rock your content strategy with an editorial calendarIs blogging bogging you down? Are you constantly catching your breath after launching every email campaign?

Creating quality articles and engaging emails every month takes tons of organization and planning, plus plenty of thought about topics and titles. That’s why you need a sanity-saving strategy called an editorial calendar!

It could be as simple as a shared spreadsheet or a Google Calendar containing topics for the next six months of blog posts and email campaigns. Once you have your spreadsheet or calendar, start populating it with these key components.

Key Components of an Editorial Calendar

  • Topic
  • Working headline (gives you a jump start on SEO!)
  • Any specific theme (establishing monthly themes is a fun way to stand out in a sea of
  • content)
  • Author name
  • Category and any tags
  • Keywords — long-tail keyword phrases will give you the best results!
  • Call to action (What do you want your readers to do?)
  • Notes or links that will help you create the final blog post or email
  • Last but not least, a deadline :)

Sounds like a lot of pre-planning, right?

Trust me, the hard work you invest in creating an editorial calendar will pay off. Here are just a few reasons why you’ll rock your marketing strategy when you take time to create an editorial calendar.

Benefits of Maintaining an Editorial Calendar

  • Instead of staring at a blank screen, you’ll get a head-start on writing with a pre-planned list of headlines crafted specifically for your blog.
  • Pre-planned headlines can be better optimized for SEO.
  • You’ll have more than topics, you’ll also have space to think of themes.
  • Those themes can catalyze communities to participate and stay engaged with your brand. (A simple example of a theme that sparked participation is “Throwback Thursday.”)
  • Enables crowd-sourcing by giving everyone on your team a single place to add their ideas and brainstorm topics together.
  • Defines deadlines — encourages you and your team to commit to posting on your blog or sending newsletters on a specific schedule.

In an interview with Small Business Trends, HubSpot’s Senior Channel Consultant Timothy Dearlove sums up the importance of consistently creating content:

“Content and SEO are like warm pie and ice cream. Could you eat them separately? Of course! But aren’t they so much better when served together?

When it comes to on-page optimization (making sure your site is well optimized with keywords that your target audience searches for), if you have a static site, there is only so much you can optimize … every new blog post represents a new chance to rank for a keyword phrase. We also know that Google will crawl your site more frequently if you are producing fresh content.”

The truth is that good marketing is equal parts art and science. That’s why the thinking and planning that go into creating your editorial calendar are just as important your actual content.

Think of it this way: by taking time to create an editorial calendar, you’ll end up with a customized roadmap for blogging and creating engaging emails.

Ready to get started creating your very own editorial calendar? There are some helpful templates that may fit your needs. For example, Google Docs has some solid samples that you can import into your account and set up in less than an hour. They work like a charm, so don’t wait to get started. Go for it and rock your marketing strategy with your very own editorial calendar!