Should a Blogger have an Editorial Calendar?
Posted by Nischala
For a long time in my journey as a blogger, I used to publish posts on my blogs as soon as I finished them. As a consequence, there were times when I published 30 posts in a week, and there were times when I did not publish a single post for several weeks.
As I observed fellow bloggers, studied their blogs and analyzed the blogging patters of some really successful blogs, I realized that many bloggers published regularly at a specific frequency – Like one post every day OR a Guest Post every Wednesday, etc. Some were even punctual about the times like 8 AM or 7 PM. And most importantly, this information was published on their blogs. So as a reader I knew when I could find an update on their blogs. At times, there were deviations to this schedule – but this was always communicated to the readers through the blog itself.
I wondered how they were able to maintain and plan their blogging schedule so well.. And that’s when I learnt of a blogger’s Editorial Calendar
So what’s an Editorial Calendar for a Blogger?
Essentially, it is a calendar in which you as a blogger identify the frequency, dates and topics on which you will blog about for a specified duration – can be month, quarter or year.
The Editorial Calendar should have:
1) Topic of the post
2) Date on which you will publish a post
3) Date by which you should have the draft ready – including any links, images, videos, podcasts, etc.
4) Date by which the post should be reviewed by you / someone else (if applicable)
Where should you draw up your Editorial Calendar?
I recommend Microsoft Excel, but you can use whatever tool you like. You need to set reminders (Email alert, SMS, Calendar reminder, etc.) for yourself so that you are able to work as per your plan.
Should you share this with your readers?
Well that’s your choice. In my view, the single most important reason to publish your calendar is that you are making a public commitment to yourself, your blog and your readers [It’s like the difference between dating someone and putting on the wedding ring ;)]. And then you plan and work to honor the commitment. It does not really matter why you are blogging (for fun or money or whatever!) – You will definitely benefit from drawing up your own editorial calendar because it brings focus and discipline to your blogging efforts
Many bloggers do expose key information especially with respect to Dates and Topics on their blog. For e.g.: I personally liked the way Margie Clayman has launched a new series in 2012 called An Alphabet of Marketing Myths . In this series, Margie will be posting for 26 weeks every Monday on topics which she has listed on her blog – I loved her creativity on the choice of topics. On a separate note, if you have any interest in Social Media & Marketing, I recommend a visit to Margie’s blog - You will learn or laugh or go back wiser :)
My Mantras for a Bloggers Editorial Calendar
1) When I draw up my editorial calendar, I look to see if there are any specific global events / holidays / celebrations / festivals which can be the central theme / topics for my posts. For e.g: In Feb, there’s Valentine’s Day. In March, there’s Women’s Day. In May, there’s Mother’s Day.
2) I usually plan my Editorial Calendar on a monthly basis. Since I run several blogs of my own, what I really decide is how many posts I will publish on each of my blogs every week. This is especially important for me since I also feature as a guest blogger on several blogs of global repute and I am able to sign-up for about 2 -4 guest posts / month – That way I am able to blog about a range of topics and reach a diverse reader base
3) One of the key benefits of having an editorial calendar is that it helps me zero-in on the blog topics well in advance and gives me a sense of the time I would need to set-aside for blogging. Also, if I need to do some research, I know what I should read or learn about. If I need to have discussions with others, I can plan and schedule them accordingly
4) It is advisable to review your editorial calendar once a week – to take stock of the progress you are making towards achieving your targets & if any course-correction is required with respect to the blog content or dates
Ending Words of Wisdom
- It’s advisable and valuable for any blogger to compile an Editorial Calendar
- My Mantra’s for Blogging
Additional Suggested Readings on a Blogger’s Editorial Calendar
What’s an Editorial Calendar?
How to Build a Blog Editorial Calendar Even If You Don’t Know Where to Start
Why Creating an Editorial Calendar Should Be a Priority
How to develop your editorial calendar?