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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7 Reasons – Why Do We Blog.

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Did you ever ask yourself, why do you blog, or why do you have to? Nowadays on Internet there are more than 70 millions blogs, and it is interesting what purposes do they pursue?

Until recently, to make money online was not easy for usual people like we. 4-5 years ago it was difficult to earn something on the Net until WEB 2.0 era had came. The only way which could help us in that time was website creating, it’s promotion, and selling of advertising places.

Today everything changed. Blog fever amplifies day by day, and everyone, who heard something about blogs, wants to have it. So, why? Lets try to make some supervisions.

1. Glory. The vanity was, is and will be always. Whether is necessary to be surprised that people wish to be famous? Look at how many amazing people did you know since you have enjoyed blogging. Seth Godin, Steve Pavlina, Darren Rowse… Did you ever know them if not blogs?

2. Self-expression. Many people are blogging because it gives them some charge of energy. I created this blog because I just want to share of my thoughts… Why not? And there are guys, who are the professionals in different spheres, but they don’t have another opportunities of expression. Internet is the best instrument for people like we.

Internet is not developed even on a half and I do not exclude such opportunity, that people will become famous all over again online and only after, in real life. Blogging is what such people need.

3. Job. For many, blogging is a real time job. Companies are hire people to write about their new products and its announcement. Like I wrote in my post Occupation Bloggger, the middle salary of such blogger in US is equal $2,5-3 thousands per month.

4. Sale of own products. Through Internet, we can start selling our products worldwide from the minutes after beginning. Especially if we have an electronic product like eBook or useful software, Internet is the best that we can use. And people use it. Blog helps to realize these purposes.

5. Sale of affiliate products. Recently, are appeared the new techniques, which help anyone to sell affiliate products with help of blog. Check this out.

6. To Help Another. Yes, yes, yes… And why not? I found many blogs of family doctors, radio engineering and even workers of the zoo which are writing about what should we do in different situations.

7. Money Making Online. And eventually people are blogging for the sake of money. Look at Jonh Chow, if to be honest, I’m not against that my blog brings me $18,000. But while I have no such purposes. And John is not alone. For many people blog is a big business. I read somethere, that Engadget make more than $100,000 per month. Youare probably agree with me, that these people don’t have any financial problems. 🙂

Everyone of us have different views, but the are all the same, because blogging join us. Let’s create blogs, promote them and enjoy this process, because it gives us a big opportunities in our lifes.
From Artem Belinskiy. http://www.earnexperience.com

2017 Reading Challenge + Free Printable! 

2017 Reading Challenge + Free Printable! – http://wp.me/p7nPjT-Aq

It’s the last day of the year and frankly I am (A) very glad that 2016 is finally over and there is a chance that 2017 will be so much more better, and (B) stupefied about how quick time has passed!

One of the things that I want to improve in the coming year is reading classics! I say it every year and every year I failed miserably.

This time I decided it would be different! To track my progress I created my first printable for «Classic a Month» challenge that I created for myself for the next year! (If you are interested in it, make sure to tag along! I will try to post updates at least once a month where we can share our progress – we will make it with this community´s support!)

You can DOWNLOAD FREE PRINTABLE for «Classic a Month» 2017 reading challenge  Hope it will be helpful to keeping track of your progress.

Since this is the first ever printable that I´ve created, I decided to keep it simple but elegant. I wanted for it to be black and white so everyone can print it out without a need of fancy papers or colours. However, for the future I am thinking of making both variations of printables – black and white and coloured version. (Let’s see how this goes and if you enjoy it 🙂 )

Make sure to leave any tips or recommendations in the comment down below!

With love,

Alex

7 Tips to Building Your Blog’s Readership

reading-news-on-tablets

Attracting traffic to a blog or a web site is challenging enough. So from the very beginning, when you start to see visitors coming to read your blog, be sure that they feel comfortable to stick around. And there are a number of ways you can help them to do just that.

Here are seven vital ingredients for building a successful blog with a loyal following.

1. Publish Regularly.

As your readers become familiar with the frequency of your posts, it will influence their visiting behavior. If your readers know that you post fresh content every day, they will probably come every day to read it. If they know you post on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, that’s when they will come.

2. Stay on Topic.

Stick to your niche. If your blog doesn’t have a niche, give it one. Readers like blog’s that are focused on a particular theme or topic. If you have no theme and just post about anything, then readers are less likely to become passionate about your blog and will probably move on to somewhere else.

3. Use Meaningful Titles in Posts.

This not only announces clearly what the post is about, but it will help people navigate your blog and also influence your ranking with search engines.

4. Interact With Your Readers.

Think of your blog like a conversation. You post. Readers comment. Be active and be positive as you interact and converse with your readers.

5. Highlight Your Best Posts.

Don’t let your best posts get lost in your archives. It’s always a good idea to link to your best posts from a ‘best posts’ category on the main page.

6. Provide Good Navigation to Popular Pages

If you help people find the key pages within your blog, their visit will be a much more enjoyable experience.

7. Avoid Not Posting for Extended Periods.

If someone visits your blog and discovers that the last post was three weeks ago, they will probably be disappointed. If you don’t post, people may give you the benefit of the doubt and come back on a few days to check, but you better believe they will lose interest quickly if you fall out of your regular schedule and stop posting.

There you have it. Seven little tips that will make a big difference to your blog’s readership. It’s not rocket science. It’s just using some common sense when posting and interacting with your readers.

8 Ways To Use A Blog To Develop Content For Your Book

8 Ways To Use A Blog To Develop Content For Your Book.png
1. Participate in the blogosphere: Read and comment on other blogs in your field. This is a prime way to build readership of your blog. It is also a way of getting fresh content for both your blog and for your book.

To check out other blogs in your niche: use http://www.blogsearch.google.com, http://www.technorati.com, or http://www.google.com.

This is also a good way to get ideas. What are other people in your field writing about? What are the major challenges of the people in your field? If you have competitors, check them out. They may be a great help in inspiring you for content ideas, different slants and perspectives. The old song, “Anything you can do, I can do better,” comes to mind.

2. Ask readers to comment on your blog. In fact, each time you post something, ask them a question. Then spell it out to them on how to post a comment because your readers will probably need to be educated or at least encouraged to comment. (“Click on the comment link in the footer of this post, and leave your responses.”)

Sometimes readers will need assurances of privacy, in which case, you can ask them to email you their questions or comments in private. Others are not worried about privacy because after all, a blog isn’t meant to be private. However, readers can be shy about commenting, and need encouragement.

You may also encourage them to respond by telling them that you would like to use their replies in your book, but will only do so with their permission.

3. Survey your readers, do a mini-study on their preferences, their experiences, etc. The Internet is the fastest way to acquire some statistics of readers’ preferences. Far from being a scientifically validated study that would pass muster in universities with academicians, an informal survey can give you ideas and material to write about. It can also confirm that you are addressing the concerns of your readers.

4. Run a contest for the best idea, funniest experience, most influential or heart-grabbing situation. If you want to use these readers’ responses for content in your book, you should tell them. Many people jump at the chance to be included in a book. Others may prefer to participate anonymously. You can give them both options.

Here’s an example of how one writer asked his readers for input:

Do You Have A Broken WIndows Story?
Michael Levine’s new book, Broken WIndows, Broken Business is being released later this month. Many people feel this is going to be a mega best-seller.

We have set up a website, where you can rant about broken windows in your everyday experience… Check it out at BrokenWindows.com.

People love to share their experiences, and they love to rant, or rave. Just ask.

5. Ask your readers to attend a teleseminar based on the needs, challenges, concepts and ideas of your blog readers. This is a great way to go deeper into the problems and solutions you are writing about. You can record the sessions, transcribe the dialogue, convert the teleseminar to audio and PDF files. These can be sold, or given away as marketing materials for your book.

6. Use your blog site meter stats to examine what are the most popular articles posted. This information will guide you to expand on the topics and subtopics that capture the interests of readers.

7. Consistently reconnect with your passion, and ignite and inspire others with similar interests. After you’ve been blogging for awhile, you will probably develop good blogging habits:

a. Write something on your blog daily, or at least 2-3 times a week.

b. Read other blogs 2-3 times a week. Be sure to use the My Yahoo or other RSS feed buttons to subscribe to your favorite blogs, or sign up to get email updates through a FeedBlitz service on each blog.

c. Write with your readers in mind. And if you’re not sure where their interests lie, ask them. If they’ve found your blog, and have subscribed, chances are you share a lot in common.

d. If you ever fall into blog-block, reconnect with your core purpose for the blog (remember, the one you wrote out before starting your blog?). When this happens there is usually a reason, although it may not be clear to you at the time. This will pass. You can help it along by asking questions – of your readers, yourself, your closest allies.

8. Podcasting – Create audio files easily by scheduling teleclasses and recording them. Some people like to get their information auditorily and at their convenience by downloading mp3 files to their iPods.

Use a free teleconferencing bridge line like http://www.freeconference.com to host a call. Record your call, upload the audio file and then post to your blog or podcast using a service like http://www.audioblog.com.

As an added benefit, you can get these calls transcribed; then convert the word doc to a PDF file which you can either give away, or sell, in exchange for people’s email address; http://www.CastingWords.com is a fast, affordable transcription service.

30 day blog challenge 

30 day blog challenge – http://wp.me/p8h6zg-3r

30-day-blogging-challenge4-2

My FIRST Fashion Show – NEC Moda Fashion

BY RACHEL ORMAN

So, how does one even describe their first fashion show?

Beautiful. Exciting. Networking. Eye Openings….. The possibilities for description are endless…

As an emerging blogger this was my first time at a professional event.

I attended armed with my phone ready to take pictures and having gone through my postal pack with catalogues containing new season designs. The event I attended was Moda Fashion Weekend at the NEC. The date: 19 – 21 Feb 2017.

Due to time limitations. I mainly attended the lingerer catwalk, took pictures and took a walk around all the stands , which was a lot!

My Highlights!

-Being asked for my contact details at one of the stands and to contact them about marketing.

-The amazing experience of a choreographed catwalk. The music, the professionalism and special effects were astounding.

-Sitting in the front row with the photographers.

-Freebies!

-My first PRESS lanyard

-Getting all dressed up and being amongst people who had made a tremendous effort to look good and well fashioned as a retail / fashion professional.

Things I Learnt  / Would do differently next time

-Always ask before you take photos of products – some people want you too (it’s brilliant promotion), some people don’t (The images on their products may be copyrighted, their products may not be out for the public reveal yet e.t.c).

-Invest in a good camera. My phone performed well, but given all the lighting changes involved at a fashion show. However, investing in a DSLR that I can adjust the setting (exposure, shutter speed, depth of field e.t.c) would be a great idea.

-Make and take business cards and hand them out. If I had gone more prepared with business cards I could have enhanced my networking capabilities and potentially landed more jobs from the event.

-Take a pen and paper and take note of your favourite pieces on the catwalk so you can remember them when typing up your account of the event or when you want to refer back to them.

-Plan ahead. Look at the catwalk scheduled and plan which location you need to be in at what time to see the collections you want to. Then on the day you can see more and don’t have to worry so much about timings.

THANK YOU FOR READING!

Take a look at my pictures for the event and leave comments below! 🙂