Three Editorial Calendar Options to Utilize for Your Blog

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When I first started blogging, I posted what I wanted, when I wanted.  I had a very loose goal of posting every weekday, but many weeks ended with only one or two posts.  I felt like I had no direction, and it showed. 

In September, I changed my focus and started developing an editorial calendar.  Little did I know this was going to make a major shift in my blogging.  Instead of writing about whatever, I had a direction and this made all the difference in the world.  My website started to feel like a business and I felt like I was making something to be proud of.

Having an editorial calendar is incredibly important.  Here are three different approaches you can take for your own website.

Topics by Day of the Week

This is how I post.  I know that I need to have a goal post written for Monday, Technology on Tuesday, etc.  My readers know that if they are interested in my technical posts, they can visit on Tuesdays and I will always have a new post available to them.  All of my posts go live at 7am, letting my readers know what to expect.

Monthly Topics

I first heard about this method when Julie at Savvy Eats started taking this approach.  Bloggers who use this option post according to a certain topic every month.  This way you can tailor your content more to the season. This would be particularly good for Food Bloggers and Craft Bloggers who rely more on seasons than timeless topics.

Fly by the Seat of Your Pants (but Still on a Calendar!)

Lifestyle Bloggers are the who come to mind for needing to use this method.  You might talk about your home improvement projects as they happen, but still schedule them so your posts go up at the same time.  This will allow you flexibility while still allowing your readers to know when they can find you.

Developing an editorial calendar allowed me to really start to feel like my blog was something to be proud of.  I am slowly learning other techniques to help me develop my website.  Right now I am taking the BUILD Course by Amy at Lemon and Raspberry.  It is full of good information and is really making me think about what I want my website to be and how to get there.  I am an affiliate for this product, because I really feel like everyone who wants to build their platform online could benefit from it.

Do you use an editorial calendar? What have you seen worked best for you?

71 Responses to “Three Editorial Calendar Options to Utilize for Your Blog”

  1. Cindy, this post was very informative and I appreciate the insight! As a new blogger, I am definitely struggling with getting into a routine. I am definitely going to implement some of your target goals. You seem so organized. You go girl!
    Lynnette recently posted…Get A Life!My Profile

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  2. I am a brand new blogger, and was honestly feeling a little overwhelmed about how to approach it all, since I have SO many ideas for posts/topics jotted down. This totally makes sense. I schedule everything else, why not blogging? It takes the overwhelm out of the process. Thank you for sharing :)

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  3. I’m still working on making my editorial calendar work for me. I have a goal of posting on MWF every week and I do that really well right now. However, sometimes it’s sometimes done w/o rhyme or reason.

    However, I scheduled out 2 weeks worth of posts already and a series for next month. The calendar is coming in helpful this week as I got very unexpectedly busy and I have no inspiration on new subjects to write about. However, I have a topic picked out for Friday and I’ve already outlined it. I will quickly write a post up and polish it tomorrow. Thanks to my editorial calendar I’m not scratching my head for a topic.
    Diana Griffith recently posted……confessions IVMy Profile

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    • That’s wonderful! I am slowly working on getting my posts outlined in advance. It makes such a difference when I don’t have to stress about getting a post done before tomorrow.

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  4. One of my goals for February 2014 was to come up with an editorial calendar for my blog, but I’m still not sure what I’m going to do! This post was a good reminder to focus on developing that for myself. I think I’m going to end up with three “regular” topics and leave myself some leeway for other posts “as I feel like it.”
    Amy recently posted…SubmissionMy Profile

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  5. I have tried a few tools/apps to schedule my blogging but haven’t found one that works for me. So, right now I have certain posts for certain days of the week, like you do. But I would like to have some kind of calendar to help me remember to do follow-up posts, reminders at ends of events, etc. Will be glad to hear what others are using, too!
    Lori recently posted…Checkout 51 Coupons 2/20/14My Profile

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    • I have a post from last week about edit flow and it is working really well for me if you want to check it out. It’s a plugin that allows you to schedule posts with different statuses. I also love asana for reminders.

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  6. I plan on paper and also use an editorial calendar plugin. I don’t post every day so it leaves room for me to throw in random posts that hit me also. Best of both worlds :)
    Val recently posted…Lava Cake RecipeMy Profile

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    • I use a hybrid system too. It works so much better for me to have a paper planner with everything laid out than to have it online.

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  7. Quick simple and to the point. I’m wondering if you have thoughts/preference for the actual tools of keeping an editorial calendar? I’ve seen some folks set up neat excel docs, some do a planner, some wall calendar or even an ap. REgardless, I need something easily editable, that isn’t yet another different tool (I work outside the home, travel a lot and do a lot of other things besides blogging so ideally a calendar that I could really see (or not) the full span of items i have going on in a given day. End of the day, being able to see exactly what you have planned seems like would be helpful to ward off procrastination and actually get things done/stay organized.
    Bernadette recently posted…Conversation Ender – Things Fertile People SayMy Profile

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    • I really want to go digital but I do so much better with a paper planner because I am so mobile with my blogging. At my day job I use asana to keep track of all of my tasks. They just opened a calendar feature that is really nice. As far as plugins, the edit flow plugin I blogged about last Tuesday is really really nice. The editorial calendar plugin works really well if you want something simple.

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  8. I’ve neglected my blog for several months. I can’t find the right topic to post. Th use of Editorial calendar will help me keep my blog updated. I like the idea of different topic for each day of the week.
    MommyLES recently posted…Teenage Marriage: Yes or No?My Profile

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    • I think the best advice I’ve seen is write what you want for a few months. Get a feel for what you enjoy writing about and what works best for you.

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    • I print my own! I use a disk binding system and print and punch my pages so it’s 100% my own.

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  9. I use an editorial calendar. At the beginning of 2014, I created a spreadsheet with every day I wanted to post — so Monday-Friday. For holidays, I started to fill it in with post ideas so I had a very rough outline of what I want to post. I always have that spreadsheet up on my computer. When I think of post ideas, I plug them in so I have an idea. It has definitely helped me become more consistent with my posting.
    Kaileigh recently posted…Journal Day: Crossroads.My Profile

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  10. I do curriculum reviews for a review group, and my blogging calendar seriously saves my life! It’s in a notebook with dividers, and each month has a calendar page plus a separate lined page for more notes on each day’s post. Not only does this help me keep my writing organized, it also makes blogging feel more do-able and less overwhelming.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Wren recently posted…10 Business meeting etiquette remindersMy Profile

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  11. Great post, Cindy. I actually started out posting by topic each day. I kept the same posting schedule for 2 years. The feedback I received from my readers was that they preferred series to be day after day. So, this year, I am writing more spontaneously. I still post daily and I keep the same categories, I just write from my heart. Sometimes I know in advance while other times, I just find a topic. All my posts are scheduled to post at 7:00 a.m. and delivered to e-mail at 11:00 a.m. In trying this new method, I am enjoying the change.
    Tracy @ Using Time Wisely recently posted…Activities for Saturday, February 22, 2014My Profile

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  12. The last few months have been the first I’ve heard about “editorial calendars”, before that I thought bloggers just planned days they’d blog, not the topics being planned in advance too. I really like the three ways you described these different calendars, I think I will be making a mix for my blog and business blogging. Thank you for making this so easy to understand.

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  13. Thanks for the tips! I’m a brand new blogger, and I think this post will really help me. Now to get a fun, pretty calendar to organize! BTW, I love your layout. Are you using wordpress? Just curious! Thanks again!

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    • I am using wordpress! It’s the Atahualpa theme. Totally customizable. I don’t think I’ve ever seen two blogs using it that look very similar.

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  14. Since there are several of us blogging together over at Skirt Fixation, we find it helpful to sit down on Monday and fill out our paper blog planner for the week. Then we know who is responsible for what day/post. In general, we blog about the same things on Monday-Saturday, but it’s not set in stone so if someone has a really hot refashion or creative idea they want to share, they can! Also seeing it on paper is a commitment in a way to getting the post/project finished. One thing we want to do better is get our posts out earlier in the day…we need to blog in the morning about the creative endeavor from the previous day, not that day’s project, because sometimes that gets drawn out!
    Audrey recently posted…Josephine Blouse Design DetailsMy Profile

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    • That makes a lot of sense! I am sure editorial calendars on a multi-author blog can get hectic.

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  15. I use a calendar for my main blog and just post when I feel I have something to write about on my others. Once I started making money from my blogs I realised that I needed to be a bit organised to keep it going and growing!

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    • I agree. When I started really scheduling my posts it felt less like something I did and more like a business. I am glad it is working for you!

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  16. I’m a fly by the seat of my pants type of blogger, and I badly need a clear direction for the blog I created with four of my friends. With our different schedules, it’s difficult to sit down and plan the topics ahead of time. But I see that there’s a big need for us to do so. We started the blog mid-November last year, but we haven’t got traction yet because of irregular posting schedules. I’m glad I came across your post because an editorial calendar is exactly what we need. For some reason, I forgot about it completely until now.
    Ces recently posted…Doomed to Fail? Introvert Mom, Extrovert ChildMy Profile

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  17. I really need an editorial calendar! I am so awful with posting on a regular basis these days. I need a calendar to keep me honest and focused. Thanks for this reminder!

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  18. Cindy! Thank you for posting as it totally confirms what has been taking place with my blog. As soon as I found focal points, it helped me write. With that said, there are times that I grow weary, but I always end up posting and feeling fulfilled when I do. I clicked on all your links and will be visiting them momentarily! Thank you!
    Amanda Espinoza recently posted…10 Amazing Cleansing FoodsMy Profile

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  19. Okay – this is the second piece I’ve read recently that reminded me of the need for an editorial calendar. I try to post every 7 to 10 days, but would like to post more frequently. During the school year it’s hard because of being so busy with family. A calendar would definitely help with that. Thanks for the reminder!
    Marie recently posted…Fostering a Healthy Body Image in Your DaughterMy Profile

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    • I love having my posts pre planned so I have it all ready to go. It makes it so much easier

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  20. My editorial calendar is a life saver! I plan it out a month in advance, which really helps when it comes to prepping and writing posts.

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  21. I’m new to blogging but I will definitely take what you said and put it into action. I have a grand total of 2 posts up so far. You’re right. It’s important to have direction and write stuff down. I have all of these ideas in my head. I need to write it down. This was very helpful. I’ll also check out the class you mentioned. Thanks!
    Aishah recently posted…Beauty Deals and Steals to Shop for Now!My Profile

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    • An editorial calendar definitely made the biggest improvement in my writing. I also have a notebook where I write down random post ideas so I know I always have an idea available even when I don’t immediately have one.

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  22. I’ve blogged for a few years now about my personal journey to healing and basically blogged when I felt I had something to share. I’m working on a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants but on a schedule approach and I like the idea of letting my readers know what I’ll be talking about…as I go from healing into living a new, fuller, happier life…while continuing to heal. Thanks for your post and some great food for thought for bloggers.
    Jill recently posted…In My Wildest DreamsMy Profile

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  23. I use an editorial calendar, but it is subject to change. Sometimes things come up that I find compelling to blog about- more compelling than say what I had planned. It’s been a huge help since I have implemented it.

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    • Just because you have it written down doesn’t mean you can’t move it! I usually use a sticky note to keep track of my idea until I post it. Plans change too much too often.

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  24. Thanks for this. I am new to blogging and use the last option. I’m slowly getting to where I want to be and feel good that I’m staying consistent to my niche. My problem is staying on track with my posting time. If the kids get sick or things fall apart, sometimes it’s just hard to get my writing done on time. Having said that, I’m committing to foregoing fun tonight to finish my post for tomorrow. Ugh–and I really wanted to watch some streaming tonight. Oh well.

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    • good luck! I am trying to get a few posts ahead of myself so I don’t feel like I have to write when I’m just not feeling it.

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  25. This is exactly the thing I’m working on. I just got a monthly planner and started jotting down ideas for future posts. As I jotted, more ideas started coming about. I still have yet to actually utilize the planner haha but hey it’s a start.

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    • Sometimes it takes finding the right planner too! If it doesn’t work for you, find one that does.

      Reply

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