Having a blog is a lot of work. Staying organized can be difficult, but staying consistent and on track is most important. This is where an editorial calendar comes in.
Having an editorial calendar is like having a guide showing you what content needs to be written and when it must be completed. Without it, you write based on a wing and a prayer. In this post, we will talk about exactly what an editorial calendar is, why you should use one, and how to design your own.
What is an Editorial Calendar
An editorial calendar is basically just as it says, a calendar. It is a record of what you will be publishing or marketing on your website for each month of the year.
Some people keep an editorial calendar written in their planner. They simply write the title of the post on the day it is due. Some keep their posts listed to a wall planner, and some bloggers use a digital calendar to track what needs to be written and the publish dates.
How you make your editorial calendar really doesn’t matter as long as you have a way to keep track of any posts that need to be written and when they go live.
Why an Editorial Calendar is Important
An editorial calendar is important for three main reasons:
- It helps you to stay consistent
- It keeps you on track
- It helps with your other blog planning
Having an editorial calendar in place keeps your posts being published on a consistent basis. Every blogger knows that consistency matters when it comes to publishing posts.
Your readers get used to your publishing schedule. If you always post on Mondays and Wednesdays, then your readers expect a new post, each week, on those days. Having your editorial calendar in place allows you to stay consistent on that schedule.
Staying on Track
Because many bloggers work from home they sometimes stray from their focus because so many opportunities and new things present themselves to us regularly.
Having an editorial calendar makes it easy for you to see what is coming up and how busy your schedule is. When these new “things” and opportunities present themselves, we can glance at our calendar and easily see that we either don’t have the time to take on something new, or we can see where we could fit the new task in.
It Helps With Blog Planning
Having an editorial calendar allows you to plan ahead of time for your blog posts. You can set a theme for each month. Having a theme then allows you to plan many post titles around your theme for the month. This also increases your productivity.
Your calendar can provide a guide for your marketing activities also. You can schedule posts around any products you intend to sell on your website.
How To Create An Editorial Calendar
Creating your own editorial calendar is easy. There are a few things you need to consider first, the style of the calendar that is best for you and what medium to create your calendar on.
Choosing the Style of Your Editorial Calendar
You must first decide whether you need a weekly or monthly editorial calendar, monthly is the most used. If you publish many posts throughout the month, you may want a weekly calendar that shows the seven days of the week down one column and the post title, publish date and other information on the left in columns. This style is usually created in a spreadsheet.
The second common style is the monthly view. This is a blank monthly calendar where the dates of publication and title are filled in on the appropriate day. This is the most common style of an editorial calendar.
Deciding the Medium of Your Editorial Calendar
Now that you know whether you need a weekly or monthly editorial calendar, you can choose which medium will work best for you. There are many ways to create your calendar.
Some common mediums to use include:
- A digital planner (Google calendar, I-Cal)
- A paper planner (Day Designer)
- A wall calendar
- A spreadsheet (Trello, Google Sheets, Excel Spreadsheet)
Try my Trello Blog Planning Template for an easy way to organize your posts and set up a productive editorial calendar!
Once you have chosen the style and medium of your choice it is time to actually create the editorial calendar.
Creating Your Editorial Calendar
Now that you have chosen the style and medium, you just need to add in any posts or marketing information to your calendar. Start by entering any collaboration posts and marketing posts that you already have due dates.
Now start entering post titles for the posts that you know are scheduled to be written on the dates they are due to go live. Once all of those are written in you can look at your posting days and see where any gaps are.
Tips For Making Your Editorial Calendar More Succesful
Try and use a theme for each month. Using a theme will allow you to create related posts focused on one central idea. This makes planning all those blog posts a lot easier because you know the general topic stays the same.
If you have a product or some type of marketing event happening one month, try basing your prior posts on the topic of that product or idea. This way you are creating content that leads up to the launch.
Stay consistent and focused when planning your publishing dates. If you intend on posting twice a week, on Monday and Wednesday, then schedule all of your posts on those two days every month. It is ok to schedule extra posts on other days but make every attempt not to miss your regular posting days.
Having an editorial calendar is important to the consistency, the focus, and the productivity of your blog. Readers expect a routine so give it to them. Your editorial calendar allows for that.
Take your time and plan your calendar carefully each week or month. I think you will be surprised how much easier writing your posts will be when you know ahead of time what you need to be concentrating on.
Tell me what you use to design your editorial calendar and how it saves time and frustration in your blogging journey.