How to create an editorial calendar in 5 steps

How to create an editorial calendar in 5 steps

Publishing content on the internet, whether through a blog or a social network, takes some effort. But it’s still a great way to attract highly qualified prospects to yourself. It’s the ” content marketing “, Or” content marketing “in French. In this regard, there is an essential tool to manage all content production: it is the editorial calendar.

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What is an editorial calendar?

An editorial calendar is a tool that allows you to manage the production of content for a blog, a newsletter and social networks. The editorial calendar is an essential tool for deploying and carrying out a content strategy. More than a simple calendar, it allows you to anticipate and have a global vision of future publications.

Why use an editorial calendar?

Dedicated to one or more digital media, the editorial calendar allows the production of content to be framed over a given period. In addition to being better organized, this tool provides several advantages.

1 – Have an overview of the content production

Built over a defined period (generally from one to three months), the editorial calendar provides an overview of the production of future content. Thanks to it, it is possible:

  • To master the content strategy to be deployed.
  • To respect the defined publication rate.
  • To avoid the redundancy of subjects.
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2 – Never run out of ideas

Running a newsletter, blog, or social media takes creative effort, and it’s common to run out of ideas on what to post. An editorial calendar allows you to avoid a blank page since it allows you to organize yourself and spread out the publication ideas over time.

It also makes it possible to anticipate key and redundant dates such as world days and holidays. These are the “marketing chestnuts”, publication subjects that allow you to fill the editorial calendar when needed.

Finally, the archives of past editorial calendars make it possible to dig into content already published in order to recycle it.

3 – Save time and be more productive

Creating an editorial calendar saves time because this tool enables a productivity method called “batching”.

Batching (in French “mise en lot”) consists in breaking down all the actions necessary to carry out a task by focusing on carrying out one action at a time.

The editorial calendar then makes it possible to “batcher” the production of the content since it is necessary to find all the ideas of publications, to fix their publication date then to write the contents and finally to schedule them. This way of working is much more productive than creating and posting content at the same time.

4 – Organize teamwork

In the event that several people are involved in the content creation process, the editorial calendar facilitates the organization of teamwork.

Indeed, the latter determines the tasks to be carried out, distributes them to the various stakeholders and sets the production deadlines to be respected.

5 – Facilitate monitoring of content performance

The editorial calendar facilitates the deployment of the content strategy established upstream. Like any strategy, it expects spinoffs in terms of the effectiveness of the content published.

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The editorial calendar can then be used as a tool for analyzing content performance once the publications have been made. This analysis is useful for adjusting the topics and timing of publication of future calendars.

How to create an editorial calendar?

The usefulness of the editorial calendar is well established. However, this tool must be created with the right methodology. Here are the 6 steps to follow to create an effective editorial calendar.

1 – establish the personas

The persona corresponds to the ideal customer. Central point of all digital strategies, it is necessary to establish personas in order to know to whom the publications of the editorial calendar will be addressed.

The more precise the knowledge of the personas, the more the editorial calendar can contain effective content. In this regard, Hubspot offers a free and intuitive tool.

2 – List all the problems of the personas

Once the personas have been identified and studied, it is important to list all their issues. These can be the subject of high added value publications that will attract the target audience.

3 – Define the pillars of the content

The “pillars” of the content represent the major themes around which the production of the content revolves. They must be related to both the issues of personas and the identity of the brand building its editorial calendar.

It is necessary to define the pillars of the content to give more relevance to the publications and to avoid the redundancy of the subjects.

4 – List all the ideas of the content and set goals

Setting communication objectives makes it possible to generate content that will trigger actions among Internet users. Acquiring visibility, generating sales or creating a feeling of belonging, each publication will be worked on according to the objective assigned to it.

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Based on the pillars and issues of the persona as well as the objectives, it is relevant to list all the content ideas before building the calendar. This allows you to nurture your creativity and sort out good and bad ideas.

5 – Build the calendar using a tool

When building the calendar, it is important to take into account all the variable parameters, namely:

  • The various stakeholders (author, graphic designer or content manager for example).
  • The personas.
  • The pillars of content.
  • Dissemination media (social networks, blog or newsletter).
  • The different types of publications (blog article or publication on Instagram for example).

There are several tools that can be used to build an editorial calendar, with Trello, Clickup, and Google Sheet being the most popular.

Once the calendar has been created and the content ideas placed, all that remains is to create the content and schedule it: if the calendar provides for a month of content, then a month of content will be ready.

Example of an editorial calendar

HubSpot offers a free editorial planning template on Google Sheet. In this example, the model is suitable for managing a blog.

screenshot of an editorial calendar template

The parameters that were taken to build the editorial calendar are the publication date, the deadline for rendering, the author, the title of the articles, the guidelines relating to the content of the articles, the SEO keywords, the targeted personas and the call to action (CTA).

This article has just explained the usefulness of the editorial calendar and how to create one in 5 steps. While the content strategy established upstream is important, tracking the effectiveness of content after publication is equally important. In this way, the strategy can be refined through real results.

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