Editorial calendars have become more important than they have ever been the last decade or so. You want to know why? It’s because an increasing number of people are starting to rely on their own blogging and social media efforts to make money. Aggressive promotion is no longer solely applied to businesses, organizations, and the like.
Whether you’re trying to get clients to invest in their services or trying to get a big enough audience for their blog so it can be a viable means of generating income (through ads and the like), content creation has become one of the most significant ways by which you can earn money. But content creation is hard work, and can sometimes be overwhelming. Editorial calendars make things much easier for you—they keep your work organized, help you stay on a schedule, and save you some much-needed time and energy.
Of course, the ability to run blogs/promote one’s self over social media relies heavily on the efficiency of the editorial calendars set up by the people concerned. So how do you make sure you’ve set up a good editorial calendar for yourself?
Know what the calendar is for
Here’s something you must keep in mind: the overall efficiency of editorial calendars is based on whether or not they can serve the purpose you want them to serve. For example, do you want your calendar to help you build your brand over time? Then it should primarily focus on which relevant topics you will be focusing on which (hopefully relevant) weeks. If you want your calendar to help you attract more followers or readers, then it should focus on when and what you will post on certain social media sites.
In fact, it’s just as important that you take the specific industry you’re focusing on into consideration. For example, editorial calendars for tech bloggers can only be strictly scheduled for a span of up to two weeks—because so much is happening in the tech industry. On the other hand, craft bloggers can plan for up to a whole year—it’s rare for that industry to release cutting-edge products and services.
Never “overbook” it
The thing with creating editorial calendars is that it can be really tempting to fill up every square inch of that calendar with a topic or activity to make it seem like you’re a really busy, productive, and efficient person. But that’s not really how it works. When you do that, you only overwhelm yourself. Why? It’s because when you overbook your schedule, the chances of you completing what you’ve set out to do in the first place are slim to none. And that will most likely dishearten you instead of inspire you.
If you really want to get things done, then you have to put some blanks in that schedule and (this is important!) mark all the tasks that you’ve accomplished. Not only do these things let you actually finish something at a comfortable pace, they also give you an actual sense of accomplishment. With the added bonus of reminding you which things have and have not been done, you can ensure that all you’re focusing on are the things that you’ve decided are important for your blog or social media efforts. And it’s all without feeling like it’s the end of the world every time you have a “deadline”.
Bonus tip: Make sure it’s in a format you find comfortable
Editorial calendars may be actual calendars; you can use anything from email to fax as a reminder of what you’re meant to be doing that week. You can use Google Calendar to schedule your editorial tasks, or (if you’re using WordPress) you can find plugins that help you with your blog posting schedule.
No matter which method or format you choose, you have to make sure that it’s something that you actually ENJOY using. If you don’t, then you’re not likely to follow the calendar that you’ve set up for yourself. Remember, editorial calendars are there to help you—they’re not there to make your life miserable.