How to Create an Editorial Calendar for Your Brand
As you grow your business, creating interesting and valuable content will both attract new customers and keep your existing customers coming back. And — bonus! — it also helps to improve your SEO ranking by giving search engines more content to crawl.
But providing a steady stream of quality content takes work. We've all seen businesses with abandoned blogs or social media feeds. To avoid that fate, you need a plan — aka an editorial calendar. We've put together some tips to help you build your own calendar so you can win more customers with your compelling content.
1. Choose a home for your calendar.
Where will your editorial calendar live? If you're sharing it with other team members, we recommend that you give it an online home (Google Calendar, Asana, project-planning software, etc.) that everyone can share. We also like using electronic vs. paper calendars because they can send you reminders and you can access them from anywhere, making it easy to schedule ideas as they come to you.
2. List all the content types you create (or plan to create).
Different businesses will answer this question different ways. Your content can include things like blog articles, social media posts, YouTube videos, a podcast or your email newsletter. You may not think a literal list is important, but this is the best way to accurately and easily plan for your various types of content (and assure that you never forget anything).
3. Decide on frequency.
How often can you produce each piece of content on your list? Be realistic about how much time you can devote to content. It's better to release content consistently but with less frequency over the long term than to provide a flurry of content for a few weeks but then abandon your efforts because you can't keep up.
4. Note big events.
Put any special events or holidays that are relevant for your business on your calendar. If you run an online boutique, for example, note all the gift-giving holidays and seasonal sales so that you can create content accordingly. Remember to plan your major content pushes in advance. For example, if you publish a holiday gift guide, make a note on your calendar to start developing it well ahead of when you want to post it.
5. Plan around your business schedule.
Does your business have a busy season? Are you planning an epic vacation in a few months? Put things like this on your calendar, too, so that you can keep producing content around any disruptions. For example, if you're going to be traveling through Europe for a month next spring, set a deadline on your calendar to complete all blog posts for that period before you leave.
6. Vary your topics.
An editorial calendar helps ensure that you have variety in your content. Let's say you're an interior designer who publishes one blog article per week. You can note on your editorial calendar that the first post of each month is a how-to, the second is a client project feature, etc. This is one of the easiest ways to stay inspired when writing creating content.
7. Set your deadlines.
Now it's time for the nitty-gritty: Getting your content production schedule onto your calendar. Set the dates when you'll be publishing, posting or emailing your various forms of content. We've found it's helpful to establish interim deadlines as well. For example, set your deadline for writing a blog post a few days ahead of when it will publish so that you can go back and edit it with fresh eyes (or have a team member read over it for you).
8. Review regularly.
It's helpful to review your calendar every month or so. This will allow you to make sure everything is up to date and nothing is falling through the cracks, and it gives you time to schedule any content ideas you've jotted down.
If this all feels a little overwhelming, fear not. DesignGood can help you set up your editorial calendar, produce content and keep your schedule running smoothly. Contact us today to learn more.