Editorial Calendar was something I mentioned in almost every single post. I emphasized the importance of having an editorial calendar but I never created a post on how to do it. In this post, you will find five steps on building an editorial calendar, a section on how to actually build an editorial calendar, and some extra tips.
decide on a platform
Deciding a platform is the first step to creating an efficient editorial calendar. I currently use two platforms at the same time – Google Spreadsheet and CoSchedule. Oh, I also use OneNote to keep the drafts of my posts.
Google Spreadsheet is free and OneNote has a free version online that you could use. However, CoSchedule is a paid platform that you need to purchase every month. You can start a free trial for fourteen days without a credit card here.
You can also use a simple notebook to keep track of your posts. It works for some people, but it doesn’t work for others. I like to keep my editorial calendar online so that I can access it and write on it quickly. If you’re going to use a notebook, I definitely recommend using a graphed notebook.
create a schedule
How many times do you want to post a week? Do you want to post every how many days?
Ask yourself these questions that decide on what you want to do. When creating a schedule, you cannot be too hard on yourself. If you set yourself to overwork, you’ll easily be stressed and fall behind. Set a realistic schedule that you know you can keep.
I really recommend setting a very loose schedule at once – posting once a week was that for me. When you think you can handle more, decrease your days in between publish dates. From seven days (one week), make it to five days, then whatever you want. I currently post every three days and even though it’s a little hard at times, it works for me.
create a set of rules
Making rules for yourself is very important so that you don’t overwork yourself. It also helps to have rules not to limit yourself, but to remind you to write a post on a specific day. For me, even though I don’t have a set date when I write posts, I always tell myself to have at least three posts scheduled. That means I have 9 days to write three more posts and having this rule helps me to actually get up on those days and write a post.
Maybe you say that every Friday night will be a ‘writing day’. I actually did that until I overwhelmed myself with extracurricular activities. In the summer, I said that every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday night would be dedicated to blogging and/or writing. Having these rules helps you to build a solid schedule for planning your content.
build a list of categories
One thing I regret not doing (even after creating an editorial calendar) was not building a list of categories and tags. When I use my editorial calendar, I like inserting the categories and tags that I think fits that post. However, I sometimes get confused on which is a category and which is not – there are a few categories I rarely use. Having a list of categories helps you to clearly categorize all the posts in the editorial calendar.
focus on the important stuff
What is important to you? To me, I like to include whether this post will be sponsored or affiliated so that I remember to put a disclaimer. I also like to know if I’ve scheduled the post so that I know what post I should work on next. Next to the schedule section, I like having a ‘published’ section so that I know if that post if published or not. Define a few of these important stuff you think you want to include in you editorial calendar.
build the editorial calendar
You don’t have to follow these exact tips to create your editorial calendar. You can definitely tweak them and make them your own.
The first step to actually building the calendar is to obviously create a spreadsheet document. Then, on the most left side of the columns, write ‘Date’ – this will be the day your post is published.
Then, next to ‘Date’, write Title and this will be the column where you keep you titles. If you’re using Google, You can click on the right line next to letter ‘B’ to drag the column to the right to make it longer.
Now, do the same for ‘Categories’ and ‘Tags’ if you wish.
The next steps are pretty much self explanatory – add in the stuff that you thought as important.
It’s so important to actually use this calendar – I found myself going to this calendar every day, but I’ve heard that there were people who never went to their calendar. If you are one of them, I suggest creating an alarm on specific days to remind yourself to go to your editorial calendar.
If you open your blog to write a post, open your editorial calendar. This way, you’ll feel way more organized than just trying to write a post from blank.
I also like to use my editorial calendar for post inspiration – look at the previous posts you wrote and think of ways you can explain further or answer different questions. As for travel posts, I use my old travel posts to make a “# Day Itinerary For Blank” or something similar. I mean, you can’t blame me since I’m a student and I can’t travel much.
I really hope that these tips have helped you to create a more efficient editorial calendar – or even start one. I’m so in love with editorial calendars and I’m genuinely interested in creating a platform myself. I’m currently looking for ways to find a way to create an editorial calendar that is easy to use, efficient, and available for anyone.