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A Beginners' Guide to Editorial Calendar – Every Blogger Should Keep One

updated on Nov 16, 2015
A Beginners' Guide to Editorial Calendar – Every Blogger Should Keep One Editorial calendar is a central place for bloggers to manage everything related to content, such as gathering blogging ideas, scheduling post productions and publications, managing contributors, planning social media sharing, and so on.

Having a well-organized editorial calendar can make blogging much easier because everything is planned out in advance. Knowing when and what will be published keeps you on track and in control.

In below, we will offer more details about editorial calendar, and introduce some useful tools that can help you make the first editorial calendar easily.

What Is an Editorial Calendar?

An editorial calendar is usually a spreadsheet or an online calendar on which you plan and track the contents that are available and will be available on your blog. It is an important tool that helps a lot with content strategy.

Editorial calendar is especially useful for multi-author blogs because it allows you to see which author is responsible for which article, the type of the content, the status of an article, whether the article has been shared on social networks, etc. Everything could be in good order.

Generally speaking, in an editorial calendar, you can:
  • Group your blogging ideas and topics.
  • Assign editorial tasks like writing and proofreading to every single author in your team.
  • Schedule the publications of posts to maintain a consistency of content.
  • Schedule the social sharing of posts to coordinate with your social marketing plan.
In this way, your content strategy is visualized in a good way that every member in your team can understand, which improves the work efficiency and blog consistency, and potentially generates more traffic.

If you want to make a success in blogging, you have to be strategic. That is why you need an editorial calendar all the time.

What Is an Editorial Calendar

Important Elements of an Editorial Calendar

An effective editorial calendar should offer all the important information you and your team member want in an organized way, so you need to experiment to find the solution which works for you. However, no matter you are making a weekly, monthly or annual plan, you will probably include the following elements in the editorial calendar.
  • Title/headline of the content.
  • The type, theme, category or tag of the content (for example, email, video, post and eBook), which helps you group contents and balance the plan based on the overall goal.
  • Assigned author. If you have a complex production process, you can also assign the producing, proofreading and publishing to different people.
  • Channels where the content will be published, such as email newsletter, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
  • The creation and publishing date. This helps you manage the update of old content in the future.
  • Priority. When the plan is complicated, you may need to assign priority to each task to match your content strategy.
  • Content status, which helps you track the progress.
An editorial calendar does not need to be complicated. Instead, you should keep it simple with the elements that are really needed and make it easy to understand for everyone.

Important Elements of an Editorial Calendar

Useful Tools for Making an Editorial Calendar

There are many tools that can assist you in making an editorial calendar online. Depending on how your website is built, you may have different options. So in below, we will introduce the best plugins for WordPress sites, and other online tools everyone can use.

Editorial calendar plugins for WordPress

  • Editorial Calendar – This plugin offers a good interface for you to see all posts, change the post dates, manage drafts, quick edit posts, etc. WhatsWP has prepared a detailed tutorial for using it.
  • Edit Flow – It offers an easy way for collaboration. You can track the status of posts, add editorial comments for private discussion, and get notifications for content updates.
  • CoSchedule by Todaymade – With this all-in-one solution, you are able to easily create an editorial calendar, automate the social publishing, add editorial comments, manage team workflow, and do many more works. CoSchedule is a premium plugin priced from $15/mo, but a 14-day free trial is available.

Other online tools

  • Google Calendar – It is a free and simple solution with which you can create a fully functional editorial calendar in minutes. Another good thing is that you can easily share the calendar with other people with Google accounts. If you are interested, follow our tutorial to add and embed a Google Calendar to your site.
  • Google Drive – Formerly Google Docs, is also a helpful tool that allows you to collaborate and create spreadsheets to track contents.
  • SocialCast – As a well-known editorial calendar tool, SocialCast is a SaaS solution designed for blogs with numerous content and authors. Besides the basic features offered by all other tools, the software also includes the capabilities of analytics and social publishing. SocialCast is priced from $2.5/mo.
If you are planning to make the first editorial calendar, we'd suggest you find some templates first to get started more easily. For a simple approach, you can download the free templates on CoSchedule by simply entering your email address on this page. No subscription to their email list is required.