Editorial Calendars and You

Running a blog can be hectic, especially if you want to have a blog that updates on a regular schedule despite your spontaneous lifestyle and disregard for all things organized. One thing you can do to keep your blog in check is to set up an editorial calendar. Editorial calendars have pretty much been around since the existence of printed publications and remain a useful tool in the world of internet based content. Personally, I tend to go in and out of moods for writing blog posts. However, this can result in a torrential downpour of blog posts one day and a complete drought the next.  This sucks for me, because sporadic floods of posts are not what most people look for in blogs; people enjoy consistency. So how CAN developing an editorial calendar solve this problem of mine? Well, fortunately for me, editorial calendars exist to manage the publishing, scheduling of posts, content and long-term management of your blog.

But what does that even mean? It means editorial calendars allow you to layout all your posts for a month and plan accordingly. You can control the timing of how you want your posts to be published. For example, if you are in a particularly chatty mood and you wrote 3-4 post drafts, you could spread them out around your calendar. You could then go in and edit and finalize the posts as they near their publication date. This will help you create that steady stream of content that followers seem to love. Also, this could help you control the flow and feel of your content, placing posts in an order that links your ideas together. Don’t forget that editing posts is always a good idea anyway, because it would be a shame if you got cyberbullied for typos and the like.

Conveniently for us, our choice in blogging-platform, WordPress, actually has an editorial calendar Plugin that you can add straight to your blog. Admittedly, I am a little too sleep-deprived to try and figure out how to install it right now, however I did play around with a free tester sandbox that I used to get a feel for editorial calendars. (Can be found here) Unlike the installing the Plugin itself, the editorial calendar is very user-friendly! The calendar option pops up right in the post section and once opened shows, unsurprisingly, a big calendar. Using the calendar you can view all posts planned for the month and edit as you see fit. You can also drag and drop the posts around the calendar to create a schedule. Each posts shows the time it is set for, the title and its status(draft, pending post etc.). Overall it’s a very useful tool for a blogger to have at his/her disposal, A+, highly recommend.

There are also numerous guides available on the internet that give you ideas on how to set-up and follow an editorial schedule and calendar. I’m pretty neurotic, so I tend to go back and edit my posts several times before I even think of releasing them to be scrutinized out in the wild. My advice is to choose an editorial style that best fits your own writing habits.

the sandbox calendar

the sandbox calendar

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17 comments

  1. hillary601

    I think that an editorial calendar is useful for those of us who constantly write things down on random pieces of paper. I don’t think it is for me though. I can see how it will work for others though. Writing things down tend to work for me too but I would not be able to keep up with it. I have a calander at home that is on my desk. On this calander, I am supposed to write what I have to do each day. I cant keep up with it though. I think the last time I wrote something on my calender was before school started. I personally enjoy writing things down on random papers in a notebook or on the notes app that I have on my phone. I know it’s less organized that way but it’s how I work best. I think that an editorial calender is a good way to stay organized and to keep your readers engaged.I love it when im on fanfiction and they have specific dates that they update and if they can’t update they send out an apology. I think that it is respectable to your readers to keep them involved. It also keeps you on track. I hate it when people don’t update ever so often on my fan fiction because then I forget what the story is about. I think that the same thing applies to blogs.

  2. ktomiak25

    First of all, Wilson, I admire you for being able to write so much about this topic. I feel like I will have trouble filling this comment with enough content without being extra personal. Here we go. I believe editorial calendars are very helpful ways to organize your posts based on content, but also organize them in time. People can make drafts about what they wish to post and schedule it to post on a certain day at a certain time. This is helpful because reader’s can expect to either read posts on certain days, or at least know there will be a continuance of the posts. Blogs are hard to follow if the blogger posts 5 blogs in one day then waits 2 weeks to post more. In my personal life I use a desk calendar to plan out when all of my assignments are due. It’s like a super-list. I used to use sticky notes for weekly assignments but juggling classes and a changing work schedule, the monthly calendar helps me more. I also really love to cross tasks off once I have finished them. The feeling is a combination of pride in your productivity, and relief that you got it done. For my own blog, I made a list of topics I can write about today in class so I will use that to help me. I doubt I will keep a posting schedule but my goal is to post 1 recipe and 1 craft per week, so maybe I can keep up with that.

  3. megansmurray

    I think editorial calendars are a great thing! I know for sure that updating a blog on time and coming up with something to say in each post can be pretty tough. Also, ideas for posts can come at any time, and you need to keep them somewhere to remember them when you need them! I realized as we were going over Editoral calendars that I was already kind of doing this: I started writing down ideas for posts as I thought of them in a page in my notebook. But really, keeping it on the computer is a much better idea! No need to go find your notebook when you’re going to make a post, you’re already on the computer!
    I can already foresee editorial calendars really helping you organize your category content. For example, if I write or think of a lot of posts for a particular category, I can easily spread them out on the calendar and make sure not to make too many of the same category posts in a row. The same
    I really like the “calendar” aspect, which is great for planning posts around certain dates, months, or events. For example, I know that the new Pokemon X and Y games come out in early October, so I should schedule any Pokemon related posts for then!
    Even if you don’t exactly use an editorial calendar, it seems pretty essential that some sort of planning is used when making posts to a blog. I certainly don’t know how I could do it “fly[ing] by the seat of your pants!” – lawirstiuk

  4. mjdenis38

    Editorial calendars are useful for those that want to stay organized. You can plan weeks and months in advance for something you want to post. For my political satire blog, I can plan what I want to post around elections in November. I would compare an editorial calendar to a plan book or desk calendar, but even easier to keep track of because it is saved on a computer. For a current events or political information blog, it may be difficult to plan in advance for what you want to post. Having ideas in advance is still a good idea though, especially if the news of the week is slow or uninteresting. Editorial calendars offer consistency for the blogger and the readers, and let’s both the blogger and readers stay updated and informed on the content. If a blogger posts five straight days and then doesn’t post for another week or two, it can be hard to keep up with the information you are trying to read. I think productivity can increase by planning days, weeks and even months in advance. I usually use a plan book for keeping track of my work, but I occasionally forget to write something down or forget where I put my plan book. All in all, an editorial calendar prevents you from working on the fly, and organizes your content for a better blogging experience, both blogger and reader!

  5. lisak0

    Editorial calendars are so useful for those bloggers who want to keep their blog updated while growing their followers. It keeps bloggers organized. I never knew that you could drag around posts on the editorial calendar- I learned something new! It’s a virtual calendar to keep organized, which is great for techies who enjoy using their computers. I have a planner that I use to plan out my days, weeks, and sometimes months. It is honestly so useful, and every time I cross off something on my list, I feel more motivated to work harder towards my goal. Editorial calendars are essentially similar to a planner. As you described in class, I think it would be great for those who have writer’s block. You are right when saying that it is also great if you have a bunch of ideas one day because you can spread out the posts. I’ve personally worked alongside a business owner who blogs about her company and she showed me a hand-written editorial calendar. I’ve not yet mastered the calendar completely, but I learned and updated some of her posts using a calendar. It’s great for not only blogs, but for daily life, too. I thank you for this post since now I will try organizing different blog posts via the google calendar. The fact that I can color coat and drag stuff around makes me really happy. It is great to engage people consistently so that your work can get more popular.

  6. briellebuis

    Wilson, I agree with what you said throughout your post 100%. I feel like sometimes I can write and write and other times I cannot type out a sentence. Therefore the use of editorial calendars could be a big deal for me. However, I am also not much of a calendar person. Using Google Calendars in class opened up my eyes to how easy calendars can be and with technology today, there is a way to link everything to my Ipad or Iphone which is also very helpful. Another thing that I liked from class was the idea of being able to write out a post completely and pick another day for it to be published. This allows timely blog posts, but it also allows you to be able to blog freely when you are inspired. When looking at other peoples ideas on editorial calendars i found a lot of helpful hints like color coating, and printing out your calendar just so you can have it in front of you and edit it if need be. I think before looking into these on line calendars i felt tied down if I had a calendar or something that I felt like I needed to follow. However, now with the world on on line and linked calendars I think it totally makes sense to have a calendar for different aspects of my life, one being this blog. Also, a calendar could help me because I have to blog in other classes as well and it is often hard to remember the dead lines for specific blogs since they are different for each class that I am in.

  7. evanhuaru

    To be perfectly honest, I never used a calendar to stay organized before. It doesn’t mean I’m unorganized, I’m always on top of my work and I know exactly what I have to get done and by when. I’m extremely busy throughout the week, I’m involved in many extra activities and various kinds of philanthropy events. To help me stay on top of my work, I have a sticky note app on my laptop where I post a to do list so I don’t forget things. I need to stay on the fly so I can get things done as fast as possible, while still on the move. The advantage of the sticky note app is the convenience, it’s easier to modify and appears right on my screen saver so I don’t have to waste time trying to load a editorial calender. The editorial calender doesn’t have that kind of convenience, I would also forget to check it at times. The one thing I would say, is that editorial calenders execute daily activities more in depth. With the calender you’re able to assign days for completing drafts and when they should be posted. Another plus would be the ability to add descriptions and ideas for different days of the week to write about. I agree that an editorial calender may have a superiority in organization since you can plan weeks or months ahead of time. But at the end of the day, the sticky note app and the editorial calender serve the same exact purpose, keeping your work organized. As long as your physically aware of the deadlines to complete work, the sticky note app works just as well.

  8. mlew210

    I think editorial calendars are great because it gives a deadline that really pressures you into doing work. Back in high school, I had a huge issue with not being able to do anything unless I felt pressured by the time restraints. Editorial calendars are great for procrastinators like me because it forces the blogger to pump out content. Going against the calendar is bad because it’s out there for the public to see (most of the time). Readers see it and they know when the good stuff is on the way. I don’t want to be the one to disappoint them by forgetting to update my blog. I do agree that it’s really hard to get inspired some days, and a calendar just gives you all the more reason to write something amazing. I also liked the point about being able to control the flow of content. It makes reading through a blog much easier, and I think that is a very important part of a good blog. Being able to read older content is extremely important. If it doesn’t connect at all with the newer content, then readers are likely to lose interest. It’s like starting a blog exclusively about rock music, only to change half way through to something like classical music. I have nothing against the two genres, but it just makes the blog that much harder to follow. With a calendar to monitor the type of content you pump out, it makes correcting problems like this much easier.

  9. karencronin

    I agree with Wilson that an editorial calendar is the way to go to keep yourself and your blog organized. An editorial calendar can help you plot out what topics you want to discuss over the next month or more, as well as how many days in the course of a week you want to post. By keeping prior months calendars, you can also keep track of what topics you have discussed so you are not repeating them to close together. By filling out a calendar you can also plan out a theme you may have for a particular month.
    I think a lot of people have those surges of writing energy and then the surges of no writing energy. Why not take advantage of that surge and write as much as you can. Once you get your ideas down you can save and come back later to revise. People like consistency in reading blogs as Wilson mentioned. If you have a few back up posts lined up, on a day when you might normally post and you are short on time, you can pull out one of the saved posts and publish it.
    While I think the online calendars are a great tool, I would prefer a paper editorial calendar, it is what I am familiar with. I like the idea of having it in my hand and erasing or crossing things out as needed. While I am fairly computer literate, I will leave the electronic calendars to the younger generation!

  10. gisellehernandez412

    After reading about editorial calendars and your post, I can definitely understand the popularity of these calendars. They can absolutely help bloggers stay organized because, as you’ve discussed, readers like consistency. It’s pretty cool that bloggers can set a time and date to publish their posts once they’ve already been written. An editorial calendar is a great reminder for these times and dates–they can essentially provide an outline of your blog so that you don’t get sidetracked and off-topic which is very important if one hopes to have a successful blog. I’m not a very organized person but when I use a calendar or an agenda book I always use tangible, physical paper–I just remember things better when I physically write them out. For this reason, I can see myself sticking with the more traditional calendars but I’d have to check out a few calendars online first to see how I like them. You, along with many others, seem to be pretty enthusiastic about these editorial calendars and I can understand why. If my blog could potentially benefit from an editorial calendar then I will definitely try it out.

  11. tedrihn

    To be blatantly honest, I had never actually heard of an editorial calendar before the article and after reading your post, Wilson, I really want to start using one. The idea that I would be able to organize my thoughts one month ahead of the current date is something that is very alluring as a blogger. I could gather ideas and just jot them down if I don’t have time to explore the post further at the time and be able to come back to it later. I also wouldn’t be able to forget a post idea if I come back to the drafts and there is the post waiting to remind me to finish it. An editorial calendar can also help me keep my posts from dying out when I don’t visit my blog which is great because between work and school I barely have time to go on my personal blog any more. My posts are very sporadic in small intervals of time so I could post up to thirty posts in one night and not go on my blog for another 7 to 10 days. My opinion on the matter is the same as yours, I feel as though that editorial calendars are a great way to keep connected to your blog when you might not even realize that you aren’t on all that much, and they can help you organize your thoughts more clearly. This can help you create a more easy going and successful blog. All in all I would say that editorial calendars are a must for the more dedicated but less available blogger.

  12. Brian

    Although I could definitely see the use of an editorial calendar, I don’t think that it is quite my style. There are definitely uses though. The most obvious use is that these calendars can be used to keep both a firm, reliable schedule and help organize your thoughts for the blog. The editorial calendar does have many interesting features (my personal favorite being the drag and drop) that allow organizing ideas to be incredibly simple. Also by having a public calendar, your readers can have a clear sense of when to expect the next post allowing them time to adjust their own schedule to find convenient time for them to read it. Furthermore, due to the non-strict format of the calendar, you could post times of events relevant to your content. This could include photo-shoots, conventions, meetings, and other events that allow your readers to become more personally involved beyond just your blog if they so choose. Finally, having this calendar does aesthetically improve the blog as it makes it look much more professional.
    With all of this said, I personally doubt that I will use this despite all of its wonderful features. The reason for this is that many times I gain my ideas in the spur of the moment. Literally, I could be doing something completely unrelated to blogging and come up with the idea that I want to post the next day. Because of this, I think that a calendar would only hinder my process as it would put the thought in my head “Today I’m going to post about this, while tomorrow I post about this”. For me, I often am spontaneous with my postings.

  13. hg163

    I agree with ktomiak25 that it is impressive that you can write so much about this topic. Even the Wikipedia page is small! I never actually heard of an editorial calendar before reading the article. Considering that editors for magazines use them to plan articles out months in advance, it can be an extremely useful tool to use to plan out your posts. I was playing around with a calendar recently and found it pretty cool that I could drag and drop the posts at different times and dates. Editorial calendars are especially useful for people like you who are in and out of moods of when they feel like posting and not and even for people who procrastinate or forget a lot. It’s true that nobody likes to read an unorganized blog where the blogger makes a couple posts, and then either forgets to post or simply doesn’t post for a whole week. When I think of an editorial calendar, I think back to the school days where teachers would force us to write our homework in an agenda. We could see how much homework we have due and, for longer-term projects, how long we have to complete them.
    I have a pretty hectic schedule between school and work and whatnot, so an editorial calendar would be very useful for me. Most days, when I leave in the morning, I don’t even come back until 8 pm, so there will definitely be days where I forget to post something. But with this tool, I can set a reminder for myself that I have to post something.

  14. yadyayala105

    Editorial calendars can really be useful for busy people. I am not sure if I’m going to use it but it is worth a try. I think it is very beneficial that you can write a post a head of time and that you can set a date for it to be posted. There are some negative aspects of this calendar. This is really useful but for people who are very organized; if you are not organized and are used to clearly planning things out ahead of time then this is really not for you. If you, the blogger, does not have specific dates where you post things up this may be difficult to adjust to. This calendar helps with the issue of writers block and when you feel the passion your able to write good content. The problem with this is that if you write your post too early they can become outdated and then you have to make another one. It really depends on what the blogger’s topic is. People whom blog about recipes, décor, or DIY’s then the editorial calendar would be very useful for them. They are not things that have to be updated frequently. People who write people such as the news, pop culture, fashion, TV shows, or movies need to be constantly updated because these topics change frequently. All the effort that was put into writing that post is not useless. I am not trying to completely throw away this good application but I believe that this may benefit only certain types of people. People who are more organized and really have deadlines then yes this is the perfect tool for them and they will probably save a lot of time. On the other hand, if the person is disorganized and spontaneous then this application may not be for them.

  15. Miss Bombshell

    When I first heard about editorial calendars I had no idea what in the world they actually were. It took me about three articles to figure out that they simply are calendars that help a blogger keep their post on track and in the case of blogs who have a hug following it helps them attract advertisers. For me an editorial calendar could be very useful and when I say very useful I mean it could potentially save my life since I am slightly drowning in class work and barely have time to even use the bathroom let alone keep track of post and remembering to blog. I am a person who sometimes uses a planner when my life is getting way out of control but, I sometimes forget to actually look in the planner to see what I have to do for the day. So even though an editorial calendar would keep me on track it would be a matter of me taking the responsibility of writing my post a week in advance and setting a day and time for when I want to publish it. Whoever came up with this nifty tool deserves an award because they have saved so many lives and they don’t even know it (lol).

  16. jordannao

    Wilson, you have done a great job explaining the real purpose of using a editorial calendar and how you even provided us with a link where we can create our own editorial calendar. I have never used a editorial calendar before and never knew what it was until I read your post and the readings. I believe your post is extremely important especially for many of us that have never blogged before. Finding the time and creating a constant schedule to post a blog post is a great way to keep your followers and also to have a very consistent blog overall. Blogging for the first time can be overwhelming especially since there are 1000 of ideas of posts and you can’t keep track or can’t decide, which post should go after another. I believe a blog post is very close to writing a book, the posts are considered the chapters and the whole blog it self is the book. Chapters in a book never come out of anywhere, they usually have a partner or usually starts with what ended on the previous chapter. The same goes to blog each post should be nice and connected to the previous one somehow to have a form of uniformity, and a great tool to do that is using the Editorial Calendar.

  17. dmhgs

    Editorial Calendars are a very interesting concept. I’ve never used one myself however I’ve used something similar. tumblr has a ‘queue.’ You can write many posts (I think they have a limit but it’s a really high number) and add them to your queue but instead of having a set date and time for a specific post to publish you set the times that you want tumblr to publish your posts. For example, twice a day around 12 am and 12 pm and tumblr will automatically post whatever post in next in the queue. Your posts are waiting in line to be published, and you can change the order if you like. I personally really like this sort of ‘editorial calendar’. However after seeing how much more organized other editorial calendars can be I see how inconvenient the one on tumblr is. I’m going to try the editorial calendar on wordpress. I think I’ll like that you can pick a specific day to publish a specific post.

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