What is an editorial calendar?
An editorial calendar is a planner that helps you map out your blog content. To keep your blog relevant and front of mind, it’s important to be consistent and organised in your blog posts and posting patterns. This is so that you’re not always scrambling last minute and wracking your brain about a a topic to write about, the day that it’s due to be published!
Why do I need an editorial calendar?
1. Build trust and develop a relationship with your readers
The idea behind it is to help you steadily build up trust with your readers by providing immense value each time you post, so that they can make a connection with you and your brand. You need to understand your reader’s greatest desires, fears, what their typical day looks like etc – so that each time you post, you’re sharing knowledge that will help your readers solve a problem. How can you build a relationship with someone if one side is always flakey – someone who blogs one week, goes on radio silence for a few weeks and then comes back with a sudden burst of blog posts?
If you keep sharing quality content consistently, you position yourself as an authority figure (read: expert!) in your field. Your readers will begin to love you and your content and will want to share it with their friends – which in turn helps you grow your brand!
2. Be consistent and stick to your schedule
Decide on a set schedule in which you want to commit to posting – say a fortnightly schedule and stick to it. Scheduling something in your diary makes it more likely you will stick to it and as we discovered from my 5 steps to SMART goal setting post – it’s all about taking little steps to achieve something great!
3. Be intentional about achieving your goals and measure your stats!
Organising your content in a strategic manner will help you achieve your blogging goals. Whether this is to achieve greater brand awareness, increased traffic, growing your email list etc having an editorial calendar and actually using it helps you focus and be intentional with who you’re reaching out to and how you do it.
You must also track your blogging metrics each week to see how your strategy is going! If you don’t know the numbers and where you started from, how can you know if the strategy is working or not?
How do I come up with content?
Where do your readers hang out online? Facebook groups? Forums like Reddit? Instagram? Youtube? Hang out where they hang out and listen in on their questions. What do they want to know more about? What are their frustrations? What are their pain points? These places where your target reader hangs out are a gold mine of information! Make friends and spend 30 minutes helping others and sharing your expertise and knowledge. Little by little you’ll develop a name for yourself and your audience will grow naturally and organically just by spending 30 minutes a day doing so! Remember, don’t try and spread yourself too thin but focus on specific channels (maybe 2-3) so you can start building genuine friendships. It’s all about quality, not quantity.
I like weekly brainstorming sessions where I record my blog post ideas into a huge bank of ideas. Ideas may come from things I’ve read about or watched during the week. I really like signing up to different newsletters, so that way I can read about the latest headlines straight from my inbox. These weekly sessions help to build up a bank of ideas, so that I’ll never run out of possible topics to write about. I also find it helpful to have Evernote installed on my phone, so that when inspiration strikes when I’m out and about, I have somewhere to jot down my idea. Best of all, Evernote has a free basic plan! #winning
Depending on your writing style, some people may like writing their posts in batches. If a burst of inspiration hits, you can knock out a couple of posts in one go. Otherwise for others, you may prefer writing once a week. If this is your preferred style, try and pre-write a few blog posts in advance so that in the case that life gets busy and you don’t have time to write, at least having a few already written will give you a bit of a buffer. Once you’ve set up this blogging expectation and you’re providing immense value each time, your readers will get excited each time you post up something new!
As a special bonus to you – for being such an awesome Nerd Burger, I’m giving away a copy of the exact editorial calendar I use! Click the green button below to download your copy now!
Does my content have to be just written blog posts?
Not at all! Content marketing is simply information that will help your readers achieve something. Whether this is learning how to cook a juicy steak, how to grow their email list or how to knit a sweater – it’s all about building trust and a relationship with the reader. These readers become fans and eventually even a potential customer!
Any content you produce can be in any form – video, podcast, blog post, ebook, email course, live workshop, webinar, info graphics, photos etc. Experiment with different mediums and see what your readers like or better yet – just ask your readers!
How do I set up an editorial calendar?
There are lots of tools you can use to organise, plan and schedule your content and many of them are free!
- Coschedule allows you to plan and schedule your content to your social media channels. There’s also an editorial calendar available to help you plan your content marketing strategy so it’s more efficient and effective for achieving your goals.
- WordPress plugins – there are heaps! Just googling will bring up a comprehensive list otherwise here’s some I recommend: Coschedule WP plugin, Editorial Calendar plugin.
- I personally love Trello and use it to keep all my blog post ideas and track what stage the post is at. It’s a great visual representation that allows you to plan your content. You can share the board amongst different members of your team (fantastic if you have staff or a virtual assistant), attach documents, set deadlines and more.
- Good old Excel spreadsheet and I’m sharing with you a free copy of the editorial calendar I use! Just click on the green button below to get your copy! Many people have a phobia about using Excel because the interface looks kinda scary and complicated, but it doesn’t have to be the case. I love using Excel (maybe this is because I was an accountant in my past life). Each individual tab represents a month of the year where you can plan what you’ll post when and to what social media channels. Feel free to add in extra columns if you have more social media channels and customise as you wish. In my bonus editorial calendar you can download, I’ve included notable dates each month. Maybe you’ll be inspired to write a post based on a special day like “Talk like a Pirate Day”? (if it relates to your area of expertise) Har Har. (Or make lame jokes like me…)
P.S. Happy blogging and share your results with the Nerd Burger community below!
Join and receive instant access to our resource library:
Join and receive instant access to our resource library:
The Nerd Burgers Library of Resources for Creative + Handmade Business owners packed full of free worksheets, templates, cheat sheets and more to help you launch and grow your business!