If you’re creating marketing content (and most of us are, whether we realize it or not), then you’ve probably been plagued with the following problem: keeping it organized. Publishing dates, authors, article titles, the types of content you’re publishing and when, plans for promotion — you name it, and it’s probably somewhere on that list of “things I should keep track of but just haven’t quite gotten around to.”
Setting up an editorial calendar is one of the best (and simplest!) ways to get around this organizational issue. (Plus, you can feel pretty meta when you schedule out a post about editorial calendars on your editorial calendar). Depending on your content volume and publishing frequency, you can use anything from paper and pencil to a Google calendar or paid platform, though any free solution can probably do the trick.
If you’re using the paper or spreadsheet method, consider keeping track of any of the following elements (as they apply to your content). Pro tip: a Google spreadsheet is a great way to share a calendar with a group.
- Content title
- Publication date
- Publication location
- Plans for promotion
- Call to action (if applicable)
You can also track keywords, SEO information, syndication information, weekly or monthly content themes, and status of the post depending on the amount of information you would like to keep in one place.
If you would rather go digital (and let’s be honest, everything is digital these days), using a Google calendar is a straightforward and easily accessible option that can be shared among a team of content creators. Create a recurring event for the days that you normally publish content, then fill in details like “content title” and “author” for each individual date. You can schedule content as far in advance as you would like using this method.
Want a simple template to get you started? Check out our editorial calendar template below. This is an easy, printable way to keep your content organized on a weekly basis using a few key elements like content title, author, and promotional plans. You can also indicate whether your content has a theme for the week in question at the top of the template.
Just a quick note: don’t feel tied to every item you place on your editorial calendar. It’s important to stay flexible in the event that you need to rearrange content to make room for more time-sensitive initiatives. This gives you the ability to remain agile and react to industry news, new product releases, pop culture happenings, events, and more without feeling like you’re straying from a concrete editorial calendar.
Want more content marketing tips? Check out our Content Creation Guide for more additional worksheets, templates, and best practices information.