BLOGGING, Blogging TIPS | May 19, 2010

What an Editorial Calendar Can Do for Bloggers

action cahier by behance

The way that lifestyle blogs, magazines and the style section of newspapers manage their editorial calendar is not that different after all. It’s true that blogs tend to view their editorial calendar on a short time basis versus the yearly scope of traditional media. It is probably due to the fact that bloggers talks about what is hot right now. But when we think about it, bloggers also work on a yearly calendar. Holidays, seasons and the timing of new collections often dictate when we will discuss many topics.

Aim for Better Content

First of all, planning a 12-month editorial calendar is useful if you want to run monthly series based on specific topics. Think about how magazines design an issue around one main topic. Letting your readers know in advance that some of your posts will concentrate on a topic can generate a buzz. The same is true if each day of the week is allocated to a specific type of post. Both methods can help you grow the right audience.

Brands or readers have a better idea of when and which stories to pitch you. It gives you more time to research and to develop outstanding posts, to find experts that will deliver inspiring interviews or answer key questions. It can help you to determine who can be a guest blogger. You can plan ahead the events that you wish to attend. In short, an editorial calendar can make you more efficient and will enable you to focus on what you are doing, and on where your blog is heading.

Planning an editorial calendar does not mean that you give up the spontaneity that bloggers are known for. Many posts will continue to be about what inspire you today or will highlight your opinion on what is making the headlines on the blogosphere. As your blog matures, you need to find the right balance between planning and the inspiration of the moment; especially when you hire writers.

Can Increase Your Ad Revenues

You can potentially make more money because the advertisers will be able to align their ads with the monthly topic. This could lead to more effective results and increase your chances that the advertisers book more ad spaces. Your sales team will be equipped to reach out to the best suited advertisers for your audience. They can suggest to host specific giveaways, run contests, and other promotional campaigns. Finally, it sends the message that you are serious about what you are doing.

And like anything else, you will get better with practice. If you find it hard to write at a set interval, developing an editorial calendar will push you towards consistency. Every blogger does not necessarily need to keep an editorial calendar. This post was about exploring if that can be a good idea for you. For the ones who keep an editorial catalog, I’m curious to know how you develop your editorial calendar and which tool(s) you use to maintain it.

+ photo: Action Cahier by Behance

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9 Responses to “What an Editorial Calendar Can Do for Bloggers”

  1. I have an editorial calendar for my food reviews blog. It works great – but I could do better. I have review ‘theme’ weeks and then I add a review to each day, fitting along that theme. I usually (umm … should) check to see if there are any food o health holidays that correspond with a particular month or week, and schedule reviews accordingly. Eg. the week before and of Valentines Day, I might have a sugar free candy theme week. I have reviews scheduled a few months in advance (but I do tend to shift them around a lot).

  2. Great idea, had not thought about it. I write down articles I may write for another site in calendar form but not for my blog. Definitely should start to do it.

  3. What an informative post! I’m now inspired to work on a better structure for my blog and start planning an editorial calendar! Thank you!

  4. Evelyne and Kim: Keep me posted on how it works out for you.

  5. I toyed with several different formats before settling down on a 12-week calendar done in paper-and-pen (and post-it). Here’s a photo:
    http://tweetphoto.com/15285663

    I made the calendar myself in Photoshop (couldn’t find the perfect kind online). At the bottom of the day boxes, I note important events (holidays, big events like the Superbowl, movie and TV premieres…anything I could potentially write about). On the post-its are proposed topics for that day. Since things get bumped all the time, I prefer writing the topics in a moveable format. After a post is written, I write the topic in the square directly on the calendar. At the end of three weeks, I print a new calendar page and the existing ones get moved up the wall (or in this case, a cabinet). The old page gets saved in a folder.

    I was surprised that this ended up being my system, since I’m normally all about going paperless and digital, but so far this has been really effective!

  6. What an Editorial Calendar Can Do for Bloggers http://bit.ly/cOqW38 #in

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  7. Thanks for this post Kim! I initially found your interview on Blog Out Loud and wanted to check out your other two websites. I have been mainly organizing my posts by a few months at a time, but I see that it’s not a very long-term approach to my blog (I have two different kinds, too – a food/travel blog and a relationships blog). I’m going to dedicate my next weekend to figuring out a more long-term approach. I look forward to reading more of your posts!

  8. I’ve always known proper planning to be a good idea. The sad thing is that I preach to my clients to have the very editorial schedule I don’t do. ; ) Now, since the advice is not my own anymore, but from you, I’ve begun that calendar-which will now really come in handy given I’m writing for two blogs. Thanks!!

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