One of the most frequent questions we get from aspiring plus current inbound marketers is usually, “How do you manage all that content? ”
When we tell them we use an editorial work schedule, the next question is often, “Oh, how much does that cost? inch
Nothing. Because, for the most part, we all use Google Calendar.
Amazed? There are a lot of great calendar equipment out there you can choose from. (In fact, for those of you who are HubSpot customers, there’s a marketing work schedule built right into HubSpot’s software program. ) But after trying a ton of other solutions, all of us found that we really operated the best with just a basic Google Calendar. In fact , it has actually been the longest-running editorial calendar solution our team has ever seen.
Below is how we set it up.
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1 . Download HubSpot’s free editorial calendar layouts.
First thing’s first: Download the calendar templates, above (they’re free. ) By doing this, you’ll have three editorial work schedule templates on your computer to use at the leisure: one for Search engines Calendar, one for Stand out, and one for Google Sheets. In this blog post, we’ll become going over how to import the Excel design template into Google Calendar .
2 . Customize your template and prepare for import in to Google Calendar.
By default, the particular publish dates on the web templates you download will be placed for the year 2016. Feel free to change them to the present year in the spreadsheet itself — you can also drag them to the particular dates of your choosing once you upload the file in to Google Calendar.
Google Calendar makes it easy to load a work schedule you might have pre-created in another program into Google. Including Microsoft Excel. Here’s tips on how to import the Excel appointments template you downloaded in the previous step into Google Calendar:
three or more. Open Google Calendar.
Once you’ve downloaded (or, for that matter, created) a calendar that starts in Microsoft Excel, it can time to open Google Work schedule. Just make sure you’re already logged into the Gmail account you would like this calendar to give entry to.
4. Use the lefthand dropdown menu to create a new calendar.
Now it’s time to set up your Google Calendar to accommodate the information inside your Excel spreadsheet. First, get into your Google Calendar and click the plus sign towards the right of “Other Calendars, ” as shown within the screenshot below. In the dropdown menu that appears, choose “Create new calendar. inch
5. Fill out the facts of your new calendar.
Complete the fields that appear on the next screen. This includes a brief description of your calendar, because shown below, to give people appropriate context when you invite all of them into this calendar. When you’re done filling in the details, click “Create calendar. ”
6. Import your XLS or CSV file from the same dropdown menu.
Utilizing the same dropdown menu you used to create your content calendar, you’ll now transfer the Excel file alone into Google Calendar. Click that plus sign and choose “Import. ”
Click the add box that reads “Select file from your computer, ” and locate the file entitled “Blog Editorial Calendar – Excel” that was contained in the ZIP file you down loaded in Step 1, above.
seven. Select which calendar to include this file to.
Within the second box below your own imported file, click the “Add to calendar” dropdown. Be sure to choose the name of the calendar you just created from the dropdown menu, as shown below. Then, click “Import. inch
8. Click Transfer.
Once you’ve uploaded your Excel file and selected the calendar you want to add this particular file to, click “Import. ” You should see a good Import calendar dialog box telling you that seven occasions were successfully imported. Click on “Close. ”
Now, if you didn’t change the dates from the first seven assignments within the original Excel document, now you can. Navigate to January a few, 2016, which is the start of your own calendar. Be sure all of your additional calendars are temporarily hidden by clicking the colored box to the left of the calendar name. On the week associated with January 3, 2016, you should just see one “Blog TBD” calendar event on each day from 10 a. m. to 11 the. m.
Use the edit screen of each assignment to change the particular publish date. For example , when you are satisfied with the 10 a. m. publish time, you can simply change the date from The month of january X, 2016 to The month of january X, 2019. Each task will then appear as event blocks in your 2019 month-to-month calendar view.
9. Determine your publishing schedule.
Now that you have your own calendar created, it’s time for you to fill it in with assignments for the year. This is when actually need some decisions about your blog’s publishing schedule.
While the Excel file you imported accounts for one blog post per day, this doesn’t mean you need to distribute seven days a week. Maybe you want to publish every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Or perhaps you intend on publishing on just Thursdays. Remember, the key to successful blogging is quality over quantity. Don’t overcommit to a blogging schedule if the quality of your content will take a hit. (Read this blog post for some great benchmark information on how often companies need to blog. )
If you decide to reduce the number of days you want to post, click on the calendar event of this day and select “Delete. inch
Even if you wanted to publish multiple times a day, updating this appointments is as easy as adding an event. Select a slot on your calendar to add another “Blog TBD” event and duplicate the default description from another one of the events you imported.
Next, it’s period for some minor adjustments. Presently, the “Blog TBD” activities are set for 10 a. m. Feel free to proceed these events to whichever time your blog publishes throughout the day.
10. Set up continuing events.
Now that you have your post dates and times arranged, you can make these recurring occasions on your calendar. If you have a regular publishing schedule, like every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10: 00 a. mirielle., then put that in as a recurring “slot” on your calendar. It’s okay if you don’t have a piece of completed content — or even a working title — to put there yet. It’s actual just a reminder that you want to create something that day.
To add your recurring slot, click your first “Blog TBD” occasion and click the pencil image to edit your event. This will take you to the facts of the post, where you can develop a custom recurring schedule for every assignment, as shown in the screenshot below.
You can set the post as a recurring post so it automatically appears every Mon, Wednesday, and Friday at 10: 00 a. meters. (or whatever days and times you want).
Once you’ve selected the repeating days, hit “Done” plus “Save, ” and you’ll come with an editorial calendar framework to work with.
For now, keep the title from the event as “Blog TBD, ” but feel free to customize the description with any extra details you want to be be certain to include for each post. Wait to invite any guest, as we’ll use this to assign posts to an author once you begin filling in your topics. With everything full, click “Save. ”
Minus a recurring schedule like this, you might not be in need of the editorial calendar just yet — but it is a good way to established goals for yourself. If you know you wish to publish a certain number of articles each week, even if you don’t strike every single slot, it’s a good reminder for yourself and your group that this is something you should all be striving for.
eleven. Fill your publishing slot machines.
Now that you know all of the slot machine games you need to fill, you gotta actually… you know… fill ’em. (If you don’t have topic ideas yet, check out this free topic concept generator. It’ll give you the right ideas for content to place in the calendar. )
Let’s say one of the posts you want to create is “10 Surprising Details of Tapirs, ” and one from the posts you’ve already created and want to publish later is usually “Think You’re Cut Out to Own a Tapir? Read This particular First. ” Cool! Just add ’em both to the calendar by clicking on “Post – TBD” on the proper date, choosing “Edit Occasion, ” and then changing the particular “Post – TBD” text to the actual title from the post.
Now, parenthetically you don’t actually want to write “10 Surprising Facts About Tapirs, ” and you want your colleague to write it instead. To assign the post an author, you’ll invite them to the event as a guest. To do this, click on the event, hit “Edit Event, ” then invite that colleague to the post by typing his or her name or email address into the “Add guests” box, selecting “Add” whenever their name pops up, and hitting “Save” on the event once you’re done.
Now, anyone can see that is responsible for writing the submit that’s going up in that time slot.
You can take it a step further by adding details towards the “Description” box of the occasion, as shown in the big box in the screenshot above. You might include a quick summary, the keywords you plan to focus on the post for, the prospective audience you’re trying to achieve, and the offer or CTA you will direct the reader to at the end of the post. Have a look at a due date for the set up.
Before Google Calendar will let you save the event, you’ll see a dialog box asking if you would like to change just this event or all of the events in the collection. Select “Only this event. inch
Repeat these steps in order to assign each blog subject today and in the future.
twelve. Share your editorial diary with others.
Now that you have your own calendar set up, you can start in order to invite people to see it. I’d recommend you start with your immediate team and regular contributing factors — as well as anyone who regularly asks you about submitting content on your company blog.
To share this editorial diary with people, simply find your own editorial calendar under “My Calendars, ” as shown below. Click the three dots next to the calendar name and then select “Settings and sharing” when it appears in the dropdown menu. You’ll be delivered to the same screen we saw when you first filled out the details of your editorial calendar in Step 2.
Then, you can add within the names of people with whom you’d like to share the diary and set the right permission ranges for each invitee.
It’s wise to help keep those with the permission settings to manage changes and sharing to a minimum so there aren’t too many cooks with the food prep — but I recommend a person let everyone see most of event details so it’s very clear exactly what content is going up in each slot.
Under the “Share with specific people” heading, enter the email addresses of these on your content team plus decide if they have viewing, editing, or admin privileges. Save your valuable updated settings.
Why Making use of Google Calendar as an Content Calendar Works
I mentioned earlier that we tried a lot of different editorial calendar solutions, and this is the only one that’s trapped for more than a couple several weeks. I think one reason for which is because we use Googlemail for our corporate email, which means everyone on our team is already in Gmail (and their calendar, specifically) all day. As a result, it isn’t hard for people to form a habit of checking the editorial calendar, because it’s not challenging for them to find it.
Google Appointments also makes things really easy to move around and schedule because… well… it’s currently a calendar. It has all the functionality you need to schedule things out and let the people who have to know about it know. When we had been using other solutions for this, we were trying to hack a calendaring function instead of just depending on one that already existed.
Similar to that, adding people to view your calendar is simple, which makes it easy for multiple teams to collaborate, see what’s being published, and figure out when they might be able to launch content and campaigns.
Finally, this sets the precedent for other groups to coordinate with you in a really simple way. You could have a calendar for upcoming campaigns, offers, social media pushes, product launches — a person name it. And you can all share those calendars with one another to get a single-screen view of everything that is certainly going on so you can coordinate easier.
Are there other solutions associated with there for maintaining an editorial calendar? Of course. But if you’re looking for a minimum viable product, and a free one with that, this ain’t too shabby. It’s kept our own content team sane, souple, and transparent for quite some time — and I think it could do the same for you.
Editor’s notice: This post was originally published in January 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.