Posting quality content frequently and consistently is one of the biggest challenges of maintaining a good blog. Keeping an editorial calendar can greatly increase your blog’s chances for success by enabling you to plan and track your content strategically. Here are some tips to keep in mind in order to effectively manage and organize your editorial calendar.
- Access to calendar: If you’re working with more than one person on a blog, have the editorial calendar uploaded on one central location, such as a Google Calendar or Drive. This enables other users that have access to the file to edit it and add new ideas at a moment’s notice. If it’s just you working on the blog, it’s still great to have a copy of the editorial calendar living online so it’s always readily available.
- Sync to mobile calendar: If you aren’t checking your calendar frequently, you could be missing important information or deadlines that are coming up. If you sync the calendar to your phone, you can set alerts or reminders so you never miss a beat.
- Deadlines: If you plan to publish a certain number of posts per week, an editorial calendar will help you keep publishing dates consistent. For example, if Tuesdays and Thursdays will be your main posting dates, put those two days down in your calendar as deadlines. If necessary, make the deadlines red so they stand out. It’s easier to keep track of publishing your content when you see it highlighted in front of you on a calendar.
- Content: This seems like a no-brainer, but if you don’t have ideas for future posts clearly written out, then it might become difficult to keep up with the main theme or idea of your blog. The content of your blog is the structure of your blog. If you have inconsistent content, your blog will be a random, jumbled mess of posts. Jot down notes for what you plan to write about at least a month in advance.
- Purpose: Always keep a solid reminder as to why you’re writing about that particular subject and the audience for which you’re writing. For every post you plan on publishing, make a note for yourself below it that tells you the audience and purpose of that particular post. This helps you decide whether the content is suitable for the overall theme of your blog.
- Keep notes when on-the-go: If you’re old school, carrying around a small notebook and a pen is great for those spontaneous bursts of inspiration. When you’re on the go and don’t have your computer near you, make sure to write it down in the notebook and later add it to your calendar. Alternatively, if you’ve synced your editorial calendar to your smart phone, you can input notes on the calendar right from your phone. Whichever way you do it, just make sure you always have an accessible place to write down those ideas! There’s nothing worse than getting a great idea and forgetting it five minutes later.
- Social media: If you’re going to be promoting your blog on social media sites, be sure to include a separate category on your editorial calendar for tweets, status updates, etc. For example, you can include a light blue category as a reminder to post on Twitter that day, or a dark blue category to post on Facebook. Include what you’ll be posting so its available when you need it.
- Images: Gather photos in advance for every blog post you plan on publishing. This eliminates having to search last-minute for the right photo to go along with the blog post, which can be stressful when the deadline is an hour away. Don’t forget to include any links to the original source of the photo, unless its your own.
- Tags/SEO: This can easily be overlooked when planning content for a blog post. Make sure you list all the tags or SEO keywords you plan to use, that way you can save time by having them available on the calendar and transferring them directly into your blog post.
Although we do admit that it’s a bit time consuming in the beginning, creating an editorial calendar will help keep you and your blog on track. Once you already have a calendar established, you will find it much easier to keep all of your content organized.