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Jan
21

How to Use Editorial Calendars Effectively in Blogging

Get an Empty Calendar and Fill it With Ideas! Photo by Rdragan79

I did a course about Editorial Calendars for Bloggers at Mom Spark Media and then also ran a live chat discussion about them and wanted to share some of the best tidbits with my readers. Editorial Calendars can be an important asset for bloggers if they are used and maintained.

Types of Posts and Activities to Mark in Your Editorial Calendar

Regular Feature Posts – Perhaps you are the type of blogger who does a weekly feature post such as Mouthwatering Monday or Wordless Wednesday. Planning these in advance on your Editorial Calendar means you’ll be sure to cover a varied topic spectrum, instead of getting stuck posting similar topics over and over.

Seasonal Topics – Seasonal articles and posts can be great traffic pieces for bloggers. Be sure that you plan your blog’s Editorial Calendar ahead of time…you should give yourself at least a 3 week lead time, preferably a month, to capture the most possible readers. In otherwords, your Valentine’s Day posts should have gone up yesterday. *wink, nod*

Resources for Your Editorial Calendar

Here is a new favorite resource for planning out my Editorial Calendar. This is a free, downloadable calendar for bloggers from Blog Energizer. While the link is an affiliate link, and you can subscribe to their monthly membership with tons of fabulous monthly post ideas, the calendar is free. I prefer this one right now because it’s free, it’s a “real calendar”, and it has space for guest posters, topic ideas and even tracking multiple sites.

I have also used MindBloom - an online motivational and task managing tool – with good success in the past. While I haven’t restarted my tree for this year, I plan to when I get back from BlissDom and have a chance to really sit down and mindmap my total year outlook.

I know many people use Google Calendars too, which is nice for automated alerts to your inbox and things, but I find it just one more thing I have to get online to do and it becomes tedious to me. So I still use my mechanical pencils, my large dry-erase calendar board, my moleskin day-planner (yes, mine is kickin’ red like that), and my printable calendars.

Benefits of Editorial Calendars for Bloggers

It’s a huge bonus for bloggers to have an Editorial Calendar. There are so many benefits I think that most bloggers should have at the very least, a rough calendar of sorts.

  • Keeps you on task and focused.
  • Beats Writer’s Block.
  • Helps you monetize (schedule affiliate posts or offers).
  • Keeps reader’s interested with fresh or relevant content.
  • Helps you notice blogging ruts – are similar titles appearing over and over? You’ll notice when they are written down!

How do you use your editorial calendar? Or do you? What resources have you found helpful in creating your calendar? Are you totally high-tech or a pen-a-paper type of blogger?

Comments

  1. This is one area where I know I should be doing better. I get stuck in a rut and have writer’s block (and tons of unfinished drafts) more often than not lately.

    I have the Blog Energizer editorial calendar and love it! Now, just to commit to scheduling posts and sticking with it! ;)

  2. Angela, I love the free calendar from Blog Energizer. I have it printed, hole-punched, and tabbed in a binder. I also use the Word Press editorial calendar plug-in and love it, too. http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/editorial-calendar/

    • AngEngland says:

      I am glad you mentioned the plug in. It is something I mentioned as valuable in the chat but forgot to include in the post. Thanks for linking it up!

  3. Angela!

    The Mindbloom resource is fantastic! Thank you for sharing the link!

    I do use a Dayminder type planner for my work, not only for blogging schedules, but to keep up with where I’ve written article marketing articles, and just to time block my day for writing e-books or doing client work.

    I’m going to look at the Blog Energizer. I do have running themes, both weekly, like College Prep Monday and Home School History Wednesday, but the broader seasonal stuff like the February blues a lot of home schooling women seem to experience.

    I’m glad you shared these resources. I’m on a huge learning curve and get frazzled easily.

    Thank you so much, Angela! BTW, I love the fresh new look of your blog!

    Donna

  4. I remember we had a conversation about editorial calendars some time last year! I love this post – thanks for giving more options than just Google calendars. I’d love to see something that will help you remember when to post too.

  5. This is great! Just what I needed. While writing this, I’m printing the calendar, and going to bind it to make it cute!

  6. This is fantastic Ang! I should have been doing this a LONG time ago . Thanks for the tips!
    2011 — the year of organization!!!!

  7. Sybil U. Foreman says:

    And its not hard to do..The Editorial Calendar Content Calendar .The thought of planning a months worth of blog posts may seem a little daunting but seriously its really not that hard. The primary focus of a content calendar is simply to create consistency throughout your blog at all times.

  8. Have I told you today how much you amaze me? You do! Thank you. ~Heidi
    Heidi @ CarolinaDreamz recently posted..I

  9. Thanks for all the info. I’ve been on a hiatus and meaning to post my first one in a long time, and for one reason or another, keep delaying. I’d like to get back on track, and yet not fall behind on my real life responsibilities and goals, either. Thanks for the tools!

  10. I’m trying to use an editorial calendar, but once I’ve written, I suddenly feel like it’s trying to tell me what to do, and then I rebel against it. The inner-teenager in me. I’m getting better though, especially since it looks like I’m about to move house. With all the stuff I’m going to have to do, it’s nice to still have a plan for my blog (and it made me realise I have a lot more post ideas than I thought).

    I created my own simple monthly planner (http://www.cookcleancraft.com/2012/01/free-printable-2012-monthly-planner.html) as I couldn’t find anything that was just what I wanted. I think this is helping me stick to my plan (as silly as that sounds!).
    Narelle @ Cook Clean Craft recently posted..Smiley Face Cake (Chocolate Cake Recipe)

  11. Carla Jo says:

    I don’t have a blog yet, but I really would like to begin one. I am a 50 year old mother of 3 who is raising 3 grandchildren ages 13 and 7 year old twins. I think there are a lot of grandparents out there that are in the same position I am in and need a place to vent and someone to help with the situations that they have rasing grandchildren. So just filling it all out.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] found a great article by Angela England about How to Use Editorial Calendars Effectively in Blogging.  It was complete with links to a downloadable Editorial Calendar for 2012 (by Blog [...]

  2. [...] love having an editorial calendar in place – even if just in general terms – so that I know where I’m heading with [...]

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