When I start writing for a new blog, I first like to put all of my content ideas on an editorial calendar. This allows me to see where the blog will go in the next few weeks or months, pinpoint some key dates or events that I want to highlight, and it helps focus my research.
When creating my very first calendar, I looked at examples on the web but never found one that worked exactly the way I wanted it to. I ended up creating a mash up to suit my needs. This is the way to go because we all think and organize differently, so creating something unique to you is ideal.
To help jumpstart your own creative process, here are a few of the editorial calendars I liked. Many sites allow you to download their templates. Since every calendar uses Excel, you can easily delete or copy elements to suit your needs.
Content Marketing Institute offers examples of two calendars. One that looks at monthly themes and then one that breaks a theme into weeks. Both are downloadable.
Social Fresh also has a template you can download, along with a very nice set of directions for customizing it.
This downloadable template from North Dakota State University is missing some things you might need, but already has dates loaded until June 2013. That’s a time saver!
WordPress has an Editorial Calendar plugin that you can download and use to organize your posts. This is great for visual people like me who like to see things in blocks of time. It also allows you to drag and drop posts by calendar date to better organize your postings.
What does my editorial calendar look like? Like I said, mine is a mash up of all the ones you have seen so far. However, I have added tabs to the bottom of mine for all of the different social media sources I am using for that particular client or blog.
What are some of the things YOU think are important for an editorial calendar?