How To Create an Editorial Calendar For Your Blog {FREE DOWNLOAD}

One of my favourite bits about a New Year is being able to start fresh calendars, diaries and to-do lists. I love setting goals, making plans, and brainstorming for the year ahead.

For 2018 I have been working on some great plans for my blog and business, a huge part of that is to make sure my content game is strong. I have a gazillion ideas of things I want to share with you (I have possible more ideas than time!) and the only way I can avoid overwhelm is to start a new editorial calendar.

{Free downloadable editorial calendar at the end of this post}

Organising your content will help with productivity, consistency and inspiration. It’s a super useful way to get your thoughts and ideas in order, plus a great way to follow through with your goals.

How to create an editorial calendar

Why You Should Use an Editorial Calendar

By creating an editorial calendar your are able to organise all of your planned content, titles, categories and seasonal trends in one document that will aid you with planning your time for the blog.

1. Avoid Blogger Burnout or Writer’s Block

If you are blogging five times a week (or more!) it can be difficult to maintain momentum. This is especially the case when LIFE happens. Work commitments, loved ones, hobbies, stuff … our lives can get rather busy. Our minds get full.

Sometimes it’s hard to take a step back and think about our content. Sometimes we blog so much we simply burnout. By using an editorial calendar you can plan your content well in advance so that when your mind gets busy your blog will still be consistent.

2. Improve Quality Content

Planning ahead with your content will give you space to think through the topics and have ample time to craft great quality content. I can always tell which of my blog posts were rushed.

By using an editorial calendar I give myself time to add copy and images that improve over time.

3. Consistency

Having a blog schedule or regular series is great for encouraging your readers to return. Some of the best blogs out there are consistent in their blog scheduling, range of content and regular series.

An editorial calendar helps you plan the best times to publish certain types of content and work around other features on your blog.

4. Avoid Repetition

When blogging on a whim you might find you end up with four recipes in a row followed by three outfits and then two opinion pieces. Ok, it might not be much of an issue,  but using an editorial calendar helps you space out content types over a space of time to allow for variety and avoid repetition.

I think this is particularly useful for bloggers who write sponsored posts because it can get a little grating for readers to see post after post that is sponsored.

5. Scheduling

If you want to be super-efficient you might want to write a bunch of your future blog posts all at once. Maybe on a Sunday afternoon you could write all your posts for the week and schedule them in. I find batch blogging a great way to use my time efficiently and keep on top of all my ideas.

An editorial calendar is great for planning and scheduling which helps take the pressure off when you’re super busy.

6. Stay on deadline

This is particularly important if you are a professional blogger – an editorial calendar can help you stay on top of deadlines and make sure your content is published in a timely manner.


How to create an editorial calendar for your blog

How To Create an Editorial Calendar

1. Use the brainstorm

Using the notes you’ve made from the branding exercise and planning your content start thinking about the best way for you to create an editorial calendar.

2. Plan 3 months ahead

To get started, try to use the editorial calendar to plan for the next three months. It doesn’t have to be too detailed at first. But just sketch out how you would like the next three months to look on your blog.

3. Pencil it in 

I use a a basic monthly printout calendar (I just print a blank calendar from my Google Apps) for brainstorming how my content will look for the month.

4. Spreadsheet

For the actual Editorial Calendar I use a spreadsheet on my Google Drive, this is where I detail my schedule for the following three months.

5. Stash your ideas

I keep a running tab of blog post titles for future months, plus I list any sponsored or brand collaborations that I have in the pipeline. And I have another space to add in any holidays, special days, festivals, etc that I might want to cover.

6. Track categories

I use an extra column next to the blog post titles where I list the categories of each post. This is super useful for gauging the spread of variety amongst my posts – something I like to keep relatively diverse as I am a lifestyle blogger.

7. YouTube

As I have a couple of YouTube channels I also list my content ideas on my Editorial Calendar so I can track my content in one place.

8. Highlight

Once I have published or schedule a post I highlight the box with a colour so I can follow my own progress.

9. Next month

Towards the end of each month I transfer any post titles that I didn’t manage to write over to the following month. I also set up a new month tab so I always have 3 months ahead on the go.

10. Flexibility

I like using a spreadsheet for my editorial calendar so that I can see a whole month at a glance, and I can move around post titles easily to slot in new ideas or upcoming brand collaborations.


Editorial Calendar Formats

There are a number of ways you could create an editorial calendar. I recommend trying a few formats until you find the one that works best for you and the way you work.

– Spreadsheet, using Excel or Google Docs (I have shared my template below to help you)

– Google Calendar, using a specified calendar and colour for content

– Paper calendar, either a shop-bought one (I like this one) or a printout

– WordPress plugin

– Whiteboard/Blackboard

The most important part of this process is to figure out with your editorial calendar is the system that will work best for YOU. Digital or paper? Spreadsheets or calendars? There are loads of recommendations out there. The best start is try it and go from there.

I have shared my editorial calendar below to help you on your way. Feel free to adapt it to suit your own needs, and I hope it helps!

FREE EDITORIAL CALENDAR DOWNLOAD HERE (xlsx file)

How do you like to plan your content for your blog?

Do you use an editorial calendar?

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Further Reading:

How To Start A Lifestyle Blog

How to Define Your Blog’s Core Purpose

How To Brand Your Blog 

How to Create a Content Strategy

10 Things Missing From Your About Page

Blogger Finance Spreadsheet

My Blogging Resources

33 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Blogging

Blogger Code of Ethics

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