I’ve written a lot this past month about how to develop an editorial strategy for your blog – and I’ve shared some additional thoughts about how to create a broader content strategy for all your other channels. If you’ve successfully completed the assignment and have memorialized your strategy in written form, you’ll quickly find yourself in need of some help for making that strategy a reality.
Take a deep breath and muster up some patience, as you can’t do everything you’ll want to do all at once. You’ll need to develop an approach to help you prioritize and plan your work – and you’ll need to find a rhythm and cadence that works best for you – if you are to be successful in implementing the strategy you’ve worked so hard to develop.
How can you take your first steps towards realizing the vision, mission, purpose and goals you’ve outlined in your strategy? I’ve managed hundreds of communications programs over the years, and I can think of no tool more valuable than the almighty editorial calendar for translating strategy into execution.
A solid understanding of the editorial calendar will help you accomplish the following:
- Prioritize and plan your work
- Capture and nurture ideas for future posts
- Encourage communication and collaboration across your team
- Capitalize on opportunities across departments or disciplines
- Inform teams about pending posts and to mobilize teams for sharing or amplification
- Manage the content production and approval process
- Provide a historical archive of past content ideas to accelerate new team member development
- Open lines of communication with external partners, influencers and collaborators
- Maintain consistent messaging and content balance across topics defined in your strategy
- And much, much more
If you’re not already convinced about the value editorial calendars provide for the content team as a whole, or you’re unsure how to develop an editorial calendar that will work best for your team or organization, I’ve collected some of my favorite posts about this topic to help you find the right approach and fit.
In no particular order, here are some of my favorite posts about how to create an editorial calendar. If you know of a great resource that I missed, please share your suggestion in the comments below this post.
How to Create an Editorial Calendar
The following posts represent some of the best resources I have found about how to develop an editorial calendar – a valuable tool for helping you translate your editorial strategy into action.
“How to Create an Editorial Calendar for Your Blog,” by Kaleigh Moore, Entpreneur.com, September 2015 – there is no right way to create an editorial calendar, but not creating one is the wrong way. If you’re trying to decide whether or not you should plan the posts you’re going to write, perhaps Kaleigh’s post will bring you over to the planning side.
Content Strategy 101: How to Create an Editorial Calendar for Your Blog,” by Shane Snow, Contently’s “The Content Strategist” blog, May 2011 – this post falls into the “oldie, but a goodie” category. Not a lot has changed in the editorial calendar arena in the past couple of years, and Shane’s post is a plain and simple introduction to creating an editorial calendar specific to your blog – as an extension of your overall content strategy. If you don’t already have an approach that works for you, consider Shane’s approach to be a good starting point.
“Create Consistent Content with a Content Marketing Editorial Calendar,” by Garrett Moon, CoSchedule Blog – Oscar Wilde might consider consistency to be the last refuge of the unimaginative, but I disagree when it comes to planning your editorial calendar. On the contrary, consistency is key to building trust with your audience. Garrett knows that, which is why I’m sharing his post. Of course, this suggestion is consistent with my other recommendations.
“10 Reasons Your Editorial Calendar Sucks (And How to Make It The Best),” by Nathan Ellerling, Convince & Convert – knowing how to create an editorial calendar is one thing, knowing how to create one that doesn’t suck is apparently another. Nathan’s post is the most-extensive post on the topic of creating an editorial calendar I have found. If you want to develop a great editorial calendar – or you have a great editorial calendar that could use a little un-sucking, this post is a must-read.
“How to Create an Editorial Calendar,” by Jeremy Porter, Journalistics, July 2013 – hey, I know this guy – he writes about editorial calendar planning too? Joking aside, I have written about this topic in the past. And since you’re reading this post, there’s a good chance you like the way I write and might find this post valuable in helping you create your editorial calendar.
“5 Reasons Why a Social Media Content Calendar is Important for Your Business,” by Olsy Sorokina, HootSuite’s Blog, November 2014 – if you’re going to use an editorial calendar for your blog, you might as well combine it with your social media content calendar – consider Olsy’s advice for the latter in this post. This post is particularly relevant for content teams that are managing both the company blog, as well as social media channels. As a bonus tip here, when planning your content for your blog and social channels, be sure to plan your sharing or amplification of new blog posts via your social channels. Likewise, if you have some great ideas for social posts, consider whether those topics might be good ones to explore in longer form via the blog. And if you still don’t think an editorial calendar is important, maybe Olsy can set you straight?
“How to Set Goals for Your Content and Weave Them Into What You Create,” by Sean Smith, Copyblogger, March 2015 – here’s a novel idea, as you’re planning the content for your blog (or social channels), consider the goal or outcome you’re hoping to achieve with each post. This could be as simple as clarifying the communication goal for the post (e.g. inform audience X about Y topic), or could be a more elaborate goal as part of your ongoing marketing efforts (e.g. get reader to complete form in sidebar of post). Regardless of your intent for each post, Sean’s tips for setting goals and incorporating them into your content are a helpful reminder of staying true to the purpose behind the content you produce.
What did I miss? Do you have the information you need to create an editorial calendar? Did you find one of the resources above more valuable than the rest? Please share your thoughts below.
(Image Credit: “Calendar” by studio curve / Flickr)