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What's the Plan for 2010?

As you head into to the New Year, no doubt you'll be thinking about business goals

New Media Journal on Ulitzer

As you head into to 2010, no doubt you'll be thinking about business goals. Perhaps you already have a mental to-do list: blogging and Tweeting more, networking more, starting a Facebook group or uploading video content. Once New Year's has worn off, you just want to jump in and get started.

They're great intentions, but you'll never achieve them without a plan. Start your year off on the right foot with an editorial calendar that breaks your blogging and social media agenda down into manageable tasks. The calendar should plot out at least a month, and up to six months of content.

Here are five reasons for having an editorial calendar:

1. To stay on track with your topic, audience and purpose

Plotting out an editorial calendar forces you to think ahead about what's relevant, timely and marketable. Coming up with posts spontaneously on a daily or weekly basis means that there's no long-term strategy in place, and you're likely to veer away from your goals.

2. Help maximize content and effort

Taking the time to plan means that you're thinking about how to expend your energy and resources wisely. You're less likely to squander a great idea in one post if you've thought about it ahead. Get more out of less effort.

3. Target networking and social media efforts

Lots of great blog posts go unread because they're not promoted. If you know that at the end of the month you'll be writing about a particular subject, you'll have the lead time you need to promote the relevant post among the people who will be interested.

4. Improve your relationship with your audience

If a blog offers an educational series of how-tos, or an insightful breakdown of a particular process, it looks and feels authoritative. Your audience will respect that. They can tell the difference between a blog that wants to serve its audience, and one that is there for the sake of being there.

5. You can get ahead

Once your first calendar is planned out, it's a great idea to set aside time to get ahead on it. Then you have the breathing space you need to spend more time on other valuable tasks, like social networking, tweaking your blog design, or developing an idea for an eBook.

Right now, the year is a blank slate - get it started on the right foot.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Ambal Balakrishnan

Ambal has robust 17+ years experience working at and partnering with high-profile technology companies in both B2B and B2C marketplaces building scalable, reliable, high performance products (both hardware and software) for business with multi-billion dollar in annual revenue. She has done various roles that includes engineering, program management, business development, strategy and marketing for premium and fast growing product divisions at Cisco, Telecordia (prior name Bell Labs) and strategic marketing consulting firm ClickDocuments. At Cisco, she focused on world wide marketing and positioning of Cisco's Cloud & Data Center switching business. She brings both strong engineering & marketing skills with verticals experience from many different industries. Ambal received her Masters in Computer Science from Purdue University and an MBA in Marketing, Strategy and Entrepreneurship from Wharton University of Pennsylvania. Ambal is an avid reader and hiker. Her hiking pursuits have taken her to several mountains including Mt. Whitney at 14,500 feet (which she managed to climb in 1 day). Ambal lives in Austin, TX with her family of 3 boys (that includes her husband!) and a border-collie+lab mix dog named Rainbow.

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