Create an Editorial Calendar
No matter if you're a born writer or a novice, the sight of a blank page can be intimidating -- especially when you are working on a deadline and know that you have to crank out a newsletter article, a tweet or Facebook post. When you don't know specifically, then at least have a rough idea of a theme. That focuses your thinking and makes it easier to find things to write about. Creating an Editorial Calendar is very helpful; whether you are planning email marketing content or Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn posts.
What's an Editorial Calendar?
An Editorial Calendar is simply a plan, organized by the frequency you publish, of the topics you'll be discussing or the articles you'll be writing. It can be created a year, six months, or a quarter in advance, and can be as specific as you need it to be.
This has multiple benefits:
1. Have a direction or a theme for each issue in advance, and don't have to scramble about what's going to covered.
2. Plan a mix of areas and topics in advance, thus ensuring that we are covering all the important best practices and not always featuring the same ones.
3. It allows us to coordinate in advance with other communications each month, such as Facebook page, so we're telling a common story.
Creating your own Editorial Calendar
Coming up with an Editorial Calendar for your social media posting isn't hard. Here are five things you can do to create one that will work for you:
1. Set your frequency. Is your calendar for your email newsletter? Decide (if you haven't already) if you will be sending monthly or some other frequency. If your calendar is for Facebook posts, then you might create a calendar that's weekly or daily.
2. Decide on themes or topics. If you're a restaurant, maybe each month you can feature a different ingredient. If you're a more seasonal business, like a landscaper, you can cover specific lawn care tips each month that correspond with the seasons. Are you an organizational consultant? Perhaps each month you'll feature a different room of the house. And so on.
3. Solicit ideas. Stuck for ideas? Why not ask your customers, clients, members, or supporters what kind of information they want to receive from you, or what topics they'd like you to cover and then group those responses by month. You can also just start keeping a running list by your desk, the cash register, your phones, or wherever you are when you come in contact with people and every time someone asks a question or you come across a topic that would be good, write it down. Having a running list will help you to plan in advance and know what you should cover.
4. Be flexible if you have to. An editorial calendar is never set in stone; if something comes up, such as a more timely topic or a new product/service you want to promote, you can always adjust and move a topic to another time.
5. Use the calendar for more than email. If you've decided on a topic for the month, don't just use it for email. Sync up your communications so your customers, clients, members and supporters are hearing a coordinated message from you. For example, if you are a spa and you are focusing on a different wellness tip each month, find articles and blog posts that relate to that and share those on social media.