Why Every Serious Blogger Should Have an Editorial Calendar

Posted on November 19, 2012

Photo by John Althouse Cohen via Flickr Creative Commons

Okay, you’ve decided to have a blog but what are you going do for content and how do you organize any incoming content from guest writers?  How do you stay true to your brand?  When do you need to post your content?

I’m really into organizing my writing projects and knowing in advance what I will be writing about.  That way I can start pulling information together and not find out at deadline time that I’m missing key facts or graphical elements.  Whenever I work with a client on starting his blog, I recommend creating an editorial calendar to help kick start the content.  This is where the content planning and assignment takes place.  It allows you to plan your content and gives you a document to work from.  Trust me, if you develop an editorial calendar, your content will be strong and you’ll save time in the process.

An editorial calendar gives you an overall picture of editorial content to be included and when.  Editorial calendars help bloggers stay productive and organized.  People who blog more often tend to get more traffic and the serious ones use editorial calendars to help in their personal organization and productivity.

Start by outlining what your goals are, what topics you want to write about, who you are trying to reach, who will write the posts and how will you promote the pieces and create a schedule format that works for you.  I like creating a grid because it’s easy to see the various elements that I need to fill in with information.  Here is some information to collect in your spreadsheet of document grid:

  • Topics you plan to blog about
  • Deadlines for drafts/approval; Publish dates
  • Initial headlines, keywords
  • Authors if you have guest bloggers
  • Graphics/photos/videos
  • Links
  • Status

If you need help creating your editorial calendar, check out the WordPress editorial calendar plugin, plus there are calendar programs that you can invest in if you need to manage and track a larger workflow of posts.

Most importantly, once you have an editorial calendar in place, use it.  You’ll have the satisfaction of
being more organized, delivering content that reflects your brand, and you’ll be able to manage more of the content that’s coming your way.

Ursula Herrick is the president of Herrick Media, a boutique PR agency focused on media relations and social media marketing.

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10 Responses to “Why Every Serious Blogger Should Have an Editorial Calendar”

  • Anna
    Twitter: beautyandlace

    This is a great idea! I have a “page a day” diary which I use in a similar way. It makes things so much clearer when it is all laid out in front of you!

  • Aleks

    Hello ,
    Could you , please, tell me if I need to contact for approval companies and retailers that produce and sell products that I write/blog about?

    Thank you so much in advance for your help

    • Amy Nievera - Head Intern
      Twitter: pintucked

      Hi Aleks,

      In general, you don’t have to ask companies and retailers for approval before writing about their products. However, we always recommend being respectful in your post, no matter how much you may dislike the product. Many bloggers choose not to write about something if they’re unhappy with it.

  • Jenn Staz
    Twitter: jennstaz

    The grid is a great idea, as it also allows you to keep your published posts organized in a useable, searchable fashion. I jumped into that game late with jennstaz.com and wish I’d started earlier, because being able to see all of your posts at a glance helps immensely with internal links and keyword assignments and consistency.

    Another thing you could do is use those fields you listed above and plop it into Evernote or some document organizer like that, and use it as a template to fill out as you get ideas. The format is more flexible and still allows you to search within your database – and then you can easily include photos as well.
    Jenn Staz recently posted..Saying goodbye to 2012 by celebrating the top 10 posts on jennstaz.com this yearMy Profile

  • Tammerly @ spoilt
    Twitter: spoiltblog

    Hi fellow IFABBO fanatics, I love the idea of setting up an editorial calendar.Can you believe after 4 years of blogging, I still do not do this? Working full time and liaising with Pr clients on lunch breaks and after hours means I am a busy girl so I just spend weekends working on content.

Trackbacks & Pings

  • Three Ways to organize your blog says:

    [...] Plan First and foremost, you need an editorial calendar.  It’s not as complicated as it sounds.  An editorial calendar is basically just a way for you to get some ideas down and organize your thoughts.  Kick off your heels and take some quiet time to reflect on what types of articles you want to post and decide how long you want this calendar to go for – maybe just for the month, or even the whole year.  If you post quite a bit you can even be more simple with it and just map out the week ahead.  Ursula Herrick, from Herrick Media, previously wrote an article for iFabbo with more details on editorial calendars. [...]

  • Motivation lost? How to get your Inspiration back! says:

    [...] your blog a completely new structure! Start with an editorial calendar and make a plan of what you would like to see in a great blog! Maybe a new post series or [...]

  • Easy Tips on Scheduling Posts and Writing in Bulk says:

    […] attainable goals. The best way to keep track of your posts and publishing dates is an editorial calendar. Keep images and post ideas as well as the main keywords of that post ready to go, so when […]

  • Don’t Make These 5 Blogging Mistakes | VigLink Blog says:

    […] goals etc. Then, create a main outline of your schedule and connections. Think about setting up an editorial calendar, how to brand your blog or how to better your writing skills or how better time management could […]

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