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How To Create A Content Marketing Editorial Calendar In 2024 (Template)

Published May 9, 2024
/ Updated May 14, 2024

An editorial calendar makes all the difference between a successful content strategy and one that drags its way to the finish line.

So let’s talk about how you can benefit from adding an editorial calendar to your toolbox and show exactly how to set yours up in just a few steps.

What Is An Editorial Calendar?

An editorial calendar is a planning document that gives you an overview of what’s in your publication pipeline.

For content marketers, editorial calendars help plan, manage, and coordinate the various stages of content creation – idea generation, production, publishing, and promotion.

To break it down, an editorial calendar should:

  • Provide a publishing strategy and schedule for consistency.
  • Help visualize your content marketing strategy to make it understandable for everyone.
  • Enable team coordination in creating content.

Allow you to make in-process adjustments with drag-and-drop ease.


5 Reasons To Use An Editorial Calendar (Purpose & Importance)

Without a calendar, you’ll be disorganized – unsure of what’s coming next, who’s working on what, and which deadlines are due.

Between this lack of coordination and no view of what’s in the pipeline, creating content consistently can feel like juggling several plates at a time, only to crash a couple.

Let’s review the reasons to use an editorial calendar.

1. Get Organized & Gain Visibility

Editorial calendars empower proactive planning, strategic alignment, team coordination, and publishing frequency expectations.

By giving a bird’s-eye view, an editorial calendar shows how strategically you’re creating content to appeal to your target audience in various stages of their buyer’s journey.

And, if you market to multiple target personas, you can also tell whether you’re creating sufficient content for each.

2. Align Editorial Themes With Strategic Business Objectives

A massive part of editorial calendars involves mapping out content themes in advance.

This ensures your content assets speak to your audience’s pain points and interests and align with pre-determined business objectives like lead generation, customer retention, and brand awareness.

3. Plan Content Marketing Strategically

Good content marketing is strategic. It involves creating content that solves your target persona’s problem and meets them where they are in their buyer’s journey.

But while you can plan out articles to meet all these requirements, you can’t get a complete picture of how each piece connects with another and its overall purpose until it’s laid out in a calendar interface.

With a calendar, you get an easily understandable look at:

  • What content you’ll create.
  • Who will create that content?
  • When the content is due.
  • Why you’re creating the content and for whom.

4. Establish & Maintain Publishing Frequencies

Your editorial calendar will also give you and your team a plan of action for consistently pumping out content.

Hence, an editorial calendar is partly a strategic content planning tool and partly a place to coordinate with your team for a consistent, on-track schedule.

5. Manage & Hit Deadlines

There’s nothing that makes coordination as easy as pre-planned due dates and a place to assign editorial tasks. A content calendar provides both.

By using a content calendar, you and your team are more likely to stay on track with the work due without coming close to last-minute requests.

Plus, the workflow that an editorial calendar offers helps build fail-safes. This gives you plenty of time for everything, be it keyword research or getting stakeholder approval, since you can do all that weeks in advance.

Best Content Marketing Editorial Calendars

1. CoSchedule Free Calendar


CoSchedule’s Free Calendar allows you to connect 2 social profiles, includes 20 AI project templates, drag and drop features, best time scheduling, and an AI Social Assistant that helps you streamline your work.

2. CoSchedule Marketing Suite


CoSchedule’s Marketing Suite is an all-in-one platform that allows you to streamline your marketing workflow with custom controls, project intake forms, and compliance-ready approval processes. CoSchedule’s AI-powered marketing tools tackle writer’s block and elevate content creation, while its social management capabilities make sure your strategy is precise.

3. Trello


Trello[b] is a project management software that allows teams to collaborate and organize tasks with ease. It offers a user-friendly interface with customizable boards, lists, and cards to track project progress.

How To Create A Content Marketing Editorial Calendar

Next, let’s review how to include the above elements in your editorial calendar.

Step 1: Set Objectives, Goals, & Key Performance Indicators

What do you hope to achieve through your content?

Do you want to build brand awareness and build loyalty with existing customers? Or do you want to support the launch of a new product and generate demand and leads? Maybe you want to do it all, and that’s okay.

Carefully identify your objectives and goals and set relevant KPIs to measure success.

Step 2: Research Themes, Company Initiatives, & Competition

Determine the main themes or pillars of your content strategy and the specific company initiatives the top-level management is planning to achieve business goals. This info will help you create relevant content that’s aligned with your big-picture goals.

Also, keep an eye on your competition. Find out what type of content they publish and how often to stay on top of industry trends.

Step 3: Ideate Tactical, Content, & Channel Opportunities

Hold a brainstorming session with your team to determine the best content ideas, editorial guidelines, and marketing channels. Consider your target audience, buyer personas, and where they’re most likely to consume your content.

Step 4: Determine The Team Members Who Will Execute The Editorial Strategy

Define the roles and responsibilities of every team member involved in executing the editorial strategy. From writers and editors to graphic designers and social media managers, ensure everyone knows what’s expected of them and what needs to be done.

Step 5: Define Publishing Frequencies & Consistencies

Create a publishing schedule to determine how often you’ll publish content. This is crucial to build an engaged audience and establishing your company as a thought leader in your target industry.

Step 6: Establish Workflows To Enable The Content Supply Chain

Ah, the workflows. Well-defined workflow processes for content ideation, creation, editing, and publishing enable your content supply chain. This is necessary to prevent bottlenecks and keep your calendar on track.

Here’s an example of a standard content management workflow:

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  • Research keywords
  • Interview SMEs from the relevant department/field
  • Develop article outline
  • Write article
  • First round of edits
  • First round of revisions
  • Final round of edits
  • Final revision
  • Final approval
  • Adding graphics and visuals
  • Publish article
  • Measure KPIs and metrics
  • Optimize/refresh article
  • Republish article


Step 7: Choose Your Editorial Calendar Type & Software

Decide the most suitable editorial calendar format and software based on your team’s requirements. Choose between printed calendars, spreadsheets, generic project management tools, and marketing calendar software.

Step 8: Create Content & Hold Team Members Accountable

Hold team members accountable for the overall quality of published content. In addition, ensure they meet the set deadlines for writing, editing, designing, or scheduling.

Step 9: Publish Content According To Your Editorial Calendar

Publish the approved content according to your editorial calendar. Follow it up by promoting it on the channels you’ve identified as being the most effective.

Consider building your content queue while you’re at it. While you can choose a schedule that works best for you and your team, the general rule of thumb is to have 4-6 weeks of content in hand.

Step 10: Monitor, Measure, Audit, & Adapt

As you work on creating fresh and relevant content, don’t forget to measure the success of your past content assets. Audit the editorial calendar regularly and make the required changes to optimize results and engage your target audience.

What Should An Editorial Calendar Include?


Project card of what an editorial calendar should include

Themes, Initiatives, & Goals

Themes are the overarching topics you want to explore in your content marketing. As a software company, your themes might be productivity and innovation. Initiatives are the specific actions you take to achieve your business goals. This could include partnering with an influencer or hosting a webinar before launching a new product.

Goals are the outcomes you want to achieve through your content marketing, such as generating leads or boosting web traffic.

Incorporating these elements into your editorial calendar will keep your content focused and aligned with your business objectives.

Audience Personas

A deep understanding of your target audience is crucial for creating compelling content.

Add audience personas in your editorial calendar so your writers know who they are writing for and can tailor the content to their specific interests and pain points.

Here’s a great example of a marketing persona:

CoSchedule graphic of a marketing persona


Funnel Stages

Aligning your content with the audience’s needs and interests at the different stages of a buyer’s journey—awareness, consideration, and decision—will help you connect with them more effectively.


For those just becoming aware of a pain point, educate them on how your product or service can help. For those considering purchasing, focus on your product’s benefits. And for those ready to make a decision, provide detailed information on your product’s pricing, features, and use cases to convert them.

Business Units, Departments, & Regions

Tailor your content to meet the specific needs of your organization’s various business units, departments, and regions. By doing so, you can provide each group with the necessary tools to reach their marketing objectives.

Plus, this strategy can also unveil opportunities for collaboration and cross-promotion.


Add all the marketing campaigns you plan on running (think: seasonal promotions, product launches, and events). This will help you create relevant content to support these initiatives, maximizing impact.

Content Formats, Types, & Channels

Outline the types of content you’ll create, like blog posts, infographics, and videos, to diversify your content strategy. Choose the right format for each piece and publish them on various channels to reach your target audience.

Publishing Frequencies

Determine the frequency with which you plan to publish content in your editorial calendar. This will help you create a consistent publishing schedule to engage your audience for the long haul.

Practitioners & Task Management

Add the names of the practitioners behind each piece of content, as well as their specific tasks and deadlines. This way, everyone will know their role and responsibilities, keeping the project on track.


Add a communication plan outlining how team members will collaborate and share feedback throughout the content creation process. This way, everyone stays on the same page, avoiding any confusion or misunderstanding.

Stakeholder Visibility

Sharing your editorial calendar with stakeholders to secure their support and input.

By communicating the reasoning behind your strategy—from identifying your target audience to outlining business objectives and success metrics—you can foster a sense of accountability among team members while opening the door to collaboration and feedback.

And let’s not forget about the budgetary decision-makers. By getting their buy-in early, you can avoid funding roadblocks and keep your strategy on track.