An Editorial Calendar – It’s how I became a better blogger, pure and simple.
“Editorial calendars are used to define and control the process of creating content, from idea through writing and publication. An individual or small business might have this publishing process: Brainstorm content ideas to publish, where to publish, and when to publish.”
Ok so basically an editorial calendar is a calendar that tells you what blog post are going to be published on what days.
I think most people understand the concept of an editorial calendar, what they don’t understand is what having one can do for you and your blog.
As our recent survey of Irish Bloggers revealed, almost 80% state that time is their biggest challenge when it comes to blogging. I wonder how many of them have an editorial calendar?
One of the biggest things I got back when we started to implement an editorial calendar was time.
We were able to plan out our content months in advance, which meant that we could begin working on as much or as little of it as we wanted when we wanted.
The only stipulation was of course that it had to be published on time, no excuses.
You see once you know what you are doing and when it has to be done by, you can get ahead of yourself. Which gives you more time to focus on other areas of your blog or your life.
Why you need an Editorial Calendar
What am I going to write about?
This is a question so many bloggers ask themselves at least once every day or so.
Would you believe that I only ask this question maybe five or six times a year. We generally sit down a few times a year and plan out our content, which then goes into our calendar.
We sat down at the start of December and have much of first half of 2017 planned out, we know what we are writing when we are publishing it and who is creating it.
As you can see by the picture on the right, we use sticky notes and a big blank wall in the office to plan out the content.
It makes it easy to see all the topics and subtopics and see where the gaps are and also move things around until we’re happy with the final cut.
The Big Reason
There is no super “techy” reason as to why you should have an editorial calendar.
The big reason you should have one is “quality”. Having an editorial calendar will bring the quality of your blog and each article on leaps and bounds.
It’s actually really simple. When you know what you are doing and when it has to be done by you can plan. You are not sitting down for that spare hour saying “right I need to publish something, what am I going to write?” and then typing like some sort of possessed demon trying to get it written in the hour or less you have available.
Instead, when you plan properly, you can spend that hour researching the topic, finding some relevant facts and quotes or other published work that will help enhance your blog post.
Then you can spend time writing it and I mean actually writing it, not just typing until the word count is at an acceptable level to publish. You can take the time to craft your message, really think about the points you are trying to make and even the emotions you are trying to evoke in your readers.
After that, you can walk away and leave it for a while, before coming back to editing it properly. For more on that check out our “5 step editing checklist”.
Even making that reference to the “5 step editing checklist” above, do you think it’s a coincidence that I wrote that article and set it to be published before this one?
No that’s no accident that’s planning. I knew that having an article to reference about editing content would work well with this piece of content, so we decided that the “5 step editing checklist” article had to be published before this one.
More than that, putting in links to relevant content on your blog will not only help the reader, but it will help you bring the reader further into your site and blog archives.
When you have time, everything is easy. It’s the time and the pressure that kills our best intentions. We all have things we would “like” to do with our blog posts, but in the end, we run out of time and adopt the “that’ll do” approach.
Which ultimately stops us from creating the best content and also promoting it the right way.
With the time available, we’re able to create multiple images for articles, alternative headlines and multiple social media promotions.
Time is the enemy of creativity.
How much more effective do you think your promotion strategy would be if you had the time to create a few different images for each article and a few different updates to go along with those images?
Having a calendar will I promise you free up time, keep you on track and make you a better blogger.
Think about it, if you had to nail down your next ten blog posts, what would they be?
Got them? Well then let’s create an Editorial Calendar