How To Use Google Calendar As An Editorial Calendar
Forget the fancy software, programs, and templates…Google Calendar is the best editorial calendar builder!
I’ve been making creating an editorial calendar way harder on myself than I needed to. I’ve downloaded dozens of templates, spreadsheets, signed into free trials of tons of content and editorial calendar programs.
But the simplest and easiest way to build a robust editorial calendar is with Google Calendar.
It was right in front of my eyes and I didn’t realize.
- Want access to your editorial calendar on every device? DONE!
- Want to plan content over multiple channels? DONE!
- Want to easily shift things around with drag and drop? DONE!
- Want to store all the pieces you need to post that content? DONE!
- Want to share your content plan with the team? DONE!
- Want it to be free…? DONE!
Here’s how I’m using my Google calendar as an editorial calendar and if you want to see it in action as well, there’s a video below.
- Create a new Google Calendar in your account
- Plan your content (considering your promotions)
- Choose a color for each channel
- Consider where your promotions are and how your content will lead towards them
- Add in your big content piece
- Add in any pieces of strategy or challenges you’re doing
- Attach any graphics, copy, or notes you will need when posting
The only thing it can’t do is auto post for you. So you can set a time and a reminder on the event to tell you (or a team member) when it’s time to post.
Create A New Google Calendar In Your Account
This is one of the coolest features of Google calendar. You can put a new calendar overlay down for anything you want and easily click it on and off.
All you have to do is click this plus button to add a new calendar. Call it “Editorial Calendar” or “Content Calendar.”
While I’m building the editorial calendar I like to click all the other calendars off so I can focus. Next step is…
Plan Your Content
Too many people don’t think through strategy before they post on social media. Your content strategy needs to be thought through and purposeful. When I build an editorial calendar for a client it is strategic.
As Stephen Covey says, start with the big rocks. When you are filling a container it does no good to add the tiny rocks like sand first and then try to squeeze in big rocks. This is true of many things in life. Know what your big non-negotiable rocks are and put them on your schedule first.
For us that’s going to be two things: your promotions and your big content piece.
You are running a business so you need to promote your services. It doesn’t need to be all the time but it needs to be sometimes. So for each week select a promotional goal. If you are launching a course or a program that’s an obvious promotional goal but your goal could also be:
- Get more people on your email list
- Book more strategy calls
- Gain more followers
Each week your content will support that goal.
Assign A Color To Each Channel
For every place that you post content, pick a color to assign those “Events.” Instagram is a color, Facebook is a color, your blog is a color, your newsletter is a color, etc.
And you can get into even more detail. Instagram reels can be one color while feed posts are another color and stories are a third color.
[Note: you will not be seeing an IG feed preview with this method. I like to use Trello for that if I need it.]
Consider Your Promo And Add In Big Content Pieces
Add your promo goals as an event on your editorial calendar on whatever day you plan to make offers and assign it a color.
Now you know what your content is leading towards so use that and your general content pillars to decide on your big weekly content piece. For me that’s a blog post, but for you it may be a Youtube video or a long social media post or your email newsletter.
Add a name for your content piece on the calendar a week ahead of that promo goal. Within the event add any details you want to such as an outline, general notes, keywords you want to use. When you create a cover image or thumbnail attach it there too. Assign it a color and save.
Add In Smaller Pieces
I sometimes participate in social media posting challenges like 30 reels in 30 days so here is the step where I would add those in and put a link to reference the instructions. Within the themes of the challenge I would still use this content to support my promotional goal.
It means getting people warmed up before you make an offer. So your posts will be a combination of fun, entertaining, thought-provoking, and educational but all related to the promotional goal at the end. Then when you make that offer people will be primed and ready for it.
Fill in your plans and ideas for any other channels
Consider how you can repurpose your big content piece in little ways through that week. Can a quote from your blog post go on an Instagram post? Can your Youtube video be transcribed into a blog post? Can it be clipped and put out on TikTok and IG?
Get creative with how you can get full use out of what you’re creating!
Add In Any Reference Materials You Need
Now just attach notes, hashtags, research, and graphics as needed and you’ll be ready no matter where you (or a team member) is to post your content on schedule.
Watch this video to see a visual overview of how I make my editorial calendar:
Looking for more help on how to create an editorial calendar for your business? Let’s chat about it and how you can have more efficient online marketing!
Originally published at https://carolynchoatemarketing.com on January 24, 2022.