Effective content marketing requires good organisation. This applies even if you produce some of the best blog posts and social media updates on the planet. After all, brilliant minds are not always known for their orderliness!
For a blog writer or a business owner who regularly publishes content, uploading items every day, or not being able to see the publishing schedule at a glance can be a big time waster and make efforts with content chaotic and inconsistent. A good way around this is to keep an editorial calendar – if you have a WordPress website there are some excellent tools designed to help you get organised. We’re going to look at two of them.
WordPress Plug-in Editorial Calendar
This free plug-in provides a ‘calendar view’ of all your posts according to when they have been scheduled for publishing, instead of the usual linear view. You don’t need to type entries into the calendar itself as they show up automatically. Advantages of calendar view include:
- You get to see if you have scheduled too many posts on the one day or if you have blank days you need to fill in.
- You can view as many weeks as you need to see – for instance you might want to view whole months rather than weeks.
- Posts can be created directly from the calendar view itself by simply pointing to the date and clicking on ‘New Post’.
- You get to see not only the date but the day of the week – particularly useful if you run themes on particular days each week, or a series of posts on a certain topic that you want to publish on Thursdays for instance.
- You can see the status of posts – whether draft, scheduled or pending review – by hovering the mouse over them in the calendar.
- You can access the posts from the calendar for editing, publishing if they are still in draft stage and so forth.
- Posts can be dragged and dropped to different dates.
- If you have any unscheduled posts these can be displayed to the side of your calendar by clicking on ‘Show Unscheduled Drafts’ above the Calendar.
In short you can get an overall view of your blog that lets you see the ‘big picture’ rather than a just list of posts. Installation is a simple matter of going to ‘Plug-ins’ in WordPress followed by ‘Add new’, typing in ‘Editorial Calendar’ in the search box to find it, and then installing the WordPress Plug-in Editorial Calendar.
Scheduling for You Blog and Social Media
If you have various social media accounts that you use to share your blog, you might like to take a look at ‘CoSchedule’. This editorial calendar enables you to schedule blog posts and updates and messages to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages at the same time. The attraction is in its simplicity. It operates in a similar manner to the WordPress plug-in described above, within WordPress, and it’s exceptionally easy to use.
There is a price for CoSchedule – currently $10 per month, but this includes unlimited users and accounts. If you post multiple times per week and update one or more social media accounts throughout the week, it’s a small price to pay to keep yourself well-organised and efficient. If much of your content is prepared in advance, taking part of a day to schedule your content for the week can save a massive amount of time and leave you free to focus on other tasks.
Whether you write your own blog posts or use a content writing service to write them for you, you should find that editorial calendars come in pretty handy for keeping track of your schedule for adding blog content and social media updates. Certainly any free or low-cost tool that saves time can make a difference to your work day!