Do you sporadically post blog posts as ideas pop into your head? Or when you have a free minute? Do you have disjointed ideas with little-to-no direction or flow?
Or maybe you struggle to come up with a consistent blog or article creation schedule because you’re just too busy with your other content or everyday work.
Whatever the reason, you’re not creating content of the quality and quantity that you want to (or should) be.
This is why you need an editorial calendar.
No, it doesn’t have to be complicated. No, it doesn’t have to take you fourteen straight hours to create. And no, you don’t have to write your blogs in the exact order you’ve organized them!
But you do need an editorial calendar and here’s why:
It keeps you sane.
It keeps you consistent.
It keeps you relevant and easy to find.
Do I have your attention? Good.
Sanity and Editorial Calendars
How many times have you made a goal to write two or three blogs over the course of a couple of weeks but then “forgot,” got busy, or just plum lost your motivation?
I’m sure guilty of it. But the only thing that keeps me on track is my editorial calendar. There are tons of different editorial calendar options for WordPress, Squarespace, and all the other website platforms. Since I use WordPress and personally feel like everyone else should, too, here are a few plugins you can choose from:
If I had to pick one of those plugins, I’d spring for the CoSchedule one, but that’s because I love them and they can do no wrong. But surprisingly, I don’t use plugins to monitor my editorial calendar.
*Cue gasps* Why, you ask?
I prefer a generic Google Sheets spreadsheet to any editorial calendar plugin. I can list my ideas quickly, move them between dates, and highlight them when they go live. I can also use different tabs for brewing ideas, holidays I’d like to write content for, and any potential guest blogs I’d like to pitch. I need an editorial calendar that is functional, not pretty.
This method doesn’t require a ton of clicking, saving, or updating (which plugins require a lot of). I just type and Google Sheets does the rest. Now, this system works best for me. The plugins may work better for you. Try out both and see. But back to your sanity…
Imagine how much easier life would be if you could get your ideas down, schedule a date for them to go live, and have a “Draft Due By” date? You could write about whatever moves you on a given day, create the draft on your website, and set it to post on a specific data.
Seriously, what could be easier?
Consistency in Blogging
I’m going to call myself out on this right now. I’m not the most consistent blogger when it comes to writing for this Top Secret blog (shoot, I gave the secret away!). Why? Because I write for a living and sometimes it feels like my fingers are going to fall off by 5pm. You don’t get that excuse!
For you, consistent blog posts are like showing up for work on time every day: your bosses notice, your co-workers rely on you, and everything goes smoothly. You become an asset, a resource even. This is the same with consistent blogging. Your effort to remain steady for your readership, followers, or clients is like saying, “Hey, I’m a professional. I know my stuff and I’m gonna keep talking about it.”
People eat that up. But so do search engines.
SEO and Your Content
Ick. SEO. The dreaded buzzkill of the creative writer. But you know what? If you want to get seen out there, your first line of defense is your trusty editorial calendar.
When you come up with a scheduled list of ideas and constantly move towards producing those pieces of content, you’re creating a steady stream of input for search engines to scan. Of course, you’ve optimized your content for keywords (ick) and have maybe even used the Skyscraper Method to one-up your competition. This means that search engines like Google will place your content closer to the top of the search results and, if you’ve done better than your competition, you’ll see an even bigger boost in rankings.
Bonus Reason #4 why you need an editorial calendar:
You can keep track of keywords and competition content so that you can reference back to them when you’re drafting your blogs. Magic!
People often make the mistake of writing content randomly and optimizing that small volume of content to the teeth. Unfortunately, Google and other search engine crawlers get bored quickly. They want to be fed constantly or they move on. Keep feeding them!
Editorial Calendars: Your First Line of Defense
The key reason I push editorial calendars so much for my clients is because they work. They keep you motivated, they keep you accountable, and they keep the Search Engine Gods happy. Without that editorial calendar, you’re scraping for subpar ideas and you’re not going to get seen.
If you want your customers, website visitors, or loyal email or blog subscribers to keep coming back for more, start organizing your editorial calendar today. I’m always here if you need help.
Until next time…