From big-time bloggers to industry experts, maintaining an editorial calendar is noted as one of the key elements of running a successful blog and avoiding burnout. I have to admit that I have always struggled with the idea. I would start, download the latest app/printable and plan for a couple of weeks and then get just stop.
I have now been operating an editorial calendar for the last few weeks and I thought I would share the things that work well for me, as well as the tips I’ve learned along the way.
1. Mindmap Blog Topics
Make a list of as many topics as you can think of. Being a craft blogger, I try to have a balance of personal posts, updates on where I have articles or patterns appearing, tutorials and posts pointing to other sites and patterns I love. I keep a running list on my phone that I add to when I think of something.
2. Create a Schedule
Blogging on set days can help readers know to expect when your posts will be live. Or look at your diary, what days work well for you to either write and then publish posts immediately or schedule them for the future. Think about seasonality, about what’s happening in the world and other calendar events in your industry.
3. Match your list to your schedule
Using your mind map, start scheduling posts in. Its important to think about upcoming events and holidays to get a sense of any seasonal topics that may be appropriate, or keeping an eye on when you know you will be busy. If you are planning product launches, try to coninside with your highest traffic day of the week and as close to a pay day as possible.
I put all of mine in a special Google Calendar for my blog. This allows me to see blog posts against our own family schedule as well as my rather important and all powerful “DEADLINE” calendar.
4. Once you have the big picture, get into the details.
I have set up a IFTTT that instantly transfers my blog post topics in Google Calendar to a task list in Todoist, my to do app of choice. From there, I add sub tasks relating to that post – photography, writing, publishing, and promoting. Then its time to do the work.
5. Don’t fret it if it doesn’t work.
I started my editorial calendar and then immediately fell behind. I think this is where I fell down previously. I just always felt like a failure when things slipped. For me, this step has been crucial for getting me back on track and up and running again. I just rejog my schedule and carry on from there.
Do you use an editorial calendar? How do you manage it? We’d love to hear your top tips!