Psst. Hey you. Do you know what content you’re going to publish to your website this week? Or are you just “winging it?”
When it comes to creating content does it seem like you’re flying by the seat of your pants? You have a blog post due today and an email due tomorrow. And there you sit with a blank page and no clue what you’re going to write about, much less details like how you will link the content together to send a cohesive message to your audience. If this sounds like you, using an editorial calendar may save you from feeling overwhelmed.
So, what exactly is an Editorial Calendar?
At the most basic level it’s a schedule of what you’re going to publish and when you’re going to publish it.
After you’ve got the framework list created you can add extra layers to your editorial calendar including who will write it, where it will be published, notes to yourself, resources to create or write the content, any internal links, and the purpose for the content. You can also include your call-to-action, any promotions you want to include, or anything else you feel is relevant to your publishing.
An editorial calendar is simply a tool to manage your content schedule. The more information you include, the easier it is to create a content marketing strategy that succeeds.
Step 1 – Choose Your Tool
There are online editorial calendars you can use or even just grab a printable calendar and write your notes in the spaces provided. WordPress has a great Editorial Calendar plugin that is free.
The easiest way I’ve found is to create a simple spreadsheet to make it happen. It doesn’t cost me anything since I already have the software (and if you don’t you can use Google Drive for free). Spreadsheets offer you unlimited categories to track information about your content. The information is easy to access, easy to print, and easy to share.
Step 2 – Brainstorm What You Want To Include
Decide what you want to include in your content plan and calendar. For example, do you want to make notes about who will write the content or the sources you will use? Do you want to include a linking strategy? What about re-purposing strategies? Plan, in advance, what you want to include and what will help you create the best content possible.
Step 3 – Using Your Editorial Calendar
Using your editorial calendar is easy. The hardest part about it is taking the time monthly to sit down and plan it out, but it’s essential to fill in the categories you’ve laid out. Get into the habit of sitting down at the end of the month to plan the next month’s content along with any notes you have for future months.
You will want to be sure to stay on top of creating your calendar each month. You’ll be amazed at how much more productive you will be and how relieved you feel when you know what you will be writing about for each item.
Crank It Up
If you want to take it to the next level, you can create a separate editorial calendar to keep track of different kinds of content and content marketing initiatives. For example, your blog might have one calendar and your newsletter another.
As you can see using editorial calendars help make content marketing easier. Find a tool you’ll use, define your required information and categories, and start enjoying the benefits right away.
Looking for more “tweaks” that can save you time and money? My newest Tweak It and Profit course contains endless ideas on making small “tweaks” than can save your business big money!