First, what the heck is an editorial calendar? That’s what I first thought when someone suggested I use one. Essentially an editorial calendar is a tool that helps you to map out your blog posts. It is that simple. It’s just a planning tool that can help you as you grow your blog. I use the editorial calendar plugin on wordpress. If you decide to add the plugin, here’s where you can find it on your dashboard (I’ll admit it took me a minute or two!):
- You can easily see what you’ve been posting in the past. I love going back and seeing what I’ve blogged about — the calendar makes it super easy to do this. So say, if you look at the past week and realized you blogged 4 days in a row about how cute your dog is. You might then be inspired to switch it up next week and lay off the cute pup posts for awhile. Honestly, before I added the editorial calendar, I rarely went back and looked at what posts I’d published.
- It’s a visual reminder of your blog content and can help you plan posts. This is key for me. Using the calendar, I can look at my planned posts and develop a schedule for what I want to post. Obviously, not all my posts are planned in advance (sometimes they are written the morning I’m posting them), but generally I try to plan out a few days in advance. It also helps me when I know I’ll be too busy to post — I can see what I’ve already scheduled and what might fit in well. I often will just schedule a draft post with a title and a few words and use it as a placeholder. Then, I will come back later and fully develop the post.
- It increases my productivity. You know those placeholder posts I mentioned? It’s much easier to get them written when I’ve already done the hard part of thinking of the topic. I also get inspired by thinking about what my blog will read like on a weekly basis. It makes me want to produce great content and also encourages me to read others great content!
I mentioned the wordpress plugin, but you can also just use a google calendar, another online calendar or even (gasp!) an old fashioned paper calendar that you keep updated manually. I guarantee it will help you stay organized and develop a more consistent rhythm to your blogging.
Do you use an editorial calendar? Why or why not?