The producers of Good Morning America don’t awake every morning in a panic that they have to put on yet another show! Everything is planned well in advance, with topics and segments mapped out on a calendar. It’s not a surprise that day in and day out a new show has to be created.
So why are you treating it like a big surprise every time you need to write a blog post? So many of us have big blogging ambitions but then start writing on the morning of our deadline, or keep pushing it off for “when we have more time”. This makes blogging a constant stress, and a marketing activity that often ends up falling through the cracks.
There is a better way! You can create an editorial calendar for your blog, and it’s very easy to do.
Step 1: Brainstorm Your Topics
One of the biggest barriers to consistent blogging is WHAT to blog about.
Answers to your most frequently asked questions make great blog fodder, and are quick and easy to write. So step one is to brain dump, or write out, of all your most frequently asked questions. Try to generate as many as you can (go for 25 at the minimum). Don’t make this too complicated – these should be the basic questions that you’re asked over and over again. Go through old emails or listen to voicemails to jog your memory.
Step 2: Edit And Calendar
Once you have your big list of questions, go through and edit out any whose answers wouldn’t make great posts for your blog. (Remember, too basic isn’t a problem. The fact that prospects ask these questions proves that they aren’t too basic, and people really want them answered!)
If you aren’t sure what your blogging frequency should be, start with once a week. You can always go up or down from there but weekly is an effective and realistic schedule.
Take your edited list and copy and paste the questions onto a calendar, one question per week. I prefer Google calendar for this task. Let’s say you got 25 questions (which is pretty easy to come up with), you’ve got yourself a half a years worth of blog posts. Now go for more and get up to 52 topics and you are done for the year!
You now have your editorial calendar locked and loaded!
Step 3: Write and Stick To Your Calendar
The great thing about blogging is there are no rules – your articles don’t have to be any certain length or in any special format. Blogging is just a vehicle to get useful and/or entertaining content out to your audience. So keep this task simple, and simply write out (or make a video) your answer to each question.
Try to stay ahead of the game by writing your article at least one week in advance and scheduling it to go live on a pre-determined date (this is easy to do with WordPress). This gives you a little wiggle room for weeks where your blogging falls behind. Or you can make your life even easier by writing four posts at once and getting a month’s worth of content squared away.
The most important part of this plan is to stick to your editorial calendar! Once you know what to write about, most people find it pretty easy to just answer a question they already know the answer to. But it’s easy to self-sabatoge by deciding that you don’t feel like hitting that topic that week, or should come up with something else.
Don’t let yourself go there! Remember you’re running a professional operation, just like Good Morning America. Your blog is a representation of your business and should be treated as such – not like a throw-away hobby that you sometimes get to and sometimes don’t.