Consistency is integral to the success of any content marketing strategy. Create an editorial calendar to make publishing quality content regularly a breeze.
Quality and consistency are integral to every content marketing strategy. You can’t publish a lengthy and insightful blog post once every few months and expect to grab eyeballs.
It’s crucial to stay alive in the memory of your target audience using various channels by publishing content on a consistent regular basis.
However, most content creators know how difficult it is to maintain consistency. If you find yourself constantly struggling to meet deadlines, you’re not alone. The only way to be consistent at publishing useful, engaging, valuable, and relevant content is to plan your content strategy in advance.
Seasoned content creators and marketers vouch for the importance of outlining an editorial calendar. Let’s find out what it is and how you can create a kickass one.
Editorial Calendar vs. Content Calendar
But first, what’s the difference?
An editorial calendar reveals the bigger picture of your content strategy. It focuses on the long-term plan and outlines the overarching themes and subjects you plan to address on a monthly or quarterly basis. Planning content in advance helps to generate more relevant content ideas that’ll garner maximum traction. It also helps diversify your content across multiple channels and formats.
A content calendar outlines a day-by-day plan for executing your content marketing strategy. It gets into the details of what content you’ll publish each day and how to promote it. Additionally, it specifies how you can repurpose content across various channels. It’s more granular and specific, focusing on the short-term.
Thus, even if you already have a content calendar, it’s crucial to build an editorial calendar as well.
What is an Editorial Calendar?
An editorial calendar is a visual framework that defines your overarching content strategy.
It outlines the type of content you’ll be creating and scheduling on a weekly, monthly, or yearly basis. Additionally, it specifies the themes and subjects you’ll be working on. Traditionally, magazines have been using editorial calendars to design their issues months in advance.
An editorial calendar is equally useful for digital content creators, irrespective of whether you’re a pro-blogger, YouTuber, or social media influencer. The obvious benefit is that it helps you create a backlog of thoroughly researched and well-written content. Moreover, when you regularly address different subjects, it helps you cater to various buyer personas.
Creating an editorial calendar becomes even more valuable when you’re working with a team. Assigning specific tasks to each member helps them review and monitor the progress of each article topic. Additionally, team members can plan their schedules accordingly from week to week and month to month.
Here’s an example of what an editorial calendar might look like:
In this editorial calendar example, the content creation process is divided into different stages (depicted by various columns such as “Idea”, “In Progress”, etc.). Various topics and the corresponding authors have been listed under each stage.
Create a Kickass Editorial Calendar
If you’re a new content creator, developing an editorial calendar can be a daunting task. However, you can use tools such as Google Sheets and Google Calendar to simplify the process. You can also search the internet for editorial content calendar templates and use one that suits your requirements.
While there isn’t any universally accepted editorial content calendar template, here are the steps that you can follow to create one:
1. Collate Your Content Ideas
The first step is to create a spreadsheet using Google Sheets and add all the content ideas and topics that come to your mind. Add other columns such as “Author”, “Status”, “Category”, “Publishing Date”, “Rating”, “Remarks”, etc. in the spreadsheet.
The “Rating” column denotes whether a topic is ready for publishing. You can have a system where “1” denotes “idea”, “2” denotes “partially-developed”, and “3” denotes “ready for writing”. Initially, mark all the topics as “Idea” in the status column.
If you create different types of content, you can add more columns specifying the format and the publishing platform.
2. Outline a Long-Term Plan
Next, you should identify various subjects that would appeal to different sections of your audience. It’s crucial to ensure that your content strategy incorporates a healthy mix of different subject categories. It’s also essential to determine the frequency of publishing content.
Let’s say you want to publish four times a week. It’s a good idea to touch upon a particular subject at least once a week. However, this would depend on the frequency and the number of subjects you want to address.
It’s also recommended that you identify a few types of content that can be repeated each week and month. For instance, Fridays could be designated for industry news and updates.
Once you’ve prepared a tentative schedule, add it to your editorial calendar.
Try using an editorial calendar template to get you started: 5 Best Content Calendar Templates.
3. Identify Specific Topics
Go back to the spreadsheet and sort your entries in descending order of “Rating.” This will give you a list of the topics that immediately go into production.
Next, see how these topics fit into the schedule you’ve created on Google Calendar and add them accordingly. Assign an author and deadline to each topic.
Follow this practice to schedule your content for the next two to three months.
4. Begin Production
Typically, your content will go through the following stages:
- Author assigned
- Review & edit
- Ready for publishing
Using a project management tool like Trello, create individual cards for various topics at each stage. Assign a deadline to each card. Make sure this deadline is before the intended publishing dates.
Whenever a topic progresses from one stage to the next, the corresponding card is moved to the next column. When a topic reaches the last stage, it can be scheduled to be published on the desired date.
An editorial calendar helps you plan your long-term content strategy.
It helps diversify your content and organizes the process of creating and publishing it. Moreover, it improves coordination among your team members and ensures that you never miss a deadline.
Ultimately, you end up with a backlog of high-quality content that is just waiting to be published.
Partner with WriteForMe
The content marketing experts at WriteForMe will help you develop your editorial calendar and work directly with you to map out the content so you’ll reach your target audience with each blog post.