I have had so much going on recently, guys, which is why I haven’t shared a real blog post with y’all in weeks. I’ve been job searching for a new social media marketing position since August, have interviewed for many, many positions, and been turned down for many, many positions.
I am so excited to say, though, that I have finally found my absolute dream job. It was a long process, with three interviews and a big content test all being parts of the application process. I really wanted to work for this company, so I spent hours on my application (including creating a social media strategy catered to the company) and hours on preparation for each interview (including having a good friend help me with my outfit each time and doing a lot of practice questions in the mirror) and was pretty much in tears when they called to offer me the position. I start the last week of December and absolutely cannot wait!
But, with pretty much all of my focus on that recently, I haven’t had much time to write for this blog. I think that is a pretty good excuse, though, so I’m not beating myself up too badly!
I have an old blog post about using an editorial calendar for your blog that I still stand behind, however my methods have definitely changed since then. Now, I use an all-inclusive editorial calendar for my blog, email newsletter, and social media platforms. It’s incredibly useful to have everything right in front of me on one sheet rather than flipping tabs in a browser or pages in a planner or notebook.
If you’re not currently using an editorial calendar for your blog/email newsletter/social media, then you’re probably having an incredibly difficult time keeping up with posting and staying consistent.
My editorial calendar is my lifeline. I could not thoroughly run my blog/social media without it. If I didn’t have an editorial calendar, my blog/social media strategy would be absolute madness. I would write a blog post whenever I remembered to or came up with a topic and post to social media with random jumbles of thought.
Point blank, my life would be chaos without my editorial calendar. If you’re not using an editorial calendar, then you need this blog post to help your brain calm down. If you do use an editorial calendar, then you should still read this post because it may help you to streamline your own process.
Everyone has their own way of doing things that works best for them.
I use Google Sheets.
I’ve tried many paper and paperless editorial calendars and this one is by far my favorite method.
Here is a sneak peek at my own editorial calendar for this month:
It’s typically much more filled in (especially with blog posts, email newsletters, and Instagram images), but like I mentioned at the beginning, this month was spent focusing on applying to my dream job.
I also have it slightly color coded:
Green = work being done/writing
Pink = blog post/newsletter being published/sent out
Blue = days off
This is just to draw attention to the most important things. Regular social media updates are not colored.
As you can see, Twitter and Pinterest have repeating entries for days that a new post is not being published. Essentially, I alternate between curated and created content on Twitter (ranging from a 3:1 or 2:1 ratio on curated to created content) and I pin 5 regular pins and 1 of my own pins each day on Pinterest.
Now let’s work on creating your editorial calendar.
1. Create your editorial calendar.
If you like doing things virtually, I’ve created a sample editorial calendar in Google Sheets like mine that you can save to your own drive and use by clicking this link here. (Do not request access to edit it; instead, copy a new version into your Drive that is all yours, and you can edit freely.)
If you’re more old fashioned and like to write things down, then I created an editorial calendar printable that you can use instead. Click here (or on the image below) to download.
This printable comes with two pages: the first is the six more popular/well-known social media platforms and the second lists Periscope and Tumblr with a fill-in-the-blank option for any other social platforms that cater to your blog/business.
You do not have to use every single platform. Only use the platforms that will help your blog/business grow.
2. Take time every week or two to plan your content.
This might vary for each platform. I like to plan my blog posts and email newsletter a whole month ahead of time. Facebook might be a week, Instagram might be two weeks, and Twitter is usually just a day or two.
First, you need to determine how often you’re going to post on each social media platform. I typically recommend the following schedule:
Determining the best times of day for you to post may also help you to figure out how often to post.
Determine your blog/newsletter topics for the month and when you plan to have them published by. Then plan out how long it will take you to write each blog post/newsletter and put down your writing days.
When planning your social media content, you need to remember which types of posts perform best on each platform. Initially, you will just write down the type of post you want to share (i.e., link: an old blog post of yours, a post from a large influencer, your biz bestie’s post; text: funny one-liner, behind-the-scenes story; video: webinar replay, informational how-to, funny video, etc.).
Need more ideas of what to share on social media? Here’s a 30-day content calendar to help out.
3. Search for your social media content.
Using a tool like Bloglovin’ or Feedly, keep all of your go-to sharing resources in one folder so that you can easily find great articles to share. Use a search engine like Google or Pinterest to find funny memes and other images/articles to share.
You can share the same articles/images to multiple social media platforms to reach a larger audience; just remember to change up your captions and hashtags to cater to the particular platform you’re using.
4. Schedule your social media content.
There are two ways of going about this. Some find it easier to write their captions and save their links in their editorial calendars first and schedule later.
I personally find it more efficient to schedule as I find the content.
It really depends on what makes the most sense to you. Once you have found your social media content, schedule it to each platform. I prefer to use Facebook’s native post scheduler and then use Buffer for everything else. (Unfortunately Google+ has limited options for scheduling and Instagram does not have scheduling capabilities with any third party app.)
5. Plan out your Instagram images, captions, and hashtags.
Instagram is the social media platform that takes the most time for me, so it’s getting its own dedicated bullet point in this blog post.
I try to plan out my Instagram images way ahead of time so that I can take several images at the same time and have them edited and ready to be posted. I also use my caption as a sort of mini-blog so that I have something for people to engage with. Then, before posting, I do a bit of hashtag research by simply looking through related hashtags in the app’s search feature and put together about 15-20 related hashtags to my image and to my brand.
All in all, it takes about 15-30 minutes on each Instagram post, but it’s a powerful enough tool that you definitely need to invest that time into it.
I said it before and I’ll say it again.
You need an editorial calendar in your life. If either the two that I offered you work for you, then that’s awesome! If not, there are a million other ways to do it. Use Trello. Google Calendar. Your planner.
I’m just going to stick with my Google sheet because I would be lost without it.