Have you been caught in the rat-race of, “What should I post?” or staring at a blank screen, wondering what to do next?
I’ve been there and it sucks. There’s nothing worse than starting a blog, wanting to shine and tell your truth and be heard and then have nothing to say! It’s frustrating to say the least.
So what do you do? Well, you need to get organized with an editorial calendar. An editorial calendar will keep you on track and organize your ideas all in one place so you can know what to say and when to say it. No more guesswork and no more staring at a blank computer screen!
An editorial calendar will be anywhere between a one-month or three-month calendar with time estimates, responsibilities, resources, deadlines, and everything you need to get done within a certain time frame (usually on a monthly scale). Each day, you can refer to your calendar and know exactly what needs to get done. And you can always adjust it to add in time-sensitive content when there’s breaking news or hot topics you want to share.
Today, you’ll get ideas for creating your own editorial calendar and create an arsenal of content that works for you and your business.
Brainstorming Content Ideas
Start by brainstorming content ideas for your blog. The best practice here is to make a massive list which you can store as a content bank so that you’ll always have plenty of ideas in stock. You can add to this list whenever you get an idea as well.
Here are some ideas for coming up with topics:
Repurpose Old Content. If you haven’t, then read this post where I give you 10 ways to repurpose your blog post for more exposure and to reach a wider audience easily, fast and free. As you go about repurposing, you can use your old content to generate new ideas. A few ways to do this include:
- Take another angle. Take the information in one piece of content and reframe it for another audience. Take an article that discusses a topic in the positives and make it negative. Rewrite the content from another point of view.
- Expand. If you have an article with tips, take each tip and create a whole new article with additional information, further ideas, or examples.
- Contract. Take several pieces of content and write one piece of content that summarizes each in one article.
- Reformat. Take old content and recreate it in a different format. You can turn text-based content into simple videos; turn videos into audios; make slideshows or infographics out of text content or video stills, and so on.
Remember that repurposed content should still be up-to-date and unique. If you’re offering exclusive content to your email list or creating a paid product, make sure the content isn’t available for free somewhere online!
Your Unique Strengths. Take a moment to identify your unique strengths. These are areas within your topic where you have unique insights or especially great experience. In these areas, you can bring something truly unique and valuable that people can’t get anywhere else. When planning content, choose topics that play to your strengths.
Topics Relevant to Your Product or Service. Try to think of topics that are directly related to your product or service, especially if you’re using content to sell. This works well because people will enjoy your content and find it helpful, which will lead them directly to your product or service.
Topics Relevant to Your Audience. Start with your audience and generate content ideas from them. You have their demographic profile. What kind of advice could they use? What information are they looking for? Follow them on social media to see what they’re talking about. What questions do they ask? You can also ask your audience directly through surveys or personal messages.
You can go to buzzsumo, growth.org, quora, and Facebook Groups to get started.
Create a Storyline. Try to create a storyline for your content. Think of the order in which your audience will consume your content. Start small and build. Think of each topic as a series of steps your audience has to take. For example, if you write about blogging, there’s a natural storyline there:
- How to get started with blogging
- Choosing a good blogging platform
- Learning about your potential audience
- Generating ideas for your blog
- Creating a writing schedule
Each topic covers another step in a larger process.
Planning a Piece of Content
Whether or not you’ve already been creating content in the past, a bit of planning will help ensure consistent quality. However, be careful that your topic is what your audience wants to consume. When creating content, think about the following:
- Can you find enough information on the topic?
- Is your topic of interest to your audience?
- Is it relevant to your business?
- Does the content help to direct your audience to the next appropriate step?
- Is the content in line with your content goals and priorities?
- Is it timely?
- Do you have the skills and resources to create it?
As you go about creating content, the above will become second nature, but for now, these are factors to keep in mind when considering each idea. If it passes this test, then add it to your content bank.
The Elements of Your Editorial Calendar
There are some elements that should be at the top of your editorial calendar since its the place where your content will become organized, timely, and focus.
Goal – Include the business goal with which your content plan aligns.
Product, Service, or Topic – Clearly state the product or service that you’re promoting or the topic in which you’re trying to build expertise.
Content Type – The content types for which you’re creating content. If there are multiple types, you can list them and you may want to categorize.
For each piece of content, your editorial calendar should include:
- A title or a rough idea of a title that indicates what the piece is about (keep keywords in mind)
- The summary of what the content will cover. You may add here what the audience member will know or be able to do by the time they’re finished
- A call to action stating what you want the audience member to do after they’ve finished
- How the piece fits into your overall goal (what it’s meant to achieve; things like “get people to sign up to my email list” or “deepen relationships by offering helpful advice”)
- A due date for when the piece should be published or put on your calendar when it will be going live
- Where the piece will be published
- Keywords if there are SEO concerns
Keep in mind that pieces of content can lead to other content. If there is a piece that requires a response from your audiences, such as questions or requests, use this as a cue to create another piece of high-value content directly in response to the wishes of your audience.
If a piece is part of a series, make sure this is clear to your audience. You can always add links to the series within your blog post so your audience can go back and read the previous articles.
If your audience likes a particular piece of content, consider turning it into a series. If you run a successful series that gets a great deal of engagement, you might consider repeating the process with a similar topic or offering more information in that topic through another format, like a webinar or video series. Or you can turn it into a live workshop to get in front of people.
Your editorial calendar should be flexible, so be willing to adjust when necessary. There is nothing wrong with readjusting and revamping your editorial calendar.
If you have a great idea for content that you know your audience will love, go ahead and make it a higher priority, and push the other content back accordingly. This is especially true if there’s some timely industry news you want to share, or if you get a question from a customer that you want to create content on immediately.
For one-time projects, you’ll need to also create an action plan, with tasks and deadlines along with details of what you’re creating. Use project management platforms like Trello or asana to keep track of when things need to be done. Or if you are a pen and paper person, then buy a big calendar with sticky notes and use that as a way to keep track of your editorial calendar.
After all of this, are you still finding yourself stuck? Perhaps now you’re thinking, “Okay, what kinds of content can I write that will convert?” Then I have a free Masterclass for you. It’s called “4 Types of Content Every Business Needs for Ultimate Success”.
Inside of the free Masterclass, you’re going to learn:
- What the four types of content you need for your business to include in your editorial calendar for maximum impact and results
- Discover the fuel behind content that will connect and build your brand
- Understand how to use and interchange content to put your business growth on maximum drive for faster results
- Get the tips and best practices behind content marketing
Get in on the free Masterclass today and fill your editorial calendar with content that fuels and drives your business!