June 18, 2014
Editorial calendars have been recommended for companies looking to improve their content strategy for many years. They help companies stay organized (particularly when you’re working with a multi-author blog and produce a lot of content), and they make it easier to lay out your vision, which can help ensure that the content you’re publishing is relevant and timely. You always know who is in charge of writing, publishing, and sharing, and can therefore hold your employees accountable. What could go wrong?
If you have someone responsible in charge of your editorial calendar and everyone is on the same page with how it works, there aren’t too many things you’ll find confusing. However, you have to ask yourself whether or not you want a forward-facing calendar. In other words, should you share your calendar with your entire writing staff, or will that hurt your team to know your plans?
I first heard the term “forward-facing” calendar from a CopyPress article, and it really does pose an interesting question. Many companies assume that part of the benefit of the calendar is to make sure the entire staff can see what the plans are for the future, but the truth is that this isn’t always the case. You have to also determine whether or not you want to show the calendar with contributors not on staff, so there are different layers to consider.
Below lists a few pros as well as a few cons to the idea:
As with all verdicts, it depends completely on your company and how your content strategy works; however the general consensus seems to be coming up with a calendar that actually falls into both categories. In other words, it usually makes the most sense to have a forward-facing calendar with everyone on your staff, but it isn’t necessary to have this kind of transparency with guest contributors and those from other companies.
Although not having this open to your guest contributors will cause you to run into some of the problems above—you might get a lot of emails about publish dates, you may not get as original of ideas, etc.—it’s much better in the long run because you know that your due dates will always be taken seriously and any stealing worries are put to rest.
If you’re still try to get started with editorial calendars, you’re not alone. It’s never too late to get started and you will find that it will make a world of different for your company no matter how much content you’re publishing. Below are a few past HigherVisibility articles to help get you on the right path:
Why Your Blog Needs a WordPress Editorial Calendar
Data You Should be Using to Advance Your Content Marketing Strategy
SES SF: Kick Start Content Marketing with Kim Lew
If you have any more pros or cons to add to the list or any personal experiences to share, let us know in the comment section below.
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