Why You Need To Burn Your Editorial Calendar

Being in the marketing business, a marketing growth strategy is the prime goal and core to what we do. In providing internet marketing services, we’re often referring to our editorial calendars either for our clients, or our own web sites, to make sure we’re ahead of the game and continue to build momentum to our sites. Overall this makes sense, with so much going on all the time, staying on task with business growth can be quite challenging. But…I’m really a big picture kind of thinker, and I’ve never really resonated well with the editorial calendar. In retrospect, I think it’s because it seems way more like a task list than a strategy document and task lists are almost painful to me.

This whole concept really struck me the other day when I read a great post over at Think Traffic titled “Why you need a month by month blog growth action plan” by Danny Iny. After reading this post, I had to consider, do I really need an editorial calendar?

Danny lays it out in six simple steps to creating this growth action plan;

  1. Make a list of the next 9-12 months of the year, starting with next month.
  2. Mark down anything that you’ve already got planned.
  3. Take a good, long look at the months that are still available.
  4. Start filling in the stuff that you’d like to do.
  5. Add in “buffer” months of light activity or regular content.
  6. Add campaigns and re-arrange your calendar to account for momentum.

Now when you start this way – we’re not talking task list, we’re talking big picture. By laying it out in this fashion, you can really start to see your ideas take shape and where you may run into speed bumps. So I’m taking the time now to go through my web sites and determine the 12 month growth strategy. My only spin on the format that Danny lays out is I’m doing my layout in a mind map. Although this is really just semantics (mind maps just work better for me) and I think however you prefer to brainstorm is the best strategy to use. The overall concept is what’s critical here.

Once I’ve completed the document, my next step will be to hand it to my project manager and have them review and compare the plan to the editorial calendar. With this comparison we can answer some really basic questions like

- Does our editorial calendar reflect our growth plans?

- Are we heavy or light in any period to support our aggressive growth strategy?

…and my personal favorite – Why are we planning to do what we are planning? In other words – is it driving us closer to our goals, or simply spinning wheels?

Not only will I feel better about the document that we’re using to guide our growth, but I think we’ll spin our wheels far less often when we have the bigger picture as a guide.

That all being said, if I had to choose a business growth strategy over an editorial calendar, I’d be quite ok with it. What amazes me when speaking with other businesses, is how many actually have neither a business growth strategy or an editorial calendar!

So tell me in the comments below, do you have an editorial calendar? Have you incorporated a growth strategy plan that works with your calendar? What do you think of this concept?

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Comments

  1. Mark Collins says

    George, I really like the process you’ve laid out. It requires some thinking rather than just putting tasks on a list. Also, what do you use for mind mapping? I’ve used MindMeister, but I think you have talked about another system that you use.

    • says

      Hey Mark. I totally agree. Being a big picture kind of guy starting from that point just makes so much more sense.

      Currently I’m using Mindjet on the iPad. I never leave home without a mindmap. It’s an awesome tool and works well with my visual mind. I’ve also used popplet which is pretty cool but not fantastic for larger scale maps.

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