How To: Create An Editorial Calendar

by Kristy Bolsinger June 29th, 2011 

editorial-calendar

Getting your blog up on your site is only the first step. You've got the platform in place – now the REAL work begins. Creating solid, interesting and high quality content that your audience will enjoy, find valuable and (perhaps most importantly) SHARES takes thoughtful and diligent planning.

You can go along way towards helping yourself by creating and sticking to an editorial calendar.

Consider This

  • Does seasonality affect any aspect of your business?
  • Are there relevant holidays that your customers or audience would find interesting or helpful to cover or integrate?
  • What does your product roadmap look like? Don't forget to include new launches, updates or iterations that you'll want to cover!
  • Look forward in the next 6-12 months. What are the relevant events (conferences, trade shows, annual regulation changes, etc) that you will want to ensure coverage on?
  • What is your content cadence or rhythm? (Examples of this are Weekend Coffee Links, Friday Re-cap's, Cup of Joe, etc.)

Don't forget to plan for all of your content needs as you develop this calendar.

As you begin actually planning for content creation remember that it may be appropriate to use video, special photography, graphics, or other rich media. This can take time to create quality so PLAN AHEAD. Built this into your calendar and project management process.

Clear Priorities

With all of these different elements coming in to play in your editorial calendar you need to develop a clear sense of prioritization as some of these elements will conflict.

Have a mission statement for your blog to refer back to in instances of divergent interests will make the decision process much more seamless.

What Goes Where?

For each piece of content you want to plan where it's placed and promoted:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Tumblr
  • Blog
  • Newsletter
  • Syndication Channels

Details To Include

When you layout your editorial calendar, include some of the following as well:

  • Time and date of ideal publication
  • Amount of time and effort needed to prepare content
  • Where the content will be published, promoted and potentially syndicated
  • Keywords and linking strategies for the content
  • Cross promotional opportunities to be leveraged
  • Approvals necessary prior to publish (Legal, PR, etc)

Align your editorial calendar with the performance metrics you've set up for your blog/content platforms. The two together will help you derive valuable insight in to how your consumer interacts with your content.

Question: do you use an editorial calendar or not? Why? Leave a comment by clicking here

Kristy Bolsinger

Kristy Bolsinger is a Senior Associate at PwC in Seattle, WA. She has previously worked at Ant's Eye View (acquired by PwC in 2012), and RealNetworks (GameHouse). Prior to her time at RealNetworks, and Ant's Eye View - Kristy was working as a Social Media Marketing Consultant and completing her MBA at Willamette University. She maintains a social media blog and can also be found on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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7 Responses to “How To: Create An Editorial Calendar”

  1. Arienne says:

    Hey, Kristy. If you haven't heard me promote it before, I will now:

    If you use WordPress to manage a blog, I highly recommend the "WordPress Editorial Calendar" plugin. It lets you drag and drop posts to rearrange them, in calendar format, and it's very simple to go back get an overall view of what you published when. You can also add/schedule new posts right from the calendar. I LOVE it.

    • Ruud Hein says:

      +1 Arienne. Definitely a keeper. Between my real editorial calender and that plugin, it's hard to get disorganized ;)

    • Thanks for this! We will definitely be looking for this plug-in. We use WordPress for all our clients, and managing their blog calendars in this fashion will definitely make things a lot easier.

      We also use Google calendars to keep track of their posts. Just like every writer, every client has their own calendar and is color-coded so that we can tell at a glance who is up to date and who needs work. It's also a good place to make notes, schedule meetings, etc.

  2. Kristy says:

    I'll have to give that plugin a shot. I've heard others promoting before as well…I am just so addicted to Post-its and actual calendars that I tend to default there. I suppose a plugin could be a step up from that ;)

  3. Kristy says:

    I could probably spend all day organizing to be honest. It's so fun…but I usually have way too much work to do for that. Drats!! But I do love me a good shopping trip for office supplies eh! :)

  4. Jared says:

    I use a calendar, but I'm not as strict with it as I need to be. I'm definitely going to have to check out that plugin though. I would probably be better at sticking to my content goals if I had the publication dates staring me in the face :)