Sometimes the hardest thing to do when running a blog is to stay organized and know what you are publishing and when. This is where an editorial calendar can come into play.
An editorial calendar can help you organize your thoughts and stick to a schedule. Everyone uses an editorial calendar differently, so do whatever works for you.
There are many ways you can make an editorial calendar. You can use Excel or Word to list out every day of the year and then your each post that you want published each day. Personally, I use a form of calendar available in Google Spreadsheets. It looks like a calendar, with each month on a different tab.
Then, every month I lay out what I want to publish every day so I know which posts I need to write when. I can then adjust which posts are on what day if needed.
Why should you use an editorial calendar?
An editorial calendar gives you the chance to organize your thoughts and your blog.
For example, I am doing the April A to Z Challenge, so having an editorial calendar will help me keep track of which letter goes with which day. Then as I come up with ideas I can place them in the calendar and see which days I still need to fill in. It also helps because I have a goal this year of writing one post every day, so this helps me stay ahead of the game and schedule posts and move post ideas around to another day or month as needed.
Having an editorial calendar also helps you know which posts you need to write and when. Say you are going on vacation, but you still want to have posts scheduled to go live. You can use an editorial calendar to keep track of which posts are scheduled which day and which posts you need to work on. Another reason this is great, it helps you when you are fighting writer’s block because you already know what to write about. If you have a great idea, you can either use it then, or use it later down the road. This will also help you reduce your stress because you don’t have to worry about coming up with topics.
Knowing what you are going to publish ahead of time will give you time to think about what you want to include in the post as well. Some posts take more thought than others, so having a few extra days or weeks to think about the post and revisit it can help make the post that much better.
Do you have a “theme” day? For example I publish a blogging tips post every Friday. Having a calendar laid out shows me exactly which days are Friday so I know which days to publish a blogging tips post.
An editorial calendar can even come in handy when it comes to scheduling social shares. If you are scheduling your social shares you don’t want to share the same thing all the time and you want to take advantage of different times until you know what days and times work best for you and your followers. Having an editorial calendar will help you keep track of what you are sharing on which social platform and when. If you want, you can even keep track of the responses you get to learn when is the best times for you to publish.
It can help you keep track of holidays and important event and milestones. Say you want to share holiday relevant posts. If you have an editorial calendar with the holidays marked, you can plan your posts accordingly.
Having an editorial calendar can make your life a lot easier and make running your blog a lot easier.
Do you use an editorial calendar? If not why not? If you do use one, how do you use it?