Last week, I covered in detail the reasons why you need an editorial calendar:
An editorial calendar limits stress, worry, and anxiety.
It gives you the freedom to be spontaneous, without putting pressure on spontaneity.
It helps you organize your messages and present them in a clear, timely fashion.
Next, I covered step-by-step instructions on using Google Calendar as a free editorial calendar. If you currently have no editorial calendar to support your content strategy, then… you don’t really have a content strategy.
Check out the post. Learn the basics of using a free editorial calendar. And then, when you’re ready to upgrade to a paid (and/or more advanced) editorial calendar platform, check out these five options.
#1 The WordPress Editorial Calendar
No one has ever said WordPress has the easiest-to-maneuver, most practical layout. The WordPress Editorial Calendar plugin fixes that issue. This plugin, free to download and use, allows you to see and organize all of your blog posts in a drag-and-drop calendar format. Nothing too sophisticated, but a great option for users with basic editorial calendar needs. Keep in mind that this tool manages one blog only – no social media posts or multi-website function.
Edit Flow is another WordPress plugin that offers many of the same benefits.
#2 Divvy HQ
If you’re running a more advanced content strategy with multiple blogs, then Divvy HQ is a great way to go. You can manage multiple calendars and view them all on one master calendar. Also, you can add in other types of content besides blog posts. Some major brands, including H&R Block, Intel, McDonald’s, and Red Bull use this system for their content strategies. There’s a 30-day free trial available.
Compendium kicks things up another notch by allowing you to create target audience profiles within its platform, plan exactly how you want to distribute that content (by selecting various channels), and so much more. It even suggests keywords to reach your audience, makes it easy to gather customers’ stories, and helps you create and implement contests.
Compendium is the end-all-be-all of editorial calendar systems (which is why it’s so expensive). However, Compendium offers a lot more than most companies will need. For your average business, Compendium is just bells and whistles. On the other hand, if you really will use all of those bells and whistles, then this is a terrific platform!
HootSuite is a good reminder that your content strategy isn’t just about your blog – not by a long shot. Even with the free version of HootSuite, you can schedule Tweets, Facebook posts, and more. If you’re creating content on a blog or website, then HootSuite may not be the most practical system to use. However, if your editorial calendar is 90% social media content, then this program is a great option.
#5 Editorial Calendar by Experts.AI Software Corp.
This newer editorial calendar platform integrates directly with WordPress and the Hubspot CMS. It helps organize many different types of content, from blog posts to white papers. (It doesn’t appear to offer social media support.) This platform is definitely worth looking into, especially if you use the Hubspot CMS.
How do you organize your content strategy? At what point do the paid editorial calendar platforms become worth it to you?