As a writer, I love great story ideas. But I hate when they come to me too late. The time has passed. The moment is gone. A missed opportunity.

Take this past Halloween for example. It was Nov. 1 when I thought "hey, I should write about how to ghostwrite articles." Ghostwriting. Get it? You know what I did? I put it on the calendar to write about in October 2019.

And you know what I'm spending time doing at the end of 2018? Writing an editorial calendar for my business. You should too. Public relations pros and other marketers use editorial calendars to organize content they want to pitch or publish in the future. You should too. That way you always know what to write about and when. No missed opportunities.

To help get us started, I thought I'd put together topics and ideas to put on our collective radar -- or get us thinking of others --  for each month of the year. Journalists call these "evergreen" stories. They might spark ideas for what you can write about on your blog, LinkedIn, social media accounts and more. 

By the way, the idea is to pick and choose topics; you shouldn't try to do them all. You'll burn out -- and so will your audience. Build a reasonable, attainable calendar that works with your overall content strategy.

January

  • Topics of interest: renewal, fresh slate, business goals, resolutions, fitness
  • Events of note: New Year's Day (Jan. 1), Golden Globe Awards (Jan. 6), Kiss a Ginger Day (Jan 12), 2019 Women's March (Jan. 19), Martin Luther King Day (Jan. 21)

February

  • Topics: love, heart health
  • Events: American Hearth Month, History Month, National Wear Red Day for women's heart health (Feb. 1), Groundhog Day (Feb. 2), 53rd Super Bowl (Feb. 3), World Cancer Day (Feb. 4), Chinese New Year - Year of the Pig (Feb. 5), New York City Fashion Week (Feb. 8-16), 61st Grammy Awards (Feb. 10), Presidents Day (Feb. 18), 91st Academy Awards (Feb. 24),

March

  • Topics: beginning of baseball, spring, spring break season and Lent
  • Events: Women's History Month, National Grammar Day (March 4), Mardi Gras (March 5), South by Southwest (March 8-17), Pi Day (March 14), St. Patrick's Day (March 17), Major League Baseball opening (March 20), World Down Syndrome Day (March 21)

April

  • Topics: taxes, environment, Easter
  • Events: April Fool's Day (April 1), World Autism Awareness Day (April 2), World Health Day (April 7), Siblings Day (April 10), Tax Day (April 15), Easter (April 21), Earth Day (April 22)

May

  • Topics: high school and college graduation season
  • Events: World Press Freedom Day (May 3), National Small Business Week (May 5-11), Ramadan (May 5-June 4), Mother's Day (May 12), Indianapolis 500 (May 26), Memorial Day (May 27)

June

  • Topics: gay pride, summer travel 
  • Events: National GLBT Pride Month, Men's Health Month, Wear Orange for gun safety (June 7-9), PGA U.S. Open Championship (June 10-16), Father's Day (June 16), World Refugee Day (June 20), International Day of Yoga (June 21), Tour de France (June 29-July 21)

July

  • Topics: more summer travel, beach trips, summer blockbuster movies
  • Events: National Hot Dog Month, Independence Day (July 4), World Youth Skills Day (July 15), National Parents Day (July 28), International Day of Friendship (July 30)

August

  • Topics: back-to-school time
  • Events: National Golf Month, National Eye Exam Month, National Dog Day (Aug. 26), U.S. Open Tennis (Aug. 26 - Sept. 8)

September

  • Topics: more back-to-school, start of fall
  • Events: Labor Day (Sept. 2), International Literacy Day (Sept. 8), Grandparents Day (Sept. 9), 71st Emmy Awards (Sept. 22)

October 

  • Topics: breast cancer, Fall color, cold and flu season
  • Events: National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Columbus Day (Oct. 14), Halloween (Oct. 31)

November

  • Topics: gratitude
  • Events: NYC Marathon (Nov. 3), Veterans Day (Nov. 11), Thanksgiving (Nov. 28), Black Friday (Nov. 29), Small Business Saturday (Nov. 30)

December

  • Topics: winter begins, holidays, holiday shopping
  • Events: Human Rights Day (Dec. 10), Hanukkah (Dec. 22-30), Christmas (Dec. 25)

Get your great ideas on the calendar right now.

Bonus tip: If you want to get super organized, add corresponding social media hashtags next to the events on your editorial calendar.

Published on: Dec 13, 2018
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.