Last week’s blog post explained why you need an editorial calendar. This week we’ll put the calendar into action, specifically for blogging.
Before setting your calendar, you should create a list of topics to cover throughout the year. There are several ways to make your list.
Now that you have a good list of topics, break out your calendar and see how seasonal posts can attract more readers. If, for example, you run a bookstore, then smaller holidays and occasions can be as important as the big ones. We all know you’ll need to have a great holiday season in November and December, but don’t miss important sales opportunities tied to occasions like Father’s Day/Graduations (“Dads and Grads”), New Year’s Day (“New Year, New You”), and Opening Day (“Play Ball!”). These would make excellent blog posts to promote your bookstore online.
Also, depending on your business, don’t forget other dates that would draw in readers (April 15 tax deadline, Earth Day, Back to School, Administrative Assistant’s Day, and my personal favorite, International Talk Like a Pirate Day.) Here’s a list of “unofficial holidays” that your readers might enjoy.
To create the calendar itself, you can use several methods. A traditional calendar works fine, as does a weekly planner or an online calendar (Google, Apple, Microsoft and Yahoo! all offer free calendars). My only suggestion when using one of these is to keep it exclusively about the blog. Don’t mix in your appointments and to-do lists. It’s too much clutter. If you like to work in Microsoft Excel, download this template from Andy Wibbels, author of Blogwild!: A Guide for Small Business Blogging.
Now you have all the tools you’ll need to plan specific, timely blog posts that your readers will enjoy and appreciate.