An Editorial Calendar is a planning and organization tool for publishing content, whether that’s blog posts, twitter updates, Facebook posts, newsletters, or email campaigns.
As Nubby Twiglet says :
“In a nutshell, it boils down to having your blogging schedule planned out in a calendar format. That’s it!”
Traditional print media (newspapers, magazines) use Editorial Calendar’s a lot, but they can also be a valuable tool for small businesses, bloggers and content marketers.
When you start to think about them, like I have done A LOT lately, their real usefulness starts to come out. They are:
- A way to schedule the publication of blog posts to make sure you drip new content to readers on a regular basis. It sits between the writing and publishing steps and works like a dam – it ensures a regular flow of content, neither too much, nor too little at any one time.
- A way to co-ordinate publishing content to a bunch of different channels. Written a killer blog post? Use an Editorial Calendar to remind yourself to make sure that it also gets to your email subscribers, Twitter and into your next newsletter.
- A way to make sure your blog posts follow the themes or features you’ve set out as your goals. A blog post should not stand alone. Having regular features is a really easy way to simplify writing posts: Roundup Mondays, Project Fridays and other ideas mean you don’t have to think up every post from scratch, and leave you free to get creative around the features.
- A way to spark new content ideas by getting you to sit down and plan ahead – think about your blog and what readers want to read about without rehashing things you’ve written about a thousand times already.
- A way to manage multiple contributors. Larger blogs, or business blogs may have multiple people writing articles, it is tricky to keep track of who is writing what and when. A calendar helps keep the schedule together and keeps everyone focused.
- A way to manage publicity. Share your calendar with your marketing team or firm. Let them know what you’ll be writing about so they can tie blogging into the larger marketing plans.
- A way to attract advertising. Let advertisers know what you’ll be writing about so they can plan to buy advertising space alongside specific articles, or during specific themes.
- A way to see all the progress you’ve made. Sit back and look at your calendar for the last 6 months or year. See all the progress you’ve made from being a once-whenever blogger, to being a consistent blogger. Hopefully you’ll also be able to look at the increase in traffic that goes along with it.
Give it a try. Here’s a useful template for you to start with:
Are you already using an Editorial Calendar? Do they work for you? Let me know in the comments below.