Blog Editorial Calendar Template for Google Calendar
For many teams, Google Calendar is a tried-and-true editorial calendar solution. Why? Many companies use Gmail for their corporate email accounts, so each member of the team already has a hand in Google Apps (Calendar, specifically) all day. Also, this solution means there’s not the added roadblock of having to locate a file in Google Drive or on your laptop. The tab is already open.
If you’re looking for a free and simple solution for your blog organization needs, try out the Google Calendar method. You’ll be able to collaborate across a larger team to decide when posts should be published and manage a balanced content calendar. And with all of the other things going on in your schedule -- social media campaigns, product launches, and even vacations -- this option provides additional insight into your scheduling decisions.
Step 1: Download the CSV file.
First thing's first: You'll need to download our blog editorial calendar templates in Google Calendar if you haven't already by clicking the button below. (You will not have to enter any personal information to get access to this template, and it's completely free.)
The following steps will teach you how to import the CSV file found in your offer zip file and customize the features in your Google Calendar.
Step 2: Get set up.
You’ll need a Google account to use this template. Once you’re logged in, go to your Google Calendar and select "Create new calendar" under the "My Calendars" dropdown menu.
On the Calendar Details screen, fill in the Calendar Name and Description. For now, keep the sharing options blank. That way, people won’t receive an out-of-context email about an incomplete calendar. When you’re done filling in the details, click "Create Calendar."
Step 3: Import the CSV file.
Select "Import calendar" under the "Other Calendars" dropdown menu.
Click "Choose File" and locate the CSV file entitled "Blog Editorial Calendar - Google Calendar" that was included in the zip file you downloaded in Step 1.
For the Calendar option, be sure to choose the name of the calendar you just created from the dropdown menu. Then, click "Import."
You should see an "Import calendar" dialog box telling you that seven events were successfully imported.
Navigate to the next blank week. Be sure all of your other calendars are temporarily hidden by clicking the colored box to the left of the calendar name. Now, on your next week, you should just see one “Blog TBD” calendar event on each day from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. This is the start of your calendar!
Step 4: Determine your publishing schedule.
Now is when you have to make some decisions about your blog publishing schedule. While the CSV file you imported accounted for a blog post every day, this doesn’t mean you need to publish seven days a week. Maybe you want to publish every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Perhaps just on 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. If you decide to decrease the number of days you want to publish, click on the calendar event of that day and select "Delete."
Even if you wanted to publish multiple times a day, updating this calendar is as easy as adding an event. Select a slot on your calendar to add another “Blog TBD” event and copy the default description from another one of the events you imported.
Next, it’s time for some minor adjustments. Currently, the “Blog TBD” events are set for 10 a.m. Feel free to move these events to whatever time your blog publishes during the day.
Curious about what time is best for you to publish a blog post? Check out this how-to blog post on using a Custom Google Analytics Report.
Step 5: Set up recurring events.
Now that you have your publish dates and times set, you can make these recurring events on your calendar. Click on your first "Blog TBD" event and click "Edit event." Under the title and time, click the checkbox for "Repeat." In the dialog box that appears, the default settings should be just what you’re looking for. Have the event repeat weekly every one week on the day of the week you set. If everything looks good, click "Done."
For now, keep the title of the event as "Blog TBD," but feel free to customize the description with any extra details you want to be sure you include for each post. Wait to invite any guest. We’ll use this to assign posts to an author once you begin filling in your topics. With everything complete, click "Save."
Repeat this step for each of the “Blog TBD” events during the week. When you flip to the month view, you should see that your events have repeated over the following weeks.
Step 6: Fill your publishing slots.
Now that your calendar is starting to look full, it’s time to actually fill your publishing slots. When you’re ready to assign a blog topic, click on the “Blog TBD” event on the day you want to publish and click Edit event. Replace “Blog TBD” with the title or working title of the post. Fill in the details, including a quick synopsis, the keywords you plan to target the post for, the target audience you’re trying to reach, and the offer or CTA you will direct the reader to at the end of the post. Finally, don’t forget a due date for the draft.
Before you officially save your first post on your new editorial calendar, you need to assign it to an author. Here’s where the invite comes in. On the right side, enter the email address of the assigned author and click "Add." You’ll see their name appear under guests. Click "Save."
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 series. Select "Only this event."
Repeat these steps to assign each blog topic today and in the future!
Step 7: Set up sharing.
Finally, it’s time to share your beautiful, new calendar with the world. Well, not the world. But at least your content team. Click the dropdown arrow next to the name of your calendar and select "Calendar settings."
You’ll see a lot of options for customization, but for now, go straight to the "Share this Calendar" tab at the top. Now you’ll have a few more decision to make. If you have a corporate Google account, you may check the box next to "Share the calendar with others" and choose to make the calendar visible to everyone in your organization. This gives full transparency to your colleagues about what is getting published and when.
However, we suggest selecting "See all event details" from the dropdown menu, and not selecting "Make changes to events." With something as important as your blog editorial calendar, you don’t want too many cooks in the kitchen.
Under the "Share with specific people" heading, enter the email addresses of those on your content team and decide if they have viewing, editing, or admin privileges. Save your updated settings.
Assign colors to your post events.
Are you a habitual highlighter and sticky note consumer? Good news here -- Google Calendar is perfect for those who live to color code. Make your editorial calendar more visual and efficient by assigning colors to your post events. Try assigning each author to a specific color to make sure the workload is balanced, or each blog post type to help ensure you keep your blog content diverse.
Don’t let forgetfulness -- or worse, procrastination -- be your folly. Set a reminder for your upcoming blog posts. Click "Edit event" and choose to set an email or pop-up reminder however many days in advance works best for you.