How often do you post on your blog? Is that schedule intentional – or is it not really a schedule at all? You might not see your blog as that serious, or think you should post on a set schedule, but your current and future customers might disagree.
With an editorial calendar, you can post on a schedule, make sure everything is written up, edited, and ready to go in time, and even brainstorm ideas and plan well ahead for specific events, holidays, and more. So, how far out should your editorial calendar go? That’s a decision you can make and there’s not necessarily a right answer, but getting that calendar started is vital.
Here are four of the main reasons you need to get an editorial calendar going for your blog.
1. It’s a Huge Time Saver Once It’s Set Up
After you spend the time and effort to get your blog’s editorial calendar developed, it will save you huge amounts of time. It might not seem like that in the beginning because there are so many things to do. The calendar needs to be established, there may be adjustments that have to be made to it, and it can take a lot of time to come up with the blog titles and subjects for a long-term project like this. You might plan your calendar for a month, a set group of months, or even the rest of the year, but the further out you can plan it solidly, the better off you may be in the long run.
Fortunately, once it’s all set up, you won’t need to spend any time trying to think up what you want to say in a blog post. You won’t get behind because you can’t think of a topic. You won’t need to worry about a holiday or other event you accidentally forgot about. In short, you’ll have what you need all in one place, and even if you’re not feeling particularly inspired one day you’ll still know what needs to go on your blog.
2. It’s a Good Way to Prepare for the Unexpected
You should always expect the unexpected, but with an editorial calendar you can be better prepared. Things can change. There might be something you truly did forget about. You might need to make a change to what you planned to write about because an issue with the business, the world, or something deeply personal that can’t be ignored. But you can work around those unexpected events much more easily and fluidly when you have an editorial calendar you can trust and rely on. Most of what you need will still be at your fingertips, so you won’t feel lost when one thing goes awry. Sometimes you can just move a few dates around.
3. It’s a Great Way to Improve Collaboration
Need your people to talk to one another? Have more than one writer or editor who’s handling the blog for you? You’re not alone. When you have an editorial calendar, collaboration is two-fold. First, it works on the writer and editor level as everyone knows what they’re working on. They can talk to one another about it if need be, and they can keep everything moving in a way that helps your business grow and develop. Your customers get the benefit of all that collaboration through quality blog content they can appreciate.
Second, it works on a larger collaborative level because you can get a lot of people in your company involved in creating the calendar as a whole. You may have people from a number of different departments weighing in on what they’d like to see on the blog. Do they all have great ideas? Probably not. But is there value in their overall collaboration? Yes. Definitely! Getting your employees to talk to each other can help out in a lot of different ways, and one of those ways is the development of great ideas for your blog’s editorial calendar.
4. It’s a Perfect Gauge of What Content Works Best
By paying close attention to the kinds of content that have worked well in the past, and by seeing how well the content does as you put it onto the blog from the editorial calendar, you can make adjustments for the future. Longer form posts may do better than shorter ones or vice versa, depending on your industry. Additionally, the kind of content you put on the blog may resonate more with your target market during particular seasons or at specific times.
Paying close attention to the responses you get to blog content helps you further develop the editorial calendar, so you can keep customers reading. Over time, you’ll fine tune that calendar so it gives you the highest possible level of benefit for the effort, and that helps you, your business, your employees, and your customers, as well.
Why not work with one of the Content Strategists on WriterAccess to help you develop an editorial calendar for your blog? Reach out to our Talent Management team when you’re ready to get started!
Michelle B writes web content, articles, blog posts, product descriptions, and more, and has created thousands of pieces of content for companies all over the world. She holds an associate’s degree in business management and a bachelor’s degree in legal administration.