Hey y’all! Today I’m sharing the final guest post of this month from my lovely friend Callie at Callie Gisler all about why your editorial calendar just isn’t working. I hope y’all enjoy.
Reasons Your Editorial Calendar Isn’t Working
You probably have you a system for keeping track of projects, meetings and all the important stuff in daily life. I do too. But if you put our systems next to each other, they might look completely different. This is probably especially true for how we organize our blog posts and content ideas. I’m a spreadsheet sort of gal, but maybe you’re running the show with a spiffy Trello spread or even just sticky notes above your desk.
Whatever your blog organization system looks like, let’s call it your “editorial calendar.” This is a space where you capture your content ideas and organize them (hopefully) in some sort of timeline before hitting publish. Even though there’s no one-size-fits-all format, editorial calendars give you an overview of where you content is going and when it gets there. The right system will give you clarity and direction, as well as add some consistency to the content you’re working so hard to create.
But remember, your editorial calendar should be working for you, not the other way around. Struggling to make that happen? Let’s talk about three of the most common reasons your editorial calendar
just isn’t working.
Reason #1: You only map out blog posts.
Grab a notebook and make a list of all the things you consider “content.” Author and digital marketing expert Avinash Kaushik explained it really well: “Content is anything that adds value to the reader’s life.” Did you hear that, lady?
That means blog posts are not the only sort of content you’re creating for your brand! The word is a board label you can put just about anything. Newsletters, downloadables, webinars, Instagram posts and even Periscope broadcasts all count as content—and deserve a place in your calendar because of it. Adding in everything you’re creating gives you that overview I mentioned before, as well as some important insight into the things currently making up your brand.
You might even take it a step further and add your content creation process into your calendar. For example, I’ve add space in my calendar to help me keep track of when a blog post has been edited, published and promoted across my social media channels. It turns an editorial calendar into a working document that pulls its own weight in your blog management process by taking guesswork out of your regular processes.
Reason #2: You forget the darn thing even exists.
It’s easy to put together that calendar, list or master plan… and then never look at it again. I’m totally guilty of this too, so don’t worry. But if you are going to take the time to plan out your content, referring back to your calendar on occasion is an important step in your content strategy. Like I said, if you start to think about your editorial calendar as a working document, you’re more likely to use it as a prominent tool in your daily work.
Just like you’d sit down regularly to touch base with a virtual assistant or team member, you can do the same thing with your editorial calendar. Even blog the time off in your calendar each week for “content planning.” I love doing mine over a cup of coffee in the morning, especially on days I’m planning to dive into the writing process.
My own calendar currently lives in Google Drive so I have access to it wherever I go. Or if you prefer a hard copy, print out your calendar to hang above your desk or transfer it into a go-anywhere notebook you don’t mind hauling with you. Just make sure it’s a tool you can access and update regularly.
Reason #3: You take it way too seriously.
Yes, deadlines are important.. But when it comes to your own content planning, you have a lot more flexibility than an editor might give you. Your calendar is there to keep you organized, not bind you to a rigid blogging schedule that no longer excites you. Or stresses you out because things have begun to pile up in other areas of your life.
You have the ability to move content around, add in sparkling new ideas or cut things out completely. I’m giving you complete permission to make a creative mess! Move things around based on your inspiration of the moment. Try out a different medium if that old blog series starts to feel stale. Or scrap an idea entirely if it just isn’t feeling right to you anymore.
Callie Gisler is a public relations and communications strategist helping creative women show up and be seen in their online businesses. She is also the host of the highly popular Creative Coffee Hour Twitter chat — hosted every Monday at 6 p.m. (PST). Read more at http://www.calliegisler.com.
What does your current content calendar look like? Leave a comment and tell me how you are mapping out your big ideas. Or grab Callie’s Communications for Creatives workbook to start getting serious about your content strategy.
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