Editorial calendar. There’s something about those words together that just feels so… so…. Legit. Like I feel like I’m some sort of of pro magazine editor or something when I tell people I’m working on my editorial calendar.
Truth be told, though, an editorial calendar isn’t glamorous by any means. It is, however, the workhorse behind my productivity. Well, maybe not the workhorse but definitely the thing that makes me feel like I need to be more accountable.
It’s what keeps my sanity in check as a busy mama/wife/coach/podcaster/blogger.
So if you’re new to the blogosphere, you may be sitting there scratching your head wondering what on earth I’m talking about.
An editorial calendar is a way to plan and organize the content that you create and publish. Whether you’re writing blog posts, creating podcasts or even publishing videos, you can absolutely use an editorial calendar to help you create some order in an otherwise crazy busy world.
But why? There is already so much on your plate as a solopreneur, why add yet another thing to your already long list of things to do?
Allow me to convince you.
Editorial Calendars create consistency.
If there’s one thing that your business needs, it’s consistency. I know you’ve heard this before but I have to say it. When you’re running a blog, you need to have a posting schedule. And you need to stick to. This consistency helps people know what to expect from you when they come to your site. AKA: it helps build that know like trust factor.
Having a calendar that shows what you need to do and when helps you stay accountable. There won’t be any surprises about what posts are going to go live or anything like it. It will all be right in front of you!
Editorial Calendars help bloggers stay organized!
This is kind of a given, right? But how many times have you hastily written a post the day you need to publish? Or even the night before? It happens!
However, when you’re using an editorial calendar, you’ll be able to see exactly what posts are coming up. This will allow you to schedule time in advance to write and schedule your posts. Which is a HUGE time saver. Batch work is one of those awesome things that work well with editorial calendars!
Having an Editorial Calendar will defeat writer’s block.
Ever have a moment where you sit down and know you have to write something… but then the words just don’t come? Ah, writer’s block. It’s the bane of every blogger’s existence.
Luckily, a content calendar, or editorial calendar, can help take care of that too! If you know what you need to write, there’s won’t be much time trying to figure it out when you sit down at your computer!
Editorial Calendars help reduce stress!
Given everything I’ve shared, this isn’t too shocking. It will allow you to have more control over your blogging day to day, you’ll be able to plan ahead instead of scrambling and all of that equals a lower stress level.
It’s a good thing!
All right. So that is the why. Have I convinced you? Yeah? Let’s talk about the how! It’s not good enough to just think about an editorial calendar, you need to be able to implement it and make it work for you.
Step One: Determine the Logistics.
Sounds fancy, right? It’s not. What I mean by this is you need to take a look at your niche and write down all of the categories and topics that you can write about while still staying within your niche.
This will allow you to see exactly what areas you can dive into for content. As tempting as it may be to write about everything under the sun, it’s easiest to pick a niche and stay within that niche. This does build your “know like trust” factor up and will definitely ensure that readers know what to expect from you regularly.
Step Two: Brainstorm!
Set a timer and sit down with a pencil and paper. Then write as many post ideas as you can within a certain amount of time. I always recommend setting a timer for 30ish minutes and then just let loose on that paper. There is no rhyme or reason to this. You’re literally brain dumping post ideas and this point.
Don’t worry about your handwriting or even if an idea is good or not. Just write it all down.
Step Three: Sort through the ideas.
Once you’ve brainstormed those ideas, you’re going to need to go through them. If you’re anything like me, you’ve written a few things down that really are a stretch. If your blog is all about dinner recipes than you may not want to do a post on the perfect dinner date outfit.
If you come across some ideas that really are a stretch, just take them off the list! Easy peasy.
Step Four: Lay Out Your Editorial calendar!
Once you’ve determined what post ideas have “made the cut,” you can start to fill in your calendar. Assign each post to a publication day and commit to it. Once you’ve filled in your calendar with your ideas, you can start to work on creating each post in advance.
Pro Tip: Batch working will make your life infinitely easier. Schedule time to write as many posts up as you can, block off other times to work on post images and even set aside time to actually schedule the posts within your blogging platform.
This sounds like a lot. I know. But an editorial calendar is totally worth the effort. And friend, I’m not going to leave you hanging. Be sure to download your free Blog Planning Toolkit so that you can get organized and take control of your blog content.
The Blogging Toolkit includes pretty much everything you need to get things under control… aside from your amazing content. In it, you’ll find…
- A Category Worksheet
- A Brainstorming Worksheet
- A Post Planner
- An Editorial Calendar
- A Complete Blogging Checklist
So tell me, is your current blog planning system working for you?
Until next time, have an amazing day!