As you probably already know by now, Google is rewarding useful content in its search engine rankings. That means that you need to be creating new content that helps your audience and adding it to your website regularly. Considering that you already have an organization to run, that can seem like climbing a mountain!

But it doesn’t have to be. In fact, if it’s organized it can be more like your morning workout: something that you make a bit of time for every day that helps you perform better in the long run.

The answer lies in creating an editorial calendar – and our free download (below) will help get you started.

Knowing Your Content Marketing Strategy

But before we dive into the calendar goodness, anyone who hasn’t heard of content marketing needs to know this term. Why? Adding quality content to your site will help you rank better, but you also need to reach out through social media and share links to content – yours and other people’s.

Let me explain. Content marketing is basically the benevolent art of making friends with people online so that there’s already a relationship in place when they develop a need for your services. Because you’ve already done them a favour by providing useful or entertaining information, they’re more likely to approach you.

Or, in more strategic language, it’s a long game approach to soft sales in which you talk to prospects long before they’re even aware of you and start building brand recognition and trust. If this sounds like a lot of work, you’re right, but Gary Vaynerchuk and other successful marketers have already proved that the ROI is there.

Content marketing encompasses things like blog posts, social media conversations, videos, e-books, newsletters and more. For it to work, you need to make sure you know your audience and that everything is interesting and useful from their perspective.

So, What is an Editorial Calendar?

An editorial calendar is simply a plan for your content shares. It contains a schedule, but it also shows other important details like who is writing the content, and what related tasks need to be done in order to make everything go live on time. They should contain plans for sharing your content on social media once your content is live, which will help you get more for your efforts.

Magazines, newspapers and other publishers have been using editorial calendars for centuries to stay organized.

Why Use an Editorial Calendar?

Aside from organizing contributions from a team and reducing the stress of last-minute panicking, there are a lot of advantages to using an editorial calendar:

  1. Preventing writer’s block. If you update your calendar with ideas as you get them, you don’t end up banging your head against the wall trying to think of something at the last minute when you’re tired. This save you time – and more literal headaches!
  2. Your overall quality gets better. Because you have a lot of lead time between brainstorming ideas and actually writing them, you can develop them more fully over time. Weaker ideas can also be weeded out before you spend any time writing (you may notice certain ideas getting pushed back again and again). It will also encourage you to seek out interviews and guest posts as well that will help keep your content fresh.
  3. Getting the benefit of seasonal content. Holidays and other seasonal topics always tend to sneak up on us, don’t they? If you have a calendar, you can plan content so it’s already live when people start searching for it. Seasonal content will help you extend your reach to new users because it’s often very popular.
  4. You’re more likely to strategize and get better results. An editorial calendar encourages you to think about your goals, plan for them, and analyze what happens after you publish. You’ll be in a much better position to learn what works and what doesn’t.

How to Get Started

Here we go!

  1. Download our free editorial calendar template.
  2. Plan away.
  3. Don’t forget to analyze the success of your efforts afterwards, and change tactics as needed. I’ve provided space for that, but you may need to go to other documents for more in-depth analysis.

This is certainly not the only way to plan your content, but since it’s in Excel, it’s easy to add and remove items to suit your specific needs. Let me know what you think, and what you’re doing differently that works.

Get Started Today

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