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why-you-need-an-editorial-calendarYes, I’m being a tad bit dramatic. But am I? If the purpose of creating an editorial calendar is to streamline your content creation workflow - from ideation to publication - to save you time and nip stress in the bud – doesn’t it kind of save your life?

Chronic stress is extremely taxing on your body, it can lead to heart disease, make you gain weight and of course – there’s anxiety and depression. The fight-or- flight response activated by stress - floods your body with hormones that elevate your heart rate, increase your blood pressure and well – make you feel like you’re having a heart attack. Chronic stress is a killer – so there you have it – creating an editorial calendar can save your life!

What is an editorial calendar?

An editorial calendar is a plan of attack, a schedule used by bloggers, publishers and businesses to generate ideas and themes for content to publish through one’s various media channels on an ongoing basis.

It helps:

·         Manage the process of content creation, publication and planning

·         Deliver consistent messaging so that you are frequently publishing new content or curated content

Key areas to include in your editorial calendar:

Topics and Ideas

Here you can list all the brilliant ideas you and your team have gathered for future content. Whether it’s how-to’s, compiled lists, original content addressing your readers’ pain points and alleviating them - your editorial calendar is a space that houses all these ideas in one spot. What’s great is - you no longer have to stress out about what to write next.

Author

Who is responsible for creating the content? Having an editorial calendar allows content creators to be accountable and project managers the ability to bug whoever it may be to get the work done on deadline.

Type of Content  

Is it an infographic? A video? An article?

Title

Your mind-blowing headline goes here!

Deadline

When is the work due? Deadlines motivate. When you have an editorial calendar that maps out your content requirements for the month – you know in advance what you need to be working on. Good bye procrastination!

Publish Date

When is it going to be shared with the world?

SEO Keywords  

Has your content been SEO optimized with a tasteful sprinkling of keywords you hope your business ranks for?

Channels for Promotion

Now that your work is published – what media channels will you use to showcase your work i.e. Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, etc.? Start spreading the word!

Editorial Calendar Templates

Your editorial calendar – is a regular calendar – it just happens to map out what’s next in the way of content creation and publication exclusively. Some people simply use Excel or Google spreadsheets and include the headings relevant to their organizations.

There are also a number of online downloads available. I’ve used one by coSchedule, but I also found one on Femtrepreneur and there’s quite a few results that come up when you Google ‘editorial calendar template’. Pintrest is great too.

It was Ben Franklin who said “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Don’t be THAT guy. Creating an editorial calendar fosters idea creation, motivates content creators to make great work on deadline and ensures that content publication is consistent.

By using an editorial calendar you won’t have one of those ‘$h!t – I forgot to post something’ moments because you’ll have already got it done.

Happy planning and get to it!

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