What is an editorial calendar? It’s a one-stop look at what you intend to publish on your website, and when. It can be helpful for a number of reasons, and anyone who is serious about Internet marketing should develop one and use it as their number one tool for planning their content production efforts.
Benefits of an Editorial Calendar
An editorial calendar makes it easy to help you see what you should be publishing to your website or blog and when it needs to be published. You can be sure you’re publishing content in a timely manner. For example, you should be writing content for the holidays months in advance to help it have time to rank in the search engines, so you don’t want to wait until November to write about Thanksgiving.
If you’re coordinating a team of writers, it can help you see what assignments to give out to them and when to give them out so you can get them back in time for them to be published when you want them.
If you’re writing all the content yourself, you’ll have an easier time with keyword research because you know what you want to talk about. You will also be able to write and schedule more posts to go out when you have time to do it, rather than sitting down and writing a post to go live right when you’re finished with it.
You can also use the calendar to plan content around sales and special promotions. Beyond what posts you need to write, you can also use it for your newsletters and auto responders.
How to Create Your Own Editorial Calendar
There are a number of ways to build your calendar. You can buy a printed one or print one yourself using any number of templates. Then write your ideas down on the corresponding dates, but this can get messy because making changes isn’t easy.
You could also use a digital calendar, such as iCal or Google Calendar, as this makes it easy to share with others who may be working on your content development with you.
If you use WordPress, the best bet is to use the Editorial Calendar plugin. This adds the ability to show your posts in a calendar format, making it easier to see what you have publishing and when. You can also pick a date and start a post draft right away. Then, if you have multiple authors, you can assign the draft to the appropriate people.
The best Internet marketers have a solid plan for where they want their website to go. Without an editorial calendar in front of you for reference, it can be much harder to see the vision and know which steps you need to take to get there.
Do you use an editorial calendar? How has it helped you? If not, will you be starting one?