By Guest Blogger Sarah Von Bargen
Friends, a warning.
This post will not give you copy and paste ideas for blog posts. This is not where I suggest starting a meme-worthy post series like “what’s in your purse?”
(Not because I don’t want to know what’s in your purse because I totally do. What’s your stance on those round chapstick ball things?)
These are more start-of-the-brainstorming-session, open-to-your-interpretation suggestions. They’re a great place to start when you’re sitting down to plan out next month’s content.
With that said, here are five questions to ask yourself when you’re filling in that editorial calendar.
Am I working on any projects or offerings that I want to build buzz for? Can I give my readers a sneak peek of any upcoming stuff?
If you’re working on a brunch cookbook, write a post about the magic of brunch, link to your favorite brunchy recipes, tell people you’re working on the book, and tell them they can join your list so they’ll be the first to know when it comes out.
If you’re writing an ebook about getting over a break up, share a story about one of your breakups, what you learned from it, tell readers what you’re working on, and invite them to join your list. You get the idea!
Am I trying to grow my Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest followers this month?
Think about what you can write that pairs nicely with each of those platforms. If you’re trying to grow your Instagram following, do a roundup of Instagrammers you think people should follow (Kaelah does a nice job of this). @mention them so they know you’re talking about them and remind your readers that they can follow you.
If you’re trying to grow your Pinterest following, create content that relates to some of your best, most popular boards. Tell readers if they like this, then they’ll really love your Pinterest board on the same topic.
Is there anything happening this time of year that’s particularly important to my readers and clients?
Do your readers care that it’s tax season? That it’s New York Fashion Week? The shoulder travel season in Europe? Chinese New Year?
Think about the events that matter to your people and write content that helps them prepare and enjoy those events. During college graduation season I wrote about how to be a grown-ass woman and during the holiday shopping season I wrote about how to prepare your shop for a deluge of sales and customers.
Have there been any Big Deal developments in my industry or community that I should talk about?
What does it mean for your clients and readers when Facebook changes their policies? When gay marriage becomes legal? When there’s a polar vortex? When Apple releases a new phone? When New York makes Airbnb illegal?
I’m sure you stay up to date on the news and big developments in your industry and I’m sure you’ve got capital O Opinions. Share those with your readers! And if the developments are challenging or troubling, share any ideas about how to deal with them.
Have there been any big changes (good or bad, big or small) in my life that lead to epiphanies that would help my readers + clients?
Of course, if you blog exclusively about food it might be a bit weird to blog about your cat-ownership realizations. But most epiphanies aren’t industry-specific! I mean, I wrote about the business lessons I learned from creating a cat calendar.
Readers love to learn more about you and your life; they’ll probably enjoy hearing more about you while learning something useful.
Sarah Von Bargen has been writing for 16 years, blogging for 8, and solving people’s problems online since dial up internet. Grab her free book ‘7 TRICKS FOR A POLISHED + IMPRESSIVE + PRODUCTIVE ONLINE LIFE’ here or follow along on Twitter.