An editorial calendar can help you organize, and sometimes even help you streamline, your content creation process. Here’s how to create an editorial calendar that benefits your business:
What is an Editorial Calendar?
First things first, what is an editorial calendar? An editorial calendar, also called a content calendar, is a plan and a schedule that lays out what content you’ll be creating and when. It’s a valuable tool that helps you plan ahead. A good editorial calendar lays out the ideas ahead of time, so all you have to do when it comes time to create is write.
A blank page can be intimidating and can cause writer’s block in even the most seasoned content writer. Having an editorial calendar makes the process a little bit easier. Instead of spending time agonizing over what to write, you can just start writing because the topic was already decided weeks ago.
An editorial calendar can be as simple or as complicated as you need it to be – whatever will help your business best. Some businesses create an editorial calendar for their blog that just consists of topics listed on the days they should be written. Some businesses create more content and may have other things going on like related social media posts, eBooks, infographics, and other content pieces. Their editorial calendar might include information about format, images, and more.
When it comes to the best editorial calendar for you, it’s all about what works best for your business. Start out small and simple by planning things a week or two ahead of time. Then, once you’re used to it, expand the timeline further out and add more elements as you see fit.
How to Create an Editorial Calendar
Start by determining how you want to start off your editorial calendar and the format that works best for you. Some people use a whiteboard, Google calendar or another calendar tool, a spreadsheet, or a combination for their editorial calendar. Figure out what you prefer and define your timeline, whether it’s a week, two weeks, a month, or longer. Then, do some keyword research to see what your target audience is searching for. This can help you identify potential problems or questions they have that you can then write content to help them solve or answer.
Blog Editorial Calendar
If you’re creating a blog editorial calendar, you can take the research you’ve done, take stock of your current content to avoid duplication, and then create content topics for the coming days or weeks. You can also check out your competitors’ blogs to see what type of content they’re creating. You might be able to identify a content gap where your target audience has a question, problem, or need that is not currently being addressed by anyone’s content. This is a great opportunity for your business to fill that gap and provide valuable content to potential customers.
Depending on the size of your content team, you may want to include who is responsible for writing certain posts along with the blog post topic. Some people also include an image, a title tag and meta description, other relevant keywords that might help build the post, and more. Find out what works best for you and your process and go from there. Having topics clearly laid out ahead of time allows you, your content writer, or your content team to work more efficiently and helps you maintain a consistent blogging schedule.
Social Media Editorial Calendar
If you’re creating a social media editorial calendar, starting off with some research and checking in on your competitors’ social profiles are good ideas. You’ll be able to see the types of content they’re sharing and what gets the most engagement to find out what truly resonates with your customers on social media. Either way, you’re bound to walk away with some insights for your own social media editorial calendar.
You’ll want to include information like the social network, post content, and any images to be included. This could be specific where you lay out exactly what the post will say. Or, it could be a broader, more general theme for the post to follow like share a recent blog post, motivational quote, recent industry news article, etc. You can keep it simple and allow for some creative freedom or you can get specific and detailed. This helps ensure your social media profiles stay active and regularly updated. In doing so, potential customers who are researching your business and come across your social profiles will see some recent activity.
A successful editorial calendar is one that is tailored to your needs and works for your business. The content on your website is important, but it’s not the only thing your visitors will notice. In addition to great content, your website also needs to provide a fantastic user experience, which means it needs to be designed well and functioning at its best. If your website needs some work, contact us for a meeting of the MINDs to get it back on track!