With the old year rapidly winding down, it’s a good time to think about your editorial calendar for the new year. Maybe you write your organization’s blog all by yourself. Or maybe you enlist help from other knowledgeable people in your office. However you work, a calendar will help get you off to a good start in 2015.
Don’t keep hitting the same notes
There’s no single way to create an editorial calendar. We keep ours in a simple spreadsheet. You can download formats from various useful sources, too. Some organizations have strictly defined topics that they repeat on a regular schedule, while others take a more informal approach. The important thing is to create an interesting mix, so you’re not continually hitting the same notes. Unless you’re exceptionally well organized, you probably won’t fill in the whole year’s calendar all at once. But schedule and write your posts at least a few weeks in advance, so you’re not scrambling at the last minute. And don’t hesitate to publish an unscheduled post, too, if something important has happened that you want your customers or clients to know about, or if you need them to know where you stand on a hot issue.
Don’t develop all of your blog topics yourself, even if you’re the only author. Solicit ideas and suggestions from everybody. And really consider using those topics that wouldn’t occur to you—some of the best topics fly in from left field. Also, approach people with ideas that you’d like them to develop. If they’re not naturally good writers, ask them for bullet points and take it from there. We’re all surrounded by tremendous ideas … don’t waste them.
Nurture your thought leaders
You’ll need a real thought leader to address certain crucial topics. Ask a few people to develop strong opinions and positions, and give them enough time to do it well. A thoughtful, well-craft opinion can build credibility for your organization. Don’t hesitate to link your blog to eloquent statements from others, too, even if they differ from yours. Nobody knows absolutely everything about any topic … although you wouldn’t think so from the tone some bloggers use.
Also look at other materials you already have on hand—white papers, case studies, advertorials, etc. Something is probably suitable for repurposing. Don’t just drop it whole into a post, though. Instead, carefully rework it to match your usual voice and tone, so it looks like you wrote it as a blogpost in from the beginning.
By the way, this is Wordsmithie’s last post for 2014.
Happy Holidays to everyone … we’ll see you in 2015!