Don’t you just love staring at a blank screen? I know I do (just kidding!) Even after all of my years of writing, I am not a huge fan of the blank screen. I just know it’s taunting me to “Get Writing!” or something equally as obnoxious. To thwart it I have a to-do, or in my case a to-write, list. Take that, blank screen! I kind of know what I’m going to blog about or put as a Facebook status update and that, my writerly friends, is a boon to my creativity.
Consider these benefits then make the investment of time it will take to draw up an editorial calendar:
- Hold yourself accountable. If you’ve taken the time to put together a calendar, you’ve already taken the first step and it makes follow through that much easier. If you have staff or contractors with whom you work, share a copy of the calendar with them so they can focus their efforts on your vision.
- An editorial calendar is a commitment. Putting a date/deadline to a task, typically helps you get it done.
- Cross it off. Imagine the feeling of accomplishment you’ll have when you look at your editorial calendar and can cross items off of the list.
- Planning your day/week/month/year becomes even easier. Big picture planning helps you with follow through.
- Creativity will soar. If you don’t have to sit down every day and wonder, “What am I going to write about” your creativity frees itself from that worry and allows you to simply create from the jumping off point that you’ve built.
- Don’t forget the trending topics. Don’t get so tied to your editorial calendar that you’re not flexible. Check trending topics, this is easy to do on Yahoo! news feeds or the trending topic feature through Twitter. If you’re an accountant and there are breaking news items in tax codes for example, work that into your daily updates or a blog post.
For many entrepreneurs, taking the time to pull together an editorial calendar will make facing the day and keeping your marketing plan on track much easier than staring at a blank slate on a daily basis. Remember, social media and blogging need to go hand-in-hand with your entire marketing plan as it needs to be a cohesive effort.