It’s a new year. There is no better time to start creating ongoing, successful habits for creating content. Whether your goal is to publish more or the same amount of content, the challenges of planning and publishing your content can be solved with a content editorial calendar.

An editorial calendar is really your commitment to execute on your content strategy. Without one, you’re just winging it.

70% of marketers lack a consistent or integrated content strategy. To keep on track, use an editorial calendar as your road map for the weeks, months and year ahead. This will ensure that your content meets your goals, serves the right audience and aligns your team for effective collaboration.

The First Steps to Create a Content Editorial Calendar

With all the wonderful content ideas you have, it may be simple to fill a calendar with a year’s worth of content. But you need to make sure you’re not taking on more than you and your team can handle. Time and resources are limited so you’ll need to be strategic in establishing a manageable schedule for the year ahead.

Start by determining your publishing frequency first.

You’ll need to answer:

  • How many blog posts will you publish each week?
  • How many social media posts will you post?
  • How many other pieces of content (such as eBooks, whitepapers, videos, infographics and the like) will you create throughout the year?
  • What existing content assets can be re-purposed or re-used in different content forms within the year?

Create a regular flow of content that is both doable and manageable so that you and your team can execute on a plan and remain dedicated to the process.

What to Include in Your Editorial Calendar

With your publishing frequency established, the next step is to decide where you’ll create this calendar. If you’re just getting started, it is totally okay to use an Excel spreadsheet or Google sheet to build out your schedule, track your progress and share with your team.

If you’re creating a content editorial calendar on your own, here are some fields that are a must to include:

  • Publish Date – when will content be published?
  • Due Date – when is content due?
  • Topic / Headline – what is the title of the content or general topic?
  • Content Details – what is it about?
  • Content Type – is it a blog, whitepaper, eBook, infographic, social post, etc.?
  • Author – who is writing it?
  • Current Status – is it in a draft, final or published state?
  • Keywords – what are the focus keywords?
  • Call to Action – what do you want to reader to do after reading the content?
  • Distribution Channels – where will the content be published?
  • Notes

Don’t want to do it alone? There are multiple useful templates you can choose from to get your content editorial calendar started. Curata complied the ultimate list of Excel, Google, WordPress plug-ins and PDF versions of editorial calendars that’s worth checking out.

No matter what route you choose – whether it’s building your own, choosing a template or even a software – your editorial calendar needs to set you up for success.

Start 2017 off on the right note by taking the time to plan and execute on your editorial calendar. With a little dedication to your content strategy, you and your team will come out on top.