Blogging Tip: Use An Editorial Calendar

by Randy Murray on October 7, 2010

For many, publishing a blog is a stream of consciousness event. Something occurs to the writer, they dash it off in a streak of enthusiasm, and they immediately publish it. I’ve advised against this and have written about the benefits of writing, waiting, and editing.

There’s an important tool that has been used by newspapers and magazines from the beginning of both and can provide those of us who blog with a great deal of power and flexibility: the editorial calendar.

It’s a very simple tool. It’s simply a schedule of what is planned for publication on a specific date and time. An editorial calendar can help you do a number of important things. The first, and easiest, is to simply make sure you have something to publish on a regular schedule. I publish Monday through Friday, but some publish less frequently. Being able to look at your calendar and confirm that you have something ready to go, on your scheduled dates, is very handy.

But I believe the more important use of the editorial calendar is to plan WHAT you are going to publish. It allows you to plan ahead, develop themes, and to expand on a topic over time. Using a calendar also lets you look back in time and see when you covered topics and when it might be good to reinforce or repeat it. It is a very useful tool.

It’s not hard and it requires no special tools. You can do it with a pen and paper or on whatever online calendar you currently use. I publish this blog and use the very convenient (and free!) WordPress Editorial Calendar. Not only can I plan out my posts, but I can also drag and drop them to rearrange their publishing dates. I highly recommend it.

Using a calendar doesn’t have to mean that the calendar controls you or what you publish. It’s a planning tool. And plans change. But having a map, a shape of what you want to write about and share with the world, is very powerful. You can always write and publish something topical and shift your calendar around – magazines and newspapers do that constantly. But having the calendar and your plan means that you always have something to move, rather than being in a constant scramble to find something new to post.

The Blogging Tip: Use An Editorial Calendar by Randy Murray, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 James Shelley October 7, 2010 at 10:05 pm

I have been on a scheduled writing routine for quite a while now, but had never heard of the WordPress Editorial Calendar until you mentioned it here. Thanks for the link!


2 Randy Murray October 8, 2010 at 7:26 am

You’re welcome! It’s a very nice piece of free software.


3 Jim Raffel October 8, 2010 at 6:54 pm

Thanks for the link love. I also LOVE editorial calendar. It helps keep me on track.


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