You’ve named your blog, chosen your niche, and written up a business plan for success. Now you need to know what an editorial calendar is, why you need an editorial calendar, and some of the different ways to make one.
I had said that a business plan is like a map showing you exactly how to reach your goals. If a business plan is a map then an editorial calendar shows every steppingstone on the way to your goal.
What Is An Editorial Calendar?
An editorial calendar is just a publishing schedule. Anything you publish, whether it’s on your blog or your social media, should be scheduled in your editorial calendar.
Everything you’re going to post, or even thinking about posting, should be on your editorial calendar.
General themes, project ideas, post ideas, email newsletters, social media posts, marketing campaigns, and any and all deadlines you have, all of that needs to be written down.
How Precise Should It Be?
The more detailed and precise your editorial calendar is, the better. It will tell you exactly what you need to do every day to reach success, and it will help you hold yourself accountable.
It’s like assigning yourself homework projects.
When I was in school, sometimes teachers would give out a grading rubric with the essay assignments. A rubric that outlined everything that the essay needed to get a passing grade, as well as the due date and the suggested days to have a draft done by.
An editorial calendar should be like that.
Don’t let your alligator mouth bite off more than your tweetie bird ass can handle!Grandma Bobbi
The more work you put into creating a detailed editorial calendar, the less work you’ll have later on down the line. It will be your bare bones outline for success, a skeleton that just needs to be fleshed out to make your blog come to life.
Without one, your blog will lack structure. Your editorial calendar is your foundation; it will carry so much weight as you build your blog, so it needs to be solid.
Things Change, And So Will Your Editorial Calendar
An editorial calendar needs to be strong, but don’t underestimate the strength of flexibility!
It’s easy to get overzealous when you first start blogging, and to take on more than you can actually handle.
As my grandma likes to say, “Don’t let your alligator mouth bite off more than your tweetie bird ass can handle!”
Allow room for changes. It’s okay, everything changes! That’s just a sign of growth.
Your editorial calendar will allow you to learn your limits.
Maybe, like me, when you first make one you’ll overload yourself with more work than you can handle. I wouldn’t recommend going that route, as it can be discouraging, but nobody ever plans to go that route, right?
Or maybe you’ll start off too light, and find yourself bored and accomplishing all of your goals so quickly that you have nothing to do. In my opinion, that’s a better way to start things. Slow and steady wins the race!
For me, starting off bored is far more encouraging. It’s like working out; start with lighter weights and work your way up.
Otherwise, you might find yourself in a lot of pain!
Why You Need An Editorial Calendar
You need an editorial calendar to stay motivated, stay organized, and to ensure that you always have content.
Deadlines are an incredible thing. They can be stressful, they put pressure on us, and that stress and pressure is a great motivator! At least, it is for me.
See, I’m a people pleaser. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to let anyone down, least of all myself.
And shoot, who really does?
An editorial calendar gives you some of the pressure needed to stay motivated. Precious gems are formed under pressure, after all.
Your editorial calendar will tell you exactly what you need to do each day to be successful. Since you’ll have already put so much time and effort into creating your editorial calendar, you’ll already be that much more organized each day.
It will tell you what articles you need to write, and on what days to write them. It’ll also tell you when and what to post on all of your social media channels.
You know what that means, right?
You’ll save so much time! Instead of spending however long trying to come up with post ideas and article ideas, you’ll already know what to do and be able to dive right in.
Your editorial calendar should be planning as far into the future as possible. A week into the future at the very least.
If you’re on top of things, you’ll be able to do your work a week, a month, maybe even a year in advance! Then you can just schedule your posts to be automatically uploaded, or just take the time to hit the post button at the appropriate times each day.
And with an editorial calendar, you’ll never run out of content ever again!
Because with an editorial calendar, you should absolutely keep a running list of possible post ideas.
Any time you think of something to post, write it in your calendar.
It’s really that easy!
What Can You Use To Make An Editorial Calendar?
Honestly, you can use almost anything to make an editorial calendar.
A bunch of sticky notes on a wall, a hanging calendar, a personal planner, Google Calendars, Excel, Trello, or countless other methods will work.
You just need somewhere to organize your ideas by category and by date. That’s pretty much it.
I like to use Trello because of its list feature, and because of its color coding features. I know other bloggers who prefer Excel, and others still who prefer Google Calendars.
Just experiment with it. What works for me might not work for you, and vice versa!
Check back soon for a tutorial on how I use Trello as an editorial calendar! Don’t forget to like and subscribe for more Freshly Stale content 🌞💕 Thanks for reading!