How to Create an Editorial Calendar

July 21, 2023

You’ve got a content strategy. You’ve got the ideas. But do you have the organization? An editorial calendar is designed to keep you and your social media campaign(s) on track. Read through this quick and easy guide we’ve created to give you all the reasons you need one and all the ways to create one.

What is an Editorial Calendar?

You might be wondering just what an editorial calendar is, exactly. The word is thrown around a lot in the industry, but what does it mean?

An editorial calendar is a space that you and your content team use to ensure everyone is on the same page about your current plans. It operates as a visual workflow to track the content you’re planning, writing, and scheduling. The

calendar visually reinforces the “what” and “when” of your posting schedule and it gives you cloud-capable communication to make the process much more collaborative.

Why Create an Editorial Calendar?

So, why do you need an editorial calendar?

The simple answer is – organization. The editorial calendar is a central area for all of your content ideas that allows you and your team to visualize your publishing schedule. That means you can better manage your deadlines and keep everyone on track, moving towards the same goals.

Beyond organization, an editorial calendar can help you to create a stronger strategy. With the calendar, you and your team can create a more consistent posting schedule that allows your campaigns to roll out in the most optimized way possible. When you’ve got everything laid out for you and your team to see, you’re able to make changes on the fly and establish more efficient and productive time utilization.

Steps to Create an Editorial Calendar 

  1. Determine What You Need From Your Calendar
    This seems like an obvious first step, but it’s one you might miss if you’re not careful. Be sure to sit down with your team and establish what you need from your calendar. Is collaboration more important? Or do you need a calendar that gives you minute-by-minute views? This will help you determine what sort of format you want to work with. And while you’re doing this, you’ll also want to establish which social media channels you’ll be using specifically.
  2. Study the Posting Frequency of Your Competition
    It helps to see what your competitors are doing, especially when it comes to deciding how often you’ll post. Take some time to study what your competitors are doing before you create the calendar. Understanding how often your competitors are posting allows you to determine your own pace without having to do too much research on your own to find the right posting schedule.
  3. Choose a Format or Program
    There are plenty of possibilities for formatting. If you’re interested in creating one completely from scratch, we suggest using SmartSheet or Excel to do so, though Google Calendar is also a great option. If you want to use a pre-existing system, you can use HubSpot, CoSchedule, or Buffer.
  4. Plan Your Posts Consistently (and Sustainably)
    Consistency is very important in posting, but you also want to be sure that the posts you’re creating are publishing at a sustainable frequency.
  5. Document Your Workflow
    This is a good rule of thumb for anything you do, but it’s especially important since there are so many hands that touch an editorial calendar. As you go, document what you’re doing and This will make things easier for the rest of the team in the long run.
  6. Determine Deadlines
    Now that you’ve established your calendar, you’re going to want to decide on internal deadlines. Do you want everything ready a month before posting? A week? Do you want to get things done in bulk, or quarterly?
    If the campaign you’re running is more hands-off, quarterly might be the way to go. It allows you to complete all the content at once, schedule it, and be done until the next quarter. If the campaign requires that you’re able to make quick changes as needed, weekly deadlines might be best for your team. It’s all about the flexibility of your campaign.
  7. Audit and Adapt
    Auditing means going over your live content with a fine tooth comb. Examine the impressions and interactions your posts are receiving, determine if the workflow was too much for your team or if you have room to do more, and ensure that the work you’ve done is effective and operating the way you need it to.
    Decide how often you’re going to audit and stick to it. Quarterly tends to be the best, but some organizations might require them more often depending on the campaigns being run. After every audit, make a plan for how you’re going to adapt your calendar.

That’s It!


Armed with a beautifully organized editorial calendar, your content team is going to be much more prepared and will feel far more efficient which translates into money saved and better campaigns for you!

Now that you know why and how you should create an editorial calendar, share this with your content team. You’re ready to get started!

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