Have you looked at your editorial calendar lately?
“What’s that?” you say.
When your editorial calendar is empty, you’re either winging it or not fully committed to your content marketing plan.
Winging it can be fun. Some people even thrive on it. But for most time-challenged small business owners, winging it gets old fast. So every week, month, or quarter look at your editorial calendar to know what’s on the horizon and brainstorm for any new ideas.
In a previous article, I discussed five sources for blog topic ideas. Here are five more sources to help you create a full, robust editorial calendar all year long.
1. Fill a Need
People find you on the Internet because you fill a need. You can write about how you solve problems and fill their needs every day.
For example, my sister-in-law recently went to a do-it-yourself hardware store. The problem was, she needed to talk to someone who could help her find the right products for her DIY project. She left the store feeling frustrated and ranted about her experience on Facebook.
If I were a DIY hardware store owner, I would write blog articles about how our brand of personalized service means customers always leave the store smiling—even if they didn’t buy anything.
2. Tell Your Story
Can you remember the passions that drove you to follow your career path and start your business? What about the experiences you’ve had on the way to becoming who you are today?
You can turn all your experiences, especially your mistakes, into interesting blog articles.
3. Explain How To and How Not To
Are you good at explaining things? Then consider clarifying complex topics in how-to articles.
For example, you can explain how to fill out a difficult IRS form or how to save for the future—anything that will make people’s lives easier.
You can also write about how not to do something. For example, you can write an article about the 10 top mistakes or assumptions people make when filing their tax returns.
4. Create Lists
People love lists: to-do lists, checklists, top ten lists, curated lists—anything that can improve their productivity and lives in some way.
Curated lists are lists of good-to-know resources. For example, I receive a curated list from the Society for Technical Communication, called STC Tech Comm Today. The editors create links to information on the web about writing, content, and user experience design (UX). They also create links to content and news on the STC website.
You can do the same while creating goodwill with customers and prospects. Just pay attention to trends on the web in your industry. Then, as you pull your list together, write a brief explanation of why you like that resource.
5. Tap Into What’s Going On
Does your business live by the calendar year? For example, tax consultants have filing deadlines throughout the year. Tap into those deadlines by writing blog articles about them.
You can also look at your calendar for holiday themes, such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, or Father’s Day. What do these days mean to you and your customers?
Or, you can piggyback on any major event, for example, the World Series or World Cup—anything that allows you to connect with your reader and start a conversation.