I never went to journalism school. I never really wanted to be a journalist, I just liked writing and telling stories. Lucky for me, a series of serendipitous circumstances led me to a pretty illustrious career as an award-winning journalist and, more importantly, led me to a pretty amazing editor. I knew how to write; she taught me how to be a journalist.
One of the basic lessons she taught me was to always ask the five Ws: who, what, when, where, why, and how. That’s like Journalism 101 for covering a story. (In fact, you probably learned that writing reports back in grade school.)
But it’s also Blog Editorial Calendar 101. You have to be able to answer the five Ws for your blog and all the posts you plan to write if you want your blog to be an effective marketing and selling tool for your business.
Let’s step back for a second.Lots of people think a blog editorial calendar is all about knowing what you’re going to write about, to avoid the dreaded blogger’s block. But the what is only one fifth of the things you should be thinking about when you’re putting together your blog’s editorial calendar.
If your blog is the nexus of your social media strategy, then you need to have a great plan for what you’re going to blog about so that you can translate that into a great plan for marketing your business and selling your stuff. If you want to use your blog to help turn your readers into raving fans and customers, you’ve got to have a PLAN for how you’re going to achieve that.
And if you want to sell stuff using your blog, you’ve got to make sure your blog is working for you 24/7, no matter what you’re writing about; that means choosing what you write about carefully, not just blogging about your lunch. ⬅That’s the difference between a business blogger and just a blogger. Get it?
So, to have a good solid plan—also known here as an editorial calendar—you’ve got to think like a journalist and address those five Ws. (If you’re a little type-A like I am, you can create a spreadsheet that has a column for each of these questions.)
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