The biggest reason that many companies do not use an editorial calendar is because they already have a system in place that works. If you have in-house writers and editors, generally a schedule naturally forms and helps to keep your content top notch. So why bother now? The answer is very simple: Content is changing, and to keep up with your competition you’re going to need to get creative. There are several advanced content methods that we’re seeing more and more each day:
- New content types such as infographics, videos, reviews, interviews, and more.
- Blogs featuring multiple authors to help bring more traffic through the author’s audience.
- Blogs posts being published more frequently for more indexed content.
- Social media contests and events being linked up/ promoted with a website’s content.
- Working with complimentary websites to contribute content in addition to blog content.
As you can probably tell, this creativity is going to make things more complicated. An editorial calendar is an easy option to help keep you organized and bring your content strategy to this next level in 2015.
How and Editorial Calendar Works and Why It Matters for SEO
As discussed above, an editorial calendar is a way to stay organized when initiating all of the different content tactics mentioned in the list. More specifically, it helps you schedule blog posts, manage and delegate work to certain writers, and track events so you can see everything that is happening with your content in one place. As you hire more and more writers, especially if you begin to accept content from guest bloggers, you will want to know who is writing what and where, and then you’ll want to know when it’s going to get published. A calendar helps keep everything straight.
Aside from just organization, what many companies forget is that editorial calendars are also great ways to gather ideas and collaborate to come up with unique content. It can be tough to keep everyone in the loop and really get a conversation going about content, so a calendar can usually offer a place (almost like a forum) to help foster ideas. The thing to remember here is that writers and those in the content department are not the only ones who you want to hear from—others in your company should have an opportunity to provide ideas for content, and many times this will give you the new perspectives you need to set yourself apart from the rest.
Different Editorial Calendar Options
An editorial calendar is really something you will understand more once you get started and try out a few options. Below are a few different calendars to choose from along with a screenshot to hopefully show you how it all works:
This is a plugin that allows you to drag and drop different posts to help make changes easy, and it works with a notification system to let you know everyone someone makes a change or something is published.
This is a tool that also offers social media functionality. It also can be installed directly with WordPress for easy management. It’s also mentioned here as one of the best options for SEO help from a plugin.
This does focus on social shares, but it also offers a great editorial calendar. If social and keeping your sharing managed is a main focus, this might be the right choice for you. Keep in mind, however, that this is just a template and does not work right alongside your WordPress system like the others.
This is one of the more advanced editorial calendar templates (yep, another template). It looks at your business goals along with the buying cycles and how your content should fit in for maximum success.
How you want to actually manage your editorial calendar is up to you. In other words, do you want to just give access to a few select editors, or do you want everyone to be able to make edits and see what’s happening? The latter is an example of a forward-facing calendar. You can check out the pros and cons here.
Do you know of a great editorial calendar option? Any stories about how using an editorial calendar has helped your content efforts? Let us know your story and your thoughts in the comment section below.