There's one sure-fire way to take your blog and Digital Marketing strategy from non-existent or amateur hour to full-blown pro status, and that's to make absolutely sure you've got a plan. We can guarantee that the writers of your favorite blogs and websites aren't sitting at their keyboards at 9pm the night before a post gets published, just finally deciding what to write about. Neither should you.
Going PRO means you always deliver on time and this editorial calendar is your ticket to getting there.
Open up your JM2 Webdesigners Content Calendar and click on the tab for the Planning Worksheet. This is the first tab.Use this year planner to fill in any important dates coming up for your business – think launches or special events, webinars, speaking engagements, and sale or promo dates. Keep this updated with any new or last-minute events and any changes in plans. You always want to know what you're talking about on your blog in the context of what your business is actually doing.
Also add in notes on any dates that might alter the amount of business you get, especially holidays, school years, buying seasons, heck, even the weather could affect your customers' buying habits.
Now, go through and highlight the specific dates on your planning worksheet where you'll be publishing a blog post. Whether you're a once-a-week or a twice-monthly publisher, decide right now exactly which dates you'll publish on, and highlight those days on your planner in a different color.
Pull ideas off your Content Topic Planner that are related (even vaguely) to any of the special dates you noted in your planner. Cut and paste these titles onto the publish dates you highlighted that make the most sense. For instance, if one of the topics on your list includes "20 Holiday Gift Ideas For…" make sure that you're scheduling it with enough time before the holidays for the post to be actionable! Any topic ideas from your Content Topic Planner that are specific to a product or a service you offer would be PERFECT to schedule leading up to a sale you're planning to offer.
Now fill in the blanks! Start with the highlighted date that's closest to today and cut and paste in one of your remaining Topic Planner ideas. Don't leave a SINGLE highlighted date blank.
Flip to the Editorial Calendar tab of your Content Editorial Calendar and pull in your first few months' worth of posts. Insert the Publish Date, Topic, and Category (from the Content Topic Planner). Determine the date you're committed to write the post by and add it in the Written By Date column – make sure this gets added to your to do list so you NEVER catch yourself scrambling to finish a post the night before its scheduled to be published.
Create a Content Breakdown document for each scheduled post and add a link to the document here. That way, when it's time to sit down and write, all you'll need is this Content Calendar and a big cup of coffee or tea!Once posts are published, you can drop the live links into your calendar, so you can look back proudly at the end of your year.
NOTE: Review your editorial calendar every quarter (put it on your calendar so you don't forget!) to make sure your holidays, special events, and business events are all up-to-date and correct. If you've had any changes in business plans, make sure they're reflected on your calendar and that the titles on the publish dates surrounding those events still make sense!
When working with our clients who are using our digital marketing whether it is for social media, a company blog, email marketing or updating their company website we create a template for every single post topic on our content calendar. These templates get passed around our team, where we'll fill in all the moving pieces one at a time.
This means we're able to get images sourced for the post, workshop a bunch of different title ideas, give everything an SEO check, pre-write a few social media updates to insert into our social media queue, make sure we've got all of our outreach needs covered, and write the actual post… all without ever having to leave this doc.
Once the template's complete, the entire package gets dropped in the caring and capable hands of our Content Manager to be formatted, published, and promoted, all in one fell swoop. By doing this we make certain that all of the information is correct and accurate before publishing.
Write no less than 15 headline options here. The best one will become your post title; the remainder can be re-purposed as social media updates or trashed.