Writing an Editorial Calendar
What should I share on social media?
What should I write in a blog post?
I am often asked these questions when I speak at networking events and conferences. And my answer is always very simple – what is the plan in your editorial calendar? Most of the time the small business owner looks at me quizzically and says “I do not have one” or asks “what is that?”
An editorial calendar is a plan, at some regular interval (month, week, day), that lists topics and themes for your website articles, blog posts, and the social media content you will share.
How you develop one can be a huge undertaking so follow these steps to success:
- Sit down with the actual 12 month calendar. What dates are important for your business? Are there standard holidays that you need to be aware and talk about or can market around.
- Look at your business travel schedule. Are you attending a conference that might be interesting to talk about in your blog? Will there be social media posting opportunities?
- Look at your industry specific dates. Are their any dates or times of the year that are of particular importance to your profession? For instance, January is known as divorce month so if you are a Divorce and Family Lawyer you should write that one down for sure.
- What about the seasons? Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter? If you are a landscaper each season is going to mean something different and so our content plan should include writing that can help your potential clients and of course show that you can help them out.
- How about different periods of time during the year? Two popular ones are back-to-school and holiday shopping time. Just about every business can say something about these. Tax season also applies to many businesses as does spring cleaning.
- Next are the self-proclaimed or nationally recognized months. Organization Month, Breast Cancer Awareness, National Older Americans Month, Clean Out your Refrigerator Month.
- Then it is really important to drill down a bit further to date specific holidays and events. Healthy Weight Day (Jan 25th), Bosses Day (October 16), Take Your Child to Work Day (April 23).
Put all of this in one document by month. Include blog post titles, website articles and then different authors and websites to use when searching for content to share. The more creative you are with your approach, and the more you tailor it to the needs of your customers and clients, the greater impact you will have on helping them see their way to your doorstep.
Be flexible. You may have a beautifully constructed editorial calendar with great blog posts ready to be written. And then something important happens in your industry or a news event is related directly to your business. Do not despair – if you do not have the capacity to maintain the calendar and report on the newest development, always go with the news first. You can postpone your plans if there is a better way to connect!
I love putting together editorial calendars for my clients and for my own writing and social media. It is a way to keep myself on track, I do not have to think of topics all the time, and most importantly, I rarely miss a great opportunity to connect with potential customers and clients. National Oatmeal Day…you really do not want to miss that one!