The holiday season is the Super Bowl for many industries, so if you’re a freelance writer with clients who depend on holiday sales to power their businesses for the year, count on some of them wanting to see a holiday-themed editorial calendar from you. There are lots of fun ideas for holiday-themed content that will help your clients achieve their goals—and that will be enjoyable for you to create as well. If your clients are clamoring for holiday editorial calendars, these tips will help.
Know the Basic Parts of an Editorial Calendar
Have your freelance writing clients asked for a holiday-themed editorial calendar, and you’re not quite sure what to provide? Don’t worry—you’re not the first freelance writer to be confused over the concept of this kind of calendar. Many freelance writers spend their time doing one-off projects or only doing occasional pieces for clients, so the idea of an editorial calendar never comes up.
If you work with any clients on a retainer basis, an editorial calendar will likely enter the picture. Editorial calendars aren’t complicated. They’re really just a way to plan content in advance and to ensure the content that you create is geared towards a specific goal and can be used effectively by your client. A basic editorial calendar should include:
- A list of content that will be published or featured during specific time periods—be sure to include different types of content, unless your clients have specific content formats that they want.
- Who will work on each piece of content—this can include you, editors, graphic designers, social media teams, and anyone who has to sign off on the content.
- Timelines for content, including when each piece will be delivered, published, and promoted.
There may be other things you choose to include on the calendar based on your clients’ needs, such as an indicator of the target market for each piece, but these basic components should always be there.
Refine the Editorial Goals
To ensure that the content you create helps you clients meet their goals for the holiday season, you will need to have a clear idea of what those goals are. Talk to your clients about the products and services they want to highlight during the holidays, as well as any special promotions they are running. Your client may have specific wording he or she wants to incorporate into the holiday content, so be sure to get that before you write your pieces.
It is also helpful to have an idea of the audience that your clients are trying to reach. This will allow you to refine your style and voice to match your clients’ markets.
Highlight the Significant Dates
You should build your calendar around specific dates that matter during the holidays. The days that are most relevant to your clients may vary, but consider building your editorial calendar around:
- Veterans Day
- Black Friday
- Small Business Saturday
- Cyber Monday
- Free Shipping Day
- Christmas Eve
- Christmas Day
- Boxing Day
- New Year’s Eve
- New Year’s Day
Keep mind that content that aligns with specific dates during the holiday season needs to be written, edited, and published before the day itself. When you’re making timelines, be sure to account for this.
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