The better your editorial calendar template, the better the implementation of your business blog strategy is likely to be.
Developing a successful editorial calendar, however, is not always easy. What’s more it is often much more complex than just putting a bunch of dates and preliminary titles for blog posts together.
SEO, Engagement and Conversions
My own business blog editorial calendar focuses on the following 7 key elements:
- Targeted aim OR goal
- SEO keywords
- Post title
- Post Url
- Keyword Total
- Key fascination
- Key emotional appeal
The calendar also includes preliminary publication dates not shown on the screen grab.
I don’t believe there is any value in creating blog content unless you have a particular goal in mind: whether it’s to build community, drive traffic to a landing page or improve your ranking in Google, etc.
Each month I identify the key goals I have for my integrated digital marketing campaign ; then in a new spreadsheet that I’ve created from an editorial calendar template I note them down.
This is an essential step as it gets me mentally for thinking about the content I will need to create.
Experience has taught me that once I have identified the goals for my blog, the next stage is to select the keywords that I will be targeting.
I target specific keywords (or keyword phrases to be precise) because research has shown me that a major source of my daily traffic comes from Google’s organic search results. On a day-to-day basis this is usually somewhere around 70-75 percent of traffic to my site. As I’ve noticed that first time visitors to the site are actually the second highest conversation rate I get in terms of lead generation, I target qualified search as part of my content marketing strategy.
Using Nobel Samurai and Google Analytics I’ve worked out a selection of keywords to target. These keywords, taken in conjunction with my goals and target audience, play a significant role in shaping much of the content I publish on my website.
I include these keywords in my editorial calendar to get an overview of the keywords I’m working with in a given month; they also help me come up with ideas for posts.
The title of a blog post is the carrot that you dangle in front of the visitor to get them to read your post. Because of this it’s essential that headlines really grab the attention of the reader and are carefully crafted.
Once I’ve got the keywords and general topic for a post down I start out by writing the headline.
My approach is to try and combine what search engine optimization experts recommend, putting keywords as close to the front of a blog title, with creative copy: in other words, drawing both on the keywords that I’m looking to target in search engines, and creative flair, I try to write headlines that will attract a reader but also be seen in Google search results.
With the title sorted so I then craft the URL for the post in my editorial calendar. Looking at the data I’ve collated over the last 6 months or so, running a number of tests, I can see that for me blog posts with the URL structure:
jontusmedia.com/keyword-keyword-keyword/ are the most successful.
Previously I would have used the URL jontusmedia.com/how-to-develop-editorial-calendar-template for this post; now, on the basis of the data I’ve learned and my planning in my editorial calendar I’ve gone with jontusmedia.com/editorial-calendar-template
Tip: writing custom URLs in your editorial calendar will stop you making the mistake of just posting straight away in WordPress without craving a custom URL.
I’m currently running some tests to see how many keywords in a title and URL work best for me. I’m curious to see if there’s any difference in targeting two or three word key phrases. Keeping track of what I’m doing in my editorial calendar seems the right place to do this as it provides an easy overview.
Key Fascination & Emotional Appeal
Using key fascinations and emotional appeals helps me work out exactly what I’m targeting with my headlines. Typically I write a headline based on my keywords and then think through how the headline with appeal to a reader. Does it strike a chord with their desire to be powerful and crush the competition; or does it play on their fears. By noting the key fascinations and emotional appeals that underpin the headline I can ensure I don’t produce the same kind of tone pieces during the month.
The 7 key fascinations I use are:
Lust, Vice, Alarm, Power, Prestige, Mystique & Trust.
Added to this I throw in emotional appeals such as:
- encouraging the reader’s dreams,
- agitating their fears,
- confirming their suspicions
- helping them get one over their competitors, etc.
This kind of editorial calendar helps me generate content marketing specifically aimed at my target audience and search engines.
What works for you ?
What kind of editorial calendar do you use ?