You have an e-commerce shop, you post regularly to your blog, but you don’t have an editorial calendar.
And of course you know you should have one, but there’s always a reason to put it off, isn’t there?
Big mistake! Remember…
Creating a post schedule for your blog helps you get more traffic, subscriptions, and sales.
Don’t believe that a calendar can offer all that?
Read this post and then tell us about it (and you can thank us in a few months). 😉
What is an editorial calendar?
While it may seem quite obvious at first, we can assure you it’s not.
A calendar for a blog (as well as for your social networks) is a tool that helps you to better execute and plan your content marketing strategy.
That is to say, it goes beyond just having a list of possible topics to write about. Let’s go a step further and see how exactly this is going to help us.
Important: if you are not quite sure about what content marketing is, we recommend reading this post in which we explain what this strategy is about.
Why does your shop need a blog calendar?
All entrepreneurs feel a bit lazy when they think about having to create this document; however, after reading all the advantages it has, we’re sure that you’ll change your mind. ;)
1. Strategic vision
A blog is a business tool that should help you to achieve whatever goal you are working toward at any given moment.
Have you not established your strategic goals?
Here you have some examples of different goals:
- Increased Visibility: in this case, you should focus your efforts on creating SEO-optimized content, writing guest posts, and carrying out interviews.
- Brand Enhancement: write guides in which you add a lot of value to the most important topics in your sector and go with a video marketing strategy. If you are thinking about how to improve your branding, have a look at this post.
- Creating More Leads: create guides that you can give away if visitors subscribe to your blog (this content is called a lead magnet). Want to see an example? This is ours.
- Increased Sales: are you going to release a new product? Build up the hype by writing some posts describing all of the potential of the new product. Extra tip -> start a waiting list that people can join to be the first ones to buy your product when it’s released.
As you can see, it’s not about writing just to write – you have to make sure that your content always goes with your strategy.
2. You always know what to write about
Here at Doofinder. we organize our editorial calendar by quarter.
This way, we always know what we are going to publish ahead of time and we have room to organize guest posts (good networking is essential for every online business).
Oh, and super important: with good editorial planning, you can say goodbye to writer’s block and spending hours thinking about what you’re going to write each week (don’t even pretend that doesn’t happen to you). ;)
Later we’ll show you in what order you should complete your calendar. That is very important so that you know when to publish what.
For example, you’ll want to avoid scheduling a guest post in your blog right when you are launching a new product since you’ll want to publish other content related to the launch.
Haven’t you seen blogs that always use the same title?
- 10 strategies to get leads.
- 10 steps to improve…
- 10 secrets to achieve…
A post calendar helps you see the type of content that you create (for example, if you are always publishing lists of things), which can help you to avoid repetition. Your readers will appreciate it if you make changes from time to time.
Do you have a copywriter in charge of the blog?
That’s how we work at Doofinder.
The person who writes this blog (nice to meet you, by the way) is one in charge of the blog and the post calendar.
By having a shared document, we can all work faster and it helps to all know what’s going on at all times.
Which tools can you use?
- Google Calendar (or any other)
- Spreadsheets on Drive
- Trello (or any other task manager)
Don’t overcomplicate it by looking for more complex tools – all of these options are free and any of them will do.
6. Lifesaver posts
When you have good planning, you can get ahead of schedule and write some posts to be saved for busier days.
Bear in mind that you can always have unforeseen problems that make it impossible for you to write. ;)
How to create an editorial calendar for your e-commerce
This is the most practical part of the post. Get ready because today you are going to create the calendar for the next 3 months.
1. Do you know who you are selling to?
This should really be step “0” rather than step “1” since knowing your buyer persona is the main prerequisite to start planning your content.
Your editorial strategy should always be focused on helping your ideal client. If you don’t know who that is or what their problems are… you’re doing it wrong.
So, if you haven’t established who your buyer persona is yet, read this post right now.
2. Post frequency
Don’t bite off more than you can chew. It’s better to start with a low but consistent frequency instead of keeping your readers waiting for posts.
And of course, always…
Prioritize quality over quantity.
It’s better to have good content once a month than to have 4 posts than don’t add any value.
3. Things to include
It’s not compulsory to add them all, but at very least you should always include the topic, the date, and the keyword.
You can also include this information:
- Goal to be achieved
- Content to be included (charts, videos, podcasts, etc.)
- Author (if there are several people publishing)
The important thing is that the calendar is clear. Don’t complicate it by adding too many details at the beginning.
4. In which order do I have to fill in the calendar?
We are reaching the most important part of the post, so write it down (you can also bookmark this post or add it to your content curation tool to check it again later).
Let’s get started!
A. Business objectives
As we mentioned before, before you start filling out the calendar, you need to have it clear what you want to achieve with this content.
Your goal could be:
- Promoting sales
- Strengthening your personal brand
- Fostering your clients’ loyalty
- Solving common technical doubts about products (have you seen the specific section we have about our search engine? Click here).
This will help you choose the best type of content according to what you want to achieve.
B. Important dates for every online shop
Highlight them because they affect the general planning for your business.
We are talking about dates like:
Are you going to sell a popular product with an important discount on Black Friday?
If so, in the weeks leading up to it you can generate hype by writing about the benefits of said product (it’s also a good idea to start the pre-sale waiting list that we mentioned before).
By the time Black Friday comes along, people will already be dying to click the buy bottom.
C. Important days in your sector
Each sector has its own important dates or weeks that make for interesting topics to write about.
Here you have some example:
- International dates: for example, if you have an e-commerce shop about technology, it wouldn’t hurt to write a nice post about cameras (19 August) or on International Freak Day (25 May), you could showcase the most obscure gadgets you have.
- Back to school: for example, if you sell stationary or sport clothes for kids.
- Winter sports season: this will depend on the country you sell in, but in most of them you will have to start unboxing products related to snow activities.
- Fashion shows
- Beginning of new season: again, essential if you sell clothes.
- Academy Awards: this is for anyone selling merchandise related to books or movies – or even TV series nowadays.
- Easter, bank holidays, vacation periods: they are very important if your shop is related to tourism in any way.
- Events: have you participated in a fair? Show your readers how well it went and add pictures (it will enhance your authority and create trust).
As you can see, just by going through important dates, you’ll generate lots of ideas for blog posts.
D. New product launches
If you are launching a new product, it can be really useful to write special content about it.
And what can you write about?
- How it works
- Tricks to get the most out of it
- Common doubts that clients may have
- A video so people can see the product in use
- Tips to combine it with other products (and promote cross-selling).
You can also use these posts as part of your email marketing strategy (for example, you can send the tricks to those who have already bought it).
E. Third-party collaborations or launches
Do you work with affiliate marketing?
That’s always a good way to diversify your revenue streams, but don’t plan guest posts for other people when you should be writing content to promote your own products.
F. New posts
Once all the previous steps have been completed, you just need to fill in the rest of the editorial calendar.
Ideally, you would combine a series of posts aimed at positioning your blog with others whose goal is to strengthen your brand image or generate trust (for example, one post could be about the history of your business – or of one of your clients’ businesses).
You can interview some of you clients and ask them about their experience with your products. ;)
Ready to start your editorial planning?
After having read everything we have explained in this post, you have more than enough information to start creating a post calendar for your blog.
In the meanwhile, we are going to answer one of the questions you may be asking yourself at this point:
Can I also use this calendar for my social networks?
Yes, you sure can.
And also for email marketing.
This way you’ll be able to organize your content strategy globally. As you can see, there are no excuses, so…
Start creating your calendar right now! :D