How to create an editorial calendar
The most crucial component to your online marketing strategy? Original content.
While it can be overwhelming to prioritize creating and sharing original content on a regular basis, it is one of the cornerstones of a strong search engine optimization (SEO) and marketing strategy.
Enter, the editorial calendar.
What is an editorial calendar, you ask? In a nutshell, it is a content planner/social media calendar/blog strategy/marketing schedule all in one. It’s the relief you need when thinking about all of the original content you’ll be creating next year to boost your presence online. I update my editorial calendar quarterly. It is really helpful to hammer out all the planning and strategy related to your original content at once – then tackle the writing week by week. Still at times, you may find yourself struggling to create original content on a weekly basis. When feeling overwhelmed, leverage the power of a professional writer to help fill in the gaps — your editorial calendar will likely be enough direction for the writer to create the blog post for you that week.
In the spirit of giving, I offer you my very own editorial calendar template for free. Download it here. Print it out and fill it in — I’ll walk you through what goes in each column below:
This one is pretty obvi. Shoot for creating an original blog post 4 times per month (once a week), fill in the month in this column. If you’re ambitious and you love writing, aim for more regular posting. The more original content, the better!
Come up with 3-5 blog categories that fully encompass your business. Categories are higher up in the hierarchy than tags – you want to come up with 3-5 and stick to them, rotating between them evenly and never veering outside of them (tagging is where you can get more creative). In my case, I rotate between the following blog categories: Branding Tips, Lexi Love, Industry News, and Work.
For every blog post you write, you’ll want to tag around 5 things that really highlight the meat of the content in your post. Tags should be a popular phrase or a highly searched term. What would someone search for that your blog post addresses/answers? Tag it up!
What will your post be titled? I like to keep this fluid because as you draft your content, you may find yourself wanting to tweak the title slightly. Be creative here, but also stay search friendly. Teeter the line between an attention grabber and some more common terms.
What are you going to write about? Jot down a few notes about the main points you want to hit so you don’t forget later when it comes time to draft the content. Blogging can be overwhelming — do yourself a favor and get clear on your concept from the get-go.
Use Google’s Keyword Planner to come up with 7-10 keywords per post that need to be included in your content. In addition to Keyword Planner, you may simply try searching for some articles related to what you want to write about and reference the related search terms that appear at the bottom of your search. Keywords are mission critical. Your content needs to be honest and original, not forced, but it does behoove you to include as many strategic keywords/key phrases as possible without sounding like you’re “faking it.”
Choose which day of the week you are going to post. If you’re posting once/week, post on Wednesdays. If you’re posting twice/week,post on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Search engines appreciate patterns and regularity with your content, so stick to the schedule.
Where will you be sharing your original content each week? It’s easy to start on your blog, and then share that blog link out to your social media platforms. We recommend sharing on at least 3 social media platforms each week. Typically, Google+, Facebook, and LinkedIn cover the gamut for most businesses. Other options include Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, and/or MailChimp (or another email marketing solution).