How to create an editorial calendar your fans will love » Stellar Marketing Activity
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“Gee Sarah how do you get so much content created and still have a life?”
“Well I don't watch TV and I use an editorial calendar…”
“You don't watch TV?”
“Wrong question Sunshine… you were meant to ask about the editorial calendar”

You'll hear a lot of stories about not creating too much content, only blogging when you have something to say, create one piece of content and then promote it until your fingers bleed… and usually this is from people who are overwhelmed with the amount of content being created in their niche. What they mean is there's too much content for the sake of it and not enough meaningful content.

Well, you're a smart content creator, you're different. You understand you don't operate in the same niche as the people who say there's too much content… that you don't have to look at the online arena as a whole, you just have to look at the part you play in. In order to get content marketing generating interaction and leads for your business, you need to create a great deal of content to share on multiple platforms and in multiple formats.

At first this is overwhelming. I recall trying to get 50 words for my first blog post and struggling after writing just 10. Now you can't shut me up much before 300 words. How times have changed… The question I'm asked the most about content creations is how do you get it all done?

Start with turning off the TV, watch TV on demand and watch it on your own schedule and not the programmers schedule. And then look at creating an editorial calendar your fans will love. I mean just look at the TV station's content creation schedule: create and say not a lot. Edit and start generating a buzz, display the content in prime viewing time, after work and when dinner is finished. Repurpose into a DVD boxset, add in extras and deleted scenes and price at a premium.. yup, charge people for what they saw for free on the TV.

Content marketers create more by creating an editorial calendar to outline their content.

An editorial calendar helps you stay talking to your ideal reader and perfect customer. If it doesn't benefit her, then it doesn't get done. Following your editorial calendar means you know when your content needs to be published, how it impacts upon your reader and how long you've got to created that piece. It enables you to put your marketing and business priorities at the front of your content creation agenda.

Realistic Goals When Content Marketing

An important element in creating an editorial calendar is to make sure it's realistic. You shouldn't set a goal of blogging three times a week if you can't keep up with it, and I recommend all my clients start off with 30 consecutive posts. Firstly it helps them find their voice quicker (if they haven't found it already) and secondly they start to develop the writing habit.

If your schedule is unrealistic, you'll get bogged down in the minutiae and become stressed. This will have a negative impact upon your content… meaning you won't create it.

You can create a realistic schedule by doing a trial run. I recommend three times a week if you have a good writing habit, you can scale it up or down as you need to. Decide how much content you'd like to publish and try it for a set period of time such as four weeks.

Trying it for a week just won't cut it, you need to try it for at least 4 weeks. You'll gain an understanding of how much is too much, or whether or not you can do more.

Watch what your content does

You can alter and adjust your editorial calendar by looking at results. If you find that certain types of content (for example, Facebook posts or videos) are getting more engagement, you can add more of them to your calendar. On the other hand, if you find that your articles aren't drawing traffic or gaining fans, you should choose to focus your efforts elsewhere. Be where your audience is, and your content will be more effective.

Your Content Creation Schedule

There are two ways to go about creating your content. You can spend some time daily producing it, or set aside a block of time each week or so to create the week's content. If you're not sure which approach is best for you, try them both for a set period of time. As I mentioned above I get my clients writing for at least 30 minutes a day, every single day.

But what do I add to my editorial calendar?

Okay you have a few options when it comes to creating an editorial calendar for you blog.

  • If you have a WordPress blog you can use the editorial calendar plugin
  • You can use an Excel spreadsheet
  • You can use a diary

I prefer the diary simply because it has the main holidays listed in it already. If your customers are US based then you might prefer a US diary, yes, the diary has to be based around the nationality of your ideal fan. Then I add in all the school holidays. Note her time zone, will you share in the beginning, middle or end of her day?

The next step is to add in all the important conferences that will be of interest to my ideal reader – which ones will she go to? Which ones would she want updates from?

Then I open Blog Energizer and add in all the crazy days… national jam day, towel day and spaghetti day… these are for on the spot ideas.

Think back to the TV show… an episode every week… same time, same place and in a series format. What's not to love? Not a lot as we're all glued to the screen. Each episode is about the story, in sequence… it's rarely about the actors and the writers until the show hits cult status and at that stage the fans influence everything.

So I take a look at what products I have, what my potential customers would like to read and at what time… I talk more about creating a content creation schedule on my blogging webinar. Stop by, and we'll talk some more.

In content creation, as in all things, nothing gets done without a clear plan and a workable schedule. Your editorial calendar is an important part of your content marketing campaign and an important part of how you'll generate sales with your business blog. More importantly if it's done right then you'll be creating an editorial calendar that your fans will love, and like the broadcasting networks you'll know months in advance what goes where, and why.

What's on your editorial calendar that readers will love?