This guest post is by Joe Williams from Zen Optimise. Check out his content marketing course, Content Marketing, where you'll learn how to grow your brand and build relationships with influencers through smart and effective content marketing.
TeamGantt has been invaluable in helping us launch our new website. It’s easy to use, makes collaboration simple, and I love setting milestones to keep track of progress. It’s been so useful that I wanted to carry on using it even now the site is launched, to plan out all our content (blog posts, in-depth guides, e-newsletters and more).
What an Editorial Calendar Is – and Why You Need One
If you’re marketing your business online – then you might well be producing blog posts, e-newsletters, or other forms of content that you’re publishing on a regular basis.
Like many busy professionals, however, you’ve probably found that it’s all too easy to let content marketing slip to the bottom of your to-do list. Writing a new blog post or working on a special freebie for your newsletter list rarely feels urgent – and even if you do have a bit of time at the end of the day for content creation, you might lack energy and ideas.
There’s an easy fix, and you might have come across the idea before: create an editorial calendar. (You’ll sometimes see this called a “Content Calendar”.)
- Coming up with ideas for your blog posts (and other pieces of content) in advance. Many people find that this step alone makes content creation much easier – it’s tough to come up with an idea in a hurry when you’re faced with a blank page.
- Giving each idea a publication date. This is really useful for planning series of content, for linking together particular topics with a product promotion, and so on.
- Co-ordinating with colleagues, freelancers, or guest posters to get the content written. If you plan ahead, it’s much easier to get others involved so you don’t need to do it all yourself.
I was sold on all the benefits, of course. The only question I had was whether TeamGantt would work as an Editorial Calendar.
I was unsure at first. After all, it wasn’t built with that in mind. But after a few months of use, the answer is a definite yes!
Here’s how we’ve used it for planning content:
Monthly Timelines to Keep Content on Track
The monthly view is where the Gantt chart really excels. You get a lovely visual showing when content will be published and by who.
Tip: Add three Task Groups. The first will labelled as the current month (e.g. September), and the other two will be the following months. You can then add tasks (planned content pieces) in monthly groups for easier organising.
Collaborate through the Comments
I use the sticky note to give content briefs to our bloggers. We also use sticky notes to link to the Google Doc where the blog post gets drafted.
The blogger usually creates a quick outline of the post. This often leads to more comments and sharing of ideas which really helps in the development of the post, resulting in the best possible finished piece.
Tip: If your comment needs a response, check their box under “Email this comment to the following people” – it ensures they’ll see it quickly.
Update Content Status and Progress
The last step is to update the content’s status. We use the following figures:
- 25% means a date has been scheduled and an outline has been agreed.
- 50% means the first draft has been completed and is ready for review.
- 75% indicates there is feedback for the blogger on the draft.
- 90% is sometimes used to show there is something small to finish off.
- 100% shows it’s ready for publishing, meaning the final draft has been edited and proof-read.
Tip: Come up with your own system for updating the status. E.g. with long pieces of content, you might want to use 10% per section.
TeamGantt has given us a lot of clarity in planning content and projects. We’d like to give a big thanks to the creators!
Q: Do you use TeamGantt as editorial calendar for your blog? If so, do you have any tips to add? Let us know in the comments.