I know many of you struggle with maintaining your business blog. So to help you get on track, I’ve called in one of our trusted HivePros! Gaby Frescura is our blogging and social media management specialist, a content marketing expert who will help to make your online presence shine. She’s also the marketing lead at Aisle Society, one of South Africa’s leading wedding bloggers, and a former book publisher, so she knows her stuff! Today she’s sharing her secret weapon for business blogging success: the editorial calendar.
What’s my biggest marketing tip for wedding pros right now? Blog more! As a content marketing specialist for wedding businesses, I firmly believe that you should be investing in the platform you own (i.e. your website) at least as much as you do in those you simply use (like Facebook or Instagram). We all know that algorithms can play havoc with even the best marketing plan, and with the wedding blog landscape changing too, you want to make sure that you’re not putting all your SEO eggs in someone else’s basket. Blogging allows you to build a long term content marketing strategy that will see you consistently showing up in search results and making an impact on potential clients.
But where do you start? I’ll tell you, and it’s the same place I start with all my clients: a solid editorial calendar!
WHAT IS A BLOG EDITORIAL CALENDAR?
An editorial calendar is simply an organisational tool used to plan out website content and make sure that you blog consistently. No more staring at a blank screen wondering what on earth to write about! A blog editorial calendar will help you plan what to post and when, so that you’re also able to tie in to seasons, holidays, and other events. It will help you streamline your blogging workflow, and plan out your social media content too.
WHERE DO I GET AN EDITORIAL CALENDAR?
The best thing about an editorial calendar is that you can use whatever system you prefer, and you don’t have to spend any money. I use Airtable (because it’s the actual BOMB), but you could also use Google Calendar, Excel/Google Sheets, or even good old pen and paper! You can also get plug-ins for WordPress or use a service like Co-Schedule or Trello. Whatever works for you!
Once you’ve decided which tool to use, it’s time to get started. Block out a couple of hours on your schedule, switch off your phone, and follow these three steps.
STEP 1: WHAT WILL YOU WRITE ABOUT?
So many wedding pros tell me they never blog at all because they’re afraid they will run out of things to write about. But once you get started, you’ll find that ideas are easy to come by. To begin, work backwards. Which SEO keywords do you want clients to search to find you? Use your dream client profile as a reference, and write down at least 5–10. Then start thinking about the kind of topics that will allow you to organically include those keywords or phrases, ideally in the title. For example, if your keyword is ‘destination wedding planner’, then you could write a post on destination wedding planning tips. But don’t stop there! Zoom in further. For example, how about a post on shopping for a destination wedding dress or wedding favours for destination weddings? Each post only needs to be 300-600 words, so break down your ideas into smaller topics – the more focused the better!
Put all your topics down in a single document you can easily refer to later and divide them into categories (for example, advice posts, inspiration, or behind the scenes). You should also note down all the real weddings and styled shoots you have participated in over the past 18 months. Showcasing your work is another important function of a wedding vendor blog!
STEP 2: HOW OFTEN WILL YOU BLOG?
When it comes to blogging, consistency is FAR more important for SEO than frequency. Whether you blog once a week, once a fortnight, or even once a month, the most important thing is that you update your blog regularly. Once a week is ideal, but you should decide what is realistic and manageable for you. You should also choose a day of the week to post and try to stick to it!
STEP 3: LAY OUT YOUR CALENDAR
Once you have decided on your posting schedule, lay out spaces over the next 3–6 months in your editorial schedule. Here is some of the information you should include for each entry:
- Blog post topic
- Blog post category
- Status (i.e. planned, in progress, scheduled, published, etc.)
- Publication date
- Deadline (you may wish to set yourself a deadline a few days ahead so you don’t fall behind!)
Finally, use the list of ideas you have created to populate the calendar. And voila! Your editorial calendar is ready to go!
Be sure to update and review and refine your calendar regularly to include newsworthy items and ensure you’re speaking to your ideal bride. Happy blogging!
Struggling to keep up with your blogging schedule, Instagram posts and online presence? Gaby can help you build consistent, engaging content without the stress. Find out more about her HivePros packages HERE.