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How to Create an Editorial Calendar
 

How to Create an Editorial Calendar

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How to create an editorial calendar to publish blogs, Facebook pages, tweets, and email newsletters. Includes content strategy as well as what to track, what tools you might use, and how to measure ...

How to create an editorial calendar to publish blogs, Facebook pages, tweets, and email newsletters. Includes content strategy as well as what to track, what tools you might use, and how to measure results over time.

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  • Recurring features can be used to train readers to come back on specific days of the week each week.
  • Remember, too, to think about how to package this content into recurring features and possibly paid information products (e.g. reports, statistics, how-to)
  • The cushion should be 2-5 times your publication frequency. For example, if you publish daily, try to be 3-5 days ahead of schedule. If you publish two stories a week, try to be two weeks ahead at all times. The cushion makes regular repetitive publication both tolerable and possible.

How to Create an Editorial Calendar How to Create an Editorial Calendar Presentation Transcript

  • How to Create an Editorial Calendar to Publish Blogs, Facebook Pages, Tweets, and Email Newsletters Tim Slavin [email_address] http://LinkedIn.com/in/TimSlavin (516) 234-0607 This presentation is copyrighted by Owl Hill Media. Fair use with an explicit reference to this presentation is okay.
  • The Big Picture
    • Overview
    • The Editorial Process
    • The Editorial Calendar
    • Tools to Track Content
    • Writing and Editing Guidelines
    • Best Practices
    • Resources
  • Overview
    • Editorial calendars help answer a few critical questions …
    • How do we ensure we have regular content published to our website, Facebook page, Twitter, email newsletter, blog, and other channels?
    • How do we ensure the right content is published to the right channel? Twitter can’t publish articles, only links to articles.
    • How do we manage all the little details required to publish on a regular basis?
  • Overview
    • Editorial calendars require a content strategy …
    • Know your goals for creating content: acquisition, retention, branding, support? Set baseline measurements so you can measure your results over time. Also do surveys.
    • Content has to be managed by what is appropriate for each channel. Twitter and Facebook are interactive and require you to use an authentic voice. Your website might be more reserved. Content must reflect these differences.
    • Use your website as a content repository of record. Link to content from all channels.
  • Overview
    • Should you publish to more than one channel?
    • 65% of adults use social media
    • Pick channels based on where your readers gather
    • Measure results by channel to determine if you should drop a channel, or start to publish on a new one
    • Basic rule: go where your readers are online
  • The Big Picture
    • Overview
    • The Editorial Process
    • The Editorial Calendar
    • Tools to Track Content
    • Writing and Editing Guidelines
    • Best Practices
    • Resources
  • What to Publish?
    • It’s about your audience/readers:
      • Who is your audience? Demographics?
      • What do they like and dislike?
      • What do they want from you?
      • What do they expect from you?
    • Three types of content, at least (can combine, too):
      • Your product or service
      • Customers and prospects
      • Industry news
    • Can you create recurring features for days of week?
    • Can you combine content into products?
  • Examples of What to Publish
    • Your Product or Service
      • New feature announcements
      • How-To Step Instructions
      • Screencasts
    • Your Customers and Prospects
      • Profile Articles and Q&A
      • Best Practices
    • Industry News
      • Latest Research
      • Announcements, Regulations, …
    • Also combine these (e.g. a How-To that features a customer best practice)
  • Different Forms of Content
    • There’s the obvious:
      • Articles
      • Screencasts
      • Video
      • How-To Step Instructions
      • FAQs
      • Invite customer input, Contests, Surveys, …
    • And the not so obvious micro-content:
      • Subheadlines
      • Blurbs or excerpts
      • Copy for alt= and title= tags used with web images
    • Need to track everything useful
  • Small Business Editorial Process
    • Develop a list of what to publish and when for a set time period (e.g. a day, week, month, three months)
    • Write content based on the publication schedule with a cushion (2-5 times your publication frequency)
    • Edit each piece
    • Publish each piece
  • Corporate Editorial Process (1/2)
    • Develop a list of what to publish and when for a set time period; include backup content items for each item slated for publication; include break points to determine whether to delay or kill each content item.
    • Assign each piece of content based on the publication schedule
    • Write each piece of content
    • Review first draft of each piece of content
    • Give go/no go based on first draft edits (adjust publication schedule if/as needed)
  • Corporate Editorial Process (2/2)
    • If #5 is a go, finish writing each piece of content and submit draft as FYI to layout team
    • Perform final edit, copy edit, fact checking, and rewrites as needed
    • Submit for review by legal team
    • Make changes if/as needed based on legal input
    • Submit content formally to layout team
    • Post content on development server and make changes if/as needed
    • Publish content on production server
  • Keys to Success?
    • Find the simplest way to manage your publication process
    • Develop your content ahead of time
      • About 2-5 times your publication frequency (e.g. 3-5 days ahead if you publish daily, 2 weeks ahead if you publish 2 times a week)
      • Makes repetitive publication tolerable over time
    • Organize and balance the order of content you publish to make it engaging (e.g. mix FAQs with articles with news)
    • Publish appropriate content based on channel (e.g. use personal voice for Twitter and Facebook)
    • Reduce complexity in all steps in your process
  • The Big Picture
    • Overview
    • The Editorial Process
    • The Editorial Calendar
    • Tools to Track Content
    • Writing and Editing Guidelines
    • Best Practices
    • Resources
  • What to Track?
    • At a minimum:
      • Content Title
      • Author
      • Publication Date
      • Publication Status
      • Notes
    • At the maximum (pick one or more):
      • Destination (e.g. Blog, Print, Facebook, Twitter, Email Newsletter)
      • First Draft (Go/No Go), Final Draft
      • Backup Content
      • Team Process: Images, Layout, Legal Review, Test Site
    • Remember to simplify as much as possible
  • Basic Editorial Calendar
    • What to publish based on audience needs
    • Prioritized list of what to publish
    • Work effort required to publish each piece of content
    • Micro-content needed (e.g., page titles, headlines, navigation link labels, ALT tags, footers, blurbs)
    • Dates assigned for writing, editing, publishing for each piece of content
    • Publishing destination (e.g. print, blog, email newsletter, Twitter, Facebook)
  • Large Group Editorial Calendar
    • What to publish based on audience needs
    • Prioritized list of what to publish
    • Work effort required to publish each piece of content
    • Micro-content needed (e.g., page titles, headlines, navigation link labels, ALT tags, footers, blurbs)
    • Dates assigned for writing, editing, publishing for each piece of content, includes copy editors, fact checkers, photographers, layout team, legal approval, and other participants
    • Backup content identified for each piece of content on the calendar
    • Go/No Go breakpoints identified for each piece of content and/or within the process (e.g., if interviews are not possible or a writer gets sick)
    • Publishing destination (e.g. print, blog, email newsletter, Twitter, Facebook)
  • Additional Ideas
    • Organize your editorial calendar into tabs in a spreadsheet
      • Content Ideas
      • Publication Calendar
      • Published Content
      • Glossary and Copy Edit Styles
    • If you use tabs, repeat common columns (e.g. Title, Notes) in the same left side locations to make it easy to copy/paste rows of content from one tab to another
    • Include metrics in your Published Content tab
      • Track popularity based on page views, tweets, Facebook Likes, inbound links, and other metrics
      • Helps you plan new content
  • Keep in Mind
    • Organize your editorial process and calendar to maximize resources (e.g. involve legal review as late as possible when content is complete)
    • A good editorial process and calendar is essentially a good project plan
    • An editorial calendar can educate stakeholders about what it really takes to publish and impact of any changes
    • Keep your calendar as simple as possible
  • The Big Picture
    • Overview
    • The Editorial Process
    • The Editorial Calendar
    • Tools to Track Content
    • Writing and Editing Guidelines
    • Best Practices
    • Resources
  • What Tools to Use?
    • Use simplest technology that meets your needs over time. Might be a sheet of paper. Might be software already in your publishing tool. Might be Google Calendar.
    • Spreadsheets are the most common and obvious tool:
      • Use a file on your computer if you’re a one person shop
      • Use Google Docs if you work on a team
    • WordPress (blogging tool) has two plug-ins but doesn’t work if you also track content published for print, a Facebook fan page, or email newsletter
  • Examples of Possible Tools
    • Sheets of paper and file folder(s)
    • Paper or electronic calendar
    • Spreadsheet file
    • Plugin software (e.g. for WordPress)
    • HootSuite also appears to provide editorial calendar capabilities but I’ve not used it extensively
  • The Big Picture
    • Overview
    • The Editorial Process
    • The Editorial Calendar
    • Tools to Track Content
    • Writing and Editing Guidelines
    • Best Practices
    • Resources
  • Writing and Editing Guidelines
    • Writing guidelines are a key part of the editorial process
    • Guideline examples include:
      • Length of pieces published as well as the different kinds of pieces
      • Examples of appropriate tone and structure for each kind of content
      • Examples of what to avoid (e.g., first person, insulting the CEO, using less than 2 sources for each fact)
      • Examples of file names and how they evolve through the process (e.g., to indicate versions, multiple authors)
      • Grammar, punctuation, and language guidelines
    • These guidelines ensure a consistent reading experience and simplify editorial process
  • More Guidelines
    • Include author name and link to a short biography
    • Include the publication date with your content
    • Include “changes” section at bottom of articles to document changes to the article over time
  • Where to Get Guidelines?
    • For a small business:
      • The Associated Press Style Guide
      • Printouts of a few articles that serve as best practice examples
    • Large publishing teams might:
      • Document and publish a style guide with extensive examples and links to resources for the team to follow and consult as needed
      • Create and maintain a glossary as copy edit decisions are made over time (e.g. as a tab in editorial calendar spreadsheet)
  • The Big Picture
    • Overview
    • The Editorial Process
    • The Editorial Calendar
    • Tools to Track Content
    • Writing and Editing Guidelines
    • Best Practices
    • Resources
  • Best Practices
    • Organize Content Ideas based on recurring features and content types (e.g. your product, customers, industry news)
    • Use a cushion when you publish content, 2-5 times your publishing frequency (e.g. 3-5 days if you publish daily)
    • Use the simplest editorial process and tools to track your process.
    • Track only useful publication data. More data is not necessarily better.
    • Evaluate your process every 3-6 months and make changes if/as needed
  • The Big Picture
    • Overview
    • The Editorial Process
    • The Editorial Calendar
    • Tools to Track Content
    • Writing and Editing Guidelines
    • Best Practices
    • Resources
  • Resources
    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Editorial_calendar [overview with links to further reading]
    • http://www.thatagency.com/design-studio-blog/2011/08/the-secret-to-an-effective-facebook-page-create-a-content-strategy/ [emphasis on Facebook]
    • http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/08/30/the-importance-of-consistency-using-editorial-calendars-and-style-guides/ [emphasis on style guides]
    • http://www.rodkirby.com/archives/1720 [video showing Google Calendar]
    • http://www.nonprofitmarketingguide.com/blog/2007/03/09/how-to-create-and-use-an-editorial-calendar/ [paper based method for low-volume publishing]
  • Questions?
    • Tim Slavin
    • [email_address]
    • http://www.reachcustomersonline.com
    • http://linkedin.com/in/timslavin
    • (516) 234-0607
    • This presentation is copyrighted by Owl Hill Media.
    • Fair use with an explicit reference to this presentation is okay.