Staying organized is one of the most important elements to having a successful business. Being organized isn’t just about finances and due dates, it’s also about blogs and social media. In today’s world of technology, having a website with a blog and social media accounts are all a must. You can use them to stay in contact with your customers, expand your customer base, brand yourself, advertise and establish you as a leader in your industry.
In order to keep all these accounts organized you need to create an editorial calendar. Editorial calendars help to control and organize when you’re posting and what you’re posting. You should have separate calendars for your blog and your social media accounts.
The first step you need to take in order to create your editorial calendar is to decide how often you want to post. Readers like to follow blogs that are reliable and constant. If you choose to post every Wednesday, then post every Wednesday. Don’t skip weeks here and there. You have to make it a priority to stay on track.
Once you know how often you are going to post, get out your pen and paper. Write down as many ideas as you can for article topics. Brainstorming should take you a few hours. Write down every idea you have, whether you think it’s a good one or not.
Next you need to pull out your monthly calendar. You should plan as far out in advance as you can. I prefer to plan every quarter (3 months). If you can plan ahead you know what’s coming and you can be prepared.
It’s good for businesses to have social media accounts. There are several social media platforms out there to choose from. But with all those accounts it can be hard to keep track of all your posts. It can get very confusing and frustrating. You might find yourself falling behind, posting the wrong thing on the wrong platform or even struggling to find something to post in the first place.
Editorial calendars are great for keeping track of what you post, where you post it and when to post it. You can use your calendar to schedule a theme for all your posts to follow. Make sure that you don’t post the same thing, word for word, across your social media accounts. Change them up.
You can also use your calendar to actually write out your posts. That way you don’t have to sit at the computer when it’s time to post and think about what you should write. You can just look at your calendar and copy down whatever you came up with before.
There are online tools out there you can use to help keep track of your posts. One such tool is Hootsuite. Hootsuite allows you to schedule out your posts on certain social media platforms. (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Four Square.) You can use this in conjunction with your editorial calendar.
- It will help you stay organized to have one master calendar and then separate more detailed calendars for each type of task. You master calendar can show the dates you are going to post on your blogs and social media accounts. Your detailed calendars can show what you’re going to post, what links and hashtags you’ll use, what theme you have going that month, etc.
- I have had various types of editorial calendars for different blogs and social media accounts. Some are very strict about when and what I need to post, others consist of all the dates I need to post and then a list of topics to choose from.
Create a calendar that works for you and your work. Don’t settle for something that is too confusing or too simple. An editorial calendar is supposed to help you stay organized. It should contain enough information that you know what you need to accomplish that week or that day but not so full that you spend all your time on the calendar instead of your actual tasks.
- As you schedule each topic and post, keep in mind holidays and special events that you know are coming up. You can substitute an article with an announcement or a holiday greeting.
- Pay attention to what’s trending on social media and what’s going on in the news, especially when it has to do with your industry or niche. If there is something big going on that influences your readers, address it. This is one of those times that you can drop whatever topic you had picked for that week and write about what’s relevant.
Editorial calendars can help you stay organized, up to date and on task. Create one that works for you and use it to increase your productivity.
Bio: Kathryn Mott works for PMI as an SEO expert. She maintains their blogs and updates social media accounts. She enjoys writing and learning about what’s new in SEO.