Save the Date: Do You Have a Content Editorial Calendar?

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Nobody likes to stare at a blank page every week. A content editorial calendar will help collect ideas, stay on strategy and manage content development across all your marketing platforms.

You survived the holiday hysteria. You’ve been shoveling snow like a trouper. But now that it’s February, and the year’s well underway, have you updated your content editorial calendar? Do you even have a content editorial calendar?

If you answered ‘no’, I feel your pain. My New Year’s resolution for the past three or four years has been to start blogging regularly. As someone who writes for a living, I should be doing that, right? (The cobbler’s children have no shoes.) I’ve been following influencers, bookmarking relevant articles, and keeping lists. I’ve got the content. Why is it so tough to get started?

It all boils down to organization. In content marketing, an editorial calendar is the easiest baby step toward a great content marketing strategy. It serves as a road map for the months ahead to ensure that your content is optimized to meet business goals, is targeting the right audience, and is presenting a unified message across platforms.

Editorial calendars aren’t new. Traditional print publications have long produced them for the upcoming year. They’re the first thing a media planner consults to make decisions about where to place advertising. PR pros tailor their pitch strategies to an outlet’s publication plans for the year. But today, the lines between content, advertising and PR are blurred. Content is marketing.

And because you have to generate content, you need a plan. A content marketing editorial calendar gives you a framework for being deliberate and intentional about how you are reaching and building trust with your audience. In part, it is a strategic marketing tool. But most important, it’s a place to keep your marketing team organized and on top of things.

As content marketing has evolved, so has the content editorial calendar. There are many options out there – from Excel-compatible spreadsheets to digital solutions to WordPress plugins. One great rundown of available editorial calendar templates and tools can be found at the Writtent blog. For planning social media, try more planning tools at Social Media Examiner. Blog on WordPress? Try their plugins here.

Your blog content is your message on your turf. It really costs you nothing to get started…making a plan is half the battle. Now you’re ready to fight it with purpose. Get started with a calendar and start blogging, even if you’re unsure if you’re doing it right. The act of blogging is the practice you need in order to hone your craft.

Whatever changes arise in social media, your budget, or market factors, a well thought-out content editorial calendar means you’ll move forward no matter what curve balls are thrown at you. Put “set up editorial calendar” on your other calendar. One baby step for you…one giant step for the future of your brand. Here we go!

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