When I started my career in newsletter publishing, we planned what we would write long before we published anything. Now, with instant publishing, it’s easy to lose sight of what to do next. You might even wonder if your efforts are worth it.
1. It Can Be Simple or Complex
The most basic editorial calendar is one where you schedule a topic headline on your calendar. This method works well for most small businesses. You know what to write and when it’s due.
If you want more detail, a spreadsheet or database will let you see the publication life cycle—from brainstorming ideas to actual publication date. So you can include important details such as the author, internal and external links to, images, and targeted keywords.
2. Editorial Calendars Work Well with All Kinds of Content
Maybe you don’t have a blog, but you send an email newsletter once a month to your loyal customers and subscribers. Or, you post to social media and go to in-person networking events.
An editorial calendar will help you plan, schedule, and prepare all your marketing literature throughout the year. So you’ll always be ready for any event.
3. Accountability, Consistency, and Credibility
An editorial calendar creates a culture of accountability. It reminds you and your staff about when the next project is due, who is working on what, and whether you completed a task.
Additionally, having to produce content over and over and over seems daunting. So an editorial calendar will you help you systematize your content marketing tasks.
With consistency comes credibility. People notice that your business is here to stay because you show you about your customers by answering their questions in posts and emails.
4. You Can Direct Staff, Freelancers, and You
One of the hardest things for small business owners is to delegate tasks.
You can, however, delegate content writing tasks more easily when you have an editorial calendar. It also lets you track work progress, so tasks aren’t forgotten or fall through the cracks.
5. Puts You on an Equal Footing with the Competition
You may not have as big a marketing budget as a large enterprise, but that doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate big business practices into your small business systems that make you more competitive. By organizing your content just a bit, you give yourself that competitive edge.
6. Helps You Track All Your Content
The WordPress platform makes publishing easy. But it’s not a good database for tracking what you’ve written, where your links or pointed, or even the graphic assets you use on each page or post.
So use your editorial calendar to track all your content in the past, present, and future.
7. Helps You See the Big Picture
Maintaining a publishing calendar is detail work. However, when you keep track of all this data—dates, authors, links, images, and the channels you will use—you can see what works and what doesn’t. That way you will know where you can adjust so you get the best return on your content marketing investment.
At the beginning of any enterprise, most people say they didn’t know what they were doing. If they want to succeed, they’re going to want know where they’ve been and where they’re going. A simple editorial calendar can help you have a successful content marketing journey.