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I’m fairly certain that there are 2 types of people in this world: those who hear the words “editorial calendar” and RUN screaming and those who get geeked-out excited. No matter who you are (I’m group #2, but that’s probably obvious), an editorial calendar can be a game-changer for your business. It can help you stay more focused, manage time better, and establish more consistency in your business.

In this post, I’m going to explain what an editorial calendar is, why you should have one, and how I have mine set up.

What is an Editorial Calendar?

An Editorial Calendar is a calendar used to organize the process of all content for your business (from post creation, to scheduling, to promoting). An editorial calendar can go far beyond just tracking the progress of blog posts; you can organize all content for your site, such as eBooks, social media, podcasts, guest posts, and more.

Why Should I have an Editorial Calendar?

1 | An Editorial Calendar Helps You Lessen Writer’s Block

When you have an Editorial Calendar, you tend to be a few steps ahead of the game in regards to content ideas. Whenever you have a new idea, you simply add it to your calendar. I love this strategy from Cath at The Content Bug:

Using an Editorial Calendar for your Blog

One great way an editorial calendar has helped me squeeze out additional content is by allowing me to plan out a blog series centered around a certain topic. One post on creating images for a blog can suddenly turn into two weeks of content!

2 | An Editorial Calendar Helps You Develop More Meaningful Content

By being a step ahead of the game as far as content ideas, you naturally create more valuable content. For example, many bloggers without editorial calendars find themselves in a pickle: it’s the day their post has gone live and they still have no idea what to write about. Yikes, right? Do you think that content is going to be valuable? Sadly, it probably won’t be. It will often be rushed and unresearched (That’s not always the case though! Some of my best posts were whipped up in a matter of minutes. There’s always those odd exclusions!).

Using and Editorial Calendar for your Blog

(Chaitra from PinkPot Studio)

3 | An Editorial Calendar Helps You Be Consistent

Consistency is KEY in blogging. Whether you blog once a month, once a week, once a day, etc. Your readers need to know what to expect from you. An editorial calendar helps you establish that consistency and stick with it. 

Using an Editorial Calendar for your Blog

Aileen Barker

One of the ways I use my blog calendar to be consistent is by using it to reflect my blog process (I’ll talk about that in a second). If you want to see this blog post process, you can download my free blog post planning guide here:

Blog Post Planning Guide

Get access to printables that help walk you through my system for consistently creating and promoting blog content.

Where Should You Keep an Editorial Calendar?

At the end of the day, you need to try what works best for you. If you are a pen and paper person, that is a great option, but it’s also pretty limited in what you can do (for example, my editorial calendar auto-publishes social media posts—sadly pen and paper can’t do that). I’ve tried several methods for keeping an editorial calendar, but I continue to go back to CoSchedule. It houses literally everything for me. In this post, I’ll walk you through how I use my calendar in CoSchedule and its various features.

First off, here is a brief video overview of CoSchedule:

CoSchedule from Garrett Moon on Vimeo.

I also created a video to walk you through how I use it–since I think it’s best to see it in action. But below the video you’ll also see my summary with screenshots:

Here are the benefits I’ve found with CoSchedule:

1 | The CoSchedule Editorial Calendar Helps You Plan Out Posts in Advance

An editorial calendar is important to have so that you can plan out your blog posts in advance. By using this method, you can stay ahead of the game with your blog post ideas. Like I mentioned earlier, you could also group posts together to create a theme week. One feature I love in CoSchedule is the ability to map out my posts using their calendar. I color code mine based on the type of blog post and can always see at a glance what’s coming up:

2 | Create Content Within the CoSchedule Page

An editorial calendar shouldn’t just manage your blog posts, it should also manage your current projects. I’m able to stay on top of other work, such as edits to the website, guest posts, courses or free product I’m offering, and so on.

To create content, I simply click on the + symbol on the top right of my CoSchedule homepage:

Setting up an Editorial Calendar for your Blog

I then have multiple options to choose from (there are actually more options than this; this was just what I selected as the content I want to create when I set up my CoSchedule account). I select the content I want to create:

For this example, I’ll click Blog Post. The next screen allows me to name my post, color code it, create a description, tag it, assign it to a team member (if applicable), and set a scheduled date. Once I have this set up (which I can change at any time), I click Create Blog Post

How to create an editorial calendar

Next, I’m given options on how I want to create my content (Google Drive, Evernote, in WordPress, etc).

The Text Editor option allows me to edit the document right in CoSchedule. Once I have completed my editing process, it will allow me to transfer it all over to WordPress:

Create an Editorial Calendar in WordPress

I’ll be honest, since I use the Divi theme which has a slightly different post format, I currently just edit the post in WordPress. But the CoSchedule calendar makes it easy to access that draft with the click of a button.

CioSchedule Editorial Calendar

3 | Create Task Templates In the CoSchedule Editorial Calendar

I can also attach a Task Template to this blog post. I’ve shared before the blog process I use which helps me consistently create and publish content. In CoSchedule, I’m able to insert these tasks into a template. I create the tasks based on how early before or after the publish date I want them completed. For example, I want my first draft of a post to be created 7 days before the publish date. Once I create the blog post date in my CoSchedule calendar, it will automatically assign those tasks to a day.

When I rearrange content on the calendar by simply dragging and dropping it, the tasks automatically rearrange based on the new publish date! Game-changer!

The calendar can show me all of the tasks that I have:

If you want to see all of these tasks, you can fill in your info here to get my blog post planning guide:

Blog Post Planning Guide

Get access to printables that help walk you through my system for consistently creating and promoting blog content.

4 | Use Task Templates in the Editorial Calendar to Engage in Facebook Groups

One way that I help increase traffic to my blog is by engaging with Facebook Groups related to my niche and those focused on promoting blog posts. I love to use this task template feature is by scheduling tasks related to Facebook Groups that have certain promo days. I created a Task Template based on all of the groups I interact with & what days they have promo days. That will then appear as a task on my editorial calendar and I go to the group on that day and engage a little, as well as share any of my recent posts (being sure that I don’t  just post and run, I engage in the community. I also follow group guidelines).

5 | Social Media Template

I can also schedule social media posts around a blog post. I have a particular social media template that I can use each time that allows me to spread my content across Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. Once I apply the template to the blog post, I can go in and edit my text as needed.

6 | Schedule Social Media Posts

CoSchedule has a Chrome Extension that allows me to pin and post content when I’m reading an article I like. I simply click on the CoSchedule extension button while reading an article:

A window then comes up where I can customize the message, select the social media platforms to share on, select images, schedule, etc.

I can even select multiple social media outlets at once:

I can also schedule when I want the post to be sent out, or add it to my Buffer queue so that it goes out in the next opening I have for a post.

I can always see what posts are scheduled to go to social media in my calendar. CoSchedule also links to Buffer, allowing me to schedule a social media post that will go live the next opening I have in that particular social media profile.

I can also drag and drop the social media posts if I want them scheduled on a different day.

7 | Receive Analytics On Top Content

CoSchedule also monitors how your content is doing on social media. you can see at a glance what is getting shared frequently and re-share that content.

8 | Automatically Share Old Posts

CoSchedule has a feature add-on called ReQueue that allows you to automatically have certain content re-scheduled to go up. You can customize how often that particular post can go up in the different social media sites:

This is a fantastic feature for sharing evergreen content on your site (these are posts that can stand the test of time and are applicable months and years down the road). By putting it into ReQueue, it will automatically be re-posted based on the settings you created.

9 | Collaboration Within the CoSchedule Editorial Calendar

CoSchedule also allows you to easily collaborate with others on a project. You can assign various tasks to other members of the team. Since I’m a one-woman show over here, I don’t use this feature, but it includes a commenting feature that allows company members to easily collaborate.

A Word of Warning

One benefit of the CoSchedule calendar is that it houses everything related to your business. And one drawback is that it manages everything in your business. Because of this, your calendar view can look very scary when you first glance at it! Check out mine:

Yikers, right? But don’t worry, there is an elaborate filter tool so that you can filter your content to see only what you want to see. For instance, let’s say I just want to see my blog posts and when they are set to go live. Here’s what it then looks like:

Much better, right?

I encourage you to try using a calendar for your business. If CoSchedule fits your jam, just so you know, here’s a link to a free trial you can use for it. I highly recommend checking it out. Watch the different plan options–not all plans contain the features I showed you.

How do you manage the work flow for your business? Do you feel you have a good system in place? I’d love to hear! Comment below!

Btw, I mentioned previously the tasks that I use for my task template, if you want these tasks you can download my Free Blog Post Planning Guide. Simply fill in your information below:

Blog Post Planning Guide

Get access to printables that help walk you through my system for consistently creating and promoting blog content.

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