In this day of digital media, bloggers are publishers. I heard this a few years ago and it took me a minute to embrace it. I remember thinking, I am not a publisher! The publishing racket is for magazines. All the while I’m hitting “publish” every time I publish a blog post. The irony still makes me laugh.
Blogging is content marketing. Content needs to be planned out in advance. If we’re planning as we should be, we should be using an editorial calendar.
Advantages to Creating an Editorial Calendar
As you develop a content strategy, it’s important to start thinking of yourself as a publisher. Publishers have everything planned out in advance based on a yearly cycle, as well as their product cycle.
For example, they know in advance exactly what type of content they need to create and produce for the month of March and why.
If you think more like a publisher, you’re going to be much more successful in your content strategy implementation.
This is one of those “we” and “us” kind of posts, because I have to remind myself of the following on a regular basis.
Why You Should Start Using An Editorial Calendar
Ability to Create a Theme
By creating an editorial calendar, you can develop themes. An overall theme for the year or the quarter based on the products and/or services that you’re promoting, as well as the time of year. Planning it all in advance makes it easier to be ready and come up with the ideas, content, and images for promotion.
Makes It Simpler to Find Your Voice
By planning out your marketing year in advance, it means you’ll also be planning your product creation. If you offer services, you’ll already know in advance which services you’ll be focused on. This makes it easier to know what kind of content to create and in what tone you need it to be, because you’ll understand in advance when you need it, and what it’s for. When you have a plan, finding your voice comes a lot easier.
Makes It Easier to Diversify Content
If you know in advance what the topic of your content needs to be, it’ll be easier to create different forms of content for your needs. You can plan to create blog posts, videos, reports, and more, to market a particular product or service. By not doing it “on the fly,” your content will be more cohesive and diversified.
Note, this also includes social media content. Think about it in this way. If you use social media to market your products and services, and you’ve planned out your offerings in advance, you can also craft the social media messaging at the same time!
Keeps the Creative Juices Flowing
By making an editorial calendar, you actually create an environment where you make it easier to keep those content ideas flowing. Some people think planning makes content boring, but this couldn’t be further from the truth!
Planning makes content effective, and enjoyable for your target audience. It gives you time to create appropriate titles and outlines, to make sure that you get the message out that you want out.
Enables You to Create Quality Content
By planning your content in advance, you have more time to make quality content that speaks to your audience. Whether you’ll be writing it and editing yourself, or hiring others to do it for you, it’s important to plan what type of content will be needed.
Advance planning gives you to time to tweak and refine the highest quality content that you can.
Keeps Your Blog on Topic
Between blogging and social media posts, it’s easy to get off topic if you haven’t planned your content in advance. By writing down what content you’ll be creating before you create it, you’ll have time to scrap ideas that go off topic, or move them to a better time and place.
If you try to produce content at the last moment, you may end up with irrelevant content that has no purpose. Yikes!
Acts as a Map to Help You Reach Your Goals
Your editorial calendar is just like GPS or a map. You can look at it in one glance and see where you’ll be in the future, and you can look more deeply into it and find out what you’re supposed to be doing right now. You won’t go into each day without a clue of where you’ve been or where you’re going.
Helps Increase Collaboration
Having a publication calendar that you make visible to the public can also help increase collaboration. For example, if you allow for guest writers and bloggers, they can look at your publication calendar and it will be easier for them to decide what to write about within your guidelines.
In addition, it will help the people who work with you understand the direction you’re taking the business.
Attracts More Visitors
Having a set calendar will make your content seem more regular, thus increasing the rate of visitors to your website. Your audience will learn to expect certain content from you at certain times and will appreciate knowing when, what and where to go to see it and view it.
Sets Expectations and Deadlines
Even if you are just setting deadlines for yourself, this is still important!
If you have no expectations of yourself or others it will be difficult to build a truly profitable business. For instance, if you are building a furniture business, but you cannot ever tell anyone when the furniture will be finished, you won’t ever be able to sell anything.
Set expectations and deadlines for yourself and anyone you outsource to; this will help you meet your goals.
Finally, by using a publication calendar you’ll ultimately have a more organized and planned business that will make more money in the long run.
Content that is distributed and marketed according to your editorial and/or publication calendar will see a lot more success than content that is haphazardly put out without any notion of a goal or a plan.