This blog planning template – freshly updated for 2022 – helps you plan your content, grow your traffic, and save time in the process. A content plan or strategy helps you produce the right content, for the right people, at the right time. An editorial calendar template gives you a process for producing content on a consistent basis. In this post:
- Why You Need a Content Plan
- 2022 Editorial Calendar Template download
- How to Create a Blog Content Plan
Why you need a content plan for your blog
You probably already have content. You probably want to keep creating content – blog posts, articles, videos, podcasts etc. – on a regular basis. A content plan helps you make your content work for you. One of the toughest parts of marketing is getting your plan right in the first place, so that you can execute on that plan. If you’re like most humans on the Internet, there’s always something to disrupt or distract you. What if you miss the next big thing? It’s easy to get distracted. That’s why you need to set aside time to plan and create – so you can produce content on a consistent schedule. Having a plan keeps you confident that you’re moving in the direction of your goals.
Do you want to plan out your content for the next quarter or year?
Do you want to identify your content niche for your blog so you’re not starting from scratch each week?
Do you want to make sure you have the marketing details (SEO, slug url, post titles etc.) covered for each post?
Do you want to grow your blog, business, audience, and authority like a professional?
Plan your content. Grow your traffic. Save time.
Get your 2022 Editorial Calendar Template
A content plan or strategy helps you produce the right content, for the right people, at the right time. An editorial calendar template gives you a process for producing content on a consistent basis.
Strategically plan out your content for the year. Follow my process and get your content ready to grow your business.
Download as an Excel workbook or use with [Free] Google Sheets.
- Monthly Themes Worksheet: On this tab, you can take a step back from your daily or weekly post planning and identify monthly topic themes, events or products that you plan to launch, along with holidays that fall in each month
- Weekly Post Frequency Editorial Calendar:On this tab, you can outline your weekly blog post topic, title, goal, due dates, and promotion strategy
- Daily Post Frequency Editorial Calendar: If you blog on a daily (or more frequent than 1x/week) use this tab instead of the weekly post tab for each piece of content
Content Plan Price:
$24 (Limited Time: “Pay What You Want” Pricing!)
That’s only $2/month for the year
Lifetime Access: Receive all future years’ updates for free
Format: Google Docs Sheets or Excel spreadsheet
How to Create a Blog Content Plan:
#1 – What are your intentions and goals for creating content?
How will content help your business or blog? Are you wanting newsletter signups, event registrations, downloads, shares, visits, social media etc? Or some combination of the above? As with starting any new project, it’s important to know what your goals are and how you’ll measure them. A content plan or strategy helps you produce the right content, for the right people, at the right time. While an editorial calendar template simply gives you a process for producing content on a consistent basis. An editorial calendar is a useful tool but it can’t stand on its own.
#2 – Discover what you should be writing about
A good content plan includes a look at who your audience or readers are? How to know where to focus your niche. This lesson is all about asking yourself what do you know and what do other people want to know? Plus tips and tools for brainstorming content ideas and SEO.
Start with what you know that overlaps with what others want to know.
This may sound like an over-simplification, but it’s a great place to start. Here’s why: there are a lot of tools to determine what other people want to know – like Google’s Keyword research tool, Ahrefs, and tons of other content discovery tools, and even just from things people ask you about. But just because people want to know about something (like how to lose weight fast), doesn’t mean that you should write about it for your business. You need to find where that line is for you between “people want to know this stuff” and “I’m the one that needs to tell them!”
Secondly, think about what you want your content to do. Your content might inspire, educate, entertain, or convince your readers. Going a bit further, you might use different types of content to do each of those things. Remember some types of content are better at inspiring than educating etc.
#3: Decide your post frequency & available resources
How frequently can you commit to publishing? Monthly, weekly, weekdays, daily, 4x day etc.? Selecting a frequency helps you plan the rest of your marketing and your resources (such as as other team members, authors, guest posts etc.).
First, how much do you have to say? Secondly, how much time and resources do you have to commit to content creation? It’s a good idea to start slow and then increase your content. Content production is a time-intensive activity. Good content creators have process and tools they use, but at the end of the day, it still takes quite a bit of time to create good pieces of content!
Here’s what this could look like:
- Monthly: If you picked a monthly frequency, you’re likely going to want to write three pretty info-packed posts. Think of three of the most useful things you could write or create in the next three months.
- Weekly: If you picked a weekly frequency, you might have a bit more freedom to create. However, you also have more pressure to produce and you’ll need to allocate the resources to make sure it gets done. What are the top things you could write about over the next 13 weeks?
- Daily: If you picked a daily frequency, you’re going to have quite a bit of pressure to be publishing nonstop. Make sure you have the resources and content team to do this so you can still be putting out quality content.
#4 – Using themes and holidays to tie your content together
Picking monthly themes (even if just internally) can help you not only think of post ideas, but also tie your content together in a cohesive way. You can use monthly or weekly topics, categories, or themes. Plus, consider how holidays impact your content schedule and marketing campaigns. It helps to keep an eye on current events and holidays when planning future posts, even if not every holiday affects your business.
Selecting themes lets you take a step back from your daily or weekly content planning and content marketing efforts and identify monthly topics, themes, events, or even new products that you’ll be launching, along with what holidays fall into each month. Having a theme also takes the pressure off the “what will we say!” panic if you’re a procrastinator. If you get busy throughout the year it can really help when you have themes already planned out so you can just get writing.
Themes are also a great way to make sure that your content is in-line with your marketing calendar.
#5 – Brainstorm ideas for new content
Now that you have a full list of themes, it’s time to brainstorm new content ideas. This includes whether you will you do any series type posts and tips and tools for coming up with content ideas, and how it overlaps with social media content.
While you’re thinking about themes, and series for your content, keep in mind the types of content you can create. There’s content to be created beyond just an article or blog post. When you’re thinking of ideas, think through these different content type ideas:
- blog post or article
- guest post
- case study or report
- photo essay or slideshow
- product content or features
- I’m sure you can think of more!
#6 – Getting results from your content
How does your content tie back into your business? Measuring the results of your content is a long game. We’ll cover how content is an important piece in a new product launch, events, contests etc. Plus, we’ll take a look at what you have planned for the coming year, and how you plan to distribute and promote the content that you’re creating (for example: your newsletter, social media posts, Pinterest campaign, blog partnership, blogger outreach, some combo of above etc.)
Create a content pipeline that keeps your audience, your goals, and your content connected.
How do you plan to distribute your content?
Take a look at what you have planned for the coming year, and how you plan to distribute and promote the upcoming content that you’re creating (for example: through your newsletter, social media, Pinterest campaign, blog partnership, blogger outreach, some combo of above etc.). How you plan to distribute your content helps you measure your results. Remember to choose metrics that matter for your business when it comes to content.
#7 – Your 90 Day Plan
In the final lesson, we’ll map out your next 90 days of content and commit to consistent writing. After your plan is in place, you’ll check in on it to make adjustments. Need to lower frequency? Do it! Ditching a theme? That’s learning and progress! Your 90 Day Plan can be as simple as writing on paper (or using your text editor of choice) a list of 90 content ideas – adjusted for the frequency that you plan to publish. If you want a bit more direction or want a template to fill in, check out my blog planning template.
Get instant access to the 2022 Blog Planning Template:
The purpose of this Editorial Calendar Template download is to plan out your content for the year. With an editorial calendar template, you can keep track of post ideas, the status of posts, holidays, monthly themes, goals, and even how you plan to market your content.
You can complete as much or as little as you need at a pace that suits you. So outline the whole year, or work a month at a time, or even a week at a time. The important thing is that you have a plan to follow instead of starting from ‘scratch’ each week.
One of the most important reasons for having an editorial content calendar is that instead of sitting down every day or week to plan and create, you’re simply following through on a process you already created. By putting a structure in place, you can check in weekly or monthly, or even quarterly and review what you’re doing and why.
What people are saying about the Editorial Calendar Template:
“Thanks so much for this update! We have used your calendar since 2014 and it’s great! I appreciate the work that goes into this!” -Kelly C.
“Really clear and useful!” -Mary R.
“As a one-person business there are never enough hours in the day and I find myself getting pulled in different directions. I downloaded the Editorial Calendar and have tweaked it to my needs. Thanks for sharing!” – Paula K.
“Thanks it is already helping a great deal.” -Crystal L.
“This is wonderful. Thanks SO much.” -Jessica P.
Originally published in 2013, updated for 2022.