An editorial calendar puts you a step ahead in content creation. It really is a tool no small business owner can live without when managing a website or blog. Editorial calendars make it easier to decide when to tackle topics you want to cover by plugging them into a schedule spanning several weeks or even several months.
Key questions do emerge when filling out your editorial calendar. How do you decide what content belongs there? When is the right time to produce this content? What you write about and when you write it matter more than anything else in a content marketing plan.
Developing the right ideas at the right time starts with following these principles:
Write Down All Ideas
Effective brainstorming requires embracing every thought in your head. It does not matter how off-the-wall it seems at first glance. Writing down all of your ideas can actually open the door to spark even better ideas. When you see something on paper instead of kicking around in your head, it can take your content production in directions you never imagined. You can see potential topics in a new light or discover angles you had not previously considered. It will help you figure out how to best tie these ideas into what your business does.
Create Checkpoint Plans
Content is never created in a vacuum. There are always outside factors to consider in choosing topics and scheduling their production. It’s a good idea to create a checkpoint plan that will highlight these factors. Track holidays or seasons where content will be most relevant. It doesn’t make sense to post an article on the most stylish swimsuits in the middle of winter. Make a note of events that will make your topic feel timelier when it is released. Writing an article related to pro-football probably will draw better traffic in the fall or during Super Bowl week than in the spring or summer. Timing matters as much in content production as the actual content.
Prune Your Ideas
A tree cannot enjoy healthy growth with too many branches. Over time, the excess branches will weigh the tree down and increase the chances it will break under heavy snow or blow down in high speed winds. Pruning away some branches actually strengthens the tree and extends its lifespan. The same is true with content. Even the best ideas need to be shaped and polished as you convert them into an article or blog post. Identify the best topics to cover in a central idea and focus on those alone. If what you discard has potential, you can save it to use down the road. Trimming these “branches,” however, will strengthen your content as a whole.
John C is a professional writer and editor who has written articles and blog posts for dozens of websites and publications for more than a decade.