How to Create an Editorial Calendar [Examples + Templates]

How to Create an Editorial Calendar [Examples + Templates]

What is an editorial calendar? An editorial calendar is a visual workflow that helps a team of content creators schedule their work on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. These include: How frequently are you publishing content? What platform will you use to manage this calendar? Naturally, the company's own content is supported by an editorial calendar that describes an assignment's author, title, publish date, and where it is in the company's editorial workflow (content can be in the "Ideas" stage, in the "Pipeline," "In Progress," or "Editing"). As you might be able to tell, Buffer's editorial calendar is built on Trello, a common project management tool. "An editorial calendar should be a resource for your whole team, not just content creators," says Ash Read, Buffer's editorial director. Shown below, the Unbounce blog has a separate editorial calendar in Google Sheets that allows the blog to work alongside the larger company initiatives. Editorial Calendar Template Ready to make your own editorial calendar? That's where our free Blog Editorial Calendar Templates come in.

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If you’re anything like me, you’re consistently working out of at least 20 browser tabs, four journals, a yellow legal pad or two, and a myriad of Post-it notes stuck around your computer monitor.

To the average overseer, it’s nothing short of chaos. To the blogger, it’s evidence of a (desperate) need for an editorial calendar.

My muddled system transforms dramatically when I work with a team. I realize the need for organization and structure, and this could not be more necessary than with managing a blog. Without a mutually agreed-upon system for planning, writing, and scheduling content every week, you can find yourself in a pile of missed deadlines, unedited blog posts, and a fair amount of team tension.

What is an editorial calendar?

An editorial calendar is a visual workflow that helps a team of content creators schedule their work on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Editorial calendars can help you track content types, promotional channels, authors, and most importantly, publish dates.

There’s no such thing as a perfect editorial calendar — it all depends on the needs of your team. Nonetheless, there are a number of questions you should ask yourself to determine what your editorial calendar should look like. These include:

  • How frequently are you publishing content? Do you have stuff going live every day? Once a week? Perhaps multiple times a day? Finding out how often you publish can tell you how best to visualize your editorial calendar on a regular basis.
  • Do you create more than one type of content? If you upload as many videos to YouTube as you publish articles to your company blog, your editorial calendar will need to distinguish between the two.
  • How many people will use this editorial calendar? The best editorial calendars allow multiple people to brainstorm, collaborate, and provide feedback on assignments in real time — directly on the calendar.
  • What are the various stages content goes through before it’s published? How complex is your content pipeline? Is there a substantial review or approval process that each piece of content goes through? Make sure your calendar can distinguish between two similar assignments that are in different stages of creation.
  • What platform will you use to manage this calendar? There’s no such thing as a perfect editorial calendar, but some software is better than others at helping you solve for your team’s goals. Pick a platform that offers the features or interface that your company needs the most. Your free options include Trello, Airtable, Meistertask, and Google Sheets.

Editorial Calendar Examples

To help you implement an editorial calendar, we’ve also included two real examples from a few of the most successful content teams out there. Check them out below and find out what makes their calendar so useful.

Buffer’s Editorial Calendar

buffer-content-calendar

This is the actual editorial calendar of Buffer, a social media content scheduling platform. Naturally, the company’s own content is…

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