Do you believe that your organization has the capacity to become a thought leader?
Do you recognise the importance of content publishing to support that goal?
Do you have the time and energy to produce quality content and promote it?
Do you want to be discovered and praised for the thought leader you are?
If the editorial strategy you have at the moment is giving you a real headache, perhaps it’s time to take a closer look at how you are implementing it. Or if worse, you don’t even know whether you have an editorial strategy, we are here to give you some immediately actionable tips.
We are very fond of action steps, especially when it comes to mastering a new territory and they have deliverable dates assigned to them, yes we are a bit OCD and we do enjoy ticking them complete!
Here are the 8 major steps that can help you create a successful and working blog editorial strategy.
1. Blame it on the manager
We are just kidding of course…or are we! Let’s face it – before any project has kicked off, it’s the manager’s responsibility to create a winning strategy that is going to work. In any case, the manager needs to invest time and effort into a blog editorial strategy which will lead to results. It’s important that this person understands the long-term importance of the strategy and can communicate its message to the team involved. One of the simplest questions to ask is “Why do we need a blog?”, or as we’d like to say the alternative to the essential “What’s in it for me?’’ question. Make sure each team member can answer that question.
2. Find your audience
Go figure, a successful editorial strategy is underpinned by a clear concept of who the blogs are for. You need a clearly defined audience to target and a range of topics to write about. In order to do that, grab a piece of paper and a pencil and sketch your readers. That’s right – these persona sketches (a combination of words and images) are one of the best ways to determine who you will be producing content for. Include age, location, occupation, interests, needs, frustrations and any other social and behavioral element you can think of. Figure out where you readership is hanging the most, what they read, what they are searching for online and how you can reach out to them – newsletter sign-up, social media channels, etc.
3. Have someone post without supervision
One of the ways to reduce the stress surrounding your editorial practice is by finding the right editor-in-chief and giving them the authority to assign content writing, manage the process, edit and publish without oversight. This makes it easier to post new content within a matter of a few hours, rather than stretch it out over a few days and missing the momentum of news and trends. By simplifying the workflow each member of the editorial team will be allowed to do what they do best – writing.
4. Use templates
By establishing a number of content formats you will significantly speed up the process of producing new content. Whether it is an interview, a case study, a top 10 list or any other format that you like using, setting these standards are a part of a good editorial strategy.
5. Prepare a handful of timeless resources
Coming up with new content on a weekly basis can easily slow down the process of reading and researching. Once you have launched a blog, time can become an issue. A good idea is to think ahead of time and write well-researched timeless posts that are independent of current trends and news. This way you can use each one to produce several others, just by skillful optimization. Make sure you use the right keywords and relevant terms. Look into niche topics connected to your organizations service or product.
6. Understand what content marketing is
In order to have an editorial strategy that makes sense, you need to be promoting your posts, not just writing them for the sake of writing. These promotional steps include having a social media strategy, sending out a newsletter to distribute the content, offering guest blogging and other useful practices. It’s a good idea to start planning how to court potential guest bloggers – it will save you a lot of work and it can be a very beneficial relationship.
7. Get an editorial calendar
If most of the times you post to the company’s blog just so you have something posted, you need to reconsider your strategy. Planning the next few weeks in advance is the best way to avoid those last-minute dashes. Think about new products, current trends, news, holiday offers – all of these are very much time-related and by scheduling them in advance, you are saving yourself a lot of worry.
8. Don’t forget to measure
Yes, yes, we know – you are writing for your readers but we are talking strategy here. Once you have successfully implemented the above-mentioned steps, make sure you keep track of how they are going by measuring and then adjusting your strategy if necessary. Keep a close eye on the numbers but don’t lose sight of the big picture too.
Do you have a blog editorial strategy? What is the biggest challenge you’ve had with it? Share with us in the comment box below.