WordCamp Riverside 2017 - Creating an Agile Content Calendar
Hello WordCamp Riverside! It’s exciting to play a role in this inaugural camp. You’ve heard a lot of discussion on blogging and content this weekend, including suggestions for managing an editorial calendar. What are some of the thing s you remember from yesterday? Today I’m going to share with you a little about how my blogging agency blogs for other companies using an Agile Content Calendar. This isn’t a product you can buy but more a way of thinking. With Agile Calendaring, you’re able to move quickly and easily between editorial goals and trending topics, allowing a more authentic feel on your blog.
Because just as there are many types of calendars, there are also many methods of calendaring. And the beauty of the blog is you get to decide which works best for you. So what you start out with tomorrow may evolve into a different approach in 6 months. When I started blogging for multiple clients, I had a large block calendar and tons of sticky notes in different colors. I assigned each client a color and wrote each blog topic, category, keyword, call to action and title on a sticky note. I would then move the notes as needed (when another topic took priority) and move them to the proper days the following month. It was simple system which allowed me to track how many posts were left to write. Since then as the company has grown, we’ve moved to using digital resources for calendaring and collecting all posts online for review before publication. We use cloud-based spreadsheets to track client notes, assignments and posts. Editorial calendaring is very specific and created monthly, but flexibility is still able to play a role. As bloggers we follow industries and look for trending topics. We carefully consider posts in relation to news and emergencies. We use our calendars as a guide and to provide consistency, but they can easily be shifted as other custom content takes priority.
This picture of the Mission Inn shows a lot of detail, doesn’t it? Sometimes as bloggers it can be easy to get lost in the detail and not see the big picture. Post ideas may fly in so quickly, you don’t recognize or remember them.That’s why you have a content calendar. It’s an ideal place to include random ideas to make sure you don’t forget to write about the topics you have slated for each time period. Another great way to curate content is to review reader’s questions and current comments on posts, in email and social media for ideas. When you’re brainstorming with your team, clients or on your own, you’ll want to consider holidays, industry events, and other terms which you want to be known for plus, when you plan out your content you can easily link to other pages and posts on your website, building internal links.
When I was younger I used to rock climb.How many here have been to Joshua Tree? That was one of my favorite places to climb. Interestingly enough It’s a sport where being short can work as an advantage because you can access more hand and footholds. The unique thing about rock climbing is that often you have to climb blindly. Sometimes you may not see the end in sight, but that doesn’t mean it’s not within reach.” Blogging is very much the same. You try to picture your reader and their reaction to the content.
Use heatmapping software (such as crazyegg.com) to see how people are engaging with your content. I did a slight redesign on my site a few weeks ago added some clear buttons to the site as an update. After viewing the heatmap results, I realized it confused my audience because now everyone is trying to click on a darker section that resembles a button rather than clicking the intended spot. Lesson learned! In a very real way, heatmapping can show you what topics are more widely read by your audience so you have a better understanding of what to create as foundational or cornerstone content.
Create Cornerstone Content in 7 Steps. 1 Determine Your topic 2 choose your keyword 3 Create a bulleted list 4 Link to related material 5 Add in offers 6 Gather Feedback 7 Share Your page
Write content that resonates today and tomorrow by sharing your story.