How to Create an Editorial Calendar

This entry is part 7 of 10 in the series Blog Improvement Series

Organising Your Content

When you start blogging, it can be all too easy to post loads of content in a very short space of time. Maybe in all the enthusiasm you post daily for a couple of weeks. Then reality kicks in and you realise that this isn’t sustainable, especially if you have a life outside of blogging! Most of us have day jobs or a family to tend to. All too soon you experience burnout and the amount of content you push out gets less and less frequent. You become demoralised and the whole things spirals.

Ever feel like your blogging game is off and your content strategy is off? Try using an editorial calendar. Read on for some snazzy tips in creating your own editorial calendar.

So how can you prevent this happening?

Firstly, DON’T POST ALL YOUR CONTENT IN ONE GO!! Leave your reader wanting more. By building up a bit of suspense readers will be more likely to subscribe and read your content when it does come out.

Secondly, create an Editorial Calendar!

What is an Editorial Calendar?

Coming in all shapes, sizes and formats, Editorial Calendars are your place to organise your posts (and your social media if you are super organised!). Some people like to keep them electronically in a spreadsheet and some people like to use a planner (I like to be awkward and use both!). Ultimately it is going to be the tool you use to put your blogging strategy into practise. It is important you find the system that works for you.

No matter what format you use, you should be logging the same information in your calendar.

What you’re posting

By now you should know what niche you are going to posting about (if not, see my post about it here), so this is more about the individual posts, what keywords you are going to use, and what category they are going to fall under. Spend some time mind mapping ideas and getting some ‘back-up’ posts in the bank. This is useful for if life gets on top of you and you haven’t got time to write anything. It’s a good idea to be writing a week or two ahead of when you are posting the article to ensure you never get caught on upload day without any content. At any one time I have about 10 posts in draft. This way I am not left hanging without anything to upload.

When you’re posting

This is your schedule. Are you going to post once a week, three times a week, or every day? You need to think of a schedule that is realistic, not desirable. Most of us will have day jobs or other responsibilities that we have to fit blogging around. Don’t say you will post every day if this isn’t feasible. You can always increase your frequency once you have become more established. I started posting once a week on my blog and once a week on my vlog. Now I am up to 3 times a week on the blog and twice a week on the vlog. This is what works for me, but you may need to have a bit of trial and error before you find what suits you.

It is also worth noting that if you post too frequently, your readers are likely to miss content because they are too busy to log on every day and read (it can also come across as a bit spammy). I would advise leaving a couple of days free from uploads to give the audience time to catch up.

Other Prompts

In my calendar, I like to have prompts to remind myself to create a featured image and a pin for each post. I also like to have reminders to have Social Media promotions scheduled and a column to tick when I have written and scheduled the actual post. Anything that I have to do to ensure the smooth running of my blog is  put into the calendar to remind myself what needs doing. As I have already said, we often have to fit all of this around our other responsibilities, it can be easy to forget to schedule a tweet or to upload that photo.

Statistics

Once you really get going it is often a good idea to jot down stats like number of views, likes and shares for each post. This way you can see what went well, and what could be improved upon. You might find that posts with certain keywords are read more than others, or you might find that certain categories are more popular. By collecting this data you may find your content easier to plan as you know what your audience likes to read. If you use Google Analytics (which I recommend you do), you can also see what time of day your readers are coming onto your website, which may determine when the ideal times are for you to post content.

Creating your Editorial Calendar

This is the fun bit. There are loads of free downloadable out there for you to choose from if you want to get some inspiration. However, I really recommend having a play with a journal or a spreadsheet to find what suits you. I think I changed my spreadsheet about five times before I found what I liked (i.e. the paper journal I bought!). Everyone works in their own way, so enjoy finding a process which you can work with.

Happy Planning!

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Ever feel like your blogging game is off and your content strategy is off? Try using an editorial calendar. Read on for some snazzy tips in creating your own editorial calendar.

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