If you’re in the business of creating content, an editorial calendar is a must to keep everything in order.
The calendar doesn’t have to be a work of art. It can be as simple as an Excel spreadsheet that lists topic, dates and author. When done right, it removes most of the stress that comes with running a popular blog or a company newsroom.
It’s a content creator’s dream, quite frankly. The editing gods got this idea right.
But there is a downside that comes with relying too much on topics that may have been decided upon weeks in advance. It’s that dread you feel when you realize you’re missing a post, whether it’s because you didn’t gain approval, or you plum forgot.
Either way, this is where problems can (and do) arise.
A gaping hole on the editorial calendar, when all of the rest of those pretty little rows and cells are filled in nicely, can give rise to anxious thoughts that normal folk would have a hard time understanding about us process-driven people.
And in that moment of panic, it’s easy to make a mistake, when common sense tells you that an empty cell means there is nothing there.
So to rectify the situation, and keep up with the internally approved content plan that nobody outside of your company walls has seen, you push the next post (or release, or whatever) up by two days.
And you click “Post.”
Then disaster strikes.
In your rush to fill a spot, you failed to realize the content you just sent out to the Internet was incorrect.
Now it’s too late. Everybody who subscribes to your RSS feed has received the article. Maybe it’s not a major gaffe. Maybe it is. But the fact of the matter is that you put something out for the world to see that wasn’t ready to be seen.
Now, this wouldn’t be a helpful blog post if we didn’t discuss how to avoid a content crisis.
It could be as simple as having a backlog of content that can go out at a moment’s notice; maybe a Top 10 list, or something.
But I’m of the opinion that the world will not end if you skip a day. After all, posting something twice in a week, rather than three times, is less of a headache than playing damage control on a post that goes out erroneously.
And if you have built up a solid body of work, your readers will understand that a missed post doesn’t mean you are disappearing. It simply means you didn’t run something.
It’s important to post regularly. That is almost as important as the content itself.
But not at the expense of accuracy.