Being a blogger can be a bit overwhelming. There, I said it. If you feel like you have a million things to do and zero time to do it, don’t worry – you’re definitely not alone.
As bloggers our to-do lists seem to never end. We prioritize certain things over others and sometimes that causes some things to get done late…or never (I’m totally guilty of this).
In order to stay on top of all your responsibilities, it’s super important to have an organizational game plan in mind – something that helps you to clearly see what has to be done and when it has to be done by. One thing that bloggers swear by, including me, is an editorial calendar.
Without an editorial calendar I’d probably never even get my posts written let alone edited and published on time. An editorial calendar is basically a document where you write down what you’re going to post and when you’re going to post it.
Editorial calendars are super helpful because:
- They keep you organized
- They ensure you get things done on time
- It’s an easy way to make sure you’re not publishing the same sort of post over and over
- They can help you get ahead so you have time to focus on other things
- They make sure you never run out of ideas on what to write about
Your editorial calendar doesn’t have to be this fancy professional looking calendar, mine is simply a document I created on Google sheets, but it definitely has to be something that will hold you accountable for what you have to get done and when.
In this post I’m going to tell you exactly why you should have an editorial calendar, how to create one, and how to really use it to your advantage.
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What’s one important thing you have to have before creating an editorial calendar? A blog, of course! Check out my easy step-by-step guide on how to start a money making blog using my favorite host SiteGround.
What is an Editorial Calendar?
So first things first, what is an editorial calendar? Like I mentioned earlier, simply put an editorial calendar is a document where you write down what you’re going to post and when you’re going to post it.
It can be a list you scribble down in a notebook or it can be created on an excel sheet…either way it should be a system that works well for you.
Before Creating Your Calendar
Before creating your editorial calendar, it’s important that you have an idea of when and how often you’re going to be posting.
It’s important to be realistic with this goal because consistency is key when it comes to blogging. Not only does consistency look more professional, but it also keeps things under control and lets your readers know exactly when to look out for a post from you.
There are some things to keep in mind before writing a post:
- Does any research have to be done before writing your post?
- Do any pictures have to be taken or downloaded to add into your post?
- How long is your post going to be and how long will it take you to actually write the post?
- Do you have to rely on someone else to edit your post before publishing it?
- How many different platforms do you intend on sharing your post on (and do you have to create any images for your post such as Pinterest pins?)
Keeping all of these things in mind come up with a schedule of how often you’ll post and when. As of now I post two times a week – Tuesday and Thursday at 5pm EST. This is not a schedule I want to maintain (I’m hoping to be posting at least 3 times a week in the future) but with my full time job it’s the best I can do.
Now it’s important to remember that there is no specific schedule you have to follow and no right or wrong answer that says you MUST post this many times a week and at these times. Now that doesn’t mean you should only post once a month because you always want to make sure you’re giving your readers new content so they keep coming back for more. But if you can only post once a week to start out with, that’s okay…we all have to start somewhere!
What Goes on an Editorial Calendar?
Now that you know when you’re going to be posting you can start creating your calendar. The good thing about editorial calendars is they’re completely customizable. You can basically create it however you want and put whatever information you want to on it.
My editorial calendar consists of:
- The date (one column for the day of the month followed by one column for the day of the week)
- The title of my post (it doesn’t have to be the final title you’re going to go with, just a general idea of what your post will be about)
- The category the post falls into (example: beauty, blogging, style, etc.)
- The post’s progress (in progress, done & scheduled, or done & posted)
Now like I said your editorial calendar is completely your own. If you don’t want to track the progress of your post in your editorial calendar then you absolutely don’t have to! If you’d like to add something else to your editorial calendar that I don’t have on mine feel free to!
Your editorial calendar should make you feel comfortable, no one else. Whatever you think you need to add to it to keep yourself on track and on top of your posts should be put into your calendar. There’s no right or wrong way to create your it.
Here’s a look at my editorial calendar:
How to Make Your Calendar
I’ve said it twice already and I’ll say it again – your editorial calendar is completely your own, and there are different ways you can create your calendar depending on what you’re comfortable with. Some suggestions include:
- Creating it on Google Sheets (like I did) or Microsoft Excel
- Creating a table on Microsoft Word
- Handwriting it down in a notebook
- Downloading a template and filling it in on there
- Writing it in bullet points in the notes app on your phone
Seriously, there are tons of different ways you can create your editorial calendar, just pick the one that you think works the best for you!
Bonus tip: you don’t have to immediately input ideas into your calendar once you think of them, so if you keep your calendar in a notebook at home and don’t have that notebook on you when you think of a post idea, don’t worry! Ideas can be written down anywhere and easily transferred into your calendar at a later date, so don’t worry about keeping your calendar in a spot that can be accessed 24/7 if it’s not a spot you’re comfortable with keeping it.
Using Your Calendar to Your Advantage
Now this is the best part – using your calendar to your advantage. After all, the purpose of these editorial calendars is to make your life much easier, right?
If you’re anything like me you don’t have post topics floating around your head at all times. It’s hard to just wake up one day and know exactly what you’re going to blog about. Enter your editorial calendar.
With this calendar you’ll know exactly what you’re going to be writing about at all times because it’ll be written right in front of you. This means you can write and edit your posts in advance and schedule them to post automatically whenever you want them to.
This is super helpful because it makes it easy for you to plan ahead. For example, say you know you’re going to be going on vacation in two weeks. Well guess what – because of your editorial calendar you already know what you’re going to be writing about in two weeks. This makes it super easy to write your posts beforehand and schedule them to post while you’re away rather than not posting at all.
On top of having the opportunity to schedule your posts beforehand, staying on top of your editorial calendar ensures that you’ll have more than enough time to write your post. This is super important because posting in-depth, high-quality content is a surefire way to keep your audience coming back for more, and what can be better than that?
Related reading: How to Write Quality Content
Hello Audience Engagement and Increased Pageviews
As long as you’re using an editorial calendar you’ll find it super easy to stay on top of your blog posts. An added bonus: your pageviews will flood in!
I mentioned how important it is to be consistent when it comes to blogging because not only does it look more professional, but a consistent posting schedule also lets your readers know exactly when to keep an eye out for a new post. This will lead to an audience that is more willing to engage with your writing as well as an increase in your pageviews.
There’s no denying that there are tons of things to take care of as a blogger, but the truth is your blog would be nothing without your posts, so don’t let them fall to the back burner!
Use your editorial calendar to your advantage to make sure your posts are always getting published when they should be in order to maintain a happy and engaged audience.Use your editorial calendar to help you stay on top of exactly what you're going to be posting about and when you're going to be posting it! #bloggingtip Click To Tweet