Planning Ahead – How an Editorial Calendar Can Simplify Your Life

Planning Ahead How an Editorial Calendar Can Simplify Your LifeWhether it’s a blog, a podcast, a video channel, or something else, producing regular content is the key to maintaining brand visibility. And not just any content, but high quality, relevant content that will keep your audience coming back for more. So the question is, how do you do that? How do you keep coming up with content, day after day, week after week, that’s fresh and original and will keep your audience interested?

The secret is to plan ahead. If you try to do your content day to day, or as the ideas come, you’ll end up getting overwhelmed. Everything needs to be mapped out in advance. That’s why you need an editorial calendar.

An editorial calendar can be an intricate, detailed spreadsheet, or it can be as simple as a piece of paper. But whatever format it takes, it’s a schedule of what content you have on hand and when you plan to post it. The more information you include for each entry, the better prepared you’ll be when posting your content. That’s why a spreadsheet is a good idea. Each piece of information gets its own cell. You can have one column for titles and one for post dates, but also one for the author, a brief synopsis, the channel you plan to post it on (YouTube, WordPress, etc.), or anything else that’s important to your content scheduling process. Your marketing team can discuss and flesh out topics as they’re placed on the editorial calendar, to make sure that the content you’re planning meets your standards for quality. Then you can assign someone to create the content and check it off once it’s done, so you know what’s ready and what’s still in the works. You can also keep track of what topics you’ve covered lately and which ones you haven’t touched on in awhile, in order to keep your content fresh and avoid repeating yourself.

Content should be created well in advance as well, to provide some leeway for the unexpected. Then, once it’s finished, polished, and ready to go, you can schedule it to launch automatically at the specific date and time you have on your schedule. You can schedule it the night before, a week in advance, or more. You never know what might go wrong, be it a crashed server, a sick blogger, or something else. If these things go wrong right at the deadline, you’re up the creek if you don’t have everything in place and ready to go. The farther in advance you have things ready, the more time you have to fix mistakes and avoid disasters.

However, as important as organization is to your content, it’s also important to be flexible. If a topic comes along that’s particularly timely and should be addressed by your brand, don’t be afraid to shuffle the schedule around and postpone something else until later, in order to get in on the topic while it’s trending. The schedule is a tool to help you; you don’t need to be bound to it.

The content your brand produces shows your audience who you are and what you’re about. That’s why organization and planning is so important. Your editorial calendar is the key to keeping things running smoothly and ultimately reducing stress.