I have never created the editorial plan of a national online newspaper .
But I have some experience and I’m sure there are universal passages.
Do you want to create a good editorial plan?
The editorial plan is a programmatic document that serves to define a series of useful elements to answer a clear question : what should I publish to achieve my web marketing objectives? It’s not a trivial question, you know?
Bloggers need such a document, companies ask me for an editorial plan to organize corporate blog publications. And online editors must also base publications on a similar resource.
What is a newspaper editorial plan?
The topics of the post
- What is a newspaper editorial plan?
- What are the pillars of a good plan?
- How to create the contents to be published
- Free editorial calendar template
- Have you already created your editorial plan?
A shared text file (I usually use Google Drive to organize the team) with a series of indications regarding essential points of online communication.
Through this information the journalist finds the pillars of his work, the editor can direct the keyboards to certain topics . Avoiding little useful topics and taking advantage of certain dynamics. Like trends and hot topics. The essential purpose of the editorial plan is to create a unique and effective voice.
Based on shared rules and advice known to all to write online in the best possible way. Indeed, to communicate on the web by doing a good online journalism .
To read: how to write well for the web
What are the pillars of a good plan?
The editorial plan of an online newspaper is divided into essential steps to define the action to be carried out. What are the joints that you can not lose and that you always have to put in the foreground when you work with online publishing?
Locate the editorial line
A planning of the contents must start first of all from the compass must follow the drafting. The editorial line, in fact, is the comet star of an online and offline newspaper that is defined by the publisher. That is the owner who finance.
The world of independent blogging is used to reasoning outside these steps, a corporate blog can have some sort of explicit editorial line. In reality, in most cases, it is above all synonymous with political inclination .
Work on the target and on the tone of voice
Who will read your articles? The step relative to the definition of the target is decisive. Because in this way you can start working on writing, on the strategic aspect of publications. And draw the reader personas . That is to say hypothetical readers.
The personas are idealtipical representations of the figures you want to reach. They synthesize decisive aspects such as needs, needs, passions. So you can define the tone of voice , the style that you will use to write the different pieces of the newspaper.
CREATE YOUR PERSONAS READERS NOW WITH FREE TEMPLATE IN PDF FORMAT
Define the goals to be achieved
You must understand what the purpose of your content is. What are they for, why did you decide to reach your audience? Corporate blogs want to find customers online, but a newspaper that publishes articles on the internet? How do you monetize?
Probably with advertising , so it must define a clear point: there is the need to offer an interesting information service, able to become a reference for those who need certain information. And so look for your daily online.
But it may decide to monetize differently . For example with native advertising. In any case this must be a clear point of the editorial plan.
Structure the contents to be published
Here we begin to define the tree of the topics , the skeleton of the themes to be addressed. Managing this aspect is not like choosing tags and categories from a blog.
The sections are different from those of an online diary. Above the fold is the first page of the newspaper, here you can enter the most important news .
- The opening article gains the central position.
- The shoulder is on the right side, the bottom one on the left.
The opening can be of high, medium and low cut. The more we go down, the less important it is. The basic article is the editorial of the director or of important journalists. Then the categories must become the containers of the various items to be launched:
- Internal politics
- Foreign policy
There are sections that can find a new life on the digital in the paper journal. For example there is the third page, dedicated to culture with an excellent signature. Or you can find the screams , short articles included in a section.
Use mind maps in the editorial idea
The best solution to organize the structure of a project ? It is that of the mental map . That is to say a branched scheme capable of starting from a node.
The starting point for your mental map.
It starts with a central, generic theme, to continue towards more specific categories. What is the best program? I always use Coggle . Because it’s free, clear, simple and perfect for larger projects.
How to create the contents to be published
The actions to be taken when deciding which article to launch are different. First you must understand which family the work you are doing belongs to, and based on this decision you can activate certain procedures.
Times to be respected
A part of the contents of a newspaper move with respect to the phases, to the searches imposed by the readers according to the periods of the year. For example Christmas gifts.
In these cases it may be useful to have on the calendar a series of placeholders to remember the essential points. And reported with the due advance: on the document I must remind the editors to publish articles about Christmas two months before.
Trends and hot topics
Two different elements. The first is deduced from a very interesting SEO tool, namely Google Trends that suggests what the audience is looking for on the search engine . In some cases you can have a prediction of behavior.
Hot topics, on the other hand, are discussions that rise from below and become viral. To monitor this point, you must use Twitter , the social network that returns everything that concerns real time in the best possible way.
Just do it, go to Twitter and take a look at the widget on the home page. And if you are interested in the trends of other countries just go to edit to give your preferences. Twitter Search also allows you to get good results.
Many articles are based on the publication of a news item. For this you have to follow the official rumors and Twitter allows you to work well on the sources. Today you can monitor the statements with this social network. But to do that you need some tools:
- Hootsuite .
- Mention .
The first (alternatively you can use Tweetdeck ) gives you the ability to monitor a hashtag or a word published in tweets. So you can see who’s talking about a certain topic. Furthermore you can put lists together on one screen.
Using the Twitter List is essential for those who want to create an editorial plan for a newspaper. These tools only contain messages from certain people in a single block of updates . What you have selected.
So you can create lists of international journalists, politicians in a given area … Also with Mention you can follow the updates that address a specific topic: receive via email the summary of everything that has been mentioned on the web (on Twitter but not only) compared to a certain topic that you have chosen.
Clear, the articles of an online newspaper need a minimum of attention to SEO oriented writing . But the dynamics are different. At an online newspaper I recommend working mainly on specific aspects.
For example that of using Ubersuggest and Answer The Public for costume articles. In this way it is possible to understand what people are looking for around a certain topic and to create useful contents. Not just publications.
Another aspect: tag management . Newspapers often use these elements randomly, duplicating hundreds of taxonomies without thinking about duplication of pages. To adjust this point it is useful to follow the guidelines useful for the blog.
Also you can work on the technique. Make sure that the newspaper is registered with Google News and has implemented AMP technology : it can do a lot for visibility.
Then there’s everything about the base: title tag , meta description, H1 tag. But for this I suggest you take a look at the guide to do SEO copywriting .
To read: how to write a newspaper article
Free editorial calendar template
To get a good editorial plan for a newspaper, do you need a particular document to organize what needs to go online and which can be useful for your business? I usually suggest two different solutions:
- Google Calendar.
- Excel document.
In the first case you can work with a rich platform that manages the spaces of a single day of publications : I recommend especially to the big newsrooms. For small groups the spreadsheet divided into columns may be fine.
- Delivery date.
- Publication date.
Box colors can be used to indicate the status of the piece (published or not) or a theme. In any case, the editorial calendar is an unavoidable moment of the internal organization , fluid and effective, of an editorial staff.