In the previous post, Your Editorial Calendar: Part 2, the content and visuals, we covered how to create unique content for your editorial calendar. Now we are going to help you make a plan to create your editorial calendar and execute it. To do this, you need an organizational plan and some tools to make it easy for you. Let's dig in!
1. Create your calendar. We use a spreadsheet shared through Google Drive. Not very exciting, but it works as a shared repository for ideas and creating an actual monthly calendar that we can both refer to. You can also use a physical calendar if you prefer to write down your plan and cross things off in a very satisfying way. Either way, it's time to fill in a blank calendar that will guide you.
2. Fill in your monthly themes. Think at least 6 months ahead. What are your monthly themes that will help guide all of your online content? Write them in.
3. When will you update your website? Remember, your website is the hub of all of your online content. Ideally, you would like to direct people here to do something: purchase something, sign up for your newsletter, follow you on social media platforms, or contact you. Your website represents you and your work when you are not there in person to explain it. So, your website updates are an important part of your marketing plan.
4. Equally important is your newsletter. We use Mailchimp to easily send out visually stimulating updates, but there are other paid and free platforms that you can also use. Remember back to our previous posts: be consistent. Newsletters do not always have to share huge news or events, they can update your audience on new work, work in progress, or inspiration. How often will you share your newsletter? Write that into your calendar, as well as the days when you will prep the content before hand and do testing.
5. Updates to your blog or online journal are crucial to add to your editorial calendar. Keeping an active section on your website that shares important news and updates about your work serves as an archive and gives you a reason to direct people back to your website when you share these posts on social media.
6. Your social media updates probably seem the most overwhelming to add to your editorial calendar. How can you keep up on sharing so much original content and not get sucked into meaningless tasks all day? Use scheduling tools like Buffer or Edgar. These give you the power to schedule your online content at one time, which then works while you sleep! Then you can hop on to your preferred platforms when time allows to share your beautiful content. (Remember that that being physically present at events and in networking situations are all great fodder for your live social media content. These scheduling tools help you sell your product when people are engaging online so you can do your work.)
Here is a ridiculous but accurate metaphor to keep in mind when creating your editorial calendar: the key to sustaining a powerful online presence is to stay on top of your editorial calendar like you would nurture a garden. It needs some work at the beginning to get everything prepped for planting (who are you and what is your story?). Once you curate your garden (determine your themes and create original content) , you simple need to plant the seeds (schedule the content), and water, weed and fertilize (check into your calendar once a week, write your posts and engage on social media.) You'll the reap the benefits by creating a wonderful, supportive community around what you do.
Please say hi if you have any questions! We are here to help.