Marketing

How To Create Your First Editorial Calendar

an editorial calendar on a desk
Written by MicroStartups

Are you having difficulties keeping up with your blogs, and social media posts? Do you need an organizer to keep all things on schedule?

An editorial content calendar could be your saving grace as it’s a schedule used to document the processes of creating, reviewing, and publishing blog content.

In addition to showcasing the workflow, the calendar also highlights task assignment, such as who is responsible for producing the content. But it doesn’t stop there.

An editorial calendar also contains the article briefs, such as who the target market or what the target keywords, and the form of the content, such as an article, an infographic, or a video.

Read on to discover how to create your first editorial content calendar and organize your content production and publication.

What should an editorial calendar include?

Blog content, topics and themes

The first thing you need to place on the calendar are the topics for your blog. This includes your ideas for future blogs, existing articles that can be rework, or any upcoming awareness days or industry events.

Task assignment

The content calendar is also useful for assigning various people of their responsibilities. This includes, but is not limited to, keyword research, writing the content, editing the content, and sourcing imagery and assets for the content. You can also keep track of their progress.

Creation, editing & publication dates

Your content calendar should also detail specific dates for every development stage of the blog and content such as an authored date, editing deadline, publication date, and promotion schedule. Meeting the deadlines is vital to the success of your blogs and content.

The purpose

It’s vital that you list the purpose of each piece of content on your editorial calendar as the purpose is the heart of content marketing. Purposes may include targeting certain SEO keywords, targeting a section of your target market or buyer personas. If your content’s purpose is to invite your target market to engage with your brand, it’s worth listing your call to action too.

Promotion and distribution platforms

There are several platforms where you can distribute your blogs and content. These include websites, social media networks, and emails. Ensure you have the ways of promoting your blog content listed on your calendar too.

How to plan your content

Here are the basic steps to take when planning your content:

Devise a headline to capture attention

First, start with a working title. It’s just temporary until you can find one that’s suitable for SEO purposes.

Make sure the title is accurate. For example, if your content is about internet advertising, the title should include those words.

After accuracy, you need to jazz up your title. How do I do that? Here are some tips from HubSpot:

  • Alliteration: It’s a play on words that makes titles look better to read. Example:  Krispy Kreme.
  • Strong language: This will get the reader’s attention, but use it in moderation. Example: Excellent Ways to Do…
  • Visual: If you have some visuals on your content, mention that in your title. Research suggest that adding the word “photo” will improve your title’s performance by almost 40%.
  •  Who: Adding this word in the title generates more than 20% in terms of CTR compared to “why.” Example: “10 Amazing People Who are Earning Big on Facebook.”
  • The shorter the better: Short titles works well on both your audience, search engines, and social networks. Example: Facebook headlines with 12 to 14 words get the most Likes.

Provide an accurate and interesting content description

Content descriptions are important because they:

  • Increase your blog’s organic traffic
  • Increase content click-through-rate (CTR)
  • Inform readers what your blog is all about
  • Act as part of your brand building

Here are some tips in creating a unique and interesting blog descriptions:

  • Limit your content description to under 140 characters.
  • Make sure the description answer all of these 5 questions:
    • What’s the content about?
    • What’s makes your content unique?
    • What’s is your content’s top goal?
    • What are your target market’s interests?
    • What do you expect your audience to do after reading or watching your content

Use words like “you” and “I” because people like getting acknowledged. Also, use power words like “expensive.” It’s also wise to remove all filler words. Instead, improve your content description. Example: “you know” is much better than, “as you may know.”

Use keywords

The use of keywords in blogs has changed over the years. For SEO purposes you need to include the keywords as naturally as possible. But there are some places where you can insert the keyword:

  • URL/Permalink
  • Images
  • Title

To get an idea of what keywords you can use in your blog, make use of Google Keyword Planner. Use this tool to search for:

  • Short-tail and long-tail keyword phrases that describes your brand.
  • Make sure the keyword is what your audience use in their search.

Include the meta tags in your descriptions or categories

Meta tags are still useful for SEO purposes. But do not over-do it keep the meta tags to a minimum. Use  the meta description to describe the web page.  This will help searchers find your page or site. For best results:

  • Keep the characters under 160 characters.
  • Use every character to catch your intended reader’s attention.
  • Include the reason why your audience need to visit the site and what benefits they will get.

Don’t forget your call-to-action (CTA)

A CTA is important because it will:

  • Improve web traffic.
  • Encourage engagement and leads.
  • Provide more blog and content to your readers.
  • Encourage readers to share the blog.
  • Get more subscribers.

To increase the effectiveness of your CTA:

  • Specify the action you want your readers to do.
  • You can offer your audience a free demo or download after reading the content.
  • Keep the CTA simple and straight to the point.
  • Make the buttons easy to find  and use large and bold fonts.

Check the status of your article

Use the content calendar to update the status of your content and classify them as:

  • Ideas: You come up with several ideas for your audience.
  • For writing or creating: Assign people to work on the idea.
  • For editing: Once the work is finished, the editor will take look and make suggestions.
  • For revision: If the work is not unsatisfactory, the assigned person will have to revise it
  • For publication: If the content is ready, you can publish it.

Promote blogs through various social platforms

You can promote your blogs through various social platforms, such as:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Google+

You will need the content calendar to keep track of your social media postings. How often you post will affect how the audience engage with your brand. You can also use tools like Hootsuite to help you

Tips for creating a content strategy

Define your goal

You need to have a clear goal. To discover that goal,  answer the following:

  • What is your master goal?
  • What situations or scenarios best describes your marketing needs?
  • Enumerate your smaller specific goals
  • Do you have a time period to reach your goal?
  • How much time can you dedicate in pursuing your goal?
  • What is your biggest obstacle in attaining your goal?

Buyer personas

Create a buyer persona. With a target audience in mind, you can tailor fit your content. Here are some tips on how to create one:

  • Search your contacts to find any trend that will get you leads or how customers find your content.
  • If you’re using forms on your site, include fields that will collect important information such as company size.
  • Take into account your sales team’s feedback to the customers they are interacting.
  • Interview your customers or prospects to find out what they like about your product.

Create different content assets

Find out if you can create different types of content. There are several content formats you can create such as:

  • Blogs
  • Ebooks
  • Infographics
  • Videos
  • Podcasts

Use ideation tools

Consider using tools to come up with content ideas. Here are some tools you can use:

  • Hubspot: You can use this website’s tools to search for new content that’s SEO-friendly.
  • What to Write: This tool has a content idea generator. You will need to answer questions that will give several blog ideas.
  • BuzzSumo: The content generator makes use of social media shares. This approach will help you determine a popular and well-liked content.

Stick to the schedule

A content calendar will help you keep your content diverse and publish on time. But you have to take into account the holidays too. Create articles that take advantage of holidays like New Year and watch your engagement increase.

Conclusion

As a general rule, all those involved in your content marketing will need access to the editorial calendar. Still, there should only be one person responsible for supervising the people and blog creation. This will ensure that there’s no overlapping of duties or waste of time and effort.

About the author

MicroStartups

A team of writers and marketers, MicroStartups was founded to inspire the entrepreneurial and business community to give back. We believe in business growth through giving and supporting the local community.

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