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How to Create an Effective Editorial Calendar and Grow Your Business

An effective editorial calendar can get your business on the right track fast. It will help you stay organized, come up with new ideas, reveal gaps in your publishing schedule, and ensure everyone on your team is doing what they’re supposed to.

But more than that, a well thought out editorial calendar has the ability to help you drive more traffic to your site, encourage more people to subscribe to your email list, and boost sales so you generate more revenue than ever before.

If you currently have an editorial calendar (or are looking to create one very soon) and want to learn some surefire ways to maintain it so it works for you and not against you, check out these 4 tips for creating an effective editorial calendar.

1. Choose a Good Platform

In the past, we’ve discussed the importance of having a reliable editorial calendar solution. Luckily, if you use WordPress as your content management system (CMS), there are plenty of WordPress editorial calendar plugins on the market that have the features you need to run a successful content marketing strategy.

A good editorial calendar solution will have some (or all) of the following features:

  • Visual display of your posting schedule (daily, weekly, and monthly)
  • Drag & drop interface for easy rearrangement
  • Quickedit functionality for changing titles, content, and schedules
  • Editorial comments for communicating with your team
  • Social media posting ability
  • Analytics to measure success
  • Built-in email marketing
  • Integration with third-party tools

Some of the best editorial calendars on the market today include CoSchedule and Edit Flow.

Editorial Calendar Example

Every website will require a different type of editorial calendar. Some may need to be accessible within the WordPress dashboards as seen above with Editorial Calendar; others may prefer a third-party website. Take the time to see what you and your team need to streamline the content creation process as much as possible.

2. Have a Plan

The only way your editorial calendar is going to help you become more successful is if you have a plan in mind before your start randomly scheduling posts to go live.

Here are some good questions to ask yourself as you set out to create your editorial calendar:

  • What are your overall goals?
  • Who is your target audience and what are their pain points?
  • What type of content do you want to publish on your site?
  • How often can you consistently publish content?
  • What is your content marketing budget?
  • Will you have a team? What are their assigned roles?
  • How will you measure the success of your content marketing strategy?

Answering these questions before you start filling in your editorial calendar will give you (and your team) some direction.

3. Audit Existing Content

Sometimes coming up with fresh new ideas on a regular basis can be tough, especially if you want to publish content on your website many times a week.

That’s where auditing existing content comes in handy.

  • Fill in the Gaps. Going through content that has already been published on your website will help you see the categories that are lacking content so you can draft new content based on those topics. You’ll also find areas that can be expanded on that will be perfect for standalone blog posts.
  • Update Old Content. Old blog posts are perfect for filling in content gaps on your calendar. Interfaces, images, products, and ideas all change over time. By rewriting content that is old and outdated, you keep site visitors up to date and give your site some new content.
  • Repurpose Posts. Another way you can use old content is to repurpose it to seem like new. Maybe a popular blog post can be turned into an exciting infographic. Perhaps readers will appreciate a long blog post that’s broken into actionable steps. Or maybe you can take an existing post and branch off it, taking a small idea from it and turning it into its own standalone blog post.

Getting creative with your content is one of the best ways to fill your editorial calendar.

Full Calendar Example

By having your calendar filled out at all times, like the one in Nelio Content seen above, you can see what type of content you need and when it should publish on your site so site visitors are always given high quality and engaging content that makes them want to stick around.

4. Include it All

Editorial calendars are not just for blog posts. In fact, scheduling everything in your content marketing plan will make it easier to stay organized, fill in the gaps, and see what opportunities you’re missing out on.

Try scheduling blog posts, email campaigns, social media posts, infographics, webinars, and even video content into your editorial calendar. This will give you a bird’s eye view of what’s going on at all times.

If you have a team, scheduling in your entire content marketing plan will give everyone the ability to see what they’re responsible for individually and the status of all projects.

And don’t forget to take advantage of your editorial calendar’s built-in features. For example, add editorial metadata such as content topic, title, publish dates, like the WordPress plugin Edit Flow lets you do.

Editorial Metadata Example

If you want something that mimics the popular Trello content management system, check out Kanban Boards for WordPress. With it, you can set up your editorial calendar in stages so everyone knows what stage each piece of content is on, making tracking of the content creation process easy to do.

Content Creation Status Example

If you do use Trello, and want to include the data in Trello in your WordPress dashboard, be sure to check out the relatively new WordPress plugin WP Trello.

Final Thoughts

In the end, there’s a lot that goes into a content marketing plan that goes beyond just scheduling your site’s posts. However, having a reliable editorial calendar, and knowing what to do with it, can make a world of difference.

If you create an effective editorial calendar, and set up it up to include your entire content creation process, you can publish consistent content that will drive traffic, engage your audience, expose your brand to a broader audience, and even increase sales.

Adding to that, if you’re looking for a way to complement your editorial calendar, and automate your email campaigns, try adding FeedOtter into your content marketing strategy. With a quick setup process, integration with Marketo or Pardot, and the ability to email your blog content to anyone at any time, FeedOtter helps you generate more leads and land more conversions so your business can grow.

 

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5 of the Best WordPress Editorial Calendar Plugins

Starting a WordPress blog is not hard to do; but handling the content you want to post on your site can become overwhelming if you don’t have a plan. After all, you need to find a competitive niche, come up with blog post ideas, craft killer headlines, draft your content and publish consistently, and drive traffic to your site, all while hoping that your content is good enough to for site visitors to stick around and read.

Though many factors affect how successful your content marketing efforts will be, one of the most important ones is the scheduling of your site’s content.

Whether you plan to publish a new blog post once a day, once a week, or even once a month – the key is consistency. But without a strategy for planning your content’s publishing schedule, staying consistent can be challenging.

That’s why we’re here to share with you some of the top WordPress editorial calendar plugins on the market today so you can start planning how often you’re going to post on your website and develop a long-term (and very consistent) schedule.

What is an Editorial Calendar?

When it comes to content marketing, an editorial calendar is a tool used to help you organize the content creation process from start to finish.

Though it can be looked at as simply a calendar for scheduling when your blog posts will go live, a good editorial calendar will have features designed to help you with:

  • Coming up with blog post ideas
  • Assigning tasks – such as topic creation, post drafting, imagery, and editing – to members of your team
  • Accessing blog content for quick edits
  • Scheduling which posts will go live on your site and when
  • Posting your site’s content to other channels such as social media

As you can see, a solid editorial calendar solution will help streamline the content creation process and organize things so you always know the status of every blog post that will be published on your site.

So, now that you know the main goal of an editorial calendar, let’s see what solutions are available.

1. Editorial Calendar

Editorial Calendar

Editorial Calendar is a simple WordPress plugin that is suitable for those that self-publish or have a small team of writers. See an overview of your blog, when each post is scheduled to go live, and even check out this cool demo to see if this is the right solution for you.

Editorial Calendar Example

Enjoy features such as:

  • Calendar view of all posts and their respective statuses in the WordPress dashboard
  • Easy drag & drop functionality to rearrange posts
  • Draft management with the new Drafts Drawer
  • Quickedit of post titles, content, and times
  • Management of posts belonging to different authors

PRICE: FREE

2. Edit Flow

Edit Flow

Edit Flow is another great editorial calendar plugin that helps you collaborate with your team inside the WordPress dashboard. It is customizable so you can make changes to fit your needs and has everything you need to stay on track with your content marketing plan.

Edit Flow Example

Additional features include:

  • Month-by-month look at content schedule
  • Custom statuses to define your workflow’s stages
  • Threaded editorial comments so your team can communicate
  • Editorial Metadata for tracking important details
  • Automatic notifications when anything changes
  • Upcoming content in traditional story view for easy printing
  • User groups for managing team members and their roles

PRICE: FREE

3. CoSchedule

CoSchedule

CoSchedule is a premium editorial calendar solution that is full of helpful features for agencies, solopreneurs, small businesses, and in-house marketing teams. This all-in-one marketing calendar brings content creation and social media together into one useful platform so you can manage everything blog post related from one place.

CoSchedule Example

Take advantage of features such as:

  • A centralized marketing calendar for viewing the status of all content with drag & drop functionality
  • Social media scheduling to automatically share content across multiple channels
  • Marketing campaign creation for special occasions when your content schedule is going to vary
  • Email marketing management with popular email service provider integrations
  • Detailed analytics to monitor your content marketing strategy

PRICE: $20-$1200/month

4. Oasis Workflow

Oasis Workflow

Oasis Workflow is a WordPress editorial calendar plugin that’s perfect for those who run blogs with multiple authors, website owners in industries such as healthcare, law, and education, and businesses where tracking every stage is mandatory and crucial to its success.

Oasis Workflow Example

With this unique editorial calendar, you get:

  • The ability to assign, review, and publish from one platform
  • A Visual Workflow Designer with drag & drop functionality
  • User role control for accountability
  • Exclusive inbox and easy sign off when a task or project is complete
  • Custom statuses to define each stage of the workflow
  • Access to process history, complete with all comments
  • Due date and email reminders to keep everyone on track

PRICE: FREE (pro version offers features such as multiple workflows, auto-submission, front-end shortcodes, starting at $79)

5. Nelio Content

Nelio Content

Nelio Content is a robust editorial calendar solution that helps you create, schedule, and promote your website’s content on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Nelio Content Example

Other features include:

  • Editorial calendar showing posts, social messages, and tasks in one place
  • Creation of content, scheduling of posts and social media messages, and drag & drop functionality to make changes
  • Automatic sharing on social media platforms of your choosing
  • Analytics for determining your best content and promoting it
  • Content Assistant to help with imagery, content tags, and internal and outbound linking to improve quality

PRICE: FREE (pro version comes with features like priority mail support, editorial tasks and comments, and social templates for $29/month)

Final Thoughts

And there you have it! The top 5 best WordPress editorial calendar plugins to help you get your content marketing strategy on track so you can post to your blog on a consistent basis.

Managing your site’s content doesn’t have to be difficult, so long as you invest a little time into making a plan. This is especially true as your blog following or business continues to scale. The more you have to handle at once, the more crucial an editorial calendar becomes.

Take a look at each of the editorial calendar solutions mentioned above, weigh the features against your individual needs and start planning right away. If you do, you’ll see a significant rise in traffic, subscribers, and even sales.

And to top it off, as you become more successful, and continue to ramp up your email marketing efforts, make sure to check out FeedOtter so you can automate RSS-based emails and create beautiful email newsletters with ease.

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