An editorial calendar is a tool borrowed from the journalism world, to organize content published on a given day.

As a business blogger, you need to routinely be generating ideas that will resonate with your audience. An editorial calendar will help keep those ideas straight, and keep them matched with the day they need to run.

Maybe you are trying some guest blogging for other sites in addition to your own site. Or, maybe you are accepting guest posts on your own. An editorial calendar can help you keep that straight as well.

A quick piece of advice…

Consider the Time Element

Think about the seasonality of your business. Do your sales go up and down by what month it is? For instance, a gym membership in January, or an electronics product around Christmas would both be hot commodities, with large, receptive audiences.

Maybe your efforts are better laid out by what day of the week it is. A regular feature appearing on a certain day of the week can give your blog consistency. Each business is unique, but if there is a time element, you’ll want to take advantage.

An editorial calendar can help you accomplish this, and gives you a visual idea on the type of blog posts you should be writing depending on the season, or day of the week. Even if there is little time element to your business, an editorial calendar can help you keep a wide array of ideas organized.

Talk to Different Segments of Your Audience

Do you have various segments of your audience that you wish to talk with? Maybe some of your clients know more about your industry than others, or need different resources from you.

An editorial calendar can help you plan out content aimed at specific segments of your audience, and help ensure that you are planning the right content for everyone.

What Does It Look Like?

Your calendar doesn’t need to be anything fancy. I’ve used different methods at different times in my blogging.

It can be as simple as an Excel spreadsheet or Word document. It can be an old-fashioned (gasp!) pencil and paper enterprise. I’ve even used a physical desktop calendar before.

All it really needs to do is match up a headline and/or description with the date you’ve scheduled it to run. WordPress also has an editorial calendar plugin that can be useful. Google Calendar, or any calendar app would also do the trick.

The key point of an editorial calendar is to make you think more chronologically about your blog content, and be able to match it up with your wider marketing efforts.

An Editorial Calendar Keeps You Motivated

Life happens. And the other aspects of running your business can land square in the way of generating quality content.

Sometimes all it takes is to see a blog post scheduled for a certain day to keep you honest, and keep you aimed at your content creation goals. If you are the type of person who is easily distracted (who isn’t?) an editorial calendar can be the push you need to do your writing.

This is the key backbone for keeping your blog efforts organized and consistent.

Wrapping Up…

An editorial calendar helps you integrate your blogging efforts into your wider marketing goals. It helps you consider the time element as you generate blog ideas, and fold them into an organized schedule.

An editorial calendar ensures that you are taking advantage of all publishing opportunities, and implementing a professional system to track all content.

Matt Brennan is a Chicago area marketing writer and copy editor.

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