every most Monday mornings for Motivation Monday, where we share a helpful “homework” assignment that gives your business a creative boost and gets you thinking (and moving) outside the box each week.
Ever feeling like you're flying by the seat of your pants when it comes to publishing blog posts, sending emails to your list, or managing your social media? We've found having an editorial calendar- albeit one that we can change around if need be- to be tremendously helpful in maintaining our sanity and helping us provide a clear, cohesive message to our audiences (tweet this).
Remember, there are no hard and fast rules for making and managing an editorial calendar. If you don't want to post every day, don't! If your interests and content changes from month to month, go with it!
Some tips from us:
- We love to download and print month-by-month calendars- we find it more effective than using Google Calendars (shocking, we know)
- Use the Editorial Calendar plugin- it enables you to drop your blog drafts into a calendar grid instead of seeing them in the default list format the WordPress uses (which we find more difficult to use!)
- Consider leaving a few days empty so that you can slot in exciting news or time-sensitive posts if need be
- Before announcing a new series, be sure that you have 3-4 posts in the pipeline so that you have ample time to start collecting or writing new ones as the others go out
- If your inspiration comes in wave (like ours) don't hit publish every day- space out posts over the course of several weeks or months so that your blog won't go dark during your uninspired periods
- Keep a running note in Evernote of blog posts ideas that you can schedule in as you make your editorial calendar
Questions to ask yourself:
- Are you doing a product or service launch? Schedule in some posts both before and after the launch to address FAQs, explain your offerings, and showcase testimonials
- Do you have a few posts based around the same topic? Consider doing a theme week, like our recent accountability week
- Do you want to be known for at least one consistent post, a la Marie Forleo's Q&A Tuesday, Katelyn Brooke's Starred This Week, or Jessica Lawlor's Start Your Week Right Sunday links? Schedule it in and plan ahead so you don't run out of content!
- Will you write content that correlates with special occasions or holidays? For example, you could put together a holiday gift guide, run a pay what it's worth sale with the money going to one of your charities during their commemorative month (Etsy for Animals, anyone?), or donate your birthday to charity:water
- Are there things happening in pop culture that you can capitalize on for content? For example, anticipate the end of a popular TV show or a big awards show and prepare an outline for a post- like these 5 Traits Businesswomen Can Learn from Scandal's Olivia Pope
Do you use an editorial calendar? Any tips for managing it?
P.S. We love these other printable editorial calendar templates too: Blog & Social Media Planner from Laura Winslow Photography, Blog School: Printable Editorial Calendar, and a a simple editorial calendar from Create like Crazy.