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How to Start an Editorial Calendar

How to Start an Editorial Calendar

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.

Fly On Over Editorial Calendar
This is my editorial calendar from March 2014

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.

How to Start an Editorial Calendar

Do you use an editorial calendar for your blog?

Tracy

Fly On Over is an equestrian lifestyle blog devoted to connecting horse lovers around the world. By providing equestrians with practical tips and tricks related to horse ownership, discussing training techniques for horse and rider, as well as covering industry news.

13 thoughts to “How to Start an Editorial Calendar”

  1. This is a great idea! I’m a super organized person by nature (spreadsheets are my jam), so I’ve been jotting down what type of post I want for any given day, and then I check off the box when the post is written and scheduled. Certain things I can’t write in advance- like lesson recaps- but having a calendar system lets me write when the inspiration hits so an off day isn’t a big deal!

  2. I plan my posts for the coming week each weekend. I just write in my regular planner. Then it’s easy for me to glance at what I’ve got planned for the week and write appropriately!

    Sometimes I’ll write and schedule several posts in advance, but I almost always end up writing the day’s post on the day of.

    Now, the editorial calendar I keep for work is a whole other story- it’s color coded, written on a large desk calendar, and I use a lot of apps to schedule for social media hahaha!

  3. I am way less sophisticated than you (yeah i know no one is surprised). I make notes of posts I want to do on the “notes” app on my iphone. I generally run a topical post on Tuesday. I try to be funny on Fridays.

    Annnnnnd that’s as organized as it gets over at TSB.

  4. I keep a paper calendar where I write proposed stories for each day that I blog (every M/W/F). I don’t always end up posting them in the order they’re in the calendar, and for that reason, I always write in pencil! But overall, I love being able to see where I’m going in my blog’s content at a glance!

  5. Unsurprisingly to anyone who tries to read my blog, very little planning goes into the posts and i really just write when I have something to say. My blog is where I try to keep track of what the horses and i have been up to … a whole lot of not much horsing lately!

  6. Spreadsheets and lists are the basis of my life. This would be super awesome to incorporate! I’ve just been writing down all my ideas in a paper notebook that I carry around with me, and it’s the farthest thing from organized (but at least it’s something). Definitely going to look into the WordPress Editorial Calendar plugin! 😀 I love that it’s part of the platform that I already use!

  7. very cool – and i love how clean and neat it is! i mostly just create drafts for all the various things i eventually want to write about… but now the drafts folder is getting a little unwieldy haha

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