How to plan your blog’s editorial

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.

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:

  1. Establish my authority.
  2. Create a wealth of blog content.
  3. 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.

Very good question.

So it sounds like you know what content to create but you have a difficult time organizing your work.

There are several ways you can organize your blog posts.

The simplest way is to use create a schedule on Google calendar. You can enter your themes according to your specifications. You can customize the calendar any way you want to keep track of your blog posts.

You can keep a physical planner of ideas. It’s much like using Google Calendar but you will be able to make notes a lot quicker, in my opinion.

You can also use Trello to organize your content. It is a project management system that will help you keep track of links to include on your blog, photos, and most of all a deadline.

Hopefully this answers your question. Glad to help.

Katina Davenport

I write a blog once a month (usually) which gives me plenty of time to plan it out.

I’ll do research and bookmark 3 to 4 relevant blog post that I can use as references. Once that’s done, then I go through a list of steps to complete the process

Here’s an order of which I plan my blog posts:

  1. I look for Long Tail Keywords. I use Long Tail Pro for this
  2. I come up with a Headline with the Long Tail Keywords.
  3. I make a list of Secondary Keywords and LSI Keywords to be included within the body of posts, images, and meta description
  4. I’ll come up with sub headlines, introduction, include a quote, and look for the main image
  5. I put together an outline with subheadlines to fill out the gaps creating the body and conclusion as a result

To keep me come up with ideas and stay organized I use evernote which I highly recommend.

Like Mike Allton said, the first thing I do is think of my business goals, and what I want to achieve with my blog.

Doing this gives me focus, and it tells me what kind of content I need to create in order to achieve these goals.

Then, I start thinking of what I’m going to write about and what types of posts I’m going to write. I’ll usually set a few different categories that I want to cover and come up with multiple ideas for each one. Not all of them will make it, but it helps me when I write down as many ideas as possible.

It’s also worth mentioning that research is a very important part, too; I try to read a lot of different blogs so that I can keep see what people are reading, what makes them engage, what gets the most shares on social media.

Once I decide on exactly what articles I’m going to write and finalize the headlines, I use an editorial calendar to give myself a clear schedule to follow. Of course, there are always some changes, like if I don’t have the time to write and publish, or if I think of something else to write about. Generally, though, I like to plan out my blog content at least 2 months in advance, even if I know there will be changes to it.

I carry around a pen and paper…yes you read that correctly. Whenever I get an idea I write it down. Then I transfer all my ideas on a Word Document. I never am at a loss of topics.

I do plan ahead. I like to have at least one or two blog posts already written in my back office on WordPress. All I have to do is hit “Publish” and I’m good to go. I save them for the times that I’m too busy to write. Yes…plan ahead.

Everything I write is for the reader. This is why I like to jot down notes as I’m on social media and see a problem someone is having…I can write a post on the topic of the solution.

Hope this helps,

-Donna

I have a blog network (nothing too big thats for sure) , what i like to do its to pair up with content creators, guest bloggers and all that good stuff.
Content creators because they provide quality articles, they are SEO ready and they add value to my website.
Guest bloggers because after they wrote an article, they share it on their social media, and that will also drive traffic to the site, and some people might stick to your blog

I can recommend you to try SteadyContent for quality articles, but for guest blogger, you might have to ask around in your blog niche to find someone!

I think the easier thing to do is to have one solid article per week and add one or two more articles later in the week.

Here is an example, assume you have a travel blog. You will write an authentic article on the pick day of the week. This day could be any day based on your audience engagement. So lets say it Sunday, on Sunday you might write your travel experience and the reviews about the place you visited last week ( this kind of articles are authentic and true experience ) and on the coming days you can write related articles like things to do in this town or on this occasion and or things to have when you go to this city or that place.

I simply write the post or record my podcast 1 day before the post is published.

It works really well for me.

Other bloggers I know plan about a month ahead of time, writing and scheduling.

Think through your posting sked to get more organized on editing. Usually, the fewer posts, the easier the organizing.

Ryan

Ryan Biddulph on iBooks