In the wee hours of the night my almost two year old stood in the kitchen wielding a butter knife demanding tomatoes. It was somewhere between 3:00 and 4am. And my pregnant self, prone to insomnia found that I could not get back to sleep.
So instead I built myself a color-coded publishing and editorial calendar in order to better plan out my content and delineate my marketing strategy.
And I love it.
So much so, I wanted to share it with you to be able to take my system and tailor it to your publishing need.
Why have an editorial calendar?
First, “what is it?” you might ask.
It is a representation of publishing posts prior to an event to gear up for a particular holiday or season, especially if you’re posting content specific to a time frame… such as back to school or Christmas.
Stores do it; therefore, sponsors also do it. And to pitch companies your ideas, you need to be doing so not the week of the next holiday, but more like 3 months in advance.
PLUS, on average it takes approximately 6 weeks for google to index your content. So if you’re looking to maximize your SEO strategy and build your search audience, you want to be publishing 6 weeks before someone would be searching for that topic.
Is it imperative to schedule out posts to publish?
No, you can do what you would like. However, knowing what you’re going to publish and when is powerful.
Plus if you can at least know what topic you will be writing about, it helps you spread the love between your categories.
Consistently rotating your content helps your readers get a better idea of everything you write about but it also helps signal to Google that you’re the “subject matter expert” on a topic… or at least want to be.
Download my free editorial and publishing calendar spreadsheet template
If you’re looking to plan out 2017 and want to steal a system, then I am sharing my system with you that you can use on your own spreadsheet or google drive sheet!
Personally, I have a folder set up in my google drive that I can access anywhere with all of my business documents.
It allows me to also let people like my husband have access to any of my records because I have made it a collaborative folder. And you guessed it, one of the things inside of it is my publishing and editorial calendar.
How to set up your own custom publishing calendar
First, look at my picture because it will show you how to set it up once you copy and paste the information from the downloadable spreadsheet into your own.
Then notice that I have used specific symbols to help indicate certain things when scheduling content. So because I am taking a maternity leave, I have “¶ – guest post” so that I can schedule a ¶ next to the name of the post once I receive it. Change up the symbols and key in yours to suit your needs.
Then on the far right, add in your categories to the color code so you can color code and rotate your calendar based on your categories. Notice on the far left (because I don’t schedule on Sundays) there is the Ohm sign and a word or holiday. This is an indication that to hit 6-8 weeks before that event, I need to publish during that week.
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