An editorial calendar is a road map for your marketing content.
An editorial calendar buys you peace of mind because you don’t have to scramble for what to say or share. Ideas are stored and worked on over time rather than in a panic at the last minute.
©Kristen Watson, FEED (Alone, together). Mixed media installation, part of the Digital Immigrant project. Click image for more details on media and dimensions. Used with permission.
Wouldn’t it feel great to have ideas lined up for your newsletter or blog for the next six months?
Another big reason to use an editorial calendar is that it helps you remember the important things you want to say. You know … those things you forget about until immediately after you’ve clicked the Send button?
For example, let’s say you are teaching a workshop six months from now. You would add promotional content to your editorial calendar for the month or two prior to your workshop, and perhaps even before that time if you had an early registration period.
Those are placeholders for the future. When that time comes, you just open up that file, page, or document and get to work. In the meantime, you are continually adding notes to your ideas.
Newspapers, magazines, and bloggers use editorial calendars to plan their content.
You can do the same by creating an editorial calendar for your newsletter, blog, and social media.
©Niall Leavy, Mesmerize. Watercolor and goldleaf on paper, 50 x 54 centimeters. Used with permission.
What to Include
When working on your editorial calendar, pull out your big calendar and review your projects, exhibitions, and events.
What do you have coming up?
What could you relate to seasonal or current events?
What do you need to tell people about? Invite them to?
Your editorial calendar includes these five items:
- Topic to be featured (original and curated articles, images, audio, and/or video) – always focused around your art
- Notes about the topic
- Additional people involved or required to make it happen
- Dates of publication
- Deadlines of note
The amount of detail you include depends on your needs.
©Ellie Harold, Bejeweled. Oil on canvas, 36 x 48 x 1.5 inches.
Used with permission.
How to Store Your Calendar
The key to storing your editorial calendar is to make it as user-friendly as possible. If you’re always tweaking the format or refreshing your memory on how it’s organized, your calendar isn’t working for you.
Keep. It. Simple.
I always caution my students and clients not to try fixing something that isn’t broken. If you love pen and paper, I wouldn’t take that away from you. But make sure you have a storage system for your ideas that makes it easy to find.
I have tried using a spreadsheet in Numbers (Apple’s version of Excel) and keeping my plan in a FileMaker Pro database. Neither worked for me, but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t work for you.
I eventually settled upon using Evernote for my editorial calendar, where I can add to the ideas as I research or discover information that might contribute to the article.
Alyson’s six-week “Creative Content Camp” begins tomorrow. If you want to discover:
• Generate at least 100 ideas for your newsletter, blog posts, and social media updates.
• Measure the success of your efforts and tweak what isn’t effective.
• Create and use an editorial calendar (so you know exactly what to do and when to do it).
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