An editorial calendar is a document that displays media content over a period of time. They are often used by professionals in traditional media such as television, newspapers, and magazines. Increasingly, however, new media people are finding them useful as well. Bloggers, podcasters, YouTube personalities, and more are using editorial calendars to add structure to their content development, stay abreast of upcoming events, and brainstorm. To make it easy for you, I've developed an editorial calendar template you can download for free. Feel free to use, modify, and share it as you wish. Here are a few ways to put it to good use.

Plan out your content well in advance

Use your editorial calendar to plan your content well in advance. In doing so, you allow yourself to be more clear and consistent. Also, taking this bird's eye view over a period of time will better position you to develop content around important topics, events, dates, etc.

Find experts to provide guest content

One of the best ways to engage with the community and bring awareness to your website, blog, show, etc. is by showcasing guest content. If you know well in advance what topics you want covered, you can begin your search right away and give guest bloggers, writers, and other producers more time to provide quality work. A good place to search quality blogs by topic is Technorati.

Find publications to submit your content

If you find yourself producing especially relevant work, there may be other places to publish it. Magazines, newspapers, blogs, etc. are always looking for quality pieces to feature. They each have their preference in how they like to receive inquiries, but identifying them in advance will help ensure you are able to meet their requirements.

What other ways can you use an editorial calendar?

I've just outlined a few ways to get you thinking about how to use an editorial calendar to increase your effectiveness. What other ways can you think about? Please share with us what works for you or what other ideas you have.