The editorial calendar (or publication calendar) is a very practical tool for improving the regularity and efficiency of your online publications. In this article you will find practical advice from our experience on the following topics:
- why it is recommended to use an editorial calendar
- how to create your editorial calendar in 5 steps
- An example of an editorial calendar (ours!)
After each summer, I ask myself the same question: what am I going to publish on the blog at the start of the school year? This question is all the more crucial as the frequency and regularity of publication are decisive factors for your SEO and therefore for your inbound marketing. For this new school year, we have decided to test a new editorial calendar to improve our SEO and be more efficient. In this article we explain our approach and reveal our trick to you to gain in efficiency. We will mainly talk about its application in the context of a blog, but all the advice we give is perfectly applicable for social networks or other distribution channels.
What is an editorial calendar?
An editorial calendar is a table in which you enter in advance what you are going to publish and when.
It has 2 advantages:
- force the regularity of publication (important for the algorithms recommend your content and this regardless of the platform)
- identify events not to be missed in advance so that your publications are in tune with current events (and that your audience is therefore positively impacted)
An editorial calendar can be used in several contexts:
- social networks
In the rest of this article I will mainly talk about the ghostwriter for hire editorial calendar for a blog. This is indeed what I think is the most complex.
Why use an editorial calendar?
The editorial calendar is an effective tool to guarantee the regularity of publication and to increase the frequency of publication. These 2 factors are very important for SEO as our blog statistics show.
As you can see below, between 2019 and 2022:
- I multiplied by 4 the number of referring sites (from 700 to 2700)
- I multiplied by 10 the traffic
This spectacular improvement is explained by changes implemented from May 2020:
- increase in my publication frequency up to 5 articles / week
- Increase in the length of my posts by 10.6%: 1029 words / post on average in 2019 compared to 1139 words / post in 2022.
The effects are clearly visible on the graph. The take-off took place around January 2021, that is to say about 6 months after I implemented the frequency and length changes. However, it was impossible for me to maintain the rhythm of 5 articles per week. So I went back to my normal publication frequency, that is to say 3 articles / week.
Because to keep the rhythm, you have to have inspiration. And that’s where most content creators get stuck. To avoid this problem, we are testing the editorial calendar from the start of the school year.
How to make an editorial calendar in 5 steps?
I’m not going to give you a theoretical lesson here on creating a publication calendar. The advice I give below corresponds to what we do internally.
Step 1: define your goals
We advise you to define 2 quantified objectives:
- number of unique visitors at 12 months
- number of referring domains at 6 months
To quantify these objectives, you will need to know the number of current visitors (remember to place a Google Analytics tag).
Step 2: define your keywords
Identify the keywords that meet 3 criteria:
- they generate a large volume of visits
- they are not too competitive
- they are in line with your editorial line
Make a list of these 10-20 keywords. They will form the core of all your publications.
To find these keywords, you will need to use a tool such as Ahrens, SEMrush or SEO Majestic. The 3 tools are paying but offer free trial periods which will be sufficient to study the keywords. However, if you need help, contact us. We offer an SEO audit at €499 excluding VAT for VSEs and SMEs.
Step 3: identify the dates of important events in your sector
There are undoubtedly unmissable events in your sector of activity. These events generate high search volumes on certain keywords for a short time. Do not miss this opportunity to capture traffic on your site. Identify these events in order to position them on your publishing calendar.
For our market research activity, SIAL is a trade fair that we visit every 2 years in order to understand the food market. This event generates a lot of upstream research and so we have a series of specific publications to take advantage of it.
Step 4: Set your posting frequency
The minimum is to publish once a week, ideally every working day of the week.
Set fixed deadlines for your posts. Here are some examples:
- every 1st working day of each month
- every Tuesday and Thursday
- every 15th of the month
There is no best time to post on a blog. The traffic on your site depends on:
- Internet searches
- the indexing of new pages of your site by Google
Step 5: complete your editorial calendar
The final step is to complete the posting schedule.
In front of each deadline, write a subject to be covered or, even better, the title of the article.
Structuring your publishing schedule by type of article allows you to develop routines, gain efficiency and reduce stress.
Example of our editorial calendar
For the start of the 2022 school year, we wanted to create a very rigorous editorial calendar.
We have therefore decided to publish every day of the week. To allow us to keep this rhythm, we decided that each day would be allocated to a type of article:
- Monday: scientific article review
- Tuesday: article like “7 things to know”, “8 incredible things”,
- Wednesday: point of view on the news
- Thursday: market analysis
- Friday: guest post
I think this division by item type is important. Structuring your publishing schedule by type of article allows you to develop routines, gain efficiency and reduce stress.
Here’s what our editorial calendar looks like for the first few weeks.
As you can see, the editorial calendar is kept very simple in form. We made it in Google Drive so that every member of the IntoTheMinds team could edit it.
Some advocate publication calendars with a lot of information (volume, distribution channel, etc.). Our previous experiences show that the more information there is, the less complete it is. In the end, keep this tool as simple as possible if you want Medical Ghostwriter.
A few words of conclusion
The regularity of publication is one of the keys to success in increasing your audience. This is an absolute rule that applies regardless of the distribution channel.
This regularity depends on your work discipline, but not only. Blank page anxiety or a spike in workload can challenge the discipline of even the most seasoned content creators. The publication calendar then becomes a very useful anticipation tool.