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.