If you’ve been traveling around online circles you’ve probably heard of what’s called an editorial calendar. It’s a simple way to organize your ideas and plans for content creation.
It comes from the journalism world, where magazines would create a calendar to let advertisers know what features were planned and guide the editorial direction of each issue. Content marketers (including entrepreneurs) have grasped onto this concept as a key part of the content creation process, but in many cases it’s been stripped down to an Excel or Google Drive spreadsheet with a bunch of ideas thrown into it.
A spreadsheet my friends is a tool. An editorial calendar is merely a structure to help you get your content created and avoid the phenomenon of “oh crap, I need to write something for my blog” week in, week out.
In short, an editorial calendar should be put in its place in your business. Merely filling it up with ideas and crossing it off your list until it’s time to write your posts is going to give you a lot of grief in the long run.
The idea of blogging is to educate, inform and entertain your readers on a journey to getting them to hopefully buy from you. Creating better blog content starts with understanding WHY you are creating that content in the first place.
Ask yourself this:
- What is my mission, vision and values?
- How does this content support my business goals?
- What is the objective of my post?
Are you a Brand Journalist?
The basis of content marketing is the idea of brand journalism, where each brand needs to be its own reporter. This is why companies like Coke have dramatically cut back on traditional activities like PR and marketing and are focusing on being their own publisher.
As a small business or entrepreneur, brand journalism is essential and offers the perfect way to approach your blogging. Like a journalist you can consider what stories you want to share and what you want readers to take away from your posts.
A reporter goes into writing a story with a clear direction and goal in mind, and you should be looking to do the same with your blog posts. If you think like a journalist with a clear direction for your writing, along with research and fact checking you’ll be able to make more impact with your posts.
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Rethinking Your Editorial Calendar
If you have an editorial calendar in place, take some time to dust it off and carefully look at your post ideas. If you don’t have an editorial calendar, you need to set up one up so that you have a central place to keep a logical flow for your blog posts and any other content you create.
A few things to consider with your editorial calendar:
- Do your ideas connect with what’s happening in your business right now?
- Do these topics tap into the pain points of your clients?
- Would these ideas make the cut if you had to hand them off to a editor as a proposed story for you to write?
Putting these type of tests in place forces you to consider if your idea is a good enough post for your site. If you are going to invest the time in blogging, you want to make sure that your content meets the mark and plays it’s role in your business the right way.
As you add new ideas to your editorial calendar, take the time to align them with your vision and goals, while meeting the needs of your clients. If you aren’t sure, put the idea in the “parking lot” and come back to it later.
Consider your editorial calendar a tool, not a solution for your content creation. Taking the time to whip your approach to your editorial calendar and blog into shape will make a big difference in the quality and business impact of your efforts.
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If you want to get more clarity about creating content, I invite you to join the free Content Clarity video series that starts on June 2nd. You’ll learn content creation secrets and ideas on how to come up with ideas to fill your editorial calendar. Plus it’s all about action so three days with a quick video + resources for you to use right away.