While some of us write blog posts on the fly, tackling topics as they come to us, many more professional bloggers have a editorial calendar for their blogs.
If you have a niche blog, a food blog, for example, it’s fairly easy to plan your content out well in advance. But for those of us who don’t, an editorial calendar still makes a lot of sense.
Why do you need an editorial calendar?
An editorial calendar is a great resource for you to keep track of deadlines and blogging ideas. It keeps you on track, makes you accountable and tides you over those times that you have blogger’s block. Even if you are just starting out as a blogger, it’s a good idea to have a calendar to make sure you write regularly.
I usually note down ideas as they occur to me into my writer’s notebook (I created one like this). Then I transfer them online using on to Evernote, to which I also have saved a collection of ideas clipped from the internet (the Chrome Evernote Web Clipper is fab). Each blog post idea is put into a separate note to which I keep adding quotes, more ideas, images, etc. It is from this resource that I keep adding to my Editorial Calendar.
Create An Editorial Calendar For Your Blog
You can create a simple editorial calendar using Excel. Some useful columns to include are:
- Post Date
- Author (if you’re not the sole author)
- Title (or at least a descriptive idea to the content)
- Status – idea/ draft / final?
- Keywords -is it SEO friendly?
- Media to be added (images, videos, inforgraphics)
- What is the call to action (Is there a specific and measurable action you want to see from this topic)
Here are templates and plugins you might find useful:
- Free Blog Editorial Calendar Template from Hubspot – A spread sheet that you can download or use as a Google template.
- Another spread sheet calendar from Marketing Nutz has columns for a lot more information that you can add to your editorial calendar.
- If you can afford it, there’s nothing like Co-Schedule, an easy drag-and-drop content marketing calendar that allows you to plan, create, and promote your content all in one place. It saves you time and helps you grow your audience through smart marketing plans and efficient team collaboration. You can sign up for a 14 day free trial here. I’ve used it in the past when it was USD 10 per month, but not it’s totally beyond my budget.
- If you are on WordPress.org, you could use the free Editorial Calendar Plugin. The editorial calendar gives you an overview of your blog and when each post will be published. You can drag and drop to move posts, edit posts right in the calendar, and manage your entire blog. Since I have some regular features like #MondayMusings and #WellnessWednesday, I find this a very useful tool. It is also very handy when you’re tackling a series of posts or doing the A to Z April Blogging Challenge.
- If you’re looking for something simple, and free, you can use Google Calendar to create an Editorial Calendar. The added advantage of this is that you can access Google calendar from any device. I presently use Google Calendar for my Editorial Calendar.
Do you plan to create an editorial calendar for your blog?
If you use one already, do tell us about it? What system do you use to keep track of your blogging plans?