Take control of your content with an editorial calendar

As content marketers, we are always looking for ways to reach a larger audience while boosting productivity. The Internet is becoming an increasingly noisy space with countless topics (some are relevant, many are not) swirling around. So how does a content marketer stay focused while producing quality content? We think an editorial calendar is one of the best places to start.

It’s all about organization

An editorial calendar acts as a roadmap for your content strategy. It shows where you are headed for the next several months, a year or even beyond. It provides clarity when you begin to feel bogged down with topics to discuss. It can help you avoid writers block by staying focused on the long term vision.

Simply put, an editorial calendar makes it very easy for you to organize your content.

So where do you begin?

Since we are marketers, our obvious answer is, of course, with us! Part of the Digital Heretix SEO audit and strategy is to determine your content deficiencies, attach a value estimate to a series of topics and create an editorial calendar that will enable you to create and publish compelling content well into the future.

Our standard editorial calendar is 12 months, but we’ve produced smaller and larger ones based on the needs of the client. Our extensive keyword research methods ensure we will develop a calendar that is relevant to your product or service niche and will encourage maximum engagement.

If you are going to try and give it a go on your own, a keyword discovery tool can be very beneficial. Once you have a large list of relevant keywords, organize them into topic categories and take a step back.

One of the most beneficial things an editorial calendar helps you achieve is a website that utilizes effective interlinking. This is a crucial component of SEO that people often mess up.

We’re constantly helping brands rebuild their information architecture when the content strategy gets out of hand. Make sure you save yourself future headaches and include an interlinking strategy within your calendar before you begin to implement it.

Quality over quantity

A recent Hootsuite chat about content on Twitter was largely centered on this simple, yet often overlooked concept about content: It’s got to be about quality over quantity.

An editorial calendar is vital in this area because it helps you stay focused without regurgitating meaningless drivel. Each post is focused and has a purpose. You will be able to churn out articles without alienating your readers. You will become a more authoritative source if you stick to a well-thought-out editorial calendar comprised of compelling topics and ideas.

If your editorial calendar is organized properly, you will be able to revisit topics in the future and write about them from a different angle. You won’t have to worry about plagiarizing yourself if you routinely take a look at your editorial calendar of topics to make sure you’re keeping things fresh.

The best format

While there are plenty of editorial calendar templates out there, we find that it’s hard to beat the functionality of the good ole fashioned spreadsheet. For a typical editorial calendar, this is a simple example of how we structure the columns:

  1. Content type (body content, blog post, news article, etc)
  2. Main category (Android phones, for example)
  3. Subcategory #1 (Info, product, etc)
  4. Subcategory #2 (platform, carrier, features, price, apps, etc)
  5. Content headline/brief content description
  6. Associated keyword(s)
  7. Keyword search value(s)
  8. Interlinking opportunity within your site (list URL(s) here)

Once you have done the research and developed this editorial calendar, you can begin creating and scheduling compelling content. Alternatively, you will have something to work off of if you rely on a content and article writing service. Either way, an effective editorial calendar will save you countless hours and will keep you organized.

Andrew Evans

Communication strategist and SEO client services manager at Digital Heretix. Husband, father and avid runner.