Running a successful blog or content-based website requires careful planning and organization. One tool that can help you stay on top of your content strategy is an editorial calendar. Using a template in Google Sheets lets you easily plan and track your content creation efforts. In this article, we’ll be able to help you create an effective editorial calendar in Google Sheets.
Why Use Google Sheets?
Google Sheets is a versatile and user-friendly spreadsheet application that offers a range of features to help you organize and track data. It allows for collaboration, real-time updates, and easy sharing, making it an excellent choice for creating an editorial calendar. Additionally, Google Sheets is a free tool accessible to anyone with a Google account.
Step 1: Set Up Your Google Sheet
The first step in creating an editorial calendar using Google Sheets is to set up a new sheet. Open Google Sheets, click “Blank” to create a new sheet, and give it a descriptive name such as “Editorial Calendar.”
Once your new sheet is open, customize the column headers to match your needs. Standard column headers for an editorial calendar include:
- Date: The date on which the content will be published.
- Title: The title or topic of the content.
- Description: A brief description or summary of the content.
- Status: The current status of the content (e.g., in progress, scheduled, published).
- Author: The writer or creator responsible for the content.
- Keywords: Relevant keywords for SEO purposes.
- Notes: Any additional notes or reminders related to the content.
Feel free to add or modify these column headers based on your needs and preferences.
Step 2: Plan Your Content
Once you have set up your editorial calendar template, it’s time to start planning your content. You can begin by deciding the frequency at which you publish new content. This could be weekly, biweekly, monthly, or any other schedule that suits your goals and resources.
Next, consider the topics you want to cover and brainstorm ideas for individual pieces of content. List these ideas in your calendar’s “Title” column. You can always add more pictures later, so please feel free to fill in every slot immediately.
After listing the titles, move on to the “Description” column and provide a summary or outline for each piece of content. This will give you a clear idea of the content and help you stay focused during creation.
Step 3: Assign Roles and Set Deadlines
Collaboration is often essential to content creation, primarily if you work with a team. Assigning roles and setting deadlines will help ensure everyone knows their responsibilities and the content creation process stays on track.
In the “Author” column, assign a team member to each piece of content. This could be you or someone else involved in the content creation process. By giving authors, you ensure clarity and accountability regarding who delivers the content.
Move to the “Date” column and set a publication date for each piece of content. This will give you a clear timeline and help you prioritize tasks to meet your publishing schedule.
Step 4: Track Progress and Update Status
As you work on your content creation, tracking progress and keeping your editorial calendar current is essential. Use the “Status” column to indicate the current status of each piece of content. Everyday status updates include “In Progress,” “Scheduled,” or “Published.”
By regularly updating the status of your content, you can easily visualize which pieces are in various stages of completion. This will help you prioritize tasks, identify bottlenecks, and ensure a smooth workflow.
Step 5: Add Keywords and SEO Optimization
Optimizing your content for search engines is crucial to attracting organic traffic to your website. In the “Keywords” column, add relevant keywords for each piece of content. These keywords should reflect the main topics and themes covered in the range.
Additionally, you can use tools like Google Keyword Planner or SEMrush to find relevant keywords and optimize your content accordingly. Including these keywords in your editorial calendar will help you stay focused on SEO goals and ensure your content aligns with your overall strategy.
Step 6: Collaboration and Sharing
Google Sheets allows for seamless collaboration and sharing. Once you have set up your editorial calendar, you can easily share it with your team members, stakeholders, or anyone involved in content creation.
To share your Google Sheets document, click the “Share” button in the top right corner. You can enter the email addresses of the people you want to share the document with or generate a shareable link. Depending on your settings, you can grant viewing or editing rights to the recipients.
This collaborative feature of Google Sheets makes it easy for everyone to access and update the calendar in real time. It eliminates the need for manual updates or separate documents and ensures that everyone involved is on the same page.
Step 7: Review and Adjust
An editorial calendar is not set in stone. It requires regular review and adjustments to align with your goals and objectives. Please schedule a time to review your calendar periodically, preferably monthly or quarterly.
During the review process, assess the performance of your published content, evaluate the effectiveness of your keywords, and identify any gaps or areas for improvement. Use your findings to make adjustments to your upcoming content plan.
An editorial calendar is valuable for planning, organizing, and tracking content creation efforts. Using Google Sheets and following the steps outlined in this article, you can create an effective editorial calendar that keeps you on track and helps you achieve your content goals.