It is always good to organize your work. As a content writer one of the most important things you could have is an editorial calendar. It is an emerging trend that is catching on quickly. The internet is evolving and when trying to manage an online community, it is easy to make grand plans but even harder to stick to them.
Inevitably, that day will come when you are at your desk and realize that you have nothing planned for the coming weeks ahead. This is where you need an editorial calendar. Planning ahead of time is the best solution to solving organizational problems. Having a calendar, you can eliminate stress and anxiety by knowing what to do next.
Content marketing is highly strategic. First of all, you need to understand your audience and what motivates them to make a connection to your brand. The content marketing editorial calendar is essentially a planning document that gives you and your team a plan of action.
Like a normal calendar, it should give you a bird’s-eye-view of what is going on, but in addition it should also serve the following functions:
- Provide a place to create ideas and key topics.
- Delegate writing and other editorial duties to members of your team.
- Create a schedule that helps you blog consistently.
- Allow you to be flexible and make adjustments to your content easily.
- Visualize your marketing strategy in a way that everyone can understand.
- Act as a communication point to team members.
An editorial calendar in short is a strategic marketing tool that gives you and your team a framework for being deliberate and intentional about how you are reaching and building trust with your audience.
In another way, it is a place to keep your team organized and on top of things. Both of these things are going to be very important as you move ahead.
So what are the things you benefit from by having an editorial calendar?
- Accountability and improved time management
When you have an editorial calendar, all your content is planned and designated to the various writers in your office. What this does is that it holds your writers and contributors equally accountable. They will know what is expected of them and they can manage their time efficiently.
You are not limited to a specific time to set on your calendar, by planning far enough ahead, you can make your content more purposeful which I will get to in a bit.
2. Better organization
By having an editorial calendar, you can visualize your content strategy in the months ahead which helps you stay organized. If your writers produce lots of content you can easily spread them out on the calendar
When your content is planned weeks ahead of schedule, the “I couldn’t think of anything to write” excuse goes out the window. What you also benefit from is consistency in blogging. In many ways, you have created more time for yourself to focus on other things because all the hard work has already been done.
3. Make your content more purposeful
Editorial calendars can help you be more strategic with your content. You can identify certain events such as holidays, conferences, conventions to ensure you can create relevant content around them. Your content will not be limited to your feelings alone but will be based on your marketing campaigns, buyer personas and keywords.
4. Easier content re purposing
Your editorial calendar provides you with an inventory of all your content that you have produced and everything else that you have scheduled. Having a quick overview of this data can help you identify and seize opportunities for content re-purposing, opening up the possibility to reach a wider audience while getting the most out of your content.
5. Better correlation between your actions and your results
Another great way to use your editorial calendar is to connect it with your analytics data, so that you can see how much traffic and how much engagement you were able to generate each day, with each piece of content and with each task to promote it.
In other words, you’ll be able to better see the correlation between your actions and your results, which in turn enables you to become even more strategic in your marketing campaigns
6. Create content to nurture your leads into paying customers
You will accomplish what you focus on. If you are focusing on building traffic or blog growth, then making a rigorous effort to plan your content will only make reaching these goals easier. Website traffic will increase when you make consistency and quality your first priority. The editorial calendar puts these goals front and center.
If you do not have an editorial calendar, how do you go about it?
The good news is, there is no shortage of editorial calendar templates that you can find on the internet.
Here are a couple from Coschedule and-Hannon Hill. You can also create your own calendar for free with Google docs.
For more in-depth information about the specifics about crafting your own editorial calendar I recommend you read these articles below.
To get the most out of your calendar, this is what you need to do.
Know how it will improve your marketing
You should be able to identify how implementing a calendar will achieve one of your goals like driving traffic to your website for example.
Understand your audience
By understanding the group of people who connect the most with your brand, you will be able to craft the best possible content for them. You can start by using a basic customer profile
Delegate your content among your team
Find out the members of your team who will be contributing to the end product. You can also use this as an opportunity to find out the strengths and weaknesses of your team so that everyone gets assigned the topics they specialize on.
What will your content look like?
What kind of content do you want to create? Videos, podcasts, webinars, long or short articles? The good thing with a blog is that you can experiment with all those content types.
How often will you post?
Determining the frequency of your posting will also help you determine how far ahead to plan your content. Depending on how prolific you are, you could always begin with a minimum of two blog posts a week and see if you can build on that.
Communication with your team members is essential to your success. Always look for different ways to improve your content such as editorial reviews which involve gathering feedback from your peers to get a second opinion.
On a side note, don’t forget to promote your content on social media. It is still the best way to spread your content online. When you take the time to plan and execute an editorial calendar are more likely to succeed in generating traffic in the long run.
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