If you want to discover how to create an editorial calendar, here are 7 easy steps that will allow you to build a calendar for your next month of blog posts!
I will start with a confession about my own experience with editorial calendars. I have two different blogs. One was launched in 2013 and is written in my native tongue. The other one was launched in December 2016 and is the one you are reading now.
I still don’t have one. This doesn’t mean that the blog hasn’t grown in time and that I haven’t managed to build a community around it. But it took me a long time to get there. And looking back now I can tell that my blogging journey would have been better if I were more intentional about my blog. Even if the blog is doing well, I know that it would have grown much easier and quicker if I would have been more organized and committed.
When I started my second blog (this one) I was still not intentional about my blogging journey. But I knew that I want to make things different this time. I wanted to grow this blog organically in a shorter amount of time and I was determined to use tools that will allow me to do this.
In March I’ve started a blogging course and one of the lessons was focused on editorial calendars. My biggest fear about having an editorial calendar was that it may make writing less enjoyable. I thought that having a plan will prevent me from being spontaneous and authentic on my blog. But I decided to give it a try!
It helped me be more organized when it comes to writing. It also allows me to be more productive and focused as a blogger.
So, if you don’t use an editorial calendar now, I really recommend you to try it! Even if you don’t like the idea very much at first, it is worth giving it a try.
If you want to do this, here are the steps that will help you create an editorial calendar for the first month.
1. Do it today! This is my first and most important advice! We usually tend to postpone things, especially if they are new to us. But postponing and procrastinating aren’t doing us any good! So start today. Block a half of hour in your schedule and create your editorial calendar for the next month.
It doesn’t matter what day of the month it is, you can begin anytime! And you can plan the next 30 days of your blogging journey in only half of hour.
2. Decide on the format of your editorial calendar. At the end of this article, you will find a printable file that you can use to create the calendar. Or if you already use a planner, you can use it for this too!
3. Set a number of posts that you want to write in the next month. The main rule here is to be realistic about your plans. If you start with unrealistic goals you will feel so overwhelmed that you will end giving up. The best strategy is to look at the number of posts you wrote in the last three months. Make an average of those numbers and you’ll have a good reference.
So the number of posts doesn’t matter so much. There is no magic number of posts and each blogger has a different approach.
4. Think about any uncommon events happening during the next month that you may want to write about. (e.g. important holidays, events that are of interest for your audience, personal events that you may want to share with your readers)
If there are any events that you plan to write about, include them first on your calendar on the appropriate dates. Also, if you have sponsored posts that are planned for a specific date make sure to include them in the calendar.
5. Brainstorm post ideas and fill in your editorial calendar.
If you write about several topics on your blog (and you probably do), it’s good to make sure you cover several of them during the month. The best way to do this is to have a look at the categories on your blog’s menu and to come up with ideas for as many of them as you can.
Write all the ideas on a different paper, grouped into categories. When you have enough ideas on your list (according to the number of posts you plan to write), you can start to fill in the calendar.
6. Determine the number of posts you want to write every week.
e.g. If you plan to write 10 posts in a month you will have to plan approximately 2 posts per week.
Then determine if you want to post them using a similar schedule every week (e.g. every Wednesday and Friday) or if you want to be flexible with the days.
In a couple of minutes, your calendar will be ready!
7. Make room for flexibility. Especially at the beginning, following an editorial calendar may be a little bit hard. For me it was! So it’s good to allow you some flexibility. If you feel that you want to write about something else one day, do it! If you want to make adjustments during the month, you can do it!
But don’t let this flexibility affect your productivity! If you start to postpone posts or to publish fewer posts as you planned, this could affect your focus and determination. So do your best to follow the schedule!
Once you will get used with this system, things will become easier! You will become more intentional and organized as a blogger and this will help you grow your blog even more! And when you will see the effects, you’ll probably find more motivation to keep going!
I have used this format when I started creating my editorial calendars. And it worked great! Now I have a special planner for blogging and I write my editorial calendar there. So you can use this method too!
For downloading the template just click here and you will be able to print it.
I wish you the best of luck with creating the calendar for the next month! Happy blogging!