Simply stated, an editorial calendar is a way to organize what you are posting online and where. That’s it. It’s not scary. It’s awesome. This way you can organize themes and special events and keep everyone on the same page.
We’ve used two different kinds for our clients. We started with one like this—one that is very basic and great for beginners. (Feel free to use this template if you’re just starting out.) Now we’ve adopted a more complicated spreadsheet version on Google Docs. This has been great because we all have access to it and it’s more fluid than a paper version. It’s pretty nifty.
However you choose to set yours up, be sure to include days you’ll be posting to the blog and blog topics, holidays and other events, and the posts for your various channels. Ours even has a color-coded system that shows what images need to be found or made and what posts have already been done. (See the picture below.) Here’s a cool tip: if you use spreadsheet and save it as a .csv, you can upload the posts straight to Hootsuite! Check that out!
It’s important to be thorough, consistent, and realistic about your time. This will create a clear and direct editorial calendar. From here, you can fill things in as you find them and keeps everything in one place. Then when it’s time to post, you know what you want to post and where to find it. It also gives you a chance to plan ahead for events, holidays, and other marketing opportunities, instead of having to throw something together last minute or miss it altogether.
This is a peek at what our editorial calendar looks like.
It’s easy as that. If you have a hard time getting started, or finding a system that works for you, we’re always happy to help!