An editorial calendar is the heart of your content marketing plan. It’s also your ticket to a successful content marketing campaign this year and beyond.
A successful content marketing campaign depends on having a plan with built-in deadlines.
That’s why your editorial calendar is important. As Mat Szwajakos says, an editorial calendar “Ensures that important publishing milestones are recognized and activities planned so that publishing remains manageable.”
What Does an Editorial Calendar Look Like?
An editorial calendar can be any calendar—from a simple desk calendar to a detailed Excel file with all the bells and whistles.
Here’s a blogging editorial calendar in an Excel file by HubSpot.
Because I’m visually oriented, I like planning on a wall calendar so I can see the whole plan at once as if it were a giant mind map. When I’m done planning, I’ll then set up automatic reminders in an electronic calendar.
How Does an Editorial Calendar Work?
First, look at the coming year and note the significant events for you and your business. For example, if you’re in retail, seasonal changes and holidays are important to you. If you’re a tax preparer, the IRS tax calendar is important. Note all these events on your calendar.
Second, decide on the themes for each month based on the events you noted in the first step.
Third, brainstorm for topic ideas based on your themes and significant events.
Fourth, pair a topic idea with a scheduled publish/post date. You can publish something about the topic on your blog, in a newsletter, through social media, through personal email, or through all your channels. It doesn’t matter as long as you have a firm deadline that you are going to publish about a particular topic on a particular date. Note the publish/post date on your calendar.
Fifth, estimate how long it will take you to write about each topic. Put the write date next to each scheduled publish/post date.
Finally, stick to your schedule. The more consistent you are with publishing, the greater your success will be.