If you're an independent digital publisher then you're probably feeling excited to be working on your own as a content creator and maybe even took the leap by leaving your day job to pursue your passion full time. Taking this step, though exhilarating, can feel overwhelming and stressful when thinking about consistently growing your audience. Without a plan to ensure the sustainability of your site (and your creative energy), these feelings can intensify and lead to reactionary decisions, which may address the emergency on hand but don't lead to long-term success.
At my company we work with publishers who have successfully grown their site for years. One tip that is tried and true, but underutilized, is the editorial calendar. Creating a daily plan for what you'll write about in advance will reduce your stress, increase traffic, and allow you to spend your limited energy on the most critical decisions, which don't include what you'll write about each day. Creating and sticking to an editorial calendar may seem like a no-brainer but it's amazing how few publishers adhere to one. Now that I've hopefully convinced you to create a calendar, here's how to get started:
Congrats, you've just created an editorial calendar!
As you begin using your new editorial calendar remember that it isn't a static document but rather an evolving guide. Make changes as you receive feedback from your readers through their comments and page views.
In short, creating an editorial calendar is one of the easiest ways to manage your stress, leverage your content strengths, and grow readership for continued success.
Calendar image on home page via Shutterstock.
Meet Your Favorite ClickZ Contributors
Many of ClickZ's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Jeremy Hull, Lisa Raehsler, Andrew Goodman, Bryan Eisenberg, Mathew Sweezey, Aaron Kahlow, Stephanie Miller, Simms Jenkins, Jeanne S. Jennings, Dave Hendricks and more!
Laney Whitcanack is Federated Media Publishing's chief community officer. Prior to joining FM, Laney co-founded BigTent in 2006 and focused on innovating online and offline ways to connect people with communities they care about. She spent the decade previous to BigTent coaching and training hundreds of community leaders, in the U.S. and Mexico, most recently as the director of community programs for the Coro Center for Civic Leadership.
A published author and speaker on entrepreneurship and community organizing, Laney received the Jefferson Award for Public Service in 2008. She is currently a board member of Zeum: San Francisco's Children's Museum and The Princess Project and is involved in even more community groups after the birth of her daughter, Campbell, last year. Laney has a B.A. from UCLA, and MBA from the Simmons School of Management, and an Ed.M from Harvard University.
March 19, 2014