What Is an Editorial Calendar and Why Do I Need One?

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Plan Your Web Content with an Editorial CalendarAs a blog or website owner, you hire a ghostwriter to take the burden of regularly writing articles from your schedule. This also means putting the direction of your information into the ghostwriter’s hands. Whether you use the cheapest article writing service or hire someone from a more prestigious firm, writers need guidelines in order to craft your message. You may have a vision of the most cutting edge fashion site around, but without clear instructions your ghostwriter might eventually drift off into fabric crafts and repurposing t-shirts. This is where an editorial calendar comes in.

What’s In It?

An editorial calendar is a listing of all the topics you want covered on your site, on a daily or weekly basis. You may have a weekly or monthly theme, a seasonal change pattern or one unchanging vision. What you won’t have, obviously, is the same topic week after week. At its most basic, this calendar will allow you to show your writer the topics you want covered each time she submits a piece of work. It also allows you to plan and track keyword usage over time, recurring themes in the work such as biweekly instruction posts and even the voice or tone you want used in each piece.

When to Do It?

The first time you set up an editorial calendar will be a long and involved project. Ideally, you should plan the next six months in advance. Not only does this force you to see exactly where your site is going, it also allows you to make long-term plans for promotion campaigns, contests and reader interaction. Keep holidays and national occurrences in mind, such as sports finals, movie releases and even television events. Send the calendar to your writer once a month, to allow her to plan the work ahead of time. Once you release one month’s worth of work, decide on the next month’s calendar and put it in writing.

Who Benefits?

Your ghostwriter will appreciate an editorial calendar for the help it gives her in her work day. Instead of vague directions, she’ll have clear instructions, including titles and keywords for each piece in the month. There will be no more questions about whether or not a piece fits in your current viewpoint or whether it is aiming toward the correct readers. In addition, she won’t be burdened with having to come up with topic ideas every week, without knowing if you’ll even approve them after they’re submitted.

More than the ghostwriter, though, you will benefit from the editorial calendar yourself. You’ll have a clear vision of the direction in which your site or blog is going. You can plan marketing campaigns months in advance and be certain that they will go in the right direction. And you’ll know that your subject matter will be going in the right direction, with no articles on topics that barely touch your core topic. It’s a win-win situation, with your site authority becoming a big third win.

Victoria B is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.

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