7 Steps to Creating an Editorial Calendar for Your Blog and Social Media Channels

Welcome to the new year! This is a great time to look back at your blogging and social media from the past year and see what really worked, what did not work, and set new goals for what you want to achieve. Along with that, making an editorial calendar for your blog and your social media channels can also help you stay on track in the new year and meet your goals. There is no one size fits all editorial calendar because we all have different styles, time available, and goals. I am going to walk you through how I do this but be mindful to adjust your editorial calendar to fit your needs. You can also check out an older post I did about editorial calendars that talks about the different types of things you can put on yours.

Step 1: How Often?

How often do you want to post to your blog and social channels? For me I like to blog at least once per day. For my social channels I generally post multiple times a day on Twitter and Facebook and I try to do at least one Instagram a day. Pinning is another channel that I try to do daily. For me planning the blog posts is what I need the most as the other channels sort of fall into place on their own.

Step 2: Write it Down

You can do this however you want, a spreadsheet, notebook, Word doc, whatever method works for you. Michele of Scraps of My Geek Life offers a free download of a blank editorial calendar that you can print out or just use within Excel. I use this myself for blog posts.

Step 3: Pick Your Topics

Regardless if you have a niche blog or a more general one (like mine) you do need to think about what you want to write about and what you want to share on social networks. I start with creating a base for each day of the week when picking topics. I have a day devoted to food, one to tech, one for home and family, and others. You can see my 2015 daily schedule here. This is not set in stone for me, but it is the general theme I will follow throughout the year.

Step 4: Pick Your Themes

This is different that topics for me, but it may be more closely related to you. Think about these by weeks or months maybe. For instance when Valentine’s Day is approaching do you want to talk about this in the week or two before? If so, how does that fit into your daily topics? For me, I will maybe do a tech post with apps that are great for couples, a recipe post with a special Valentine dinner, a family and home post with a Valentine craft project or maybe date night ideas for the special night.

Step 5: Plan Social Media

Not everyone will want to do this, but I like to do it for Twitter more than anything. I love using those unique holidays as a starter for a tweet that helps others interact with me. I might share that it is “National Yoga Day” or “National Fajita Month” and include an image and ask a question to my followers that relates. This year I plan on trying to plan ahead a little more for Instagram as well by taking more photos that I do not post instantly but save for these special days.

Step 6: Work In Advance

Now that you have your ideas mapped out you need to try and work in advance, at least occasionally. We all fall behind on our schedules sometimes but by working ahead and getting some of the research, experiments, photography, and other leg work done you will be less stressed with your social media work and writing. If you plan on traveling for work of pleasure then doing posts for when you are away makes traveling far less stressful.

Step 7: Be Flexible

As much as planning can do us good, we also need to remain flexible. Having different opportunities come up throughout the year can throw off your planned editorial calendar a bit, but go with the flow.

Do you make an editorial calendar for your blog and social channels? Share any tips you have!