The following is a guest post by Kurt Smith. His bio is at the end of the article.
Small businesses often don’t set up dedicated copywriting departments for their blogs. Responsibility for maintaining the company blog is often placed with employees who have primary duties elsewhere in the company. It can be difficult for busy employees to find the right ideas to write about and to lead the company blog in a consistent direction, though.
For businesses that have a hard time keeping their blogs performing consistently, a well thought-out editorial calendar can be the answer.
No one likes writing a blog post “on the fly.” They tend to be sloppy, unorganized, and lacking in the keyword department. Doing things by the seat of your pants also opens you up to the problem of infrequent or inconsistent posting schedules and writing something that’s off-topic for your readers. This happens a lot with smaller blogs and startups.
An example of a well-done blog with cohesiveness is WiseBread.com. The site employs a lot of writers, but the format of the articles tends to be similar and the theme is consistent – “how to save money and increase financial intelligence.” The blog is updated regularly and takes advantage of holidays and seasons by constantly shifting the focus of topic titles to fit the time of year.
If you do a really great job on the topics for your blog, you can achieve the same type of consistency and uniformity. You can also produce stellar evergreen content that brings traffic to your site year-after-year. A few good tools to help keep your content ideas organized include Divvy HQ, Kapost, and Gather Content.
Many businesses have multiple writers writing for the company blog. An editorial calendar is the only way to make sure that all the contributors on a blog are used in a uniform way. With planning, for instance, a contributor who is skilled in writing about holiday-related topics can be utilized at the right time. Another, who is good at writing about industry topics, could be utilized when those articles are called for.
Without an editorial calendar planning topics and posts out in advance, it can be difficult to get the right people on the job at the right times of the year and to make sure that no writer ends up being worked too much or too little.
The business blog can be used in such a way so as to build up excitement and anticipation over a period of time leading up to a product launch. Keeping track of upcoming events need not be a laborious task. You can use an editorial calendar to plan a series of posts to make this happen.
Many blogs make good use of current events. They have something relevant and thoughtful to say about every important happening in the community. Such responsiveness becomes difficult when you are locked into an editorial calendar. Businesses that are locked into an editorial calendar often don’t have anyone watching the news for important current events to take advantage of.
Small businesses often need to be nimble and to change with current trends. A business direction that seems rock solid today could change three months down the line when a law or government policy changes, for instance. An editorial calendar planned out far in advance can turn out to be a major waste of time when such changes occur.
Many businesses stay away from editorial calendars because they imagine that they involve too much effort to plan out far in advance. An editorial calendar, though, is better done when it is created no more than a month in advance. With a short-term editorial calendar, you get the best of both worlds – a planned approach to publishing a blog and a bit of freedom to change, too.
Kurt Smith is a business consultant. He enjoys implementing innovative methods for businesses to get the edge on their competitors. Visit the NextDayLenses.com site and see how they reach out to their customer base using their site.