I like to think that I am a fairly organized person. So much so that I did some research on how to keep organized with my blog posts. After finding so much online and visiting my go-to companies that post content on keeping organized. I began to realize that I needed an editorial calendar. From what I read and from personal experience, I’ve found that many have a slightly different definition for exactly what this is, but knowing me, I had to keep an editorial calendar to keep me sane and know what I posted from week-to-week. I wanted to show you guys why I think it can be helpful, and how to create one yourself.
WHAT IS AN EDITORIAL CALENDAR?
An editorial calendar is a way of keeping track of all of your blog content (past, present and future). It can come in whatever form works best for you – a calendar, spreadsheet, an address book, planner… you get the idea. There’s no right or wrong way to plan.
WHAT FORMAT SHOULD I USE?
There are so many ways for you to format yours – it really depends on what works best for you. You can use an actual calendar, like Google Calendar or the WordPress Editorial Calendar plugin, if your priority is scheduling. Hubspot, Sprout Social and Hootsuite creates free templates you can download here. If you’re willing to spend a little money, there are plenty of paid tools like Kapost and Trello that come highly recommended.
Personally, I’m a fan of the classic Google Spreadsheet because it allows me to completely customize how I organize my calendar (and it’s simple and free!). Here is an example of what my editorial calendar looks like, which you can access here to use for yourself or your business!
Whatever format you decide on, I think it’s crucial to include the following information in your editorial calendar:
- Month, date, and day of the week
- Post Title
- Post Category
- Status (draft, scheduled, published)
- Sponsored (yes, no, what brand)
- Shared on social channels?
Besides these points, you could also keep track of whether your post has been shared on social channels, who is assigned to write the post (if you have multiple writers), due dates (if it needs to be approved by a client ahead of time).
DO YOU NEED TO UPDATE IT CONSTANTLY?
The answer is yes. Ideally, it would be amazing to have a consistent up-to-date editorial calendar. But that isn’t the reality for most of us working people. Having the editorial calendar can be a huge help to begin with even if you don’t rely on it daily.
WHY SHOULD YOU HAVE ONE?
There are many benefits to keeping any calendar, let alone an editorial calendar. First, it’s a great organizational tool that allows you to more easily plan ahead. It’s also useful for looking back at past content and comparing, for example, March 2014 to March 2015. It’s great to keep track of content ideas because you can just put them right on your calendar to work on at a later date. Plus, you can keep track of other information associated with each post, like who wrote it, if it’s sponsored, and what category it falls under. It’s also nice to be able to make sure that you’re not posting too many articles in one category or too many sponsored posts close together.
What other questions do you have about editorial calendars?