If you’re new to the idea of setting up an editorial calendar for your blog and social media channels, or if you want a unique way of setting one up, you’re in luck! Today I’ll be sharing my four-step process for developing, implementing and maintaining an efficient + effective blog content and social media editorial calendar.
What is a Blog Content and Social Media Editorial Calendar?
A blog content and social media editorial calendar is a centralized document that displays the next 3 – 12 months’ worth of strategically planned content. Your editorial calendar will take into account your business initiatives, timely events, goals, personality, and style.
If you have a blog with more than one writer, I write all of my own blog content and posts, this calendar will also help you see who’s clearly responsible for what tasks and content pieces, as well as the social media channels they are to be shared in.
In a nutshell, content calendars are a powerful tool that allow you to strategically fine-tune, unify and grow your readership and business!
How To Create Your Blog Content and Social Media Editorial Calendar
Here’s my four-step process for developing, implementing and maintaining an efficient + effective blog content and social media editorial calendar.
1. Figure Out The Main Focus and Topics For The Month.
a. Brainstorm a list of ideas and topics based on things you want to blog about. Make a list of posts that showcase who you are as a brand; your voice, your personality, your style. Also, check out: How To Create A List of Blog Post Ideas, for additional tips and ideas.
b. Understand the past, plan for the future. If you’ve been blogging for at least a year (and you’ve had Google Analytics tracking your site and posts), you will have documentation that will allow you to look back over what you have done in the past to better inform you what to do in the future. Take the most successful posts; whether they contained high traffic numbers, drove a number of sales or had a lot of reader engagement, and repurpose/refresh the concept or idea into your new editorial calendar.
c. Look at seasonal trends and holidays. I love how Ahalogy came up with a 2015 printable editorial calendar with seasonal trends and topics you might want to cover – plus a general timeline of when to cover those topics. For example; two days before Thanksgiving isn’t the best time to share your Thanksgiving tablescape ideas ladies! Mid-September through Mid-November is the time.
Download Ahalogy Editorial Calendar Here.
2. Find Out How Long It Takes, From Idea to Execution. It’s important to get a good idea of how long it takes you to create a blog post and post for each social media channel. That way you’ll have a better idea of how long before an event you should get to work writing, designing or creating, and photographing the post.
A great idea: I like to take my brainstorm list of ideas and topics, from step 1 above, and jot down some additional things I want to say, relevant content to link (like previous blog posts) and possible images. This helps me to decide and speed up the entire process!
3. Decide How Often To Post. This depends on different factors like your type of business, your audience, the campaign and which social media channels you use. Always keep your ideal target customer and audience in mind – you don’t want to be bombarding them with posts that are irrelevant or not appropriate to you/your business!
Determine a general outline, something like this:
- Facebook: 3-12 times per week
- Twitter: at least 3 times a day
- Pinterest: 3-7 times per week
- Instagram: 2-3 times a day
Your post frequency will depend on your available time and content. The key thing to remember… don’t send out less than stellar content to meet these guidelines, otherwise you could hurt your brand. Determine your ‘rhythm’ and determine what works best for you and your business.
4. Fill Up Your Blog Content and Social Media Editorial Calendar. Now that you have the process in place, now is the time to start filling up your editorial calendar. I use Google Calendar, learn more here.
a. Think through your must-haves. Whether it’s a product (or service) release, a how-to, holiday or simple announcement, you’ll want to add these to your calendar.
b. Time Allotments. Make sure you’re providing the time needed plus the time when to cover those topics on the blog AND within your social media channels – I place topics in specific dates and deadlines on the calendar! Remember: Thanksgiving should be covered mid-September to mid-November, not 2 days before the holiday… in order to get the most from your efforts!
c. Fill in the calendar with relevant holidays or events. Everything from Christmas to National Donut Day – that you can tie in with your blog or business. I use national fun holiday listings, like this one for 2016.
d. Showcase your personality. Add posts to your calendar that highlight your brand, your style and your personality.
THE KEY: DEVELOP CONTENT THAT PROMOTES YOUR GOALS AND INITIATIVES!
By filling out your editorial calendar with your business goals, initiatives and aims in mind, plus the infusion of timely events, you will easily populate your calendar and bring personality to your feeds!
I hope you find my four-step process on how to create your blog content and social media editorial calendar useful. For me personally, it’s been a stress reliever and life saver! It allows me to develop quality content that my readers love, while continually growing my following… and bank account!
Google Analytics is just ONE of many blog resources I use or recommend. To see my full list of blogging resources, go here!