December 29, 2014

Using An Editorial Calendar In 2015


With the New Year fast approaching I thought it would be nice to cover the subject of editorial calendars in a blog post. Because if you think that an editorial calendar could be a helpful tool for you after reading this post, you've still got a couple of days left to make one for yourself for 2015!

WHAT IS AN EDITORIAL CALENDAR?

But what exactly is an editorial calendar? When you are a blogger yourself it's likely that you've come across this term before. And maybe your are already using one. Well, editorial calendars can be used by any writer. You don't have to be a blogger to use one, you can be a novel writer or a writer of articles. It's basically a system to schedule the things you want to write about. By scheduling your blog posts, articles or whatever you write you keep yourself on track with your writing. Of course it won't prevent you from writer's block, but if you have mapped out the subjects you want to write about you can write draft posts on a certain subject when you feel like it and when you have lots of inspiration and publish it on the (later) date that you have scheduled it.

It's also a helpful tool to schedule seasonal posts because you have to start thinking about when would be the best date to post that Easter Cake recipe or those Summer BBQ tips and tricks. By setting up an editorial calendar you force yourself to think about your content and which subjects you really want to cover. And in an editorial calendar you don't only schedule when you publish what kind of post, you can also write down when you will be working on different posts. An editorial calendar doesn't necessarily have to cover a whole year though. You can make these calendars each month if you don't want to plan any further than a month. All in all it will give you some structure to work by.

OTHER THINGS TO COVER IN AN EDITORIAL CALENDAR

Next to the publishing of posts, post ideas and the scheduling of your writing you can think of other things to put in your calendar:

* your goals
* launches of new products, ideas etc.
* collaborations with other bloggers or companies
* giveaways
* surveys

HOW TO CREATE AN EDITORIAL CALENDAR

Editorial calendars can easily be made by yourself. You can buy any paper calendar that you find suitable for this purpose and start filling it up with publish dates, ideas for posts and writing time. If you go for a paper calendar, make sure you choose one that has lots of room for your scribbles on it. Put it in a spot close to your computer, so you have a clear vision on it when you sit down to blog. And when new ideas start to pop up during blogging you can easily add them to your calendar.

If you're more into digital scheduling I've got a couple of sites for you to check out. You can make your own schedule in a program like Excel (Windows Office), but you can also take the easy way and download a premade one on one of the following websites:





While the use of an editorial calendar was a subject I definitely wanted to cover on my blog, it's not a tool I use myself (funny, right?). I write down new ideas for this blog whenever they pop up in my head and sometimes I write posts a couple of weeks in advance, but most of the time I just go with the flow and kind of trust that an idea will present itself when it's time to write a post. And if not, well, the world won't come to an end when I skip one of my regular post days ;-)

With my personal blog I certainly don't use a calendar. Those stories really have to come from the heart and they can't be scheduled. For those posts I use my inner calendar: go with my flow!

I wish you all happy blogging in the New Year, whether you are going to use an editorial calendar or not!



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