Once more, with feeling: WHY do I need an editorial calendar?
I hope by now you can see how taking the time to create your editorial calendar will benefit your blog and your business. Without one, it’s a bit like flying blind; you might be able to keep going indefinitely, but bringing anything in to land is going to be a lot harder than it should be.
Without a solid editorial calendar, your content plan has to live in your head. You might be able to keep up with it for a while, but you’ll never be able to delegate tasks. You’ll have to continue to be the one, sitting down every week, hoping you’ll have a flash of genius, hoping it will resonate with the right readers, hoping the right people will see it and share it, hoping it will eventually communicate your bigger message and convert some sales.
Got it. So how do I put it all together?
When you’re creating your calendar, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got a space to note each of your 5 Ws. I happen to like building it out in a spreadsheet, with a column for:
- Who — which reader profile each post will appeal to
- What — your topic
- When — the date for the topic to go live and the mix of what to post when
- Where — your promotional strategy for each post; who you’re going to email about it, where you’re going to post it, etc.
- Why — where it fits into your overall strategy; what kind of post it is (attention, interest, desire, etc.)
You can also add columns for each of your social media channels and pre-write your copy, to make it even simpler to promote.
From there, you may want to add your posts to your calendar. I happen to *love* a brand new app I was just introduced to called CoSchedule.
(Just for full disclosure, that’s a referral link, and I get a little discount on using the service if you use my link.)
There are other WordPress plugins that let you see your posts in a calendar format, and even let you drag and drop them to change dates and schedules, but CoSchedule is the first one I’ve ever seen that integrates social media scheduling, and that is HUGE. As solopreneurs, we need to do whatever we can to save time while blogging, and this just saved me a huge heaping chunk of time.
Plus, when and if you do add people to your team to help you out with your blog, you can use some of CoSchedule’s other cool features to make communicating with them easier.
So that’s it, my lovelies. But knowledge without action is pretty useless, so here’s what I want you to do: go into your favorite spreadsheet software or Google docs right now and create your editorial calendar spreadsheet. You don’t have to fill it out yet, just make the document so it’s there when you’re ready. Then leave a comment here letting us know you’ve done it.
Got questions? I’ve got answers! Ask them below and I’ll do my best to give you the down low.