I find it very interesting to look back at where we were with blogging last year and compare it to where we are today. Last year, it was just me and I was trying to write as often as I could with the result being far from consistent.
Later that year, even with the addition of my first part-time team member, it still proved difficult to blog consistently. It’s not that it wasn’t important — we were blogging daily for clients and seeing improved SEO and web traffic as a result — the problem, to be honest, was mostly due to my being intimidated by the idea of blogging every single day.
It seemed like an insurmountable task. So, somehow that translated to my blogging 1-2 times per week without a regular schedule. Was this better than not blogging at all or leaving weeks between blog posts? Absolutely! Was this infrequent a bit haphazard approach to blogging ideal for consistent, needle-moving growth? Unfortunately, no.
Going from 0 to 60 with our company blog
Now, fast forward to 2014 and my proclamation that we would not only blog consistently but also daily, and we are now sharing fresh content Monday through Friday, with few exceptions.
Getting to the point where blog posts are shared five times a week was a process for us. Or as we lovingly refer to as a: a BBG (big booty goal).
This year, we began the experiment of blogging every day and quickly found that it was helpful to have a framework for content. That’s where our blog editorial calendar started to form. Here’s a snapshot of our blog editorial calendar:
How to Create a Blog Editorial Calendar that Actually Works
Today, we have a content rotation, three weekly series (Toolkit Tuesday, Wednesday videos and #Thriveable Friday) and a weekly e-newsletter that always has fresh content because we can pull from the posts and videos we’ve shared on the blog over the past week.
Here are some key elements within our editorial calendar. Use these elements as inspiration and quality control as you refine or create a blog editorial calendar that has the potential to produce real ROI for your brand:
- A framework that reinforces our goals. We established the goal of blogging Monday – Friday and ensuring each post includes keyword research.
- Posts are emailed at the same time everyday. We have a scheduled time of 11am ET where Mailchimp pulls our post that day and emails it to our subscribers. This creates a hard deadline.
- Topical rotation based on our target audiences and business goals. Here’s what our topical rotation looks like:
- Each post is optimized for search engines. Each of our posts includes keyword research and optimization to up our odds of ranking on the first page of search for each blog post.
- Social sharing. Each post is shared multiple times on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and is pinned on Pinterest.
- Approval process. Each post is reviewed by more than one team member. This helps reduce the risk of grammatical errors and allows for continuous feedback to improve our posts.
Get your strategy in place and … hit that publish button.
This new and improved approach to blogging still takes a lot of work and commitment. It’s not easy but with the addition of an outlined process and accountability, we have seen our web traffic consistently grow and our blog consistently generates leads.
The big idea: Take what you will and leave what you want but know that the biggest factor in impactful, smart blogging is to write and publish consistently. You have to grit your teeth and just DO IT sometimes. Know that posts will come together and get prettier as you go but in starting out you simply have to commit to write and then take a deep breath and hit publish.
Do you blog everyday? Do you use a blog editorial calendar to keep your content flowing seamlessly? What elements do you include?