“I couldn’t live without it.” said Ellen and Kori said “It helps me stay focused.” I became intrigued by this mysterious Editorial Calendar, so much that I thought it best not just to crowdsource, but to actually educate myself on the topic. I quickly enrolled in a course called Editorial Calendars. The information and tasks were helpful, in depth and very informative. An Editorial Calendar is not just a calendar for scheduling. It’s an amazing blog tool that will help you plan, organize and schedule for your blog. An Editorial Calendar can contain as much or as little information as you’d like, but an Editorial Calendar helps you to work smarter, not harder.
How To Use An Editorial Calendar
The instructor said it nicely, it’s “Publishing With A Plan” and suddenly my eyes were opened. I finally understood how I could be more successful by simply using an Editorial Calendar. But, it’s not all that simple. Like any goal that you have, it takes work; it takes time and it takes dedication. Consider how you presently brainstorm topics, plan your blog posts, schedule your sponsored posts and utilize SEO (keywords). Then, envision it being completely done in advance, with room for tweaking, rescheduling and coordinating based on holidays and themes. Think about how it can enable you to coordinate a pitch with a post you’re already writing and never leave you scrambling to write a post at the last minute. That is the beauty of an editorial calendar.
So here I am, consuming all of this helpful information. I’m slightly overwhelmed, but I’m accepting that it is my lack of commitment to using an editorial calendar that’s causing this. I am often last minute. I work on a whim and fly by the seat of my pants. I no longer encourage this practice. An Editorial Calendar is the core element of looking at the overall bigger picture. You’ll want to start considering what goals you have for your blog and how you want to achieve them. Does your blog have a focus, a goal and a theme? Who is your audience? What do you want to convey to them? You need to come up with a list of targeted keywords that will be the baseline for your blog. These keywords will help you not just define your blog and your audience, but it will help you be found!
Just a few things to think about:
- How often will you write?
- Who am I writing for?
- Who is reading?
- Who do I want reading?
- What type of content am I writing? (Categories based on the keywords you determined for your blog)
- Are there any monthly or seasonal themes that you find interesting? (Days of the Year is a great resource for events, festivals, holidays, funny and weird non-traditional holidays too!)
- Do you have any post ideas or repeating posts or themes? You’ll want to develop ideas for your blog categories and for your themes.
- Do I want to pitch to brands? If so, what are their monthly/seasonal themes?
Editorial Calendars come in many forms. Some use online resources or plugins already associated with their blog platform. Others prefer a physical printed paper calendar. I am a physical, visual, need to write it with my hands kind of person. I know that because I love notebooks, pens, highlighting, flags and compiling lists of to dos, blog plans, and brainstorming. It’s all about determining which calendar format works best for you. Pinterest is a great source of information when considering different formats.
Consider what information will be included on your Editorial Calendar. Ellen said she uses a Google spreadsheet to schedule blog posts, social media, clients and blog maintenance, while Kori says that she utilizes both an online and paper format, which includes blog and social media planning, brainstorming for upcoming topics and posts. The main thing to remember is to schedule time to use your Editorial Calendar. Remember to fill it in, plan posts, write posts, gather resources, take applicable photos, create infographics and videos and schedule them. Be sure to consider how it all works in with your keywords (did you use them) and themes for that month and your overall goals.
Your blog is your business, you should put in as much time as necessary to be as successful as you desire. Consider your overall BIG picture. Editorial calendars should be worked weeks in advance, leaving room for error, spontaneity and flexibility. An Editorial Calendar will help you not just plan your blog, but create consistency for you and for your readers.
Do you use an Editorial Calendar? Which format do you use? What type of information do you include?
How often do you work your Editorial Calendar?
Please share your helpful tips in the comment section below.