The bane of every blogger’s existence is coming up with engaging and informative content on a regular basis. This is especially true for bloggers who have a full-time job doing something else: like lawyers. Ensuring that you have a steady flow of topics to blog about can be challenging, but there are ways to make this process easier.
We’ve previously talked about adding case studies to your blog as an effective way to generate evergreen content, have provided tips on blogging best practices, and have discussed targeting your content – all things that can help you stay on track of regular blogging. This week we explore how creating an editorial calendar can further help you with managing your blog.
What is an Editorial Calendar?
Editorial calendars have been used for years by journalists to keep track of multiple ongoing stories and articles as they progress from the development stage to the date of publication. They help keep a team of writers and others, on deadline. Importantly, they also help ensure that content is being published at the best and most relevant times.
All of this is applicable to blogging and content marketing. From a blogging perspective, an editorial calendar can help you to keep your blogs and other content organized and on schedule and can ensure that there are no gaps in posting.
Benefits of Having an Editorial Calendar
An editorial calendar can help a firm ensure that blogs are posted regularly. This is particularly useful for firms where more than one lawyer is blogging, but can also be useful where there is a sole blogger.
Regardless of the size of your blog-force, an editorial calendar can help keep you organized, will help you ensure you are addressing seasonal or relevant content, and can help save a significant amount of time. Planning content ahead of time and with your overall marketing strategy in mind allows you to think broadly and ensure your goals are being met.
Editorial calendars also make it easy to generate blog ideas and content concurrently. A well-organized calendar can help you parse through ideas that you may have for the blog and ensure they are published at the optimal time (for instance, a blog about slip and falls or tobogganing injuries in the winter, or a blog about a legislative change on the day it happens). Calendars can also ensure that various aspects of your practice area are covered and that there is no overlap or duplication in subject matter.
When it is time for you to write your blog, an editorial calendar will allow you to have content already planned out in advance and gathered in one place for everyone’s ease of access. You can even plan out your keyword research ahead of time and have it organized, saved, and ready to go. When you are ready to write your blog, you will have all this information at your fingertips. All of this can significantly streamline your blogging process.
Creating an Editorial Calendar
Editorial calendars can take various forms, from a basic Excel or other spreadsheet, to a Google calendar, to any other format you and your team may prefer.
A well-functioning editorial calendar should include, at minimum:
- When blogs will be posted;
- How frequently blogs will be posted (weekly, bi-weekly, etc.)
- Who will be responsible for each post;
- When the blog will be posted (which day of the week, and what time of day);
- General themes or practice areas to be covered;
- Specific topics within those broader themes or practice areas;
- Post titles (including keywords);
- Keywords to use within the posts, including the main title and headings;
- Post tags and categories;
- Intended audience;
- Channels to post to (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.)
Editorial calendars should also keep track of whether any posts have been missed or rescheduled to make room for something more pressing or newsworthy.
In addition, you should consider adding your firm’s calendar of events (including speaking or teaching engagements, community outreach projects, and similar) so that the firm can easily keep track of any upcoming events and blog about them at appropriate times.
At Umbrella Legal Marketing, we help lawyers get started with blogging and otherwise maintaining their digital presence. We understand the unique needs of the legal market, the ethical and practice standards that govern the profession, and how to effectively combine these specific demands with the realities of marketing in the social media and online age. With our help, you and your firm can stand out in today’s ever-changing legal landscape. Contact us by email or at 416-356-4672 to learn how we can help.