Creating the Ultimate Editorial Calendar
The main goal of writers online is to ensure that quality content is shared with a growing audience in a timely manner. This is made possible through the use of an editorial calendar which allows you to plan ahead of time to ensure that the content that your audience wants to see (and what you think they would like to see) is given to them on time.
It’s all about timing. Because if another website posts a viral article before you, you won’t look like an innovative writer. You’ll simply look like an individual following the bandwagon. Today, we will talk about how an amazing editorial calendar can give you a competitive edge in publishing online.
Benefits of an Editorial Calendar
An editorial calendar is essential to ensuring that you have a smooth editorial process. In a way, it’s a blogging insurance plan. It would be syndical to think that a blogger simply sits down at their laptop once a week, opens up Safari, goes to WordPress, and knocks out their week’s post in an hour. An article can take a week from start to finish in some cases. An editorial calendar organizes the process for yourself, as well as guests who contribute to your website.
You can also use an editorial calendar to organize posts outside of your blog. Lastly, having an editorial calendar takes into consideration more than just what is going on directly in your niche. For example, if you are a fashion blogger, you may want to ensure that presidential inaugurals are on your calendar. Why? Because this can be the chance for you to write an article assessing the fashion choices of that term’s president and first lady. Thinking outside of the box is what brings in the audience, not sticking to what is expected.
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If you make use of WordPress, there are a ton of tools you can make use of to create a quality editorial calendar. CoSchedule allows you to not only drag and drop what posts are going to be posted by who, when. This makes the editorial process run a lot smoothly and with the ability to add authors, you are able to make guest posting seamless as well. There is also a communication format built into the application which allows you to keep your team updated. It’s important to also have an offline way to keep your editorial process in check. I make use of a Moleskine notebook to jot down article ideas, research I come across while away from my computer. A simple desk calendar is also a smart investment as well. You aren’t always able to load up iCal seamlessly when an unexpected addition to the calendar comes up.
It’s important to take your calendar in three parts: daily, weekly, and monthly. Daily, you should be able to have planned what tasks of an article you will be working on. This can include looking for images for the article that needs to be published by the end of the week, or proofreading an article from a guest poster, or your social media campaign update for the day. Daily tasks should be small and completable based on your availability for the day. Keeping the number of tasks small will allow you to focus a greater amount go energy on what needs to get done.
Weekly tasks should be more about clean-up and having an assessment of where the website stands in terms of traffic and quality control of posts. Taking a look at news not just in your niche but also national and pop culture news can give you inspiration for stories and projects for next week.
Monthly, there should be an assessment of which holidays and seasons are around the corner, allowing you to plan for posts related to the day and its celebration/remembrances. Regardless of if you are in the tech industry, food blogging industry, fashion, etc, there are product launches. So take an assessment each month of releases, fashions for the new season, recipes appropriate for the season, etc. This all shows you audience you are staying up to date.
Lastly, if you find that you are consistently getting low traffic over the past three weeks, use the end of the month to take a look at the faults and where you should improve.
Let us know in the comments below what you hope to get out of creating an editorial calendar.