When I started blogging I would blog about any topic that took my fancy that day. I was a moody Blogger – in that, I blogged about whatever took my mood. I was addicted to blogging. I loved waking up in the morning and thinking about what to blog about that day. I still do to a certain extent. I might think about blog topics in advance and I might have reams of lists and post it notes and calendars everywhere. But I do love to blog on a whim. However, using an editorial calendar has helped my blog in so many ways that I want to share five key reasons why an editorial calendar will help a Blogger.
5 Reasons to Use an Editorial Calendar
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. And 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.
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 3 outfits and then two rants. 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.
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. An editorial calendar is great for planning and scheduling which helps take the pressure off when you’re super busy.
How to use an Editorial Calendar
If you’re a wordpress.org user I highly recommend the Editorial Calendar Plugin. It is brilliant for seeing a great snapshot of the month ahead. You can drag and drop posts. And you can add in blog titles in seconds. I love it.
Otherwise you can try using a spreadsheet on excel or google docs to plan out your content for the week, month or year ahead.
I also use my Google Calendar for bigger blogging project such as Blog Every Day in November which needs a whole month of detailed planning to share.
I use an editorial calendar as a guide; I still like the spontaneous element of Blogging. Sometimes I just want to blog about whatever I’m in the mood for that day. For me, using an editorial calendar is a balancing act between efficiency and spontaneity – both I think are valuable in blogging.