It's Day 25 and we're sprinting to the finish line of Hubspot's 30-day blog challenge. Actually, the challenge ends today, but since we joined in 5 days late, we still have 5 more posts left to complete our 30 days.
Looking back, it's been quite a ride. And I mean, it's been a crazy ride. We've had our share of wins and struggles the past 25 days, and if there's one content marketing tool that has kept us sane, it has to be our..
Ta-dah, Blog Editorial Calendar
Remember, before this month we never had a regular blogging schedule here at Spiralytics. We posted on whims, or whenever we had spare time, which is odd because we do Content Marketing in Nottingham, UK, in US, and the Philippines for our clients but not do it for ourselves. Some of the guys here had no experience blogging at all. We had to break an old culture, and to commit ourselves to a strict schedule, otherwise this 30-day blogging spree wouldn't be possible.
And our Blog Editorial Calendar guided us through the process, keeping everyone on loop, and helping us coordinate with key persons involved in each post.
How does your blog editorial calendar look like?
We love Hubspot's Blog Editorial Calendar, in fact, we currently use it as a reporting tool for some of our clients. However, as our requirements evolve, we find the need to customize an editorial calendar for our own use.
This is a screenshot of Spiralytics' Editorial Calendar:
Nothing special, we want to keep our spreadsheet simple and straight forward. We removed some of the usual elements such as the "Blog Category", "Blog Details", and "Call to Action" because as we work on our weekly tasks, we learn that those columns hardly get filled up at all. For us, we only need the following details to get our content creation going:
- Author - Obviously we have multiple authors and this column prompts our writers of their assignments.
- Blog / Client - This is important for teams that have multiple clients. We used to have a separate spreadsheet for each client, however, we find it really helpful seeing all content assignments for all clients in one screen.
- Publish Date - These are the dates we plan to publish our content, by hook or by crook. Needless to say, this column is the first one that gets filled up. A publi
- Blog Title - This column usually takes both "Blog Title" and "Blog Details" in one go. More often than not, the title already captures what we want the content to deliver, and we find no need to note the details in another column. Blog titles are usually revised since the topic takes a different twist as we write.
- Target Readers - One of these days we will have to sit down and create more specific reader personas, but right now, we simply fill up this column with generic targets, i.e. SEOs, Content Marketers, Partner & Friends, Bloggers, etc.
- Notes - We fill this up with little notes to remember or sometimes links to articles we want to reference.
- Deadline - Normally we prefer at least 3 days to go over the content before publishing, so we set a deadline 2-3 days before publish.
- Status - Lastly, my personal guilty pleasure, tagging a post with "PUBLISHED" when the post has gone live. Other statuses we normally use are "ONGOING" or "FOR EDITING".
The other thing that I love about this customized editorial calendar is that we get to sort columns according to how we want to view it (i.e. by Author or by Client). Like this, where I sorted out the cells by Author, and I see in one group all of the topics assigned to me:
Sorting and filtering are not possible with Hubspot's Editorial Calendar because of its merged cells and styling, however, Hubspot's Editorial Calendar is great for presenting to clients, and you can download their free template here.
But if you want a simple way to manage your Multi-Client, Multi-Author Content Creation Process, we're making this Editorial Calendar available for download. Download Spiralytics' Content Editorial Calendar Template Here. Use it, add more columns as you see fit, customize it for your specific use. Enjoy!