Editorial calendars. All the best publications use them. They help plan the work to be done, and keep the content and marketing departments on track.
Guess what? Solopreneurs need editorial calendars, too. Just because you don’t have a team, don’t assume an editorial calendar isn’t for you.
Here are just five of the many reasons you should start using an editorial calendar for your WordPress site. You:
- Will always know what to write about — bye, bye writer’s block!
- Can schedule your own time more efficiently
- Can plan your writing around special events
- Can plan a content theme for the week or the month
- If you accept direct advertising on your site, you can contact advertisers to let them know how their message will fit with upcoming content you have planned
If you’ve not used one, here’s how to quickly get your content planning organized.
#1. Plan Around Holidays and Events
Sit down with a regular calendar and note upcoming holidays and special events that you can tie in with your content.
#2. Come Up With Some Themes and Ideas
Generate ideas for ways to capitalize on relevant business themes. Some are obvious — if you’re a chocolatier, you probably already know you get a lot of business around February 14th and late March – early April (Valentine’s Day and Easter).
What if your business isn’t so obvious, though? Brainstorm ideas that work in your industry or niche, and put them on the editorial calendar. Does one of your advertisers have an enormous Christmas in July sale every year? Plan some supporting content.
#3. Fill in the Empty Spaces
Now brainstorm ideas to fill the gaps. Is there a business theme you can focus on during a month that doesn’t include holidays or events? Write it down.
Is your editorial calendar taking shape now? Great! Now it’s time to transfer all that hard work to an editorial calendar. But what should you use? Common choices include a:
- Paper calendar or whiteboard
- Online calendar
- WordPress plugin
I prefer to use a WordPress plugin. Fortunately, there are some good choices available.
There’s an excellent basic editorial calendar, called simply, Editorial Calendar. It lets you:
- See when all your posts are scheduled
- Drag and drop to reschedule
- Manage drafts, even with multiple authors
If you want a bit more, though, check out CoSchedule by TodayMade. It’s the one I use.
It’s not free, although you can start with a free trial. But for what it offers, it’s a bargain.
It has all the usual editorial calendar features — all your posts show up on the calendar, you can drag and drop to reschedule, and you can manage each step of the writing and publishing process, for an individual or a team.
And then… you can schedule social media posts directly from CoSchedule.
This is an enormous time savings. It’s so much faster and easier to create your social media content at the same time as you’re creating your site content.
CoSchedule can post to:
- Google Plus
Link up your Buffer account for even more options.
They offer calendars for solopreneurs, small teams and large companies. Depending on which plan you choose, use CoSchedule as a calendar for marketing, workflow management with a team, and social media. The larger plans include integrations with other tools like Google Docs and Evernote. They claim it’s an all-in-one publishing solution, and it pretty much is.
I mentioned before that this is a premium plugin, but they do offer several ways you can offset the costs.
Using an editorial calendar — whichever one you choose — will make your content creation easier.
Do you use an editorial calendar currently? Which one do you use?