How To Create An Effective Editorial Calendar

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257 How to Create an Effective Editorial Calendar

By Leslie Samuel | Blogging

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If you’ve ever struggled to come up with content for your blog, you’re not alone.

This post will help you fix that problem. You’ll discover how to create an effective editorial calendar.

One that makes your job as a content creator easier.

Listen to This Episode

 

Leslie Samuel         

257 How to Create an Effective Editorial Calendar           257 How to Create an Effective Editorial Calendar          

What is an Editorial Calendar

My simple definition of an editorial calendar is this – a calendar that tells you what content needs to be created and when.

This content can be written articles, podcast episodes, videos, live streams, social media updates, emails for your list, webinars, or whatever other kind of content you make.

Why an Editorial Calendar

257_Editorial Calendar_Pinterest

How to Create an Effective Editorial Calendar

It wasn’t that long ago. The day before a podcast episode was scheduled to go live, I had no idea what it would be about.

I would call a friend and we’d have a back-and-forth discussion about what I’d covered recently and what would be a good idea to cover for tomorrow’s episode.

A few stressful hours later and I’d have a rushed episode completed that often ended up being posted later than the scheduled time.

This situation is the enemy, and an editorial calendar is the savior.

Here are just a few reasons why using an editorial calendar is a good thing.

It reduces the stress of last-minute planning.

My situation described above should make this very clear. Having a carefully thought-out editorial calendar helps you to know what to create and when.

You have time to outline each piece of content and then turn it into a masterpiece. That’s worth the cost of admission right there.

It gives you a bird’s eye view of the most important aspects of your online business.

In an “Internetty” world, content is king.

Content it what gets people to engage. It’s what convinces people that you know your stuff. It’s what gets people on your email list.

It’s how they get to know, like and trust you.

Ultimately, it’s what drives your business.

It helps you focus your content on your business goals.

As you plan out your content in an editorial calendar, you’re able to analyse your business goals and make sure that you are planning the right kind of content to meet your objectives.

You’re not just trying to come up with something on the spot. You are carefully crafting a schedule that keeps the end in mind.

It helps you to be more consistent.

Having the best content is great, but if you’re not showing up consistently, you won’t be able to reach to a point where your audience keeps coming back for more.

Consistency is essential to your success as a blogger.

Before you Create your Editorial Calendar

Questions to Ask Before Creating Your Editorial Calendar

Questions to Ask Before Creating Your Editorial Calendar

Whenever you think about the content you create for your blog, there are three questions you should keep in mind:

  1. Who is your ideal target person?
  2. What is his/her goals?
  3. What struggles will he/she encounter?

The best content is focused on the consumer, not the creator.

How to Create Your Editorial Calendar

Now that you have an idea of who you are targeting, it’s time to actually create your editorial calendar. Here are the steps I recommend:

Create a master list of topics, events, product launches, etc.

This is where you will brainstorm all of the different things that can end up on your editorial calendar.

The main question you should answer with this master list is the following – What content do you need to create to help your audience reach their goals or overcome their struggles.

I would encourage you to take the time to come up with a list of at least 20 different items.

For extra credit, go for 50. You may (or may not) use them all, but this brain dump will help to save you time in the long run.

Organize your content into categories.

Organize your content into categories

Organize your content into categories

As you create this list, you will most likely see that they can be naturally placed into a few categories.

Go ahead and group them in whatever way makes sense for your niche.

These categories should be the categories of content found on your blog. If not, do yourself a favor and revisit your blog categories.

For more info on this, check out this podcast episode on using WordPress categories and tags for maximum impact.

Decide on a publication schedule.

Decide on a publication schedule

Decide on a publication schedule

As mentioned above, consistency is key. When you are consistent with your content creation, you will train your growing audience to make you a part of their routine.

How often will you post content? On what days of the week? Also, what types of content/media will you be creating?

I recommend that you stick to a minimum of 1 post/week. The more, the better.

Fill in the dates with content/events.

When doing this, I recommend starting with major events first. These may be things like product launches, webinars, or any other promotions (affiliate products, events, etc).

Once you’ve added these dates to the calendar, schedule the pieces of content that support those events next.

Doing this will make sure that your content is helping to move you toward your business goals.

Then schedule all other content. You can decide if you want to have specific themes for different times of the year and schedule your content accordingly.

If you have a team involved in content creation

The content creation process can be a bit more complicated if you have a team involved. However, it’s something that I recommend for every blogger to strive for.

Whether you have a team of writers or a virtual assistant that helps you with the publication process, there are things you can do to ensure smooth sailing with your editorial process.

Create editorial guidelines

Create Editorial Guidelines for your team

Create Editorial Guidelines for your team

If you have multiple writers, it’s important for you to create editorial guidelines. Doing this will help to ensure that there’s some consistency in the kind of content that gets posted.

It sets a standard for what is acceptable and what isn’t. It gives an idea of what kind of flow is expected throughout the article and helps to guide your authors to create the kind of content that will resonate with your audience.

For more on this topic, check out my interview with Mike Stelzner from Social Media Examiner.

Determine who is responsible for each task.

Have you ever worked at a job (or on a project) where nobody was clear who should be doing what?

It can get pretty confusing. Don’t let that be the case with your blog. Make sure all of the roles are clearly designated.

Have one place for team communication.

Team Communication Tools

Team Communication Tools

When you work with a virtual team, communication can get messy. If everyone is emailing everyone else separately, it can be hard to keep track of what’s happening in your business.

Use one tool to manage all your team communication. If there’s ever a question about what was said about a particular piece of content, you will always know where to find the answer.

Tools you can use

Now that we’ve covered how to create your editorial calendar, I wanted to share some tools that can make this process easier for you:

A Spreadsheet

Spreadsheet

Spreadsheet

I decided to start with good “old faithful.” This is something that most people already have access to. It’s not the best option, but if you’re already a spreadsheet-nerd, it can be quite fun.

I recommend using Google Sheets, because it’s cloud-based and makes it easy to share it with your team and see updates in realtime. However, you can also use Microsoft Excel or Numbers (Mac only).

Trello

Trello is a very powerful (and free) project management system where you can manage many aspects of your business with a team.

This is what I recommend for most people who are looking for a project management system that goes beyond simply managing your content. For info on how I’ve used trellocheck out this article.

Coschedule

Some Recommended Tools (Trello, CoSchedule, EditFlow)

Some Recommended Tools (Trello, CoSchedule, EditFlow)

This is my current weapon of choice for managing my editorial calendar and my small team of two (including myself).

It is the best option I’ve found for an editorial calendar because it’s integrated with WordPress and Social media.

Because of these integrations, you can manage every aspect of your content creation process. You can even manage your social media sharing of your content. I love it. You should check it out. It’s not free, but it’s relatively affordable.

Edit Flow

This WordPress plugin is a tried and true editorial calendar plugin that allows you to manage all aspects of your editorial calendar.

It’s not as pretty as Coschedule and it also doesn’t integrate with Social Media, but it’s free.

What About YOU?

Do you use an editorial calendar? If so, how’s it working for you? Did I miss any tips? If you aren’t using one, do you think you will start?

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Resources Mentioned

Infographic

257_Editorial Calendar_Infographic

How to Create an Effective Editorial Calendar

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(16) comments

Raphael last year

Hello Leslie,

This whole post points at planning which is one area i must admit to have failed as far as my blog is concerned. Reading through this opened me up to a whole lot of information i may never have gotten.

As for now, its just me in my team but i’m working on getting some more hands (wonder if people help for free 🙂 ), but before then i starting to create an editorial calendar.

Thanks for sharing!

 Reply

    Leslie Samuel 11 months ago

    You’re welcome Raphael. Glad to hear you got value from the post 🙂

     Reply

Karen Williams last year

Thanks so much for this post! It gave options for how I could access the information, gave the infographic for easy reference, and is advice I truly need. My blog is scheduled to be up and running by June, so I can get a head start on things to avoid stress. My tendency to procrastinate requires a system like this. I’ll let you know how it goes or if I run across anything else helpful along the way. Good work, Leslie!

 Reply

Sarah last year

Thanks, Leslie! I appreciate your tips.

 Reply

sarahinshape last year

Sometimes I think you read my mind, Leslie. Just last week I was trying to find a guide to setting up an editorial calendar and quickly gave up after finding only brief list posts with no details. I got the the gym and played the next podcast on my playlist and up pops this awesome, actionable episode that walks me through everything I need to do. Keep on smashing it Leslie!

 Reply

    Leslie Samuel 11 months ago

    Sarah, I was essentially thinking – “Hmm, what is Sarah looking for? I know, editorial calendar stuff. Let me record this episode.” Freaky stuff, isn’t it? 😉

    Jk, but I’m glad I was able to give you what you were looking for. Now go CRUSH IT 🙂

     Reply

Stephanie Alexander last year

Hi Leslie,

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! This podcast could not have come at better time. For the last couple of month’s I have been saying to myself that I really need to put a schedule together so I can become more consistent with the two hundred thousand things (LOL) I need to do for my website/blog, and of course it all becomes overwhelming. Your episode today was prefect!! Now I can see a beginning, middle and end and some consistency in what I need to do and how to do it. I’m going to jump on this first thing tomorrow. Now, all I have to do is decide what program to use that best fits my needs and from your suggestions that should be easy.

Thank you again and I absolutely love your enthusiasm.

Keep up the great work and Congrats on the new baby girl to come!!!!!!

Best Regards,

Stephanie

 Reply

    Leslie Samuel 11 months ago

    WOW Stephanie, 200 THOUSAND THINGS? That’s wayyyy more than my 100 thousand, LOL. I hear ya though. Glad to hear that the episode helped.

    And thanks for the congrats. We’re excited 😀

     Reply

Tan 11 months ago

Hey, Lesile. Thanks for this blog post that includes lots of value in the form of a podcast, detailed blog post, the slides, and an infograph.

I have started an editorial calendar without realizing it. I started by making a mindmap of all the topics that I can write about that the audience (ESL teachers) would need and be interested in knowing. The mindmap consists of categories, which you also recommended. Once I am finish making my content, I can have a bigger picture view, which then allows me to schedule the posts.

Thanks! I’ll start downloading your podcast.

 Reply

    Leslie Samuel 11 months ago

    Glad to hear it Tan. And yes, a mindmap is actually a great way to start organizing your editorial calendar. I actually think I will start talking about that whenever I talk about editorial calendars in the future, so thank you 🙂

     Reply

Becky Clark 11 months ago

I am just in the planning stages of setting up my blog, but I will definitely use an editorial calendar. Thanks for the great ideas. This will make my job a whole lot easier. 🙂

 Reply

robin 10 months ago

I got an assignment yesterday to make an editorial calendar for June. I searched a lot but did not found right content but thank god i found this article. This is what i was looking for. Now i can complete my assignment. Thanks for this article.

 Reply

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10 things to include in your media kit

https://bloggermemopad.wordpress.com/2016/12/30/10-things-to-include-in-your-media-kit/

10 things to include in your media kit

Hey, happy pixels!! 

What is Media Kit?

A media kit is simply an information packet about a business or product. You can make one to promote your blog. For example, you can send it to blogs or brands to explain who you are, what do you do and to propose a collaboration.

It’s a useful tool. It collects information about your blog that answers your investors, collaborators, and clients questions about you. You can think about your media kit as a marketing tool. Actually, it is.

hi

A media kit should be visual, attractive and simple. You want to grab the reader’s attention, but the main information has to be easy to find. Remember that the time people dedicate to that kind of things is limited, so you have to be visual and interesting.

A good way to design your media kit is to use tools as Canva. Another good way is to look for free printables on Google. Remember: visual and simple.

There are lots of contents suggestions. From my point of view, the top things that you should include in your media kit are:

Media kit contents

  1. The name of your blog; add your logo, or your picture if you don’t have a logo.
  2. A brief information about you and your blog. Who are you, what exactly is your blog or business. Just 3-5 sentences. Be clear. Add a link to your blog and your mail or contact info.
  3. Previous collaborations. Who were your collaborators, what did you do for them and a link to your work? If you have good opinions about your job, you can include them here.
  4. WordPress and social media statistics. If you still don’t have large numbers to impress, you can omit them or use your growth trends. For example, in just 3 months, the number of blog followers has increased 200%.
  5. What kind of collaborations you do. Which services are you offering? You’ll send your kit with a personalized proposal for each blog or company, but here you can offer different options. Include here a call to action: send me a mail, call me for more information…Include your contact info again, or just include it here, not above.
  6. Add pictures. Be proud of your hard work. Show it.
  7. Convert the kit to PDF.

Make a list of blogs/brands you would like to work with. Send your media kit.

Make changes if it does not work.

Are you interested in having a media kit? I think it’s an interesting tool. Especially when a blog it’s starting to grow. Even before that.

Are you going to make one? If you have any doubt or if you want to share your experiences with your media kit, feel free to leave a comment.

Love,
Sílvia.

 

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Author: the happiest pixel

Hey pixels, my name is Sílvia. I live in a small Spanish town. I am passionate about all things creative and DIY’s. I love baking cakes and making vegetarian food. I love Eurovision and watching cycling on TV. Someday I’ll go to Australia to hug a koala. For any suggestions, Business enquires and collaborations please feel free to contact at: thehappiestpixel@gmail.com

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    Distributing Articles Through Blogs

    These days, it is hard to find anyone, of any age, who does not blog. Business have even taken to blogging, from small ones to large corporations. The popularity and simplicity of blogging makes it popular with everyone.

    Using blogs to help with your sales is easy and recommended. It is simple to create your own blog on which to post your articles. You can find a webhosting company that includes a blog in its webhosting package, or you can choose a popular blog site like Blogger at http://www.blogger.com .

    The most important thing is to make your blog viral. Do this by creating an RSS feed and allowing readers to copy your blog to their own.

    All you need to do is set up your blog and start posting your articles into categories of your own choosing. using pinging features will allow blog directories to keep updated whenever you add a new post to your blog. You can also sign up at http://pingomatic.com/ to have your blog pinged with many different services all at once. This will help bring traffic to your blog.

    Another way to make blogs helpful in your article marketing is to seek out blogs that relate to your field of interest. Upon finding a subject that relates to your article, add a comment and a link to the article asking other readers of the blog to visit your blog and read the article.

    Posting the actual article on someone else’s blog is rude and not accepted. A simple link to an article that directly relates to the topic in question is perfectly acceptable.

    How to be an Efficient Blogger (2 min read) 

    How to be an Efficient Blogger (2 min read) – http://wp.me/p7hi1Z-3WI

    Written by Millionaire’s Digest Team Member: Donatella Petitti

    Founder & Owner of: Ciao Donatella

    Millionaire’s Digest Team, Contributor, Blogging and Successful Living Writer


    Every blogger no matter new to the blogging world or a blogging veteran. You could always use some tips to maximize your blogging talents in order to have flawless content, organized life/blog and lots of follows and views. It can be difficult to find the “groove” but these tips are sure to make it easier and have you blogging like a superstar in no time!

    1. Have A Designated Office Space

    It is important to have a space that you can go to without any interruption and that their is rarely any change in activity. This will make writing easier and more enjoyable for you to work. Having a desk area specifically to blogging can make it easier to step away from working and take a break when needed so you don’t suffer from writers block or boredom. Make sure there are no distractions such as a T.V and try separate the area from home, remember this is a work/hobby zone not a home attitude.

    2. Use a Planner (maybe even 2)

    No matter who you are or what type of blog you have, it is ideal that you have a planner to keep track of not only your life outside the blog but the blog itself. Some bloggers like having 2: one for blog and one for life, others view having one is easier to divide blog and life activities. Either way it is important to plan posts, collaborations, photo shoots, and social media. The planner helps keep not only yourself organized but your blog, which inevitably keeps your readers engaged because they don’t have to wonder when you post or what your up to.

    3. Create Office Hours

    Think of your blog like a business (whether that was your intention or not). So when you work you have a set arrive and go home time. For example: 9:30am-12:45am {two days a week/ on the weekend}, 5pm-7pm everyday and night around 9pm-11pm. These hours are not written in stone but try to stay within the times yo set out in order to achieve long-term success.

    4. Keep Things Organized/Appealing

    You are going to be more tempted to work more often if everything in your work space has a place. Finding nice looking office organization, a pretty computer background and colourful sticky notes & file folders will motivate you and get the creative juices flowing. make your space your own and decorate it to fit your needs.

    In the End…

    Consistency is key, follow these tips everyday and the result will show in not only your attitude towards blogging but through the numbers as well.


    Article Credits: Donatella Petitti

    Millionaire’s Digest Team, Contributor

    (For Beauty, Travel, Photography Bloggers & More)

    Discover The Power Of Blogging

    The dark circles under his eyes are evidence that he has been pecking away at the keyboard again. Night after night he sits, mesmerized by the computer screen surfing forum after forum filling the blank spaces with his comments and opinions about senseless issues, political debates, religious matters, business strategies and shopping options. All the while his marriage is deteriorating, his children are growing up and away, his business is wavering on the brink of bankruptcy, spiritual matters are being neglected, all to which he is oblivious.

    images (1)

    One day he happens upon an internet forum about blogging. “What in the world is blogging?” he wonders.

    Suddenly he becomes enthralled with a new mission. He has to get to the bottom of this. With all the time he has spent on the internet communicating with people throughout the world, he has never heard of blogging. He wants to learn everything there is to know about it…

    Blogging is a relatively new phenomenon that is truly undefined due to the fact that it is not yet what it will become. Currently weblogs teeter on the edges of interactive journalism vs. personal archiving and information sharing. Different bloggers have varying purposes and goals. Some aim to record their thoughts, some to share resources and information and some to tell stories. Blogging has also been used as a tool for educating readers and for providing customer service and communications as well as serving as a tool for self-expression.

    images (6)

    With Google’s introduction of the AdSense content-targeted advertising program, you can even generate some revenue from your blog as you get paid per click for Google Ads accessed from your blog. Don’t create a blog on the premise that you’re going to get rich from advertising payments or you may be sorely disappointed. Rather, view the ad program as an added bonus for the time spent filling your blog with useful content, or as getting paid a little for doing something you enjoy.

    The best way to get started blogging is just to jump in and get your feet wet. Decide what you want to accomplish through your blog. Is it a tool for getting things off your chest? Sharing your thoughts and feelings? Providing information? Tracking events?

    Reading through various blogs will provide you with some ideas for your blogs purpose and for developing your writing style.

    images

    Find a blogging medium that you are comfortable with. There are some options out there for free blogs and there are some paid services that are very reasonable, some for commercial and some for non-commercial use.

    Probably the quickest and easiest way to start your own blog is to use a hosted service like Blogger – http://www.blogger.com. Getting started with Blogger is a three step process that you can take care of right now. You simply create an account, name your blog and choose a template and you’ll be ready to get started making blog entries. Once you get comfortable with the basic process of blogging, be sure to visit the “Help” section of the Blogger website to learn more about advanced uses and blogging options.

    Do Blogs Need Pictures?

    Teenage girl taking a picture with camera

    One question that commonly pops up is “Do you really need a picture for a blog?” The answer is no. Imagery is there to enhance your content. Above all the purpose of including an image with your blog should not be to make up for weak content.

    Pictures are also more appropriate for certain types of blogs rather than others. For instance a blog about modern art or architecture might require pictures more than a blog about the latest computer chip would.

    However there is no reason why the occasional picture can’t be used to augment your writing even if you are using a blog to sell a very dry product such as computer software. The true purpose of an illustration or photograph is to enhance your blog, not detract from it. If the image enhances the point you want to make or is even a well-attuned metaphor for what you are trying to say, then by all means use it.

    TS-Night-Photography

    One problem is that some blog templates are not that friendly when it comes to uploading pictures. In this case it is possible to have the image open in a separate web page so it does not interfere with the layout of your blog. This also gives your reader the choice of whether they want to bother looking at the image or not.

    One design rule regarding images is to keep them all the same size. There is nothing that messes up the look of a well designed blog more than having differently sized photographs scattered all over the page. Another problem that you may likely encounter when uploading images onto a blog template is the issue of having to fit the image into a predetermined size. This can mean the image is squished, elongated or stretched laterally. If this is a problem, then don’t bother uploading an image at all.

    Finding Your Blogging Niche

    images

    Finding your blogging niche should be one of the aspects of blogging which the blogger carefully considers before starting a blog. This is especially important if the blogging is being done for the purpose of financial compensation. Ideally a blog owner should select a blog subject about which they are passionate and knowledgeable. However, bloggers should also carefully consider the direct competition as well as the purpose of the blog before starting their blog. This article will discuss these considerations in greater detail in an attempt to assists bloggers in choosing a subject for a new blog. This information is applicable to both bloggers who are completely new to blogging as well as experienced bloggers who are considering starting a new blog.

    Isolating Your Interests

    One of the first considerations for a new blogger is his personal interests. This is important because a blogger who is passionate and knowledgeable about a particular subject will not only have an easy time coming up with ideas for new blog posts but will also likely be highly successful. This success will likely be attributable to the fact that blog visitors can sense his passion for the subject matter and greatly appreciate the knowledgeable posts which are informative and accurate.

    The interests of the blogger may run the gamut from subjects which are widely popular to subjects which are of interest to only a small subset of the population. However, there will likely be interested readers regardless of the subject of the blog. Therefore bloggers are not discouraged from opting to blog about even the most obscure subjects. However, bloggers who are seeking financial gain through high blog traffic should consider selecting a topic which appeals to a larger audience.

    Evaluating the Competition

    Once a blogger has selected one or more subjects he is considering for a blog, it is time to begin evaluating the competition. This includes viewing other blogs covering the same subject matter. This will not only give the blogger a good indication of whether or not the market is already saturated with blogs on this subject and the quality of the existing blogs on this subject. Based on this information the blogger can make an informed decision about whether or not he feels capable of competing for blog traffic with the existing blogs.

    Considering the Purpose of the Blog

    Another important consideration for bloggers is the purpose of the blogs. Blogs can be created for a variety of reasons including financial compensation, personal use or to promote a cause. Bloggers who are starting a blog for personal use may only wish to consider their own interests when starting a blog because they are not likely seeking high blog traffic. However, bloggers who are creating a blog for purposes of generating a profit or promoting a cause do have to consider factors such as the ability to generate blog traffic. In these cases the blogger should choose a subject which appeals to a large audience. Additionally, the Internet should not already be saturated with blogs on this subject because it will likely be difficult for the new blog to garner a share of blog traffic. Finally, blog owners should consider the quality of the blog they are capable of creating on a particular subject. The blogger should choose a subject where he is confident he can not only make regular posts but also ensure these posts are original, informative and interesting.