Over the last month or so, I’ve been giving you the pieces to put together your editorial calendar for your blog, but today we’re going to put them all together.
If we’ve been talking about the 5 Ws of your editorial calendar—your who, what, when, where, and why—then this post is the HOW.
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.
An editorial calendar makes all of those hopes into plans. And that’s a powerful thing. (TWEET THAT!)
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.
8 thoughts on “The Editorial Calendar Blueprint (Putting it All Together)”
Great series about using an editorial calendar Lacy. You make a great case for an important blogging tool. We really appreciate the CoSchedule mention as well!
Thanks Garret! It’s a fabulous tool. I’m enjoying it immensely.
I'm bookmarking this Lacy because I know I have to do this. Thank you!
Silvia, I made some notes for you before our phone call that got cancelled. I'll PM them to you later today!
I love the columns idea. Brilliant. So far, I have my editorial calendar scheduled on Google calendar. I have a little notebook I carry around when inspiration for a topic strikes, then I add those topics to my Asana account to use as a list to pull from 🙂
Google calendar is good, too Desiree—actually, whatever format helps YOU is the best one!
Thank you for sharing I love this kind of stuff. I had a spreadsheet going already, but I like the way you think. I am going to go and make some adjustments right NOW.