Blog editorial calendar: how to do it

When it comes to creating content, whether it’s for a blog or social channels, it’s inevitable to talk about the editorial plan, a fundamental tool to say the least for organizing and keeping the work that needs to be done under control.

But what does an editorial plan really consist of? And above all, how do you create it so that it is efficient and functional? Here are some useful and interesting tips.

What is an Editorial Plan and what is it for?

The PED is nothing more than a document that contains both the starting point, both the strategy and the arrival point of a blog, site or social network created in word, Google Docs, pages and which establishes the relationship between customer and company.

In the following paragraphs, attention will be focused on the editorial plan for a blog, but it should be emphasized that it is possible (indeed, super recommended) to create one also for a site and for social channels, with the intention of establishing the various steps and set goals to be achieved.

An editorial plan is essential for those who want to make the blog an effective working tool for their marketing strategy, since it helps to leave nothing to chance and always have topics, deadlines and final goals at hand.

Planning and scheduling, therefore, are the two keywords at the base of a well-done editorial plan; designing it at the beginning of the work, therefore immediately after signing a contract, is preferable because it allows both the worker and the customer to have a clear understanding of the activities that will be carried out right from the start. Obviously this is a document that can be modified during construction, especially if the customer needs to advertise a particular product/service or inform its users of a particular novelty.

How to create a blog editorial plan

Creating an editorial plan for a blog may seem very simple, but it actually includes a series of actions (preliminary and otherwise) that allow you to have everything clear and under control from start to finish:

SWOT analysis

Before starting with the actual creation of the editorial plan it is good to start from a preliminary phase, that is the SWOT analysis, based on words and numbers.

With the SWOT analysis, in fact, it is possible to identify the points of:

  • Strenght
  • Weakness
  • Opportunities
  • Threats

Of what? Of the company in question or, more specifically, of the project for which you want to create a blog. An analysis of this type is especially useful for the client, who will better understand the content of the strategy and will have the opportunity to suggest changes or new ideas.

Define goals

Closely related to the SWOT analysis are the goals to set and (hopefully) achieve with the creation of a blog. They can be of two types, i.e. short-term or long-term:

  • short-term goals: they are reached faster but have a longer duration, such as the daily visits you intend to obtain or the fact of becoming the point of reference for a certain number of users;
  • long-term goals: require more time, such as creating a recognizable style or reaching a certain number of followers.

Defining goals from the outset is very important because every single blog content will be a tool to achieve them and, therefore, to push the user to take a specific action (purchase, subscribe to the newsletter, etc …).

Keyword research

One aspect that certainly shouldn’t be underestimated in writing blog articles is SEO (Search Engine Optimization), that is everything needed for the positioning and visibility of online content on search engines.

In fact, the achievement of certain objectives involves the use of specific keywords for which a good positioning is intended. The search for these keywords must be done both for the general structure of the blog and for the individual contents and can be accomplished through specially created instruments and tools.

In case you were to work on an existing blog, you can consult Google Analytics to evaluate the most read articles, the permanence time, the best positioned pieces, the bounce rate, the origin of the users and all those aspects that can help to improve the situation.

Some useful information can also come from Facebook Insight, Twitter Analytics and LinkedIn data. The set of data collected helps to detect the various competitors, the contents they offer and the improvements that can be made to the strategy.

Identify personas

Another aspect to take into consideration when creating a PED blog is the identification of the personas, i.e. the “typical users” that you want to intercept through the published contents.

In recent years we no longer speak of targets, in fact, but of concrete profiles and with real characteristics that unite several groups of people. To give an example: those who sell products for children need not only intercept parents, since teachers, babysitters, uncles and all those who are passionate about childhood could also be interested.

Defining the personas, therefore, broadens the range of action and allows you to reach a wider and more varied audience which, in any case, must always be well defined in order to find the right tone of voice and the most suitable topics to discuss.

Stabilire le categorie

The next phase involves establishing specific categories within which the contents will be inserted; they will help users navigate and make it easier for Google to search for topics.

The categories must be clear, with not too long titles and their name must absolutely not match that of the tags. A keyword research in this sense, in the preliminary phase, can certainly help.

Choosing and organizing content

The categories act as a container for the posts that will be published on the blog, so it is necessary to define their typology: text only? Text plus infographics? Video? Podcast? Interviews? Establishing this is very important, if not crucial, especially when the customer makes a request and it is necessary to clarify who has to supply/make what: is it the customer who makes the multimedia material available? Or does it have to be created from scratch? Knowing this helps to define the roles, tasks and also the cost of each individual job.

Once this is done, the editorial plan must clearly indicate the type of content and its origin, so that anyone can be aware of it. For example, you could choose between:

  • cornerstore content, i.e. articles relating to the brand and the activity, which help the public to get to know products and services;
  • pillar content, that is, evergreen content that is good at any time;
  • generic articles, such as interviews, market research, and so on.

The important thing is to enter titles for each category, so that no section remains uncovered.

Define (and follow) the tone of voice

The tone of voice consists in the way in which a brand or a company decides to communicate with its readers through the contents of the blog, therefore it coincides not so much with what is written, but with how it is written.

The tone of voice must be defined at the beginning, when you decide to start a blog, and it must be followed throughout the course of the publication: will it be a friendly tone? Will there be bureaucratic and/or corporate terms? Will we speak in the singular or in the plural?

They seem like details that can be ignored but, in reality, they are essential to make long-term communication recognizable.

Insert the editorial calendar

Finally, like any self-respecting project, the editorial plan must also have an editorial calendar, preferably created in a doc/folder shared by all those who will have to view and/or modify it.

What should an editorial calendar contain? Here are the key points:

  • deadline, i.e. the delivery date of each individual content;
  • publication date;
  • publication time;
  • type of post, if video,
  • infographic text or other;
  • hypothetical title;
  • topic of the post;
  • author;
  • any sources and reference links;
  • keywords, both main and related;
  • final goal;
  • any calls to action;
  • statistics.

Each item must be entered in a special box, which can be ticked or marked with a certain color to highlight its progress.

Updating the editorial calendar is useful for all those who will have to work on the project and also for the client, if he is involved, to have proof that everything is proceeding in the best possible way.