To get the most out of publishing content to your website or blog it is best to have a plan. You can say that about everything, right? Setting up a simple editorial calendar will help you and your team keep your ongoing website content on track.
What’s in an Editorial Calendar?
A typical editorial calendar for an article-driven website might include the following information:
- A list of topics and article ideas
- The keyword targets for each topic or article
- Publishing dates for each article
- Photo and artwork elements that are needed for each article
- The writer each article is assigned to
- The editor that will review and publish each article
- Where to share the article and when
- The goal of each article and how to measure success
At first a basic spreadsheet will work fine to set this information up and list it all out. Many content management systems offer editorial calendar features, module or plugins as well. Take a look at what is offered for your CMS, you might be surprised.
To really get a good start on creating your content calendar you simply need a lot of content ideas. It’s best to just start brainstorming and write down every topic you can think of. Just list them all out.
It helps to have an idea in mind of how many articles you would like to publish each year on your website. A typical target might be 1 article per week. Simple math will tell us that we will need to come up with about 52 article topics (there are roughly 52 weeks in a year). If that is too overwhelming, how about 1 article every two weeks? Now we only need to come up with about 21 topics. Or how about once a month? We only need to have a list of 12 topics to write about, one for each month.
Maybe a better way to do it is to brainstorm for topics first, then see how many you have. If you have roughly 20 good topics for blog articles, consider publishing articles every two weeks over the course of the year.
Also think about the time-sensitive nature of content for your editorial calendar:
- Are there any important upcoming events that we can write about or announce before they take place?
- Are there any events that we will be participating in that we can write followup articles about?
- Are there any seasonal topics that would best be published at a certain time of year? For example, a car tire dealer might write about snow tires in late fall and early winter, when search volume for the topic is high.
- Are there any industry events we can write about while they are taking place?
FollowupAs each piece of content is published, use the editorial calendar to make followup notes on the articles.Some things you might want to make note of:
- Did it achieve it’s intended goal? Why or why not?Did it get traffic? How much?Did it get shared? How much?Did you get any leads from the content? How many?
By taking a look at how your content performs after it is out there you can make better strategies for future content.