How to Create an Editorial Calendar

Posted on September 22, 2013

Having spent a lot of time talking about procrastination and the importance of creating a bank of prospective blog ideas, it was only a matter of time before I touched on the necessity of setting up your very own editorial calendar.

What is an editorial calendar?

Simply put, it’s a schedule detailing when and what you will post on your blog over a determined amount of time.

Ideally, you should fill your editorial calendar at least one month in advance. Some bloggers like to schedule three months, six months or even one whole year in advance.

I like to fill up my calendar two months at a time so that I’m still free to reschedule or add in content that is topically relevant or time sensitive. Planning too far ahead can mean your content is a little less flexible and you risk your ideas appearing outdated by the time you post them.

That being said, set up a time range that works for you and your blog. If you only post once or twice a month, maybe a yearly editorial calendar is right for you.

Why is it important?

An editorial calendar gives you an overview of your content schedule at a glance. One look at your calendar and you’ll know exactly what’s coming up that week and what needs extra preparation.

But perhaps the best benefit of an editorial calendar is that it combats procrastination and good old fashioned writer’s block. Because isn’t the hardest thing about blog posting coming up with something to write?

With an editorial calendar, not only do you know exactly what to write on any given day, but you can also create keyword lists, short summaries and inspired links to get your mind jogging on posting day.

What should an editorial calendar look like?

Just as it is up to you to decide how frequently it should be filled, how your editorial calendar is formatted is entirely dependent on you and your blog.

Here is an example of a simple editorial calendar I use to schedule blog topics by week:

Editorial Calendar Example

You can customize the columns to fit with how your posts are usually put together. For instance, if you regularly collaborate with other writers, add a column detailing who wrote what and when. Or if you are referencing other websites within a planned post, add a column listing the URLs of your sources.

Again, your editorial calendar should meet the unique needs of your blog and is entirely up to you to customize.

Just remember to keep it clear and intuitive, don’t get so caught up in the formatting that your editorial calendar transforms from a time saver to a time waster!

photo credit: oschene via photopin cc

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