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Using a Blog Editorial Calendar to Plan Content

Excel Editorial Calendar
If you’re the type of blogger who needs (or likes) a bit of structure and planning in your blogging activities you might like to check out the Editorial Calendar that Andy has put together to help you map a rhythm for your blog.

I will say that this sort of strategy is not for everyone but I do know of a number of bloggers who swear by using this type of tool to keep their blog’s frequently updated with a variety of interesting posts.

Andy was inspired to come up with this calendar by his recent interview with Yvonne from Lipsticking. He describes her suggestion as follows:

“In that call, she suggests bloggers use an editorial calendar to keep their blogging on track throughout the week: pick a topic to cover for each day of the week and stick to it. That way, there’s no friction in figuring out what to post for a given day. You can choose certain topics for each day of the week, a certain category to post in, a certain type of post format (interivew, top 10 list, etc). The important part is that you are removing another brick of potential writer’s block.”

While I don’t find a rigid schedule helpful on any of my blogs I’ve recommended it for a number of bloggers who have suffered from bloggers block. It’s especially good for new bloggers who are not yet in the rhythm of posting regularly and who need a little motivation and inspiration each day to get things going.

The other side benefit that Yvonne spoke about in her recent interview with Andy was that she found that some of her readers loved her weekly cycle and would come to the blog each day knowing what they’d find and enjoying the regular features.

Once again – it’s not for everyone but worth playing with if you struggle with a more random approach.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Andy Wibbels says:

    Thnx for the linky-loo, Darren.

  2. Alan says:

    I just downloaded it and it looks like a great tool. I spend some of the day just trying to figure out which blogs I should update…I’m not one to plan ahead as well as I should.

    Of course since the nice folks at Blogger deleted all my blogs today I’ll first have to spend some time rebuilding them.

  3. Thats a great idea. There seems to be a connection between regular updates and readership. When I stagger my posts rather than puting them all out there at once, I seem to get better readership.

  4. Ian McKenzie says:

    I’ve been scratching out planning notes in a little notebook since the beginning of the year. This looks like it could be quite helpful, especially if I synchronize it to my Palm with Documents To Go for portability.

  5. My .02 — an editorial calendar/structure is helpful to the single blogger, but in my experience, it is necessary when you have a group blog. Otherwise somedays you have lots of posts and other days nothing. It also helps the contributors understand their role, and exactly what is expected.

  6. raj says:

    I’m noticing cycles in the types of blogging techniques I use. Maybe I’ve missed it, but I’d be interested in hearing, Darren, whether you’ve discarded techniques only to later re-adopt them.

    When I first started blogging regularly last summer (around June 2005), I used an MS-Excel spreadsheet to map out a blog calendar. I used it regularly for the first 2.5 months, to motivate myself.

    After I took about 3 weeks off from blogging (but not researching) in Sep 2005, I found that the calendar was no longer helpful. It had become a restraint rather than a motivation. (This despite the fact that I used an editorial calendar when I both edited and published various print magazines in the 1990s.)

    Now, in late January, I’ve realized that I’m not posting anywhere nearly as many entries per day as I did when I used a calendar. I dropped from about 10-12 posts daily over 4-8 blogs, down to about 3-5 daily now, across about 4 blogs – way below what I’d like to be doing.

    Now, Andy’s version of an editorial calendar looks more structured than mine, in a good way. So I’m thinking of giving it a try once again, hoping I can increase not so much my daily post frequency per blog, but rather the number of blogs posted to daily.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] about keeping organized with diaries, calendars and schedules numerous times before (here, here, here and here for starters) – but in each of these cases the diary idea has been to help you plan [...]

  2. [...] you plan your weekly topics, or just shoot from the hip? Consider an editorial calendar to plan your posting schedule, not only through the week, but through the year as well. Having a [...]