If you have a website or communicate with your client by email, an editorial calendar will help you organize your marketing efforts like you never imagined.
Do you ever feel like you’re flying by the seat of your pants when it comes to creating you marketing messages?
How many times have you had a blog post due or an email due and you have no idea what you’re going to write about?
Never mind linking the content together to send a cohesive message to your audience. You’re not alone and an editorial calendar may be your key to getting your communications organized.
What is an Editorial Calendar?
An editorial calendar is a simple tool. At the most basic level it’s a list of what you’re going to publish and when you’re going to publish it. You can then add layers to your editorial calendar including the purpose for the content, where it will be published, who will write it, any internal links, notes to yourself, resources to write or create the content. You can also include any promotions you want to include in the content as well as your call to action.
As you can see, there’s a lot of information that you can include in your editorial calendar. The more information you include, the easier it is to create a content marketing strategy that succeeds.
The First Step: Choose Your Tool
The first step to creating an editorial calendar is to choose your tool. A simple spreadsheet is an easy and cost effective tool to make it happen.
Spreadsheets offer you unlimited categories to track information about your content. The information is easy to access, easy to print, and easy to share. There are also online editorial calendar tools or you can grab a printable calendar and write your notes in the spaces provided.
Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe. ― Abraham Lincoln
The Second Step: What to Include in Your Content Plan
The next step is to decide what you want to include in your content plan and calendar.
For example, do you want to include a linking strategy? Do you want to make notes about sources or who will write the content? What about repurposing strategies? Decide, in advance, what you want to include and what will help you create the best content possible.
Step Three: How to Use Your Editorial Calendar
Using an editorial calendar is easy. The tricky part is sitting down once a month and establishing it. It’s essential to sit down and fill in the categories you’ve laid out.
One way to stay on top of things is to sit down at the end of the month to plan the next month’s content. This might sound like a HUGE chore, but once you’re done you’ll have clear direction for the month. No more stressing out about what you’re going to say next. And any notes you have for future months can be documented at the same time.
Editorial calendars help make content marketing easier.
If you want to take it to the next level, consider creating a separate editorial calendar to track different types of content and content marketing initiatives.
For example, you newsletter might have one calendar and your blog another. Find a tool you’ll use, define your categories and required information, and start enjoying the benefits immediately.
Do you use an editorial calendar already? If so, share one or two of your best tips that make it effective for you.
If you don’t use a editorial calendar, give it try!