The idea of an editorial calendar is nothing new; in fact, it is a scheduling concept that has existed for decades in the publishing world. Major newspapers, magazines and manuscript publishers have always set their watches by an editorial calendar, but it is only recently that this tool has begun to be used by content marketers and social media pros. Simply put, an editorial calendar is something that you use to stay on track, no matter if you are publishing written material to a blog, managing social media platforms, providing guest blog posts, etc. Personally, I highly recommend using an editorial calendar as you examine and reorganize your content writing efforts in 2013. Not only can an editorial calendar keep you on task, it can also really help your analytics.
Why an Editorial Calendar Will Benefit You as a Writer
As a writer and marketer, I am sure that you have some big goals. But I also know that, as a writer, it is very easy to get bogged down by deadlines, watch your to-do list grow and, ultimately, push your personal writing to the side because you simply do not have time for it.
At Grammar Chic, we employ an editorial calendar every day to manage our clients’ work. But at the same time, I also use an editorial calendar to stay on top of Grammar Chic’s press release distribution, blog writing, etc.
Here are some benefits you will experience when you begin your own editorial calendar:
- Improved commitment and accountability. Likely, if you see something written on a calendar and scheduled accordingly, you are going to hold yourself to a higher standard and actually follow through with it. Having a task in writing means that you will have a better chance of completing it.
- Feeling a sense of accomplishment. Face it, everyone loves to check items off a to-do list. Think of an editorial calendar as just that: a non-negotiable to-do list that needs to be completed. You will feel great when you check an item off and this feeling will motivate you to stick to your schedule.
- Greater ability to plan. Creating an editorial calendar will allow you to see the big picture as it relates to your online writing efforts and in turn, it will help you stay organized.
- Managing creativity. Sometimes, as a writer, it can be easy to fall into a rut and continue to write on the same subjects. With an editorial calendar, you will be able to better manage your ideas and make sure that you are staying creative on a day-to-day basis.
How to Set Editorial Calendar Goals
As with any activity, it’s one thing to implement an editorial calendar, but it’s another thing to actually understand what you want to get out of it. Consider these tips:
- Set goals regarding what you want to accomplish. For instance, if you want to plan on writing three blog posts each week and one press release and two tweets per day, schedule those items accordingly. Then, as you move forward, modify your plan as needed. Remember, you must look for improvement opportunities; it doesn’t make any sense and will not do you any good if you scale down your efforts. You should be taking baby steps so you can ramp up in the future.
- Consult your calendar when devising themes. For instance, if you are looking for something new to write about, consider holidays or seasons.
- Constantly assess. Just because you have an editorial calendar going doesn’t mean you can’t still get into a writing rut. It is necessary to assess your work and the progress you are making and modify your calendar accordingly. This might mean adding or subtracting platforms related to social media, or approaching other bloggers about guest posting opportunities. The point is that the editorial calendar is not static; you are not carving your plans in stone. Therefore, modify as needed and keep your content fresh, exciting and compelling.
At the end of the day, the editorial calendar that Grammar Chic has employed both in our personal marketing and on behalf of our professional clients is one that has proven to work. If you are looking for help, advice or simply a trusted partner in your content writing efforts, contact Grammar Chic, Inc. at 803-831-7444 today!
Amanda E. Clark founded Grammar Chic in 2008. She is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University and holds degrees in Journalism, Political Science, and English. She launched Grammar Chic after freelancing for several years while simultaneously leading marketing and advertising initiatives for several Fortune 500 companies.