4 Features to Look For in an Editorial Content Calendar

Why would I recommend an Editorial Content Calendar? If you look back at older posts you’ll see that there’s a gap of around a year where I literally did not post anything.

I’d love to say DIY WordPress Tips grew from strength to strength while I was away and I came back to a flourishing community in awe of my amazing historic content and actively commenting on and sharing my posts in the absence of anything new, but alas – that wasn’t the case.

It really was a tumbleweed show.

Why didn’t I post? I was busy creating WordPress courses – among other things – and didn’t have the time. Now? I’m making time… and here’s why:

Using an Editorial Content Calendar to help keep track of ideas, and schedule them into your work stream can be a great way to take the pain out of planning content. Download yours free here

Why post regular content to your blog?

Your readers want to read your content! If they come back a couple of times to find you haven’t posted anything new… chances are, they’ll forget about your blog. Don’t let that happen! Post Regular Content.

Your regular readers, especially, want to know you’ll be posting useful content and posting it often. Search Engines know this – their purpose is to help people find what they’re looking for – and rank websites with new and frequent content well in their search engine rankings.

Your readers need a reason – or regular reasons! – to come back to your site, and the best way to do this is with frequent and fresh content.

What if I don’t have time to think of blog ideas?

I know how time consuming it can be to come up with new blog topics. Even when you have ideas, it can be tough to find the time to post. I’ve found that two tools really help me get to grips with posting regular content:

1.  I use a To-Do List app called Wunderlist

I just discovered this recently and am using it to organise my life (including my blogging!). Wunderlist has a desktop app and a mobile app that sync in the background, and whenever I’m reading, on the tube, watching TV, sitting around thinking (because we all have so much time to do that!) if a topic comes to mind, I just note it down in one of my Wunderlist To-Do lists.

2. I built myself an Editorial Content Calendar.

A well-planned content calendar can be a useful guide to help you post regular content to your blog. Part of that is for it to be flexible – to encourage you to post, without restricting what you can post about.

  • Come up with a better idea during the week? Swap it in!
  • Decided it’s not the right time for something you’ve scheduled in? Swap it out!

Every week, usually on a Sunday, I transfer over my Wunderlist To-Dos to the Ideas Page of my Content Calendar, and use the page to re-confirm my content plan for the week.

Using a Content Calendar to help keep track of ideas, and schedule them into your work stream can be a great way to take the pain out of planning content.

What features should you look for in a content calendar?

You’ll find lots of of content calendars and templates – both paid, and free – available online. I prefer excel as it’s fairly straightforward to edit and has some useful formatting features, but pdf / word / calendar / paper are other options. Here are a few things to look for when choosing a content calendar:

1. Customisable content categories

This is great for planning different types of content, especially if the categories are visibly formatted differently in the calendar – e.g. by colour. The ones I find most useful for this blog are blog post, printable, e-mail marketing and Ebook – I know what’s coming up over the next month and I can prepare the content accordingly.

2. The days and dates are right or easily updated

This just makes the process smoother so you’re not fiddling around with changing dates at the start of each month. The less there is to stop you planning your content, the better!

3. An ideas page

I like to have a second page that’s separate from the calendar itself, split by category, where I can jot down post ideas. At the start of each month, I use this ideas page to complete my content calendar for the coming month, crossing off ideas as I complete them.

No more scrambling around for ideas last-minute when I haven’t posted for 3 weeks. They’re right there for inspiration.

4. It’s printable

If the monthly content calendar pages are formatted to print as a single A4 page, you’ll be able print it out every month and stick it somewhere you can’t miss (or ignore!) it.

It’s been working for me – after not posting for over a year for my own business, I’m now posting regularly. This is what mine looks like:

custom-editorial-calendar

I’ve put a blank template together for you that you can brand with your own logo – download your free Editorial Content Calendar below:

DIY Editorial Content Calendar

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Written by diywptips