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Content marketing is a commitment, not a campaign. ~Jon Buscall

A guest post by Teresa L. Clark, The Wordsmith VA

As you develop your company’s content strategy, it’s important to start thinking of yourself as a publisher. Publishers plan everything in advance based on the yearly cycle as well as their product cycle. They know in advance exactly what type of content they need to create and produce for each month and why. If you think more like a publisher, you will be much more successful as you implement your content strategy.

Here are 10 reasons it’s important to create an editorial calendar for all of your communications:

1. Ability to create a theme.

An editorial calendar will help you develop an overall theme for the year or for each quarter based on the products and/or services that you’re promoting as well as the time of year. Planning it all in advance makes it easier to be prepared and come up with the ideas, content, and images that you want to use.

2. It makes it simpler to find your voice.

Planning your marketing year in advance also means you’ll be planning your product creation. If you provide services, you’ll already know in advance which services you’ll focus on. This will make it so much easier to know what kind of content to create because you’ll understand in advance when you need it and what it’s for. When you have a plan, finding your voice comes a lot easier.

3. Makes it easier to diversify content.

If you know in advance what the topic of your content needs to be, it will be easier to create different forms of content for your needs. You can plan in advance to create blog posts, vlogs, videos, reports, and more based off a particular subject or theme designed to market a particular product or service. By not doing it “on the fly,” your content will be more cohesive and diversified.

4. Keeps the content ideas flowing.

An editorial calendar helps create a situation where it’s easier to keep content ideas flowing. Some people think planning makes content boring. But the truth is, planning makes content effective, appropriate, and enjoyable for your target audience. An editorial calendar gives you time to create appropriate titles and outlines, to ensure you get your desired message out to your audience.

5. Enables you to create quality content.

By planning your content in advance, you have more time to make true quality content that speaks to your audience. Whether you’ll be writing and editing it yourself or hiring others to do it for you, it’s important to plan in advance which type of content will be needed in order to produce the highest quality content that you can.

6. Keeps your website on topic.

It’s easy to get off topic sometimes if you haven’t planned your content in advance. An editorial calendar gives you time to nix ideas that go off topic or move them to the right time and place. If you try to produce content at the last minute, you may end up with irrelevant content that has no purpose.

7. Acts as a map to help you reach your goals.

Your editorial calendar is just like GPS or a map. You can look at it in one glance and see where you’ll be in the future, and you can look more deeply into it and find out what you’re supposed to be doing right now. You will approach each day knowing both where you’ve been and where you’re going.

8. Helps increase collaboration.

Making your editorial calendar available to the public can help increase collaboration. If you allow guest writers and bloggers to publish on your website or social media accounts, your publication calendar will help these contributors decide what to write about within your guidelines.

9. Attracts more visitors.

An editorial calendar ensures you will produce content more regularly, thus increasing the rate of visitors to your website. Your audience will learn to expect certain content from you at certain times and will appreciate knowing they can rely on you for fresh content.

10. Sets expectations and deadlines.

Even if you are just setting deadlines for yourself, it’s important to do so. If you have no expectations for yourself or others, it will be difficult to build a truly profitable business. For instance, if you are building a furniture business but you cannot ever tell anyone when the furniture will be finished, you won’t ever be able to sell anything. Set expectations and deadlines for yourself and anyone you outsource to – this will help your business meet its goals.

By creating an editorial calendar, you’ll ultimately have a more organized and planned business that will make more money in the long run. Content that is distributed and marketed according to your editorial calendar will see a lot more success than content that is haphazardly put out without any notion of a goal or a plan.

There are hundreds of ways you can create an editorial calendar to work just for you and your business. But if you’d like to start with a template, check out these great samples:

Monthly Content Planning Kit from Trunked Creative
Content Calendar Template from Manifesto
Blog Planner and Calendar from BlogEnergizer
Smartstart Social Media Planning Calendar  (Yes, this is our very own SMARTSTART calendar! 🙂 ~Linda )
Content Editorial Calendar Template

BIO: Teresa Clark fell in love with the written word in elementary school. Through The Wordsmith VA, she offers services ranging from writing website content, newsletter articles and press releases to coordinating communications campaigns, organizing and publicizing large-scale events and managing team projects and editorial boards.

More next time. Until then, remember to LOVE YOUR WORK, whatever it may be.

PS Did Teresa’s post speak to you? If so, please feel free to share it with your own communities, friends and followers. Thanks for sharing the love! ♥♥♥