloggers Association of Kenya) there are over 15,000 registered Kenyan blogs on the Internet. That is a very small percentage (0.00926%) compared to the over 162,000,000 blogs worldwide.
The good news is that a majority of these blogs quit after 2-3 months.
Why did you quit blogging? [or Why you will quit blogging ☺ ]
As the adage goes, ‘’If you fail to plan, you plan to fail’. If the 2-3 months statistics is accurate then I would say that most businesses and companies quit blogging due to lack of patience and planning. It is evident that most of us start blogging on a high note then soon realize that we lack the content to write or no one is reading our blogs.
What is an editorial calendar? [and why you should care?]
An editorial calendar is like a virtual content planner or a virtual “To Do” list. It helps you plan and schedule content in advance so that at no particular point will you lack content to post on your blog. An editorial calendar is more than just a calendar. It will help you track your blogging schedule, business holidays and blog post ideas that might influence your blog topics. With a blogging calendar in place, your blog will become a powerful tool to your business for attracting new customers creating brand awareness and posting product news and special sale offers.
How to create a blogging calendar
1. Set realistic goals
Start with your goals in mind. What do you want to achieve from your blog? Do you want to create awareness? Do you want to bring in new customers? Or do you want to highlight a new product?
Who are your target audience? What are their pains? What topics are they interested in?
At Webonmobi we call this “creating a buyer persona” or basically creating our target customer profile. The purpose of our blog is to help businesses succeed at social media marketing, we blog to create awareness for our brand, so that people can know we are very smart at social media marketing and a percentage of our readers who don’t have time to blog on their own can request our assistance. Because of that we have clear rules of what topics we should post about, how we should post content and whom we should target when creating the content.
If you need more help read How to create a buyer persona for your business
2. Determine your blog topics
Once you have established realistic goals, its time to brainstorm on what topics you’ll be writing about. There are 2 approaches to this; think of keywords that will let your audience find you when they search on Google or any other search engines [SEO]; 2 think of topics that will help your audience build trust in you.
Write down 10 blog post ideas that you think will interest your audience and think of how you will use your target keywords in them. Don’t limit yourself to only 10; write down everything that comes into your head.
For example if your target keyword is “Property for Sale in Machakos County”, here are some blog post ideas.
- 6 Tips for choosing a good property in Machakos County
- Photos of different properties for sale in Machakos
- 8 things you need to know before buying property in Machakos County
- How to do your own evaluation on a property
- How to manage your own property in Machakos County
As you might have noticed, these blog topics are not about actually buying property in Machakos County, they only provide useful tips for your target customers. These kinds of topics will bring in new readers. People who want to buy property in Machakos will Google these topics, get on your blog, discover all the useful, and they’ll come back to read more.
As you can see you market free information and tips to your target audience and use your services to provide the solution to their problems.
3. Map out specific holidays and events
This is where you plan on what and when to post about your business. Write down the business shows that you will be attending; discount offers; product launches and any other upcoming event for your business.
Write down public holidays that might influence your target audience. For example if Easter is a big occasion for your target audience, make sure you have an Easter related blog post when the time comes.
4. Set up an editorial calendar
You have the right goals; you have the right topics. Its time to create the editorial calendar. You can use online tools or you can use a spreadsheet to create a master calendar that you’ll add each day’s, week’s and month’s stories.
If you are using WordPress as a CMS (Content Management System) you can use the plugins below to develop your editorial calendar.
The downside of using plenty of plugins is that it might reduce your overall loading speed of your website and this might increase your bounce rate.
Schedule your posts 2- 3 months in advance, this will let your blog move on swiftly and you might change the dates of certain posts when need be.
5. Running your editorial calendar
Once the calendar has been set up and everything is running, follow the same routine and adjust when need be. Set aside time each week to write a new blog or 2 and schedule them on your platform. When you feel like writing write, write, write.
Last but not least, planning is only half the blogging battle. But I am pretty sure now you are ready to get in the battle with the right mindset, strategy and attacking moves. There is no wrong or right way of doing it. Blogging is a practice that requires patience and practice.
How often do you blog and do you use a blogging calendar for your blog? Kindly leave your comment or feedback it in the comment section below.