This is How You Crush a Content Marketing Strategy

content editorial calendar

A simple editorial calendar strategy can greatly increase your productivity and effectiveness.

A great man once said that “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” While I don’t fear failure I never plan on failing. Nobody does. But the hard fact is most people don’t take the time to put together a solid plan when it comes to their social media efforts.

Is it a lack of focus? A lack of clear-cut goals? Or is it just not knowing where to start?

Well I’m effectively taking that last option off the table for you. If you have trouble with the other two, you are always welcome to schedule some time with me to help you work through focus and goals.

In the meantime, let’s start with a plan.

FYI this post was actually shared with my Insiders months before I shared it publicly. If you want to be one of those awesome people to get my best content first, join the list by adding your email below:

I’m going to give you at least a basic idea of how to plan your content (social and/or blogging) calendar. It’s not rocket science.

Some of you may even think, “that’s too simple, give me something more.” Well before you ask that, let me as you this— are you doing the simple work?

Are you getting it done already? Or are you just letting procrastination, inaction and laziness hide behind the mask of “I need something ‘deeper’ to feed off of.”

Okay, I won’t go into a rant about procrastination and excuses— let’s just do this. Deal?

Let’s Do This!

liz lemon says let's do this!

Sit down, put away the distractions and map this out for yourself. The planning flow will look like this:

  • Monthly
  • Weekly
  • Daily

Before we get started though, I wanted to state that the first step should always be identifying your audience and topics. To keep this post simple and to-the-point, I’m assuming you’ve already done that work.

Fair enough? Cool, let’s get started.


Start with a calendar, any calendar will do. If you’re a pen and paper kind of person (like my wife) then do that. If you’re a digitalist like myself, use your digital calendar of choice. You might actually want to take a look at Coschedule, one of the newest additions to My Toolbox.

my content editorial calendar

There’s also a number of great content calendar templates out there. Here’s a few I recommend:

Next, identify all the holidays or special events happening in the calendar month ahead (or the one you’re currently in). If there are any special days in that month, be aware of them and create or curate content that will be relevant/trending on that day.


On any given week there are a number of trends that you may be able to tag onto in order to gain some great exposure. There are hashtags that are specific for particular days of the week or even weekly social media events that you can tap into. For example:

  • Tuesdays = #StarWarsTuesday. People post interesting/funny things about Star Wars and use the hashtag.
  • Wednesdays = #BufferChat. Buffer does a weekly twitter chat.
  • Fridays = #TGIF or #FridayDanceParty. I’m determined to make that a thing.
  • Saturdays = #Caturday. People post interesting/funny pictures/videos of cats… yeah, I know, but it’s a thing.

Find those weekly trends that people in your target audience will be participating in and/or interested in and put them on the calendar. Twitter chats, trending topics, weekly events (such as TV shows) are great ways to join in on a conversation that is already thriving and be exposed to a larger audience.

Bonus Reading: Learn everything you need to know about Twitter to maximize your content marketing potential on that platform.

Remember though– be relevant, not just a trend-jacker.


Now here’s where the real work is. Day in, day out– feeding the content monster (as my friend Justin Wise once put it).

I’m convinced that no matter who your audience is, they crave 3 types of content:

  • Informational: Things that feed their knowledge.
  • Inspirational: Things that fuel their fire.
  • Entertaining: Things that make them smile.

Make it your daily goal to fill all three content types.

This goes back to understanding the psychology behind why people share things. I’ve shared about this in one of my Insider newsletters, but to save some reading time on this one I’ll just recommend you go look up Contagious by Jonah Berger. It’s a fantastic book with incredible insights.

Every day you’ll want to fill your content queue with all three types of content. Shoot for a ratio of 25/25/50.

  • 25% Informational
  • 25% Inspirational
  • 50% Entertaining

Or maybe your audience is more of the data-head or the learned type so you’d want to give them:

  • 50% Informational
  • 25% Inspirational
  • 25% Entertaining

Or maybe your audience is more into being inspired and you’d want to make the 50% portion inspiration and the other two 25%.

The point is to give your audience enough variety that they wont get bored, with an emphasis on what they really want most.

content marketing quote from dustin w. stout

Now how many posts a day does this mean?

Well, I’ll let you decide. Maybe it’s an easy 4 times a day. Maybe it’s 12. Gauge the volume tolerance of your audience and go from there. Whatever number you choose, try to keep it constant and realistic because you need to feed that content monster every single day.

To feed this content monster you either need to be both creating content and curating.

Curating is the art of finding, organizing and/or presenting things. Much like the museum curator or the art gallery curator:

[clickToTweet tweet=”#ContentMarketing tip: It’s your job to find stuff that your audience will love most. Be a curator.” quote=”It’s your job to find stuff that your audience will love most. Be a curator.”]

So first decide how much you can create and how much you need to curate. Or maybe you want to start by seeing how much you can curate and then create the rest.

Either way, fill that daily quota. Some days will be easier than others and the weekly events/trends and monthly holidays/events will definitely help, but the idea is to create a content plan that will become a routine.

Once you’ve got a plan and a routine you can expand, refine and experiment.

For further reading on the subject my friend Peg Fitzpatrick has shared her thoughts on How to Get Organized with an Editorial Calendar, Buffer has a great piece about Choosing a Content Calendar, and Matthew Kaboomis Loomis has shared some great thoughts on why bloggers need a content calendar.

One Last Thing

Never trade quality for quantity. More than anything else I believe you should lead with quality over quantity.

There’s no shortage of content out there. The problem is sorting through it all to find the real gems. If you can position yourself as a maker and curator of quality content you will stand out among the crowd of link-litterers and auto-posters.

You can do better. You will do better. Now go to work.

Bonus Reading: Take a look at my other productivity tools that help me stay efficient day in and day out.

What do you think? Simple enough to act upon? Are you already working an editorial calendar? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Dustin W. Stout Avatar

9 responses to “This is How You Crush a Content Marketing Strategy”

  1. Adan Valdez Avatar

    I have worked on pinterest but I schedule the same posts for right now ontheirthat i do on instagram. I do planonwriting contentreally soon that speaks to my audience and will be helpful for them and making a nice infographic for them and putting those posts on pinterest. Would that be the way to go?:) any feedback you give will tremendously help!

  2. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    Awesome Adnan! Curious, have you been getting a lot of traffic from Instagram? Historically, I’ve found it to be the most difficult network to get traffic from (Pinterest being the easiest). As an ecommerce shop, I’d much sooner encourage you to work on Pinterest for traffic and use Instagram for branding. Have you tried Pinterest (or other networks) for traffic?

  3. Adan Valdez Avatar
    Adan Valdez

    Really really helped me out! You helped me gain focus again and even more in depth this time. I run an ecommerce store but use Instagram as my main source of traffic. But i believe with a more genuine thought out plan i will get more people coming back:) thanks so much! Already bookmarked your blog and will come back for more! Keep up the great work!

  4. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    Good to hear taija! Do what works for you– that’s the only way to love what you do.

  5. taija Avatar

    awesome! really enjoyed this. I think it really helped me gain focus. I believe I’m probably more like your wife, and putting pen to paper, when it comes to my editorial calendar

  6. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    Haha! I know what you mean about bookmarks Sandra. They can get out of hand quickly. That’s why I now use a combination of Google+ private communities and Evernote to store my bookmarks. I’m going to be writing about my Google+ private community trick soon. Stay tuned. 😀

  7. Sandra Lemming Avatar

    Excellent I have bookmarked this one to refer to. I think this advice will really help me in my journey forward. Thank you.

    Now if I could just figure out how to better organise my bookmarks on chrome better it would really help me save time. lol so much to learn in the journey of being an on-line entrepreneur 🙂

  8. Dustin W. Stout Avatar

    Glad you like it Kevin! Well once the site is done you may want to give Coschedule a try– it integrates with your Google calendar!

  9. Kevin Ross Avatar
    Kevin Ross

    Great Stuff Dustin! I love … enjoyed your article.

    I like your great man quote as well … I’ve used it a time or two myself, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

    And agreed, we never plan to fail in the beginning, but without a strategic plan in place whether it’s our commerce marketing or social landscaping strategy … “Failure” is inevitable.

    In addition, when I initially started with this noise IM gig — thing, all three [lack of focus, lack of clear-cut goals, and not knowing where to start] seemed to be a part of my daily routine. Though it took me some years to finally pull it together.

    I’ve also found a lot of great ideas [value] from the article and it will take me some time to catch-up with you on all the tasks you’ve given us to do. BUT … I’ll get’er done!

    And, I’ve been using Google’s calendar which I like a lot; I’ve even gone as far as scheduling various online activities, but been too busy trying to get the site done.

    Once again … I really like the article, and I’m following your example.

    Thanks! For everything!

Leave a Reply