How to Set Up an Editorial Calendar: Organizing Your Blog Content

A crucial part of the 30-Day-Blogging-Challenge is to receive e-mail prompts on every day of the challenge. Since I already completed it a month ago, I didn’t sign up for another round of e-mails. I did however weed through some of my old correspondence and stumbled across one very important note. Setting up an Editorial Calendar – it had always been on my list of things to do – but somehow the idea was lost in the hectic of past post. So this week was certainly the time to look through all the tips and links the e-mail provided. Sarah from Sarkemedia listed a guest post she had written under http://www.dannybrown.me.
You can find the full post here. It highlights a few important ways on how to set up the calendar.

1) WordPress Editorial Calendar Plugins

If you are using wordpress.org (I am not), you can download WordPress Editorial Calendar plugins. A few common ones are Edit Flow and Co-Schedule. Some charge a small monthly fee, others are free. Overall, they look pretty efficient and I wonder if anyone of you has tried them out yet. If so, I’d love to have some feedback.

Courtesy of Sarah Arrow
Courtesy of Sarah Arrow

2) Hand-written Dairy

I guess this is good for visual people who love the sensation of written notes. In the beginning of my blogging journey, I would brainstorm and then write down all the fantastic ideas I had on blog posts. Some were certainly accomplished, others just got lost in the jumble of other ideas. So I certainly see the advantage of a written dairy over a computer-based system. However, forgetting about the dates is also easier if you are not constantly reminding yourself about it. Or if you don’t set an alarm on your smartphone every day. And of course it’s harder to write down a bunch of notes in that dairy and then convert them to e-format, unless you want to type them up at the end of every day.

3) Excel Spreadsheet

I’ve resorted to it for now, since I am unable to download the plugins (I have wordpress.com) and am not a big fan of a hand-written calendar. So far, I’ve been able to organize some of my thoughts and put a time-stamp on certain posts. Of course this is just a scribble I’ve come up with in about 30 minutes, but I still think it’s great to give me an idea on how to spend the next 17 days. If all goes well, I will have completed the second round of my 30-Day-Blogging-Challenge by the end of this month, which also coincides with me being out of town.

My Excel Spreadsheet
My Excel Spreadsheet

Sarah also mentions a great way to keep a writing flow: Just pre-writing a bunch of posts and scheduling them automatically on a certain day. I did that a while ago but haven’t had the time yet to pre-write 2-3 posts a day. I am actually quite happy when I make it through one but it is becoming quite hard to adhere to a time schedule with other things going on during that day. I’ve also not yet established a proper time of day as to when I want to come up with a post. I guess once a bit more of stability has returned to my life I will feel different about those things.

Great checklist by Sarah Arrow from Sarkemedia
Great checklist by Sarah Arrow from Sarkemedia

What is your experience with the Editorial Calendar and what system/ tips would you like to share?

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3 thoughts on “How to Set Up an Editorial Calendar: Organizing Your Blog Content

  1. I’d say that I’ve been using an editorial calendar faithfully now for about 2 months-ish. I’ll have to admit that it has helped. My brain just feels more organized, I don’t feel like I am playing catch-up all of the time, and I even find myself being more inspired! So, I’m totally all for it. Loving it! And, the thing that I am really trying to do is write all posts for a week in one or 2 days. It’s tough, for sure, but it is so freeing. There’s my 2 cents worth! 🙂

    • Oh wow! I still have a long way to go in terms of writing a few posts a day but this is certainly a great inspiration and perhaps I will adhere more to the calendar now after your great feedback!

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