Passion 10 July 2014
Blog class: What an editorial calendar is, and what it can do for your blog

One of the topics that always returns in our Blog Class events is how to manage all the wonderful content you’re creating. We use an editorial calendar which is, well, a calendar for your blog posts.

WHAT IS AN EDITORIAL CALENDAR?
Magazine editors have been using an editorial calendar for about a gazillion years. It’s probably the most tried-and-true method of content organization (aka keeping sane). As a young intern starting out at Grazia – and later working for ELLE as a features writer – I soon discovered  that most magazines plan ahead for at least three months. Each issue is dedicated to a specific, relevant theme that runs through most of the articles. After a big brainstorm session, every task, project, and article is scheduled into an agenda that’s dedicated to that month. This creates consistency and, because you are constantly looking ahead and making well-thought-out choices, creates a unique voice.

WHAT CAN IT DO FOR YOU?
Working with the regular publishing schedule helps you keep track of which articles need to be published, what special events or holidays might influence your blog posts in weeks from now – and it helps you set out a long-term strategy for your blog. An editorial calendar helps you to…

• Eliminate your writers block
With your content planned out one to two months in advance, there’s no excuse called ‘I’m not posting today, I don’t have anything to write about’.

• Free up time
You work ahead and your posts are prepared, so it’s more easy to schedule a day off or plan a Monday full of business meetings.

• Build a strong reader base
Because your posting is consistent, readers will know exactly what to come looking for on your blog and on what time or date. They will start to see patterns, and will come back regularly to check out their favorite sections on your blog.

•  Attract advertisers
These events and product releases are interesting for future advertisers who love to plan ahead. You own a well organized and accurate blog, which makes it attractive to advertise (on a long-term).

• Publish more diverse and creative content
Oddly enough, planning ahead makes your blog more creative. Taking one good look at your calendar will tell you if there’s enough diversity and renewal, and to balance out the different topics you want to write about. You’ll also be able to plan in creative projects that take up more time, like interviews or photoshoots of other people’s closets.

HOW TO CREATE A STEADY EDITORIAL CALENDAR?

1. Determine the frequency of your posts.
How often are you going to post?
2. Identify your readers.
Find out who your readers are and who you want to add to your readers.
3. Set up blog categories.
Each article you write should fit into one of the categories.
4. Come up with blog post ideas.
Brainstorming is always a good idea.
5. Schedule special events.
Schedule upcoming events you’re going to and events you want to go to.
6. Create the calendar.
Here you – more or less – see how CHAPTER FRIDAY manages it’s editorial calendar. We use Google Calendar since that’s already linked to our personal agendas and Gmail accounts. (In short: it’s easy. and it’s free!)
7. Write new blog posts.
8. Check your editorial calendar frequently and don’t forget to update.

(Image via SNUG design)

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16 comments

    […] you’re looking for a good guide to managing a blogging calendar, I recommend Chapter Friday’s blogpost on how editorial calendars can also work for […]

    Great post! Right now I only have a plan for my travel posts, but definitely need to make a plan for all the other posts as well. It’s good to make a schedule and have posts ready in advance :)
    Bedankt voor de tips!

    louiseclara

    Dear Chapter Friday Team, again you just posted such a helpful, quick and easy, i don’t mean it in a negative way! more in a you always bring it to a point! brilliant! helpful! easy to follow! good to read! post. thank you thank you thank you. Keep on and have a happy sunshine weekend! best from Hamburg, Louise

    This is going to help me so much! Thanks for the tip x
    http://mividabonitaa.blogspot.nl/

    What an EXCELLENT idea! I do have a calendar for all my shoe posts but I tend to only plan it a week in advance. 3 months? Maybe a stretch but definitely a much better idea to plan further in advance. Thank you!

    I always struggle to keep up with an editorial calendar but you guys inspired me to give it another go!
    Love the pic as well, it’s from a German company called SNUG design if you’d like the initial credits. I love their stuff!

    <3

    Aah, we’ll update it right away! Good luck with giving the editorial calendar a go!

    this is a lovely post! I was wondering if you had any ideas to share for blog posts? coming up with content for the editorial calendar itself is where i struggle! thank you, xx

    Hi Jenna-Mae, at CHAPTER FRIDAY we’re always bookmarking interesting articles and we have a weekly brainstorm with the whole team to come up with ideas. When you’re solo: magazines often provide great content ideas! Good luck!

    These are great tips. I am working on developing a blog schedule so this is perfect!

    great tips, i think i should get a more visual calender to plan posts, i only have my filofax at the moment
    Lauren x
    Britton Loves | Fashion Lifestyle + Photography – http://www.brittonloves.blogspot.co.uk

    thank you for this! So helpfull :)

    xxx
    http://www.dominiquecandido.com

    Great post- so helpful!!

    http://www.isidahorncastle.com

    Thank you so much for this post! I am blogging myself but am also about to finish university, which means a lot of time in the library studying for my exams. Over the last weeks I noticed how important it is for me to plan ahead. I often find myself at home late with no power to write. So planning ahead would really help. But I have to admit I am not to good about it yet. Definitely have to work on it. So thank you for this amazing inspiration!
    xoxo, Ronja
    http://www.sothisiswhat.com

    Keeping up a job and a study is really hard! You’ve already come a long way, keep doing what you love most!

    This is so infinitely helpful. I use an editorial calendar plugin for my blog and it’s so much easier to keep track of things when they’re laid out visually in a calendar. Plus, I never lose ideas, I just peg it down as unscheduled post and place it in a certain date when it’s ready. This is an excellent tip for writers!

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