Every blogger’s style and process are a little different. I’ve previously explained my process for writing a blog post, so I’m not going to get into that, but I do want to talk about a tool that can really help every blogger: an editorial calendar. I mentioned briefly last year my process for using one for my social media, but in this post I’ll talk about editorial calendar for bloggers specifically.
In this post I’ll share what an editorial calendar is, why you should have one, and how to make one, plus a free downloadable editorial calendar to get you started AND a list of 164 blog post ideas.
What Does “An Editorial Calendar for Bloggers” Mean?
An editorial calendar is a calendar where you keep track of your blog post dates, categories, and topics ahead of time. Basically, you decide what you will write about on what days in a calendar format.
This will look different for different people; for some, the categories or topics in the calendar are more general, while for others, they are very specific. For example, my editorial calendar itself is very general 75% of the time; I write “health,” “lifestyle,” or “blogging,” which are my categories. If I have a specific post I want to write at a certain date, then I’ll write “blog traffic report” or “recent reads.”
The whole point for an editorial calendar is to help you stay organized, so you should find a system that works for you. (And if you’re not sure how to go about it, I’ll share my advice later in this post!)
I have found my editorial calendar to be especially helpful now that I’m not writing as many blog posts as I used to. I went from posting 5 days a week to 3, and then I went to 2, and now I aim for 1-2. Since I’m writing fewer posts, being strategic in spreading out my content is more important than it ever was.
Additionally, I often start posts weeks ahead of time, which I can’t do unless I know what I want to write about. Especially because I only have a few hours a week to work on my blog. Planning ahead of time helps me make the most of my limited time.
Why I Strongly Suggest Making & Using an Editorial Calendar
I’ve already started talking about why I strongly suggest using one, but I do want to go into more detail.
Editorial calendars help you be more organized as a blogger and not stress every time you need to figure out what to write about. They help you make sure you don’t post about really similar topics two days or posts in a row, which keeps your readers coming back since they know that you’re going to write about new and interesting thing every post.
Plus, if you are going to need to take pictures for a post or go shopping for materials or make any other preparations – which will depend on what you blog about – you’ll know ahead of time and can adequately prepare.
How long it takes to pull together an editorial calendar really depends on you and your process. For me, it takes less than a few minutes, but my calendar itself is kinda bare-bones (I’ll explain my process down below). If yours is more detailed, it might take you a little longer. But since it makes me more organized – which lowers my stress level – any time spent is so worth it.
How To Make an Editorial Calendar
First, if you don’t already know, decide how many days a week you’ll post and different types of posts you’ll have.
Next, pick some kind of calendar to keep track of your posts. I use Google Calendar specifically for my editorial calendar or post-creating reminders. My paper planner is for to-do lists and keeping track of things, but not for planning content out long-term out. However, I know some people use a paper planner, their computer’s calendar function, or something else all together for their editorial calendar.
That is a screenshot of my editorial calendar for March. As you can see, I use different colors for different categories. I really like Google Calendar because it tells me when certain holidays are, which is great for planning post topics as well as adjusting my schedule as needed. I publish blog posts on Tuesdays and/or Fridays depending on what’s going on in my life or if there are holidays or vacations.
Now that you have your calendar, label each day that you will post with the general topic for that day. For example, I sit down towards the end of each month, looking ahead at the next month, and I label each day that I’ll post with one of my categories: Lifestyle, Health, or Writing. Like I said earlier, if I know a specific post topic that I want to do for that day I’ll label it with the specific topic, but generally I go with the larger category when I’m planning my editorial calendar.How to build an editorial calendar for your blog Click To Tweet
As you can see from that screenshot, I try to alternate my post categories. Most of my posts now are based around health, even the ones that are more in the lifestyle category. For example, I’m working on a blog post about the clothes I wear that are comfortable with my chronic pain. I consider that post to be in the lifestyle category, but it’s definitely based around health!
Finally, decide what specific topic you’ll post about shortly before you need to start writing the post. I keep lists of blog post ideas in Evernote, with 1 note for each of my categories. One to two weeks before a post goes live, I sit down with these lists and my calendar and decide what specifically to write about.
Free Resources To Help You Build Your Editorial Calendar
Feeling overwhelmed? Here are some free resources from me to help you build out your editorial calendar. If you want access to the full resource library, join my newsletter!
Do you need or want ideas of what to post on your blog? Then get 147 blog post ideas for free when you sign up for my newsletter.
I also pulled together a blogging editorial calendar free download for you all. There are 2 pages – the 1st is a blank monthly editorial calendar, but the 2nd is what all my content from January looked like when it was all planned out. I try to consider all of the places that I put out content by having a weekly theme and connecting my blog posts, social media posts, and my newsletter content, which you can view on that 2nd page.
Get the Google doc version and make a copy of it by clicking “File” and then “Make a copy”. If you want to easily print it out without saving it, or if you don’t have a Google account, you can get the PDF version.Free resources to help you build and fill your blog's editorial calendar Click To Tweet
I hope that this post has helped you feel more confident blogging. As you can see, planning is kind of my thing, so I hope that these planning tips and free downloads can help you and your blog.
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