As I mentioned in my earlier post I am using this time to get myself and clients organized for the busy year ahead. One of the key items helping me with planning is an editorial calendar.
Have you set one up for yourself yet? Do you blog or regularly contribute to a newsletter? If so, you should take a few hours now and implement an editorial calendar.
For those of you not familiar with what this is, it is a plan you create that outlines what topic you will be discussing and when. Seems simple enough…and it is, it just takes a bit of preplanning.
I love, love, love excel and created a spreadsheet for myself to track everything. Here is my version of an Editorial Calendar that you can easily adapt for your own use.
This document has 3 worksheets:
I use as a dumping ground of any and every idea that pops into my head. Some of these ideas may never get used, but can often trigger a thought for something else down the road. Also be sure to include names and contact information of potential people to speak to about guest posts or interviews.
This sheet has all the dates listed so I can organize my topic ideas by month and plan which date they will be published. I also include image file names and links that I will use in the post. It is much easier to have these in one place then to go searching when the time comes.
Published – my favourite worksheet
I created this worksheet to track what has been published from the calendar and the actual date it was published. This tab is also important as I use it to track all activity related to the post i.e. tweets, comments, follows etc. Were people more responsive because of the topic, the tone of the post or was it because of the time of day the article was published? These are valuable insights you will gain from tracking reader engagement and will help you develop your calendar as you move forward.
Now, none of this is set in stone and you are allowed to switch things up. The calendar is a way to help you stay organized, stay on track and be successful.
What tips/tools do you use to ensure your social media strategy stays on track?
(photo courtesy of Flickr/ Sarah Parrott)