A law firm editorial calendar might seem like overkill for something as simple as writing a blog post two to three times a week. However, creating an editorial calendar can save time and keep your content efforts organized, consistent, and on point.
Planning your content ahead of time allows you to step back and look at how everything fits together to serve an overall objective. If you’re trying to come up with ideas and create content at the same time, it’s difficult to maintain that kind of consistency.
Creating an Editorial Calendar
First, decide on the overall goal for the content your law practice is producing. Are you trying to educate readers? Build authority in your area of practice? Maybe the idea is to highlight events relevant to an industry your firm serves.
Once you have a clear goal, it becomes easy to sort through ideas and be sure that each individual piece of content serves that goal.
Next, try to come up with general ideas for the types of content you want to produce. These ideas will serve as templates that can be refined into individual pieces. Think about things like:
- Case studies
- Relevant industry news
- Answers to clients’ specific problems
- Original research that provides value to prospects and clients
- Educational webinars, videos, or podcasts
Once you’ve decided on what types of content will work best, it comes down to ideas and topics for individual content pieces. These will become the entries on your calendar.
Tools for Creating an Editorial Calendar for Your Law Firm
The right tool for putting together the calendar depends on how you prefer to do things, and the complexity of your content creation and scheduling. There are viable solutions for everyone, from a simple implementation suitable for a one-person show, to complex applications for team collaboration.
Trello uses the simple idea of a kanban board to provide a powerful way to organize ideas and workflows. Their basic plan is free to use, and amazingly versatile. For larger projects, paid plans start at $9.99 per month.
CoSchedule offers a powerful calendar interface that can be used for several different purposes. In addition to scheduling your content, there are functions allowing you to break things down into more specific areas as well as social media integration and analytics. CoSchedule makes it easy to plan and collaborate with a team. Plans start at $60 per month.
WordPress Editorial Calendar
If your law firm already uses WordPress as its content management system, you’re in luck! Instead of relying on memory to know when to post your saved drafts, try downloading the free editorial calendar extension. While its collaboration and social media capabilities are limited, this can be a good option for smaller law firms or individual lawyers that simply want their content to be more consistent and organized.
HubSpot Editorial Calendar
While we’re big fans of all of HubSpot’s features, you don’t even need to be a HubSpot user to download this free editorial calendar template for your firm. If you’re curious about creating a blog editorial calendar for your law firm, but don’t want to commit to a paid tool, this downloadable is a great place to start. HubSpot takes the guesswork out of what should be included in an editorial calendar and includes basic fields such as the type of content, associated keywords, and date to be posted.
If your content creation team is pretty much just you, Google Calendar might be all you need. The trick is to create a new calendar under your existing account so that things like business meetings and personal appointments aren’t mixed up with your content schedule.
Simply create a new calendar and add events on the days where you want to publish. You can create repeating events and then just go through once a month to fill in specific topics. Google Calendar is also easy to share with anyone else using a Gmail account.
If your needs are a little too complex for Google Calendar, but not quite complicated enough for paid solutions, Google Sheets might fit the bill. There will be a bit of effort needed to get the initial template set up, but it will be a time saver in the end.
On Track and On Time
An editorial calendar might just be the best thing you do to increase the effectiveness of your law firm’s content marketing. Creating the calendar will force you to put together a coherent plan. Referencing the calendar as content is produced will help maintain focus and ensure that everyone is working toward the same goal. In the end, your content will have an overall consistency that drives audience interest, engagement, and conversions.
Originally published on September 10th, 2018