How to plan your company blog editorial calendar for 2024

ContentCategory
11 min read
Raubi Marie Perilli

One of the most challenging aspects of managing a company blog or personal blog is maintaining a consistent publishing schedule. It's all too easy to overlook an assignment, fall behind, and miss posting opportunities. However, a solution exists in the form of a robust, annual blog editorial calendar. This tool is essential for content strategy, helping you plan various types of content, from blog posts to social media content.

An annual blog editorial calendar allows you to map out your entire year's worth of content, from brainstorming content ideas to scheduling publish dates well in advance.

This ensures that every piece of content, whether it's a detailed article or a quick social media post, is crafted and published on time.

As you step into 2024, empower your company’s blog with an editorial calendar that not only keeps your team on track but also ensures a steady stream of quality content.

Related: How to make money online through blogging & how much do bloggers make?

In this article, we will discuss the following:

  • Utilizing Editorial Calendar Templates and Tools
  • How to create a blog editorial calendar
    • Decide where your editorial calendar will live
    • Decide how often you want to publish
    • Incorporating SEO and Keyword Research into Content Planning
    • Analyzing and Utilizing Data for Content Planning
    • Content Diversification and Multi-Channel Strategy
    • Incorporating Blog Post Details in the Editorial Calendar
    • Leveraging Editorial Calendar for Team Collaboration and Communication (New)
    • Assigning Roles and Responsibilities
    • Setting Deadlines and Working Backwards
  • Finding Ideas for the Editorial Calendar
  • Tracking and Measuring Content Performance (New)
  • Conclusion: Publishing Great Content

Let’s get right into it:

Utilizing Editorial Calendar Templates and Tools

To efficiently manage your content calendar, leverage editorial calendar templates and tools. Free templates in Excel or Google Calendar can provide a basic structure, while more sophisticated calendar tools offer features like calendar views, integrations, and ideation spaces. These tools help in brainstorming content ideas, scheduling publication dates, and managing the content production process, ensuring a smooth workflow for your content team.

How to create a blog editorial calendar

Every company’s editorial calendar will look different based on their unique needs and team. But all businesses can follow these five steps as they lay out their editorial calendar.

  1. Decide where your editorial calendar will live
  2. Decide how often you want to publish
  3. Incorporating SEO and Keyword Research into Content Planning
  4. Analyzing and Utilizing Data for Content Planning
  5. Content Diversification and Multi-Channel Strategy
  6. Incorporating Blog Post Details in the Editorial Calendar
  7. Leveraging Editorial Calendar for Team Collaboration and Communication (New)
  8. Assigning Roles and Responsibilities
  9. Setting Deadlines and Working Backwards

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1. Decide where your editorial calendar will live

Deciding where your editorial calendar will reside is the first crucial step. You can opt for something as simple as a spreadsheet or as advanced as a dedicated editorial planning tool. When selecting the platform, consider factors like the number of team members who need access and your preferred method of managing collaboration. Also, evaluate the volume of content production and the robustness required for your calendar.

Popular platforms for a blog editorial calendar include:

  • Google Sheets: Ideal for teams familiar with Google's ecosystem, offering free templates and easy integration with other Google apps.
  • Airtable: A versatile tool that combines the simplicity of a spreadsheet with the power of a database, perfect for managing complex content workflows.
  • CoSchedule: A comprehensive content marketing and editorial calendar tool, designed for content creators and marketing teams who need advanced features.

Related: How to start a blog for free in 2022

editorial calendar planner

2. Decide how often you want to publish

The frequency of your blog posts is a key decision that should align with your organization's goals and resources. While there's no one-size-fits-all answer, a minimum of one blog post per month is recommended, with a weekly post being ideal.

Consider the following factors as you lay out your publishing schedule.

  1. Start with a schedule of once a month, and then decide if you can publish more than that. Don’t push past what you realistically think you can publish. It’s better to publish regularly and infrequently than to publish a lot of content sporadically.
  2. Consider your resources. If you have a budget for writers, what’s your content creation capacity? If you’re relying on an internal content team and content creators, can you get them to commit in writing to meet deadlines and hold them accountable for delivery?
  3. Look at your competitors. If you have no idea how often to publish, look at your top competitors and see how often they publish. Start with this benchmark to compete closely with others in your industry.
  4. Consider your goals. If your content production’s goal is to drastically increase traffic to your website, then you might need to publish more often. If your goal is to have content to send in a monthly newsletter, you may need less content.

3. Incorporating SEO and keyword research into content planning

In today's digital marketing landscape, integrating SEO and keyword research into your content plan is crucial. By aligning your editorial calendar with SEO strategies, you optimize your blog content for better visibility and higher rankings. Utilize tools like Google Keyword Planner or SEMrush to identify relevant keywords. Incorporate these into your content calendar, ensuring each piece of content targets specific keywords that resonate with your audience and align with your marketing strategy.

4. Analyzing and utilizing data for content planning

Data-driven content creation is key to a successful content strategy. Leverage analytics tools to understand which types of content drive conversions and engagement. Analyze metrics from your previous posts to identify trends and patterns. This insight helps in planning future content that resonates with your audience, ensuring your editorial calendar is not just a schedule but a strategic tool for content optimization.

5. Content diversification and multi-channel strategy

Diversifying your content types and planning for multi-channel distribution are essential for reaching a broader audience. Your editorial calendar should include a variety of content forms like blog posts, social media content, podcasts, and videos. Tools like Trello and Asana can help streamline your workflow, allowing you to manage different types of content efficiently. Ensure your calendar reflects a mix of these formats and plan for their distribution across platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.

Related: How to increase website traffic with existing content

6. Include relevant blog post details on your editorial calendar

When outlining your blog posts in the editorial calendar, include essential details for each piece of content. This should encompass:

  • Topic: Summarize the general theme or concept in a few words.
  • Title: Draft a working title that encapsulates the post's idea, keeping in mind it may evolve.
  • Keyword: Assign target keywords for SEO optimization.
  • Abstract: Provide a brief overview, especially useful when multiple writing teams are involved.
  • Resources: List any relevant information or links to aid the content creation process.
  • Audience: Define the target audience for each post, considering different personas.
  • Call-to-action: Specify the desired action you want readers to take after reading the post.

Pro tip: To streamline the process, develop buyer personas that clearly define your target audience, buyer persona, and refer to these in your editorial calendar.

7. Leveraging editorial calendar for team collaboration and communication

An editorial calendar is an excellent tool for enhancing team collaboration. It helps in assigning roles and responsibilities to different content creators and marketing team members. Use project management tools like Asana or Trello to facilitate this process. These apps allow team members to view the big-picture goals, track progress, and communicate effectively, ensuring everyone is on the same page.

Related: How to manage a team remotely? Tips for small business owners

8. Assign each person involved with the blog post

A blog production schedule may involve various team members, depending on your company's size and structure. In your editorial calendar, assign roles for each phase of the content production process. This might include:

  • Writer: Responsible for creating the initial draft.
  • Editor: Ensures the content meets quality standards.
  • Graphic Designer: Creates visual elements to complement the post.
  • Quality Assurance: Checks for accuracy and consistency.
  • Manager for Approval: Gives the final nod for publishing.
  • Legal for Approval: Ensures content compliance.
  • ...etc.

9. Work backward to assign deadlines

To effectively manage your publishing schedule, start by determining the desired publish date and work backward to set due date for each production phase. Incorporate a buffer time, such as a week or at least three days, for each step to ensure adherence to the schedule. This approach helps in streamlining the workflow and ensures that all team members, from content managers to legal approvers, are aligned with the editorial calendar.

Generating ideas for your blog editorial calendar

When it comes to populating your blog editorial calendar, brainstorming and ideation are key. If you're aiming to come up with a dozen or even hundreds of blog post ideas, here are five strategies to spark inspiration:

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A. Align with Brand Milestones

Begin by syncing your blog editorial calendar with significant dates in your company's journey. Engage with management to identify crucial events throughout the year, such as:

  • Promotions and specials
  • Launches of new products or services
  • Company events
  • Milestones like your company's anniversary

Plan your content strategy around these dates, ensuring each piece of content, from blog posts to social media content, resonates with these milestones.

B. Capitalize on holidays

Look at major holidays and assess their relevance to your business. Decide if holiday-themed marketing will be part of your content plan. This could include festive greetings or themed posts that align with your content marketing strategy.

Consider how major holidays impact your small business and whether holiday marketing fits into your digital marketing strategy. Plan for posts that offer warm wishes or creative holiday-themed content, ensuring they align with your overall content strategy.

C. Embrace social media holidays

Beyond traditional holidays, consider the plethora of "social" holidays celebrated online. These include days like #NationalHatDay #SaferInternetDay, or #NationalCheeseLoversDay, which offer unique opportunities for engaging content creation. Utilize these days for fun, themed posts and leverage their popularity for social media posts and promotions.

D. Analyze past performance.

Dive into your website analytics to understand which past posts resonated with your audience. Use these insights to craft more content that aligns with proven interests, expanding on popular topics and themes.

Related: How to set up Google Analytics funnels

E. Do keyword research

Utilize keyword research tools to uncover popular search terms used by your target audience. Develop blog topics that cater to these terms, ensuring your content calendar is aligned with search trends and audience interests.

Related: 10 ways to improve Google keyword ranking

F. Tracking and Measuring Content Performance

To continually refine your content marketing strategy, tracking and measuring the performance of your content is vital. Use management software to monitor key metrics like engagement, reach, and conversions. This data should feed back into your editorial calendar, helping you make informed decisions about future content. Free templates available in tools like Google Docs or Excel can be used to track these metrics systematically.

Conclusion: Publish great content

Incorporating these strategies into your editorial calendar will not only streamline your content production process but also enhance the effectiveness of your content marketing strategy. By focusing on SEO, data analysis, content diversification, team collaboration, performance tracking, and utilizing the right tools, you can create a robust editorial calendar that drives results and optimizes your digital marketing efforts.

If you go through these steps, you can create an editorial calendar that will keep your blog filled with great content, help you never miss a deadline, and give your readers relevant content they want to read.

Now that you know how to create a blog editorial calendar that will be filled with great blog post ideas for 2024, refresh your skills on how to write great posts. Check out “How to make money blogging” and get ready to take your content marketing game up a notch.

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