There’s definitely a process that you follow. But rather than starting with the idea that you need to publish X posts per month and therefore need to come up with X topics to write about, it’s better to start with Goals.
What are your business goals? Your blog goals? Are you focused on traffic or subscribers or leads or revenue? Or all of the above? (that’s ok!) Write those down and begin to note ideas for tasks, articles and other promotional activities.
Once you’ve given your goals some thought, you can begin to map out what content you actually need in order to meet those goals.
Again, we aren’t yet getting to frequency or schedule – just an outline of what pieces of content you think you have to have in order to achieve what you want.
- Are people who follow me on Quora informed when I start a Quora blog?
- Is it possible to merge two different blogs into one?
- What are some of the niche topics that you can blog about and earn big profits?
- Landing Page Optimization: Why is it that some blogs have high bounce rates, while some have low?
- Should I move my blog to Patreon?
For instance, suppose you want to be the authority for new bloggers, and specifically want to rank for “How To Start A Blog.” You’d map out your “top-level” article that would be titled exactly that, and then consider 3 sub-pages, and 3 blog posts per sub-page.
(This structure is called a Content Pyramid though it’s also referred to as a skyscraper and other illustrative labels. The idea though is always the same – select a top-level topic and then structure additional content that will support that topic and lead readers into that topic.)
Once you have your first Content Pyramid thought out, think about what your next pyramid will look like, and the next.
While you’re working through these structures, be thinking about how much time you’ll need to create these pieces of content. We do need to get back to that editorial calendar eventually, but not before we’ve given thought to our capabilities.
Can you write one article per day? Per week? Per month? A lot will depend on your available time, resources, motivation, and, ultimately, those goals.
You see, the more often you publish great content, and the more overall content that you accumulate centered around your key topics, the faster and more successful your Google ranking and referral traffic will grow.
In fact, a study from Hubspot demonstrated that most blogs & businesses needed 50+ pieces of content before they started to see exponential growth in Google traffic -> leads -> sales.
So while the normal blogging wisdom is to publish once per week, resulting in 48–52 pieces of content annually, question that. Are you prepared to wait 12+ months before you begin to see real success from your blog?
If not, and if you can afford to devote more time to blogging, plan to publish more often.
When I first started blogging I published 2 – 3 times per day! Now, years later, I publish an average of once per week, but that initial high volume of content helped me:
- Establish my authority.
- Create a wealth of blog content.
- PRACTICE MY WRITING!
None of us start out as expert bloggers. 😉 It takes time and practice, so the more often you write, the better your writing will become!
Now, finally, you should have a sense both of when you want/can publish, and what you should be publishing. Only then can you fill out an editorial calendar that actually means something.
I created a Blogging Planner specifically to assist with this process, as it takes you through the Goal Setting, Topic Brainstorming, Structure Building and, ultimately, Calendaring of your editorial content.
Use it to help you figure out exactly what you’re going to publish in the coming year and save yourself a lot of time in the long-run.