How To Create An Editorial Calendar For Your Content Marketing - Semalt Planning Tips

Websites can be tricky. When working with a site of 3 pages, it's pretty easy to know what contents you've written on and what contents are left. However, it is a whole new ball game with a website with hundreds or thousands of contents and trust that there is such a website. In such cases, how is it that such content is managed?

It is already clear how handling such a high amount of content can be tricky and complicated. With the use of editorial calendars, content marketing becomes easier, and achieving your goal of 1st page seems a lot easier. To publish high-quality content at a regular cadence, you must have an editorial calendar.  

Content is the fuel you need to propel your online marketing efforts. Without a content strategy, you will struggle like a car with a leaking fuel tank. You will put in so much effort, but you will struggle to generate sufficient leads. To achieve an effective content marketing strategy, websites, web content, and blog owners need a carefully planned editorial calendar.

What is an editorial calendar?

An editorial calendar is not just a chat with dates or when content should be published. With a good editorial calendar, see mapped out content, responsible parties, buying personal targets, and the delivery methods for these contents.

When you come across an editorial calendar, you should be able to see the following features."

Why use an editorial calendar? 

It organizes and manages content production and publication.
You can efficiently distribute content across marketing channels.
Individuals can be held accountable for their roles in content production and promotion.
You can ensure that your content production is in line with your content strategy.
It helps you assess your current resources and explore new methods to fill gaps in your content strategy. 

Creating an editorial calendar 

For something so important, users need to learn the proper way to create and use an editorial calendar to achieve excellent content marketing. Using an editorial calendar saves an average overseer from having to sort through article chaos. With an editorial calendar, web content managers like Semalt can handle your content marketing strategy with ease. As a team, we have an organized structure, and this is necessary when handling web content.

Before we head off rushing to create an editorial calendar, we should not forget that there is no such thing as a perfect editorial calendar. An editorial calendar is created to suit the team that is involved. When finding the most suitable editorial calendar, there are some essential questions that you need to ask before you make your editorial calendar.

• Where should you create an editorial calendar?

This should be your first question when creating your editorial calendar. Most marketing platforms have their built-in editorial calendars that make it easier for you to create a workflow for contents,        plot them on calendars, and manage the editing, publishing, and distribution of these contents.

If you do not have an editorial calendar for your content marketing, you can use a Google sheet or Excel spreadsheet to serve as your calendar. You can create a dedicated workbook for a year or            more if you'd like and designate one tab per week or month. 

• How to align an editorial calendar with a content marketing strategy?

By creating a content marketing strategy, you have laid the foundation for your editorial calendar. If we consider what a content strategy is, we realize that the content you publish will be in line with your SEO strategy. To create, edit, and publish this content, we will need an editorial calendar, hence the relationship these three factors share.

In your content marketing strategy, you establish content pillars, which are the core topics you're hoping to discuss. These pillars are in line with your brand, your mission, and the SEO keywords with which you hope to get ranked.

For the editorial calendar, you can have columns for each pillar, and under each pillar, you now have related topics. For example, as a fitness company, one of your content pillars can be nutrition and healthy eating, and under that pillar, you have related topics such as recipes, meal plans, expert advice, and more.

• How to come up with ideas for an editorial calendar

Before you can start filling up the boxes of your editorial calendar, you need ideas. To make this process fun, you can decide to involve the team in the process or do it yourself.

By gathering your key content marketing stakeholders, you can form a brainstorming session to iron out every idea for an editorial calendar. You can also involve yourself and other teams, such as the marketing team, SEO team, etc. To ensure that the brainstorming session is productive, you should structure it with a plan. As a leader, you may begin talking to readers through your content pillars and the content types you hope to have on your website. After that, you can dedicate 10-20 minutes to brainstorm the content that will fit in each pillar. Share these ideas and take them down after the brainstorming session before you figure out the best strategy to achieve your content marketing strategy.  

• How frequently do you publish content? 

Do you have content that will need to be published every day, weekly, or once a month? Finding out how often you would like to publish content can tell you how to create your editorial calendar to meet such needs visually.

• Are you publishing more than one type of content? 

Web content doesn't always involve articles. Your website may contain YouTube videos that will need to be accounted for when creating your editorial calendar, and these contents will be distinguished from the editorial calendar.

• How many people do you plan on having on your editorial calendar? 

A good editorial calendar should have multiple people on it to brainstorm and come up provide feedback on assignments in real-time.

Formatting your editorial calendar

• Do you prefer a traditional calendar of a calendar app?

 When you begin to track deadlines on a big piece of paper placed over your desk, you realize that it isn't as simple as it may seem. However, this is what makes the traditional editorial calendar. An alternative to this would be to use an app such as Google Calendar to manage your editorial calendar. One disadvantage, however, is that there is more to content management than checking publishing dates, and using editorial calendars alone may not be efficient on its own. 

• Using spreadsheets

Spreadsheets have been used as a favorite tool in content management for years. It makes it possible for publishers and content creators to see all the necessary data points aggregated in one place. Spreadsheets also form a neatly arranged collection of data in rows and columns. With apps such as Microsoft spreadsheets and google spreadsheets, you have no difficulty creating spreadsheets, and they aren't difficult to learn.  

Using a spreadsheet, you can easily pair it with your calendar app, giving you better control and awareness on the deadlines you have. By importing a .csv file, you can load information onto multiple places as needed for the task. 

• Other project management tools 

Tools like Kanban serve as a visual system for project management that involves you moving cards through different stages of a project. It is popular amongst editors because it can be easily used to represent the workflow no matter what your quality assurance process is, and it also accounts for how many hands touch a piece before that article gets published. 

This means that such an editorial calendar tool can be easily modified to accommodate your content calendar. This means you can create more room for planning and management before you publish content. 

Now you know how important editorial calendars can be to your content marketing strategy and how to design one.