Content Organization With An Editorial Calendar
Editorial calendars can help content managers, SEOs and businesses organize content and blog posts efficiently. An editorial calendar can be as flexible as you like, covering only themes for the month or going into specific titles and campaigns. A grand overview of all projects can avoid scheduling and resource conflicts, ensuring that each project gets the attention it deserves and syncing social media activities with other content marketing projects. They also double as a backup plan for emergencies. If a contributor is unavailable, it’s easy to re-assign a topic than come up with something last-minute.
Consistent content regulated by an editorial calendar means more engaged readers and increased traffic to a website, leading to new clients and repeat business. This solid stream of fresh content can attract partners, guest bloggers and advertisers. A special focus on a particular segment or topic can garner more advertising dollars when prepared in advance and pitched to advertisers.
Luckily, editorial calendars are easy to create. Here’s how.
You don’t need a specific software package to create an editorial calendar. Excel, Google Calendar and your e-mail client, especially if it’s networked with your team, are all options to create your content marketing calendar.
Get Started With Brainstorming
The process of creating an editorial calendar for content marketing starts with brainstorming topics and ideas. Brainstorming ideas avoids writers’ block and the stress of wondering what to write about at the last minute. Group brainstorming can lead to many creative ideas that one person alone may not have considered and pulls writers into the content marketing strategy. Instead of a top-down approach, group brainstorming builds a team and gets buy-in from others.
Divide and Conquer
Narrow down the ideas to ones that truly fit your content marketing concept. Assign a date and person responsible for delivering each topic. Ensure that any standards, like pictures, formatting or links, are clear for all contributors. Follow up with contributors to receive and post your content.
Flexibility Is Key
One risk with editorial calendars is overdoing them. Setting the exact title for the each piece may wind up being too constrictive, or your planned schedule may be too ambitious. An editorial calendar will organize your team, but they still need time to research, write and proofread. Outside sources for interviews or customer stories may not respond to requests within your deadlines, so plan extra time for these types of pieces.
Some bloggers and content managers view an editorial calendar as a limitation to creativity. Planning the daily or weekly content marketing of a website beforehand and trying to adhere to a set schedule may feel stifling.
What if there is breaking news that you want to cover? It’s always a good idea to comment on the latest information, as it shows that you’re on top of what’s most relevant to your audience. The solution is simple: Add breaking news posts on top of the posts you planned in your editorial calendar, or just move your calendar back. If you blog once a week, hit the breaking news in the current week, and then resume your regular calendar the next week.
Editorial calendars are wonderful organizational tools that can be created by common software and shared with a number of contributors. Starting with brainstorming, contributors help develop a plan with deadlines and responsibility. With a plan in place, topics and expectations are clearer, and work can be distributed more easily. Staying flexible can keep the team together, working through unexpected news or issues. This easy tool can focus your content marketing strategy while simultaneously reducing your stress and workload. Try it – the only thing you have to lose is disorganization.