Winging it is for the newbies and hacks. Suck it up and create a plan. You'll thank me later. Once you have your editorial calendar created, you'll find that creating more content is easier because you know just what's coming up next. This takes some of the pressure off of creating blog content and still allows you the freedom to move articles around in the schedule or work ahead in any order that you see fit.
Writer Heidi Cohen says, “Whether you’re using social media (including blogging), content marketing, and/or traditional marcom (aka marketing communications,) an editorial calendar is at the heart of your of marketing because, as the saying goes, today, every marketer is a publisher.Like magazine publishing, an editorial calendar helps you to manage the content creation process regardless of your goals.“
I have used spreadsheets and Google documents in the past but I've found that I really love a smart workflow in Trello. There's no need to recreate the wheel when there are good foundation pieces.
You can copy this board template and use it in your own Trello.
I really like starting in the research phase and moving my blog posts across the board until they're published. It is helpful to keep links to research and quotes that you want to add into your finished article so you can cite your sources properly.
Two types of editorial calendars
This is the foundation for your entire social media platform. Consider your blog your home base for your social media plan. Your blog is your own piece of real estate on the web and I feel it's essential to build name recognition or brand awareness. If you don't have your own blog or want to boost your online presence, guest posts are a great way to reinforce your personal brand by reaching a different audience on a new blog. You'll want to add all writing responsibilities to your editorial calendar so you can keep track of deadlines, topics, and other important information.
I use a Trello Board to organize my ideas and blog content.
I use Notes on my phone and Trello to save blog ideas or little phrases that pop into my head that I'll turn into blog posts later. It's great to be able to access it on my smartphone, tablet, or desktop. It's been a life-saver for me!
Additional resources: The Secret to Successful Guest Blogging
I use the editorial calendar WordPress plugin on all the blogs that I manage so you can see what you have loaded on the website.
Social media content calendar
This is will boost your blog and round out all your content. You'll want to share only a small percentage of your own blog content or content about you. The general guideline is 90% other people's content and 10% your own. Being a good social friend and sharing other's content builds your social network. Ultimately, you'd like to be in a position where people are organically finding your content and sharing it because they love it.
I hope this gives you some inspiration to get organized with your content and create calendars to help you create more content. Get to work creating a plan and stick to it! You'll find that being organized helps everything flow more easily including your creative process.
How do you currently organize your content? Any suggestions you'd add for creating an editorial calendar?
An editorial calendar is a great way to organize and schedule tasks. This will also make it easier to keep track of what you have posted and what to post.
ambrking Exactly! It’s great to look back at past schedules to see what worked.
James Scott says
Is it possible to do all of this with Hootsuite?
That’s what I’ve been using…but, I have yet to incorporate a calendar schedule, other than the built in Autoschedule for posts. I am still trying to figure out the best way to to approach this.
Any suggestions, anyone?
I am learning the ropes with Buffer & Hootsuite. I followed your advice. I now have increased engagement & over 1000 followers on twitter. I do not have an editorial calendar for the podcast. I am not sure how that would tie in. Do you have any recommendations?
jaredeasley Yeah! I love that my tips are helping you, Jared. It makes me really happy.
You could definitely use an editorial calendar. Add each guest as you book them, put links to the research and all their social media assets etc. Think of it as a digital notebook with the podcast being your final product. I’m sure in some ways the keywords and title are the same as a podcast for SEO purposes, right? I don’t podcast so I’m guessing.
I do some of this already w/ Evernote. Thank you Peg. What you wriye about matters.
jaredeasley I’m sure that Evernote has a lot of great ways to integrate, I need to play with that again. I used to use it to gather research and links. How do you use it?
Really good breakdown here Peg. I wanted to let you know about a new editorial calendar for WordPress that combines social media and blogging that I am involved with. It is called CoSchedule and it is a built-in content marketing editorial calendar for WordPress that also lets you schedule social media. Hopefully it will be useful to your readers!
Hi Peg, It’s been good to chat with you on Twitter and hopefully your travels are going well. Do you also use a social media content schedule or simply rely on the built in calendar feature in HootSuite/Buffer *after* you schedule?
It can get a little overwhelming depending on the number of channels the client has but we find that we need to have one for the pre-scheduled content (such as the one you upload via HootSuite’s bulk scheduler). Thanks and chat soon!
Fantastic Post! I knew I needed to start tracking my posts so I could stay organized, and see the content I am publishing. Just starting out here. Thank you so much for this!
These were some great tips and I have heard of marketing a calendar but I did not know about all the apps. I am a paper a pencil person and just get a thrill out of checking off tasks. It also helps to write down my objectives for my social media the night before. I am not completely paper and pencil though I do use Hootsuite to schedule articles. I try to schedule articles for a month of small articles I find. I use Flipbooks to find a lot of them. I also like chunking my blogging and scheduling out a week of blogs. If I think of something I type the title in my blog and just save it as a draft. The scheduling is very important to keep the blog active.
Robin Potter says
Hi Peg, wanted to know what your social calendar looked like in Excel since you had a pic of your blog post calendar showing above.