How to Create Great Content with an Editorial Calendar
Is it time to start using an editorial calendar? Are you struggling to keep up with your blog schedule? Are you scrambling to figure out which stories or topics to pursue because you don't have a content strategy planned out?
It's time to create an editorial calendar then.
I have gone back and forth with using one and not using one, and from my experience, it is extremely helpful to have a general idea of the content you want to create over the next couple of months. It gives you a sense of direction and helps keep you from getting overwhelmed. Instead of scrambling to come up with ideas, you already know what topics you will be covering. It's that peace of mind factor. It can be stressful coming up with ideas for a blog post or an article on the same day you're supposed to publish it (I'm speaking from experience here).
I've also seen other companies scramble to get their e-newsletters done and they usually end up behind schedule, delayed by a few days, even a week or more. Do readers realize a monthly newsletter that typically gets sent out in the middle of the month is behind schedule? Maybe not, but the person creating it certainly knows it's late. Is that person you?
Life is stressful enough without adding things that are totally in our control into the mix.
With an editorial calendar, we take the guess work out because we already have at least a general idea of what to write about. We know which topics we want to cover so we can determine the publications we want to feature in our newsletters.
This also allows us to set deadlines for content creation. If we're featuring a white paper on cloud security in our next newsletter, we know when it needs to be completed. There's nothing like being able to plan things around deadlines – and knowing that our publications will be complete well in advance of when we need them. Each piece of this puzzle is interconnected and gets the whole process moving.
Having an editorial calendar doesn't mean our content strategy is written in stone. We can still make adjustments if we need to.
When creating your editorial calendar, take into consideration your existing content strategy. What topics will be covered in your articles, case studies, or white papers? When will these documents be completed? Are there any delays?
If you haven't planned these out yet, now is the time to consider the topics you'd like to cover. Set their projected completion dates and plan your blog articles and newsletter content around those deadlines.
Another thing to keep in mind when creating your calendar is product or service release dates. Will your company be releasing a new product soon? Make note of the date. Also stay informed on its status and schedule. Is it going to release on-time or are there delays that will push the date back? This is what I mean by adjustments. If you had wanted to feature a white paper on the new product, but the release date has been delayed, you'll want to feature a different publication. If that alternative document is about an unrelated topic, you'll probably want to move your calendar around so the newsletter topics complement each other.
An editorial calendar is a great way to help you stay on track with your blog schedule and content strategy. Spend the time now brainstorming and scheduling topics to avoid unnecessary stress and overwhelm.
Do you have questions? Please leave a comment below or swing by my Facebook wall – https://facebook.com/jodycalkinsbiz. I'd love to hear from you!