I have been working furiously all week on my big holiday gift guide. It’s still set to launch on Monday, but it’s a ton of work. I’ve been up till after 3AM every night this week trying to get everything finalized. Hence why this post is going up a littleee later than usual.
But better late than never, right?
This post – my latest installment of my Blogging Basics series – is all about blog editorial calendar. AKA how I planned to do this post. I’ve used an editorial calendar for my blog for the past two years… and it has completely changed how I plan and create content.
What I’m Wearing:
Sweater: J.Crew / Cape: Ann Taylor / Pants: J.Crew / Boots: Tory Burch (similar)
Bag: Brahmin, old (similar) / Earrings: Amazon / Rings: BaubleBar, BaubleBar / Nail Polish: Essie
Through blogging, I’ve made a ton of friends. I call these girls my “blogger besties”. Recently, while chatting with one of my blogger besties, I discovered that she doesn’t use a blog editorial calendar. As a result, there is no consistency to her content posting – whether it be on social media or on the blog. She writes when she feels inspired… but, even then, there might not be a backlog of outfits from which she can choose.
After I showed my friend my blog editorial calendar, she quickly agreed to let me set her up with her very own editorial calendar. Because it is a total life changer.
Why You Should Be Using a Blog Editorial Calendar
A blog editorial calendar is basically a calendar to help you plan and keep track of your editorial content for your blog. When sponsored posts should go live, when you need to schedule photoshoots, when the special dates like Cyber Monday, Black Friday, and other sales and holidays occur. You can use an editorial calendar to plan seasonal content and create a timeline for a recurring series (like my Blogging Basics series!).
But you can also take it a step further: I plan all of my content (outfits, post titles, and SEO keywords) roughly six weeks in advance. Yes, that means that I already have everything set for the rest of 2017. Insane, I know. But that also means I can focus on writing and creating great content instead of on trying to figure out what to post and when.
I also have reminders in my editorial calendar. Reminders about sponsorship requirements. Reminders about when to place orders for clothes in order to have them in time for my photoshoots. And – perhaps most importantly – when to start using certain keywords to improve SEO leading up to events like Cyber Monday and Black Friday.
How to Set Up Your Blog Editorial Calendar
There are tons of possibilities for creating your own blog editorial calendar. There are apps you can use (I’ve heard great things about CoSchedule), you can make your own spreadsheet, or you can even easily transform a paper planner into an editorial planner. I personally prefer to work digitally, so I can easily move things around. As a result, I use Google Drive for my blog editorial calendar.
In Google Drive, there are a handful of pre-made templates. I recommend either using the Schedule template or the Calendar template – both found in the Google Sheets section of your drive. I actually use both of these in tandem. The Calendar to plan my blog content, and the Schedule to plan my social media content. Both of these templates are easily shareable so I can share them with my intern and we both see the same information. One could use solely the Schedule or the Calendar to plan all of their editorial content on the same screen, but I actually prefer having them separated.
Once you choose your editorial calendar, it’s time to fill it in. In case you’ve never noticed, there’s a pattern to what I post on the blog. Mondays and Thursdays are always outfits, but with a variety of content topics. Wednesdays are Blogging Basics posts (with outfits). And Tuesdays are typically shopping roundups. Fill in your calendar with your content… and try to create as many patterns as possible. For instance, my friend Anna does “Tiny Tuesdays“, featuring her kiddos. Nita does Monday Moments, through which she answers readers’ questions and shares what’s going on in her life. There are patterns to their blog content, and those days tend to be their top traffic drivers.
Finally, a calendar only works if you use it… so make sure you maintain it. I access my blog editorial calendar literally every single day. I tweak keywords, I move things around, I basically use it to plan out my whole life. Go forth and be organized!