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1. Date and Frequency
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When do you plan to run your blog post? How frequently do you plan to do it? Weekly? Monthly? Scope out your publication dates to understand how much you need to author within a three-month time period. Remember, it’s better to focus on quality content vs. quantity. Additionally, consider how long it may take you to write a particular blog post, and obtain compliance approval. An editorial calendar puts you in a cycle. The moment your first blog goes live, you should begin drafting your second blog. Plan accordingly to ensure you have enough time in between each post.
2. Target Audience
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Before choosing a topic, you want to be crystal clear on who you are writing for. While you may have a few different target audiences you cater to, it’s important to rotate your posts across your key audiences. Additionally, writing it down on your editorial calendar forces you to ask yourself—will my audience care that I’m writing about this?
3. “Peg” Theme
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A peg theme is something that anchors your article to current events or seasonality Peg themes could include national holidays (Valentine’s Day? Halloween? Mother's Day?), seasonality (tax season, spring cleaning, year-end planning?), major cultural events (ex: Super Bowl) or local occurrences (end of the school year, “town” days). Peg themes help your blogs maintain freshness and relevancy. It ensures your posts are current, timely, and interesting. It allows you, your post, and your audience to relate to the shared moment and experience.
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Now you can think about the specific topic you will write about more narrowly. At this point you know who you are writing for, you know the date you will publish, and you know the peg theme to stick to. Having done some of the up-front work, choosing a specific topic to write about should be easier. And, by listing out your topics in advance, you’ll ensure diversity across posts. One caution: you don’t want to write about a million different topics. It’s best to stick to a few areas that you will continue to go deep on and provide POVs around. This will help to build your brand with greater specificity. What do you want to be known for?
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You want to ensure your blogs don’t get stale. You can accomplish this by rotating the format you present your blog content in. Varying your blog format keeps your audience engaged. Format types to consider include: a standard article, a guest blog, a Q&A, a video/vlog, or an infographic. Consider recording a few presentations you’ll give and posting an excerpt. Standard article formats can be re-arranged to provide variation too through clever titling (Top 10 Lists always grab readers attention), or by other devices like “How To’s” or case studies.
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It’s well-known that blogs with imagery perform better. It’s a good idea to denote what kind of image you want associated with your blog post, or where you will source your image.
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While blogging is just one part of a comprehensive organic SEO plan, and developing a keyword strategy requires research and thoughtful planning, you can do some simple, “mother-in-law” research by typing in the topic you plan to write about and review Google’s “People also ask” results for ideas of words or phrases to be included in your blog.