An editorial calendar is an annual plan created and used by bloggers, publishers, and businesses to control publication of content across a media outlet. The calendar highlights overarching themes and special opportunities that help guide monthly or weekly content creation throughout the year. I’ve provided my favorite tips with real life examples to help you understand the importance of developing an editorial calendar for your blog and how to build an effective one.
7 Reasons Why You Need an Editorial Calendar for Your Blog:
- Avoid Writer’s Block: An editorial calendar encourages you to think ahead about the content you plan to publish on your blog. Goodbye writer’s block. Creating an editorial calendar is a great way to divide the overwhelming idea of content creation into manageable parts. It allows you to brainstorm in advance and generate an interesting mix of ideas for relevant content without the fear of running out of ideas.
- Produce Content in Advance: With an editorial calendar, you know in advance what topics you plan to cover on your blog. This means that, should you have some time to spare, you can begin developing content for future posts in advance. Imagine how freeing it would be to have several posts written and in the queue ready for publishing. Amazing ,right? Thanks to your editorial calendar and planning ahead, you can automate the publication of posts in advance and leave your laptop behind for your next vacation. That means one less bin at airport security!
- Increase Productivity and Reader Engagement: Blogging can easily become overwhelming, but an editorial calendar can keep you honest and accountable. The most successful blogs are ones where readers can expect new content to appear regularly (daily, weekly, monthly, etc.). An editorial calendar allows you to be a more focused and committed writer, which means you’ll produce more consistent content and in return, increase your reader loyalty.
- Delegate Writing Tasks: If you work with a team of people (hired staff, interns, etc.), you can delegate the writing of content to another member of your team using your editorial calendar. Thanks to your advanced planning, everyone will be on the same page and all expectations will be aligned.
- Pitch Content to Brands: Not only will creating an editorial calendar make your writing more efficient, but when brands or other media outlets come to you with opportunities, they will likely want to know what you have in the pipeline and how they can insert their product or promotion into your content. With an editorial calendar in place, you can speak knowledgeably about your publishing calendar and respond effectively to the request. Example. Say you have a Pistachio Stuffed Chocolate Covered Strawberry recipe planned for posting around Valentine’s Day. In December, Discoll’s reaches out to you with an opportunity to be a brand ambassador for their upcoming Valentine’s Day campaign. They want to provide you with complementary product to use in an upcoming post and inquire about what content you have in the pipeline for February. Your response? (pause to look at your editorial calendar) You have a post about Pistachio Stuffed Chocolate Covered Strawberries coming up and would be happy to incorporate Driscoll’s as a part of this post. See what I just did there?
- Optimize Guest Posts: Editorial calendars are a great resource for pitching guest post ideas. Blogs that accept guest content appreciate authors that have done their homework. If you’ve ever had an enthusiastic blogger reach out to offer guest post content for your blog, but fail to include a specific suggested topic, you know exactly what I mean. Your guest post pitch should include a specific post title, description of the proposed content and a rationale as to why your content would be a great fit for that particular blog. Example. You have a black bean burger recipe that you are planning to feature around the Fourth of July and decide you want to pitch the content to another blogger for a guest post. You scan your favorite food blogs and notice that one of them previously featured a recipe roundup for Independence Day Recipes, which tells you that this blogger appreciates collaboration with other bloggers and enjoys sharing healthy holiday recipes with their readers. You decide this blog would be a good fit for your content and reach out to the blogger to see if they would like to feature your recipe in the form of a guest post for the upcoming Labor Day holiday. You’re guest post outreach should demonstrate that you read the blog (acknowledging the relevant post) and understand the blogger’s readership (the blogger writes for a health-conscious audience, so highlight that your famous black bean burger recipe includes nutrient-dense ingredients like carrots, oats and pumpkin seeds). See why this level of detail in your request would yield a higher response rate?
- Connect Content for SEO: If you are immersed in the world of blog search engine optimization, you know that internal links are useful in establishing your blog’s architecture. As you develop new content on your blog, reference your editorial calendar for past content that is related to the topic at hand. Link to this content in your post to connect readers to other areas of your blog that they might be interested in.
Ready to get started? Read How to Build an Effective Editorial Calendar where I share my best practices and tips on how to create a blog editorial calendar you will actually stick and learn the Best Tools to Create an Editorial Calendar to help get you started!
Do you use an editorial calendar to develop consistent content for your blog? Share reasons why your editorial calendar has been beneficial in the growth of your blog!