This is going to be the year. Can you feel it? You’re going to use a blog editorial calendar template for real.
You’ve heard of the many benefits of using an editorial calendar before. You believe in organization and planning. But they’ve never really worked out all that well, and the plan fails to stick.
The new year is all about new resolutions, including new aspirations for your blog. At CoSchedule, we want to help and that is why we are making our blog editorial calendar template available for free right here at the beginning of the year. This is a good way to get your blog off to a great start. This is the way to make those resolutions stick.
The templates are simple, helpful, and based on the actual workflow that you can use with our fully-featured digital version of the editorial calendar. But, there is one difference… they are free!
Free Blog Editorial Calendar Template For 2014
These free templates are designed to break your content down into three tools:
- An annual overview to rough out your content plan for the entire year.
- An idea zone to plan out individual posts and content ideas.
- A one-month calendar to plan out specific posts for each day of the month.
The best part about using a paper editorial calendar is that it can help you start the habit of using one to plan your content marketing. Eventually you will need bigger and better tools, but this is a great way to ease into content planning without a major financial investment.
How To Use Your Blog Editorial Calendar Template
There are three worksheets included with our blog editorial calendar template kit.
1) The Annual Calendar
The annual calendar template allows you to look at your full blogging year from the highest possible level. You will want to make note of:
- Key types of content that you will create over the year (videos, ebooks, case studies, whitepapers, infographics, etc.) .
- Important holidays and events you might create content for over the year.
- Define content themes or blog series that you plan to create.
- Note specialty content that you will need to be working on ahead of time.
Write on the calendar directly, or use a sticky note in case you need to adjust the schedule later.
Example: (image example)
- New Year’s Resolutions series.
- White paper on changing habits.
- Our Big Industry Conference
- Theme: Focus on conference topics and speakers.
2) The Ideas Worksheet
The ideas worksheet is optional, but it gives you (or your team) a place to store ideas and easily transfer them to your calendar. Think of this as a working document that you and your team will add to throughout the year. For many, the ideas worksheet is revisited every month during a content planning meeting.
- Label the worksheet according to which of your blogs the ideas are intended for, noting whether or not the worksheet pertains to a specific theme or event (optional). This will make it easier to track for the appropriate monthly calendar later.
- Write ideas on the worksheet directly, or use sticky notes to make it easy to transfer them to the monthly calendar.
- Fill in the worksheet key if necessary, noting the meaning of the colors you used. If your monthly calendar is using color coding based on team member, the columns can be used for categories (or content types), since the color will all be the same on a team member’s worksheet.
3) The Monthly Calendar
The monthly calendar will get the heaviest use. How you plan your content for each month is determined by how often you intend to blog each week, and what kind of coverage you’ll give each of your categories. That is definitely something that you will want to review on a monthly basis with your team.
- Your monthly calendar should have the ideas already on it that fit the annual calendar plan. If not, refer to the annual calendar and make sure any events and themes for the month are covered. Make note of specific content types.
- Add specific headlines and content to the calendar from the ideas worksheet. You might base your decisions on author (e.g. Jim writes on Monday) or category (e.g. every category used in a two-week cycle), and use color accordingly.
- Fill out the key so that you (or your team) know what the colors on the calendar mean.
Using sticky notes makes it easy to move content around on your calendar and adjust for changes. You can also write on the calendar directly.
Why This Year Will Be Different
Why will this year be different from all of the rest? Why will you succeed with an editorial calendar template for your blog this year? Because you have to. The job of a blogger is getting harder and harder with each passing day.
- Content marketing is competing against traditional SEO.
- Content marketing is growing in popularity.
- Your competition is increasing.
- Your readers are demanding higher quality content than ever before.
This is the year to start focusing on your blog more than ever. Take 20 minutes to put together your blog’s editorial calendar template. You will not regret it.