The one thing I have completely failed on when it comes to being a blogger, is an editorial calendar. I don’t expect everyone to have one with a day job, a side job, a family, busy lives etc. But something happened in the last month or so where I actually took the time to WRITE SHIT DOWN. Because of this, it changed my blogging life. Let me explain how I did it, and why you need to start too.
First let’s get this out of the way, this doesn’t have to be time consuming, fancy or complicated. It can be as simple as you need it to be, or as detailed as you’d like it. Whatever suits your current blogging situation is how much time I want you to spend on this.
Why You Need An Editorial Calendar
1. Gets You Organized – You can visually see what is going on when. This allows you to know what needs to be done, what has been shot, what’s been scheduled etc. It’s such a sigh of relief to look at a calendar and know you’ve got things together in some shape or form.
2. Allows You To See Trends – Notice that you’re doing a beauty or hair post almost every week? Make it a series! Series always do well and help to increase pageviews, plus they give the reader something to keep coming back to. You can also see if you’re wearing the same thing over and over again (guilty…you’ve seen a few too many shorts and dressy tops and I needed to see it on a calendar to finally change it). Seeing a full month out, even if it’s completed content or not yet, helps you to see any consistencies or even inconsistencies that may need to be addressed.
3. Stay Ahead – I’ve said it before in my Blogger Q&A’s, pitching the right ideas at the right time is important. Having a calendar will help you see where your content ends. As of right now I’m booked out a few weeks and I can easily see what trends, events, seasons are on the horizon that I could work on without causing any conflicts or feeling overwhelmed. This helps me to adjust my pitch to brands but also helps to answer any incoming pitches and adjust them accordingly.
How To Make An Editorial Calendar
And what it should include
Step 1. Decide how detailed you want to be. What do you need to check off to help stay organized, need to see, need to know. For me I just need to know what post it is, and if it’s complete or not.
Step 2 . Get a physical calendar (I use this one from Kate Spade and love it). Something about the computer calendar didn’t work for me. It might for you, but I didn’t see the benefits of this until I started using a full month calendar in an agenda to see everything. I lay it out on my desk and it’s always by my side when I’m scheduling, answering pitches and dealing with incoming photos from JNelly.
Step 3. Start Planning. I like to put the main topic on each day I think it’s going to go live. It helps me to see what may be too close to one another (same shorts, similar backdrop etc). Write in pencil so you can easily make changes if something comes up or something is too close to one another. Keeping a good mix of content is important and this can help you see it. You may even stumble upon a holiday in the coming weeks that you totally forgot about. Now you can plan for it!
Step 4. Create a process for knowing what’s done, and what isn’t. My process is as simple as general topic (like Palm Tree Tee) and a check mark to know it’s fully complete. I’m not yet at the point where I schedule each and every social media post well in advance but if you need to get that out of the way, add another note to your day to make sure you’ve completed those tasks.
I also like to keep a to-do list in conjunction with my calendar. This is how I keep tabs on what I still need to shoot, await on payment, get photos etc. Once the post is written, reviewed and perfected I then can put a check mark next to it on the calendar and cross it off my to do list. This way I can also visually see what’s 100% done and what still needs to be tweaked and ready for publishing. This is also a great place to add any ideas you may have and may want to explore bringing to life on the blog.
Step 5. Tweak it. After doing this for a solid month consistently I realized there were things I was missing and not sticking to. All systems may need to be reviewed in a business at some point in time so take the time after each month to do so.
Do you have an editorial calendar? Or a system to stay organized? I’d love to hear how you manage the day to day!