How to Set Up an Editorial Calendar for Your Small Business Blog
Whether you’re a company website with a blog or you specialize in the wonderful world of blogging, it’s safe to say that things are probably a bit crazy. Not only is blogging a great way for a company to show off what they know in a particular field, but guest blogging is a great way to improve the SEO of a website. If you can guest blog on a bunch of different websites in your niche and link back to your website, your Google PageRank and visibility on a search engine results page (SERP) will only increase.
This also works the other way around. In other words, it is very likely that people are going to want to guest post on your site the minute your site begins to gain some exposure. This makes creating an editorial calendar for your website very important.
An editorial calendar is simply just a content schedule. The calendar will help show if you have an opening for a guest post and help give you a space to write down ideas about future content. Most editors schedule their own content as well so that they can always remember when they have an article going live. A content schedule is also great for lesser-known reasons:
- It allows you to make sure that you can schedule something unexpected. If a big news story breaks out and you want to cover it, you will know what you need to move in order to make room.
- If you have more than one person working on the blog, it’s great for communication. All someone needs to do is put down on the calendar when something is scheduled, and you’ll know to stay away.
- It helps break up priorities day by day, which helps an editor feel more in control and less overwhelmed.
- It’s something you can show off to anyone hoping to hire you or work for you. Having an editorial calendar shows that you know how to stay organized.
Although you may have been able to get away without having a calendar for a while, there will likely come a time when you need something to stay organized. Speaking from experience, I know that when guest posts really start coming in it becomes overwhelming. You want to make sure that you are still posting content for SEO marketing purposes, yet you want to allow for guest posts in order to gain publicity for your blog. If you start feeling so overwhelmed that you’ve hired someone to help, you’ll likely find that you’re constantly stepping on each other’s toes and scheduling posts on the same day (also something I’ve experienced).
Top 3 Ways to Create an Editorial Calendar Online
The majority of editors create a calendar online for the sake of convenience; however, the old-fashioned way still works. If you’re considering going digital with your content schedule, consider some of the different routes you can take:
- Google Calendars – This is the tool that I use and I find that it works great. If you’re using Gmail, it will actually send you an email to remind you when you are supposed to be publishing content or when your content has gone live (whichever you prefer). This can also be shared by multiple people if need be. You can find Google calendars by visiting the Google docs Template Gallery.
- WordPress – I have also used this avenue when working with editors online and found it to work well. Overall, this seems to be the most popular option for editors. All you need to do is install a calendar plugin to WordPress and you can move posts around whenever you see fit. You can download this plugin here at the WordPress Plugin Directory.
- Excel – I am not nearly as comfortable with excel as the other two methods, but many editors find that this does the trick. You can create different tabs for different aspects of your blog such as articles that have already been published or articles that are pending. This works best for someone who is working on his/her own.
Although using a calendar for organization is a pretty basic idea, many editors still are not taking advantage. It is not something that costs any money and it only takes a few minutes to set up, so give it a try and see if it’s right for you.
Do you run an editor calendar? What program do you use, and do you find it helpful?