How to Make an Editorial Calendar: A Comprehensive Guide

Wondering how to make an editorial calendar that drives results?

You’re not alone.

In fact, only 39% of marketers have a documented content marketing strategy in place.

But here’s the good news:

A well-structured editorial calendar can help you stay organized and focused on your content goals, ultimately boosting your marketing efforts.

In this guide on how to make an editorial calendar, we’ll walk you through every step – from understanding your objectives to reviewing and adjusting your plan for maximum impact. 

We offer a done-for-you service that hands you a full year’s editorial calendar on a silver platter… but if you’d rather DIY, here you go!

Ready to take control of your content planning? Keep reading!

Table of Contents:

How to Make an Editorial Calendar

Understanding Content Goals and Objectives

To create killer editorial calendars, start by defining your target audience like Sherlock Holmes on a case.

Establishing content goals and objectives is crucial to creating the perfect editorial calendar. Treat your content goals as the compass guiding you through the vast sea of ideas. Make sure they align with your overall business objectives for maximum impact.

Your content should be like an Olympic gymnast, nailing that perfect routine while staying in sync with your company’s aspirations.

Defining Your Target Audience

Dive deep into audience research to understand their needs and preferences better than their own therapists do. Use tools like Google Analytics, surveys, or even social media stalking (ethically).

Establishing Content Goals & Objectives

Create SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) goals to keep track of progress. For example: “Increase blog traffic by 20% within three months.”

Aligning Content With Business Objectives

Your content should act as the bridge between what you offer and what customers need. Be it brand awareness or lead generation; make sure every piece serves its purpose in achieving those targets.

Pro Tip: Use a content calendar to keep track of publishing dates and content planning. You can use tools like Google Calendar to mark exact dates and industry events to start planning your content around them.

Content Ideation and Planning

Creating an editorial calendar is a crucial step in content planning. It helps you stay organized and ensures that your content is published on exact dates. Here are some tips to create the perfect editorial calendar:

Conduct Audience Research:

Before starting to plan, it’s important to comprehend the requirements, inclinations and issues of your desired crowd. Dive deep into their world and gather insights like a seasoned scuba diver.

Generate Content Ideas:

Brainstorm with your team or use tools like Google Trends to discover what topics are hot right now in your industry. Become an idea factory and note down as many ideas as possible.

Brainstorming Sessions and Collaboration:

Get the brightest minds in one room (or virtual space) for a creative jam session that’ll churn out amazing content concepts faster than you can say “editorial calendar.”

Map Content to Different Stages of the Buyer’s Journey:

Create a content roadmap tailored to guide prospects through each stage of the buying process – from awareness all the way down to decision-making – ensuring they’re engaged every step of the way.

How to Make an Editorial Calendar

Action Steps for Successful Content Planning

  1. Analyze your target audience’s demographics, interests, and behaviors using tools like Google Analytics or social media insights.
  2. Jot down as many topic ideas as possible during brainstorming sessions. Remember: there’s no such thing as too many.
  3. Categorize these ideas based on where they fit within the buyer’s journey (awareness, consideration, decision).
  4. Prioritize topics based on relevance, timeliness (e.g., upcoming industry events), and potential impact on business goals.
  5. Assign content formats (e.g., blog posts, videos, infographics) and publishing dates to each idea using a Google Calendar or other content planning tool of your choice.

Bonus Tip:

Keep an eye on competitors’ content strategies and stay updated with industry trends to identify emerging opportunities that can be incorporated into your editorial calendar. Adaptability is key.

Key Takeaway: 

To create a successful editorial calendar, start by researching your target audience’s needs and generating content ideas. Collaborate with your team to map out the content to different stages of the buyer’s journey, prioritize topics based on relevance and potential impact on business goals, and use tools like Google Calendar for scheduling. Keep an eye on competitors’ strategies and industry trends for emerging opportunities that can be incorporated into your plan.

Organizing Your Editorial Calendar

Let’s kick chaos to the curb and get your content planning on point.

Choosing the Right Calendar Format

Picking a format that suits your team size, project complexity, or personal preference is key. Options range from interactive templates like HubSpot Editorial Calendar Template, Google Sheets used by Unbounce and Hootsuite, to dedicated software such as CoSchedule or Optimizely’s Content Marketing Platform.

Monthly, Weekly, Daily Planning: Break It Down.

Create an actionable plan by allocating themes/topics to specific timeframes. This ensures consistency in publishing dates while keeping you organized and sane.

Fitting Themes/Topics into Timeframes: The Perfect Puzzle Pieces

Selecting themes/topics for each month allows you to stay ahead of industry events and start planning early. Pro tip: Keep track of exact dates with tools like Google Calendar so nothing slips through the cracks.

Incorporating Seasonality & Trends in Planning:

  • Incorporate seasonality trends when selecting topics/themes for each month;
  • Monitor industry trends closely identifying emerging opportunities;
  • Assign responsibilities and deadlines ensuring smooth workflow during production stage;
  • Stay up-to-date with important dates/events related to your niche using tools like Google Alerts.

Stay Flexible, Adapt Changes: The Content Chameleon

An effective editorial calendar should be flexible enough to adapt changes when required. Keep an eye on competitors and industry trends while being open to adjusting your content plan accordingly.

Incorporating Seasonality & Trends in Planning

If you’re looking for content creation services and content marketing tips, creating an editorial calendar is a must. But to make a perfect editorial calendar, you need to stay ahead of the curve by incorporating seasonality and trends into your content planning.

Capture Seasonal Opportunities

Start planning by analyzing industry events, holidays, and seasonal trends that resonate with your target audience. Then, craft engaging content around these topics for maximum impact.

Bonus Tip: Use tools like Google Trends to identify emerging opportunities before they become mainstream.

Create Monthly Themes/Topics Based on Industry Events & Dates

Schedule monthly themes or topics based on key industry events and important dates. This will help keep your material up-to-date while making sure it is pertinent to the requirements of your viewers.

  • List out all significant industry events and exact dates throughout the year.
  • Create themes/topics aligned with these events for each month (or week).
  • Add assigned responsibilities and deadlines within your editorial calendar for smooth execution.

Maintain Flexibility in Your Calendar

Remember, a perfect editorial calendar allows room for adjustments when new trends emerge or unexpected changes occur. So be ready to pivot when necessary.

Creating & Scheduling Engaging Content

Step 1: Develop a Streamlined Production Workflow

To create an editorial calendar that works, you need to have a streamlined content production process. Assign tasks and deadlines to team members to ensure timely delivery of top-notch output.

Step 2: Establish an Editorial Review Process

Maintain consistency across all published materials with a solid editorial review process. This will help keep your brand’s voice intact and ensure that your content is of the highest quality.

Step 3: Utilize Tools for Scheduling Content on Multiple Platforms

Leverage powerful tools like Buffer, Hootsuite, or even Google Calendar to schedule and manage your content across various channels efficiently.

Scheduling Tips:

  • Prioritize High-Quality Content over Quantity: Focus on producing valuable, engaging material that resonates with your audience rather than just filling up the calendar slots.
  • Diversify Formats and Topics: Keep things fresh by incorporating different types of media (e.g., blog posts, videos, infographics) and covering diverse subjects relevant to your niche.
  • Benchmark against Competitors’ Calendars: Monitor what others in the industry are publishing so you can identify gaps or opportunities for unique angles. Use tools like BuzzSumo.
  • A/B Test Your Publishing Dates: Experiment with different posting days and times to determine when your content gets the most engagement.

Bonus Tip: Stay flexible. Fear not the flexibility to tweak your editorial plan in light of business fluctuations or novel ideas. Embrace adaptability for a truly effective content strategy.

Content Promotion & Distribution Strategies

Identifying key distribution channels is crucial to maximize exposure for your content. These channels may include social media platforms, email marketing campaigns, SEO strategies, partnerships, and collaborations.

Integrating social media, email marketing, and SEO techniques into your editorial calendar ensures that your content reaches a wider audience while driving organic traffic to your website.

Leveraging partnerships and collaborations can create win-win situations. One way to increase visibility and draw more visitors is through collaborating with other sites or influencers by offering guest posts on popular blogs, hosting webinars, etc.

Here are some actionable tips to help you get started:

  • Use tools like BuzzSumo to find relevant influencers in your niche.
  • Reach out via personalized emails offering value through collaboration opportunities.
  • Monitor results closely using analytics tools such as Google Analytics or HubSpot’s Marketing Dashboard to measure success rates of each partnership/collaboration effort.

Maintaining an organized editorial calendar is just one piece of the puzzle. Promoting and distributing your content effectively is what will ultimately lead to success. By identifying the right channels, integrating social media, email marketing, and SEO strategies, and leveraging partnerships/collaborations, you’ll be well on your way to maximizing exposure for your brand.

How to Review and Adjust Your Editorial Calendar

Regularly reviewing and adjusting your editorial calendar is crucial to ensure that your content marketing efforts are effective. Here are some tips to help you stay on top of your content planning:

1. Regularly review content performance: Don’t let your editorial calendar gather dust. Keep it fresh by analyzing data and tracking performance metrics using tools like Google Analytics.

2. Gather feedback and insights: Your audience is a goldmine of information. Use their comments, emails, or even surveys to get valuable feedback on your content.

3. Make adjustments based on audience response: Audience preferences evolve faster than you can say “content marketing.” Be prepared to make changes in your editorial calendar accordingly.

Tips for Successful Content Reviews and Adjustments

  • Stay consistent with reviews: Schedule regular check-ins (monthly or quarterly) to ensure you’re always up-to-date with how well your content is performing.
  • Dig deep into the data: Don’t just skim through numbers; analyze them thoroughly using tools like Google Analytics, ensuring that every decision made is backed by solid evidence.
  • Pivot when necessary: If something isn’t working as expected, don’t be afraid to change course. Adaptability is key in today’s fast-paced digital landscape.
  • Leverage competitor analysis: Keep an eye on what others are doing right (or wrong). Use this intel to fine-tune your own editorial calendar, staying ahead of the game.

Remember, your editorial calendar is a living document. Keep it relevant and effective by reviewing performance, gathering feedback, and making adjustments as needed. Stay on top of industry trends and audience preferences to ensure you’re always delivering content that hits the mark.

How to Make an Editorial Calendar

Tips for Success and Best Practices

Are you looking to create an editorial calendar that strikes a balance between creativity, efficiency, and productivity? Follow these quick tips to help you get started:

Maintain Consistency and Frequency

It’s important to publish content regularly to keep your audience engaged. If you require aid, consult this manual on the frequency of blogging.

Stay Flexible and Adapt to Changes

Change is inevitable, so it’s important to adjust your content planning when needed. Keep an eye on industry trends or sudden shifts in audience preferences and adapt accordingly.

Monitor Competitors Closely

Analyze what’s working for your competitors with tools like SEMrush, then capitalize on emerging opportunities by creating even better content.

Leverage Existing Material

Breathe new life into old content by creating infographics from data-driven posts, adding fresh insights or updates to evergreen articles, or diversifying formats by turning blogs into podcasts or videos (and vice versa).

Synchronize With Industry Events and Google Calendar

Schedule relevant topics around key events using a shared team calendar. Integrate it with your existing workflow through tools like Zapier’s Trello-Google Calendar integration.

Incorporate Seasonality and Trends

Stay ahead of the curve by planning content around seasonal trends, holidays, or industry-specific events. Use Google Trends to identify what’s hot and when.

Collaborate With Your Team

Collaboration is key to creating a successful editorial calendar. Harness collective creativity through brainstorming sessions and foster open communication with tools like Slack.

Now that you have these tips and best practices, start planning your editorial calendar and conquer your content planning game.

How to Make an Editorial Calendar

FAQs in Relation to How to Make an Editorial Calendar

How to Make an Editorial Calendar

To start planning your perfect editorial calendar, you need to define your target audience and content goals. Generating content ideas and mapping them to different stages of the buyer’s journey is the next step. Choose a suitable calendar format for organizing themes/topics within specific timeframes. Incorporate seasonality and industry events while creating a content production workflow with assigned responsibilities and deadlines.

The Three Components of an Editorial Calendar

The three key components of an editorial calendar are content planning, content creation and scheduling, and content promotion and distribution strategies. Content planning involves ideation, goal-setting, and aligning content with business objectives. Its creation and scheduling include establishing workflows, assigning tasks, and setting deadlines. Content promotion and distribution strategies involve social media integration, email marketing campaigns, and SEO optimization.

What You Need in an Editorial Calendar

An effective editorial calendar requires clearly defined goals and objectives aligned with business targets, well-researched audience insights, diverse content ideas mapped to buyer’s journey stages, organized timelines for monthly, weekly, and daily planning, established production workflows including review processes, and efficient tools/platforms for scheduling, promotion, and distribution.

How to Make an Editorial Calendar for Social Media

Create a social media-specific editorial calendar by identifying platform-specific goals, objectives, target audiences, and content types such as images, videos, and articles. Generate relevant post ideas and themes based on user interests, trends, and seasonal events. Organize posts into daily, weekly, and monthly schedules using tools like Hootsuite, Buffer, or Sprout Social. Incorporate promotional strategies like hashtags, collaborations, and cross-promotions.


By defining your target audience, establishing content goals and objectives, and aligning them with business objectives, you can generate innovative ideas that resonate with your audience throughout the buyer’s journey.

Organizing your editorial calendar format by exploring popular formats and selecting a suitable platform tailored towards specific requirements helps to structure timeframes and incorporate trends. Additionally, identifying optimal distribution channels for target audiences, integrating social media, email marketing, and SEO tactics while leveraging partnerships and collaborations will help boost exposure.

If you’d rather just leave your editorial calendar creation to the pros, contact Triumph Communications.


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