In 2014, I got really serious about blogging. I wanted to really give it my all, from improving the design of my website, to taking better photographs and writing more meaningful posts. At first, it was a daunting project, but I broke each piece down until I had manageable chunks to deal with one at a time. The first chunk I tackled was my writing — I wanted to blog more often and intersperse my riding accounts with general equestrian topics. To help me tackle the challenge, I started an editorial calendar.
What is it and how do you use it?
Even for the casual blogger and editorial calendar can be a helpful tool, as it visually describes all of your planned blog posts, when they’ll be published and organizes ideas you have for future topics. At first, keeping an editorial calendar helped me stay on track to keep up with my blogging goals. I wanted to publish 20 posts per month, so it was easy to see if I was ahead of schedule or behind the ball. Now, I like to schedule certain posts way in advance, like my quarterly goals reviews or holiday gift guides.
My editorial calendar also shows me where each blog post is in the production process. Sometimes I can sit down and write an entire post in an hour or so. Other times, I get stuck and need a break. My calendar shows me whether my posts are still in draft form or not, and sometimes I even edit titles to let me know if I’m still writing or just waiting on graphics and pictures.
Can you show me an example?
My personal editorial calendar is a WordPress plugin called WordPress Editorial Calendar. I like it because it’s located in the same place as the rest of my blog and not a separate website I have to visit, plus it’s literally a calendar. I’m a very visual person, so having my posts laid out this way works really well for me. I can easily see what I’ve published when, and I can even add topics to specific dates or just put them in the “unscheduled drafts” section to the right.
Where can I get one?
For WordPress, there are a ton of free plugins you can download, and obviously I shared my favorite above. But there are also a lot of places you can get free templates and worksheets, like this set from CoSchedule. I’ve also had success using just a regular Google Calendar as well.
How do I start one of my own?
Feeling a little overwhelmed? Start with one thing you’d like to accomplish by being more organized. Do you want to write a certain number of posts per week? Do you want to make sure you never miss recapping a lesson? Write down those items first, and let your editorial calendar help you stay accountable! As you get familiar with using this tool, you’ll find it more manageable to add in other tasks and use it more frequently.
Do you use an editorial calendar for your blog?