When it comes to content planning and editorial calendars for blog posts and social media content, the jury is still out for many businesses. For some, consistency and predictability makes the verdict an obvious yes. Others prefer to veer toward spontaneity. Striking while the irons of inspiration are hot and jumping on unexpected Internet trends, such as the latest Kardashian antics or arguing about whether that dress was blue or gold, has its advantages. However, there’s a strong case for developing a strategic content roadmap. Let’s examine the evidence.
Inspiration rooted in research
When spur-of-the-moment inspiration hits, its easy to get swept up and start frantically typing. But, writing is just one part of the content management process. Inspiration might provide a jumping off point, but research refines the idea and editing provides polish. Skipping these steps in the frenzy of getting ideas published can leave your audience confused. Rather than getting carried away in inspiration, adding ideas to an editorial calendar gives a writer time to conduct the in-depth research needed to transform your half-formed idea into a full-fledged marketing win.
Wouldn’t it be nice if inspiration and Internet trends stuck to a schedule? It does not work that way. Instead, some of the best advertising ideas for small businesses pop while you are sitting in rush hour traffic, wrestling with insomnia or lathering, rinsing and repeating. But, sometimes they just don’t pop at all. Without an editorial calendar, a lull in inspiration can have tumble weeds rolling through your website, blog and social media accounts. Rather then leaving your readers feeling abandoned, crafting a posting calendar creates accountability. With a well-designed plan in place, there is no excuse for not posting, even when the muses leave you waiting.
Take advantage of a team
Opting for spontaneity over planning may leave you wandering alone in the content jungle. Creating content on the fly doesn’t leave time to involve others in the process. However, establishing a content plan and editorial calendar creates an opportunity for teamwork. Bring in a team to generate ideas, create content, edit and publish results in well-researched, refined, polished content that engages readers. Working with a team allows for more frequent posting that will bring readers to your site over and over again.
Finding the happy medium
Content planning doesn’t need to be all or nothing. Sticking to a plan and establishing a calendar doesn’t require that you give in to uninspired content and forgo taking advantage of Internet trends. Instead, using a roadmap sets you up to take detours without getting too far off course. Spontaneity has a place in every editorial calendar, as long as it doesn’t detract from the larger plan.
As a fulltime freelance writer, Michelle S is a pro at sticking to a plan when inspiration is nowhere to be found.