Posted to Volacci's blog on June 26th, 2012

Editorial Calendar: Time Saver or Time Waster??


Blank editorial calendar

To many content marketers, “blog” is a 4-letter word. Its very utterance is enough to have us shaking at our keyboards staring at the blank screen like a doomed deer staring down a pair of headlights. 

But blogging is an essential content marketing activity. It gives brands the opportunity to showcase their personality and a way to converse with their demographic. Posting content regularly is also great for SEO, which creates more opportunities for the brand to make new friends and customers (lead generation, anyone?). Therefore, the onus is on content marketers to make their blog a success. How do we do that?

An editorial calendar can be a content marketer's best friend. When created and implemented properly, it facilitates blog post creation and management (assigning, scheduling, and posting). Most importantly, it’s a web content writing tool that allows you to see how well, or how poorly, your company’s content aligns with the brand. A disconnect between the brand and messaging could mean wasted money. If the two are one and the same, you could be boasting a really strong quarter. An editorial calendar is not just an organizational tool. It can make, or break, the bank. 

However, editorial calendars--because of the time it can take to make them--can be a content marketers worst enemy. But before you swear off editorial calendars forever, let’s discuss the pros and cons of having them around: 

Editorial Calendar Pros:

  • Aligned and consistent messaging--The titles and topics are all in one place so it’s easier to see when one doesn’t jive with the brand’s message or demographic.
  • Time saver--A shared document can save you time and headaches when it comes time to assign posts. 
  • Capitalize on search trends and timely events--Whether it’s a holiday or a current event that’s trending, it’s easier to see, then act, on a pattern when the data is in one place

Editorial Calendar Cons:

  • A significant time investment--It may not seem like it at the time (because you’re having to create and plan many titles instead of one), but you truly are saving a lot of minutes and lessening the pressure that’s on you to produce quality content. 
  • Difficult to get buy-in from your team--Blogging is a job and not everything about a job is fun.  It’s understandable when all you hear are crickets when you ask for ideas. Cut back on the push back by reminding them of the benefits of a good blog and what blogging can do for their own personal brand. 

“Do you have an editorial calendar?” is usually the first question I ask clients because it indicates how serious they are about content marketing. An editorial calendar categorizes marketing campaigns into the major leagues or triple A. Check below for tools that can make web content writing easier for you and your team and let us know if you're using one that has worked well for you. 

Editorial Calendar Tools that Could Make Your Life Easier: 

  • Wordpress Editorial Calendar Plugin
  • EdCals by Cision Point
  • EditFlow
  • Google Docs and Excel

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