I’m developing an editorial calendar for ceramicscapes so that writing becomes a regular habit in an effort to build more content on my website. I need a calendar to hold myself accountable on those days that I might not feel like writing. While I hope to benefit from some added traffic that content will bring, writing helps to clarify long term goals and provides a record of my creative efforts.
The evolution of my creative business:
In the not so distant past, I wrote about my art and pottery business on my website, Colorado Art Studio (don’t bother searching for it – the domain is being held hostage for a ridiculous sum). In fact I wrote, on average, every other day and was able to build up a nice network of virtual creative friends and a bit of regular traffic to my website.
Topics included my pottery, the kids classes that I taught after school at Steele Elementary in Denver, summer art camps that I taught at the Art Student’s League of Denver and Anderson Ranch, my association with the Colorado Potters Guild, technical problems I had and I even shared personal snippets of my life.
In 2009, I decided to finish a masters degree in landscape architecture that I had abandoned when my daughter was younger. For the most part, I blogged sporadically when I returned to school and my website was basically parked, but still live.
An odd thing happened though – my website continued to receive traffic despite not having any new content. I credit this in part to the advent of Pinterest, a visual bulletin board or “catalog of ideas”. People searched for pottery related ideas and my photos came up in their searches.
Why is this important? Pinterest serves as a potential funnel for people interested in buying my work or clay enthusiasts who want to take classes. The problem now is that people who click on the image are directed to a dead end – a domain repository. Someone purchased my old domain who is in the domain resale business.
Business class for creatives:
After I graduated in 2012, I worked for a landscape architecture firm in Fort Collins on a part time, contractual basis. At the time, my intention was to make pottery as a hobby when time permitted, but I ended up having a lot of free time (the construction business was just beginning its rebound) and started fantasizing about restarting my clay business with a focus on architectural ceramics.
I signed up for a business class for creatives through the Small Business Development Center in Denver. I even won 2nd place for my business plan submission. Ultimately, I decided to leave my position at the landscape architecture firm to try making my creative business a reality.
After I graduated from the business class for creatives, I rebranded my clay business and called it ceramicscapes. The name is a play on ceramics + landscape. This made total sense to me at the time after spending several years studying landscape architecture and my new interest in architectural ceramics.
I started working on a new website for my business in 2013 and decided to start fresh rather than import old content. I was so sure about this decision that I let my old domain lapse. (Don’t do this! I should have just redirected the old domain to my new one)
To be honest, not all of my old content was worth importing because I wrote about so many different things, much of it personal.
Ceramicscapes editorial calendar:
This brings me back to my need for structure as I rebuild content for this website. I commit to writing three blog posts a week.
Rain or shine, I’ll be posting on Monday, Wednesday and Friday every single week, ideally at the same time. Though, I might need to employ a scheduling app at some point in the event that I go on vacation.
What is an editorial calendar?
According to Wikipedia, “Editorial calendars are used to define and control the process of creating content, from idea through writing and publication. An individual or small business might have this publishing process: brainstorm content ideas to publish, where to publish, and when to publish.”
So far, I’ve identified the schedule. Now I need to identify the types of content that I’d like to publish for ceramicscapes editorial calendar.
If you look at the calendar above, you’ll notice that I’m using Google Apps to keep me organized. I’ve scheduled my blog posts just like I would any other to-do list item.
I plan to write about my own work, offer tutorials, write about topics in the field of ceramics and also profile other ceramic artists working in the field. Feature Fridays happens – you guessed it – every Friday and I’m thrilled that I’m currently scheduled up to May 2017.
This leaves Mondays and Wednesdays for the other types of content. I still need to start preplanning my posts. I’ve been following along with Darren Rowse’s podcast, ProBlogger, where he provides so many great tips for people interested in writing and specifically blogging. In addition, I’m also taking an online blogging class that is helping me develop a robust website and to think long term.
Developing an editorial calendar for my creative business will take a lot of the guesswork out of writing for me since I can have several topics and draft posts already started. It won’t be like sitting down to a blank screen wondering what the heck I’ll write about today.
How about you – do you have an editorial calendar for your creative business? If not, how do you schedule your time?