When should I blog? This is often the most complicated W because it involves that precious commodity – time.
The old adage, “plan your work and work your plan” is particularly true when it comes to blogging. We’ve talked about how to collect ideas, but we have not talked about how to organize these ideas into an action plan that you or your designated team member can execute with efficiency and enthusiasm.
Enter the Editorial Calendar. This can be a wall calendar, a computer based calendar, an xl spreadsheet or shared Google doc spreadsheet if you want to get really fancy. It can be any place that allows you to identify the dates you want to have a blog post go out to the world, and what the topic of that blog post will be. This also gives you a place to do some forward planning. You can capture all your ideas, and plan forward for several weeks of posts. A calendar also allows you to pre-plan for holidays and special events that need some publicity, so you have a visual roadmap of your upcoming editorial content.
If you know that every Monday you want to have a new client profile post go out, then you need a note put on your calendar or in your spreadsheet to remind you. You can have space for specific ideas you want to include, or it can just be – “Monday Dec 17 – West Side Storage” if that’s all you need to help you remember everything you want to say. You may want to write your Monday blog post on the Friday preceding, so you have it edited, proof-read and ready to go for Monday’s deployment.
You can train your readers to anticipate your blog posts by posting consistently on the same day, and perhaps even roughly at the same time. That builds loyalty amongst your readership. If you have some timely information that needs to go out in between your “regularly scheduled” blog posts, that’s fine too! Make sure you have RSS feed subscription buttons as part of your blog page template to allow people to either subscribe to your posts by email, or get them in a blog reader, like Google Reader or Bloglines. That way your readers won’t miss a thing.
The When of blogging is easy – capture the “What’s” on a calendar (either analog or digital), and get them written and posted on their due dates. What’s your motivation? That will be in next week’s installment – the “Why” of Blogging.