Hello, friends! Happy Industry Hump Day! Every Wednesday (hump day) I'll be bringing you a new tip related to the media/marketing/freelance industry!
This week I want to talk to you about the severely underrated power of an editorial calendar. Every writer, publisher, social media marketer, and site manager needs to have one of these in place, especially when coordinating multiple contributors.
An editorial calendar is the best tool to help you plan carefully curated content. This little act of prep work goes a long way. It gives you ample time to do any research necessary. Take the time to gather content, inspiration, links, images, etc. These are all key ingredients to a good post and sometimes an idea needs days to marinade in your brain before you can bang out a b*tching post. By deciding a week or two in advance, "OK next Thursday I'm going to write about the life of the sea turtle," you have planted a seed in your brain. Give yourself the time to grow that seed into an beautiful, complex, living plant.
Having an actual calendar also means you have a very real and in your face deadline, which will help you get on a posting schedule. Consistency and clarity of thought are paramount in this industry. Nobody wants to read a blog that posts once every three months (and don't worry if this is you - I was very much stuck in this same rut until I forced myself into an editorial cycle).
Additionally, an editorial calendar helps you visualize any networking opportunities, conferences, industry related events, or just in general cool things that you'd love to write about. For example: Tonight is the Rockefeller Tree Lighting Ceremony, a midtown tradition and the official celebration to kick off our holiday cheer in Manhattan. I put it in my calendar out of sheer excitement, and I fully intend to bring you a recap/review tomorrow.
When you plan ahead, you can often write your posts ahead of time and schedule them to be published. Wave goodbye to the hardship of having to lug your computer with you on holiday because you're a full time blogger. No sir, not me... I don't need any more of that back pain. Next time I go on vacation all I'm taking with me is my toothbrush and a good book. I decided three weeks ago what I'd be posting this weekend, wrote it all last weekend, and scheduled my posts. Bring on the R&R!
Use your calendar to hone in on topics that matter to you. Analyze your past posts and think about what your strengths and weaknesses are as a publisher. What worked? What didn't work so well? What did people respond well to? What demographic do those people fall into? What would they like to see more of from you in the future? An editorial calendar organizes things in an easy to manage way and helps you figure out the answers to some of these very important questions as a blogger!
When you can not only give yourself editorial direction, but also pave the road ahead, the whole blogging process becomes much more streamlined and enjoyable. In my opinion, there's nothing worse than sitting at my computer with blogger's block trying to figure out what the hell to write about FOR THAT DAY ITSELF. I'd rather break my head earlier on in the week, settle on a topic, mull it over, and then attack my keyboard without all the frustration.
Ready to get started on building your editorial calendar but need some help? Not a problem! As your resident marketing mogul and copywriting connoisseur, I'm happy to help you out. Together we'll sit down and sift through your existing content, determine your greatest strengths, analyze your target audience, and build a calendar that works for you! Contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info and quotes!
Planning lots more posts, xx Nikbear