The holiday season is filled with long weekends, festive plans, and time spent with family and friends. For content creators, bloggers, marketers, and public relations teams this time of year also brings on more work! While I’m grateful for my job, the amazing opportunities it lends me, and the ability to create my own schedule – the holidays can be overwhelming with added time-sensitive projects. That’s why drafting an editorial calendar and sticking to it makes all the difference. Plus, with Black Friday approaching I can be sure to pencil in time to shop!
So, before I share how I manage my editorial calendar, I need to talk about one of my favorite home brands! Of course, I’m talking about Serena & Lily. Matt and I were trying to hold off until Black Friday to purchase these Serena & Lily Tucker Stools. But, because holiday content will be filmed in our kitchen space, we decided to buy them early.
Starting today you can shop all of Serena & Lily’s home furnishing and decor for 25% off with code THANKFUL during their Thank You Event! The event runs through December 3st.
If you’ve been following our recent gift guides you’ll notice there is no better time to invest in your home than during these next few days. In fact, I’ve been saving up almost all year for this event with the hopes of Matt and I updated our living room. We plan to snag this Chatham Sofa in brown leather and a pair of Cambridge Chairs to complete the space. A few other pieces Matt and I have our eyes on are these swinging arm lamps, these Oakview pillowcases, and this coffee table.
While I prefer online shopping, Matt likes to feel and see the fabrics in the Serena & Lily design center before fully committing. We plan to head up to Serena & Lily’s new Chestnut Hill Square store for the sale. I’ve visited the store, which is located right outside Boston, once before. The 4,200 square-foot building features a large collection of indoor and outdoor furniture, wallpaper, décor, and more! It’s a great place for any nearby New Englanders looking to invest in sofas, beds, and rugs too!
If you’re not familiar with Serena & Lily – you can head over to this post where we designed our guest bedroom with the brand. In our guest room, you’ll find this Serena & Lily’s Soho Duvet Cover, the matching sheets, and of course a few shams in pink sand. You can also check out one of their iconic nautical mirrors in our upstairs bathroom renovation here.
Now let’s get into how to draft your holiday editorial calendar during the busiest time of year!
#1) Decided On Your Editorial Calendar’s Medium
The first step in having an efficient editorial calendar is deciding your calendar’s medium. Are you good at keeping an agenda with you at all times? If so, maybe you should have a hard copy calendar. Are you doing most of your work on-the-go and on your phone? Then the calendar app on your phone might be the right fit. Or maybe you’re like me and would like to share a calendar with team members in a collaborative fashion.
No matter what medium you choose to organize your editorial calendar in it’s important it works for you! I’ve tried everything – a Google Calendar, Agendas, Bulletin Boards, Apple’s Calendar and even Sticky Notes. The only thing that’s effectively worked for me is the list-making application called Trello! The site allows me and my crew to chat and leave notifications if something comes up or due dates are approaching. To learn more about Trello you can read this post with tools to increase productivity while working on your business.
#2) Decide On Your Posting Schedule
Once you decided on where you’ll be keeping your editorial calendar, the next step is to nail down your posting schedule. It’s important to communicate to your audience when you’ll be posting on your blog, Instagram, or Youtube channel. I post three days a week on the blog, specifically Monday, Wednesday, Friday, But, during the holiday season bloggers (like myself) often post more since there’s so much to capture. For example, I like to schedule one ‘gift guide’ a week!
With that in mind, my editor, Lauren, and I sit down bi-weekly to review our Trello calendar to map out content a month or two in advance. During the process, we adjustment for last-minute collaborations and shift ideas around for an even flow of organic content, brand sponsorships, and giveaways.
The best part about Trello is it’s easy to move schedules around quickly – while simultaneously notifying the whole team. This is ideal because our calendar, especially around this time of year, is stocked with due dates and last-minute projects.
#3) Planning Of Content Creation | Drafts, Approvals, Due Dates
My editorial calendar is used to mark blog post live dates and as a guideline for project management. Since Lauren edits all of my posts it’s important for me to have a deadline before the due date marked on the calendar. This gives her sufficient time to edit, format, and check SEO components before we set it live.
Once I know my deadline for the copy, I first give myself time to photograph the content. However, this is where we can get bottlenecked in production. If we’re waiting for a brand’s approval on a creative, waiting for a product to arrive, or having a bad run with the weather – more often then not a blog post is delayed due to lack of imagery. We try to avoid situations like this by working far enough in advance and batching content to make hold-ups minimal.
#4) Scheduling Content On Our Platforms
It’s no secret – distribution is just as important as the content creation process. That’s why we implement it into our editorial calendar! Once our content is approved, we color code our posts ‘green’ so Lauren knows it’s ready to go.
When the post goes live, Lauren takes distributes it to our social media platforms. Scheduling apps like Later and Tailwind help us keep our content consistent. By remaining consistent, new blog posts are seen by our entire audience.
#5) Giving Yourself A Break & Create Your Own Standards
It’s easy to get caught up in all the gift guides, brand partnerships, and travel experiences during the holidays. But, it’s really important to know your limit and go off of what’s attainable for you and your blog. Personally, having a blog post go live 7 days a week just isn’t manageable.
Do what you can and be proud of your content. But, most of all give yourself time to enjoy yourself this holiday season!
I hope this post inspired you to organize your editorial calendar or create a new one altogether! Don’t forget to pencil in time now through December 1st to shop all of Serena & Lily’s home furnishing and decor for 25% off during their Thank You Event!
Thank You To Serena & Lily for being a partner in design and for the gifted items in this post.
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