How to Make an Editorial Calendar & Why You Need One.

PinteresteditorialcalSo maybe that is a little bit of an exaggeration but at the same time, as my life has been insane and crazed, a calendar has kept me sane, consistent, and definitely been a part of how this blog continues to grow. I have tried many things. I’ve bought templates. I’ve used my own personal planner. I tried going digital. This is what works best for me and I honestly think it will work for many of you too. Why? Because I have told a few bloggy friends about it and they too have adapted it and love it as well. Also, it’s not ingenious so I’m also probably not the only person who does it this way.

First, let’s talk about why a blogger needs an editorial calendar then I’ll show you show you what I do and why this works best for me and for some other folks. In no particular order:

1. Responsibilities

This blog has that. Yes, it’s true. I have sponsors that I want to take care of and make sure there is space for them. I must show my sponsors love or I shouldn’t have sponsors. Right? This also helps me to make sure the sponsors get the most out of their experience here and at the same time, maintain the integrity of blog. I want it all to feel very organic. Meanwhile, if there is ever sponsored content (and I hope you know I say no more than I say yes; it has to fit this blog and me), that also needs to be scheduled in. Both of these responsibilities often have due dates that I want to follow. Which bring me to:

2. Link Ups

Who has ever been reading their daily blogs and come to a link up they knew about but somehow in the midst of, you know, daily real real life, forgot about it? Me. All the time. I can avoid that with this calendar system. (For the record, I still miss link ups that I want to join because I forget dates so clearly I need a calendar.)

3. Ideas + Content

Do you struggle to come up with content? You won’t when you see how this editorial calendar system works.

4. Growing the Blog + Big Picture

I have the whole month in front of me. The way the color coding system works I can tell if I have two sponsored posts in one week (ick!) and move things around. I can also keep track of what features do well.

5. Flexibility + Organization

You’ll see.

IMG_7977So what do you need?

-a calendar of some sort (I have found something that lays completely flat is what I personally like best)

-post-its to fit your calendar, multi colored (I find the tabs ones fit my calendar best but seriously to each her own)

-a pen

That is it.

So this is how you start from scratch.

IMG_79791. Designate a color to a feature or a topic. All of my sponsors (my daisy, rosie, and peony lovers) are one color. Anything food related is another. Lately, any time I write about violence against women I use another color. This is not just for organizational’s sake. This is so at a glance I can see…Am I posting three times a week about food? The thing is, it helps you stay on target for what your blog is (more on this coming up later in this series). If this was a recipe blog or a cooking blog that would be great, but I post on a variety of topics so that wouldn’t be wise.

2.Write down blog ideas on post-its (if starting from scratch) and place them on the side of the calendar | If this is your second month doing this, start with the ideas you didn’t use from last month, moving those to the side of the calendar for the next month. Don’t forget any responsibilities you have. I like to write those down first.

3. Place your responsibilities first. This is just my preference. I don’t want them to fall through the cracks and there are certain days I prefer to post on. So you’ll see that I place my yellowish greenish post-its first. This may seem as if I am beholden to those posts. It actually is the opposite. It frees me up to see all the possibilities.

4. Place post-its with link ups you want to join that month.

5. Go to town with the rest of your ideas.

Here is the great part. I always have post-its left over. They just don’t fit for whatever reason. I leave those on the side for the next month. Meanwhile, sometimes throughout the month, there may be a day I don’t adhere to the calendar which is 100% completely fine. For example, on this day: I needed to be realWhich is so beyond fine. It’s actually great. Because the post that was “scheduled” that day simply moves to next month’s possibilities. No ideas are going to fall through the cracks of your brain. Or maybe my brain is the only one with crack.

Maybe you hear about a link up later in the month. Great! Create a post-it and play around the with scheduling, moving the post-its. The possibilities are endless.

editorial1

Someday I may be more inspired to write about something that isn’t on the calendar or is on the calendar on another day. I’m not rigid. I go with my gut and post about what I am inspired about. I take that post-it that I didn’t use and switch it out with something for the month or I put it on the side with my ideas, knowing I will get to it.

I love the post-its because I found myself scratching a lot of things out and erasing things whenever I wrote directly on a calendar and that was just annoying. I couldn’t keep things straight. I lost ideas in those brain crevices I mentioned earlier. Now I don’t. When I am planning the month, I usually have too many ideas and often have to make choices. And then I would say probably at least 5 times throughout the month I post on something I never planned on or made a post-it for.

When you’ve placed your post-its at the beginning of the month, you (I) am aware things will change but at least I have a big picture of what the idea will look like and that’s important when it comes to the mission of your blog and growing your readership. And, also? It honestly just makes me feel like I am on target for myself and why I have this blog.

What works for you? I’d love to hear your ideas or if you’ll give this a try…I’d love to hear that too!

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58 thoughts on “How to Make an Editorial Calendar & Why You Need One.

  1. Annabel

    Great post 🙂 I love the organisation behind Editorial Calendars, and have been working on mine for awhile – but I’m not so good at sticking to it yet! I need to get better at writing posts in advance, and scheduling everything beforehand, instead of on the day…

    1. Nina Post author

      I do a combination of both but really, if I do it any later than the night before I am scrambling and I don’t love that feeling…haha

  2. Carly Blogs Here

    These are all great tips Nina! I use my calendar on my computer and have had the best luck at sticking with that, I’ve just recently not done very well at planning posts as far in advance!

    1. Nina Post author

      I have to plan in advance because my days are so busy! I think different things work for different people. 🙂

  3. Julia Strong

    This is awesome, thank you so much for sharing! I am very new to blogging and while I don’t have sponsors or anything like that to schedule, it’s great to see a simple system for scheduling posts and keeping track!

    1. Nina Post author

      I would use this with or without sponsors. It keeps me from running out of ideas and organized (which i am not naturally LOL)

  4. Rachel @ Rachel Rewritten

    What a great idea! I’ve just been writing my post ideas in the blanks, but never thought to put them on post-its. Genius, since I’m always rearranging and messing up my pretty, organized planner. Love this!

  5. Jaelan @ making mrs. m

    This is amazing. I started doing something similar (minus the color coordination) a few weeks ago and it has really helped keep me on track. I think I need to get some of the little sticky tabs to use now, though.

    1. Nina Post author

      I would use this even without sponsors because I am not naturally organized and this keeps my blog and vision clear. It also makes sure I never lose ideas. But with sponsors it is a must because I want to do right by them.

  6. Biana Perez

    I like having my month laid out too – I use the month view in my planner and plan it that way and always right in pencil since they could move around!! I like the post it idea too…because well I love office supplies lol!

    1. Nina Post author

      I love office supplies too! I tried pencil but what I like about this is I don’t have to erase ideas I can just move them around or save them. 🙂

  7. sarah

    I love this and I am definitely trying it! I have just started using a calendar over the last three months and it has helped tremendously…..but writing and then scratching things out and drawing arrows all over the place is messy and causes me stress. My brain can’t handle the mess! haha. This looks like it’ll solve my problem perfectly. 🙂

  8. Cassie

    I have been trying to get better about writing down blog related things (perpetual link-up forgetter here) but I just can’t seem to get it down. I’m hoping when my new Erin Condren planner arrives I will love it so much that I will be better about it!

  9. Kate

    What a great idea! I’m currently using a planner and I like it, (it’s my first month trying the planner method) but I think next month I’m going to try the post it’s for post ideas and linkups. Need to grow my blog first, then I can add sponsors 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    1. Nina Post author

      I would use this even without sponsors. And I use a regular planner, just instead of writing directly on it, I use the post it because I change my mind a lot.

  10. Pamela of alittleglitter.com

    Thank you for this! I went through a period where my blog was totally disorganized. I was missing link ups. It was bad. I have been using my May Book and it is very helpful. I am going to apply your system to it and see how it works out for me. I love blogger how-to posts. Please keep them coming!

    1. Nina Post author

      Oh, I’m so glad you like them. I’ve only done one before and I don’t consider myself an expert but when a few friends adopted this and liked it I thought I would share…

  11. Jessica

    Oh, I SO needed this! Getting back into blogging after a few years of “taking a break” and I have felt a little lost with what to post and when. This is exactly what my blog needed. Thank you for sharing… I already have my post it notes out! 😉

  12. Mia @ MakeMeUpMia

    You’re awesome!! I use my planner, but I just put ideas on 1 big post it that I keep in the front. I LOVE the idea of using the little post its so you can move them around. Thanks!

  13. Rebecca

    This is perfect. I’ve been using post-it’s in my EC planner but I never thought about using different colors or leaving the idea ones on the side. Thank you Thank you!

  14. Shenine joon

    Ooooh I love this idea, so great! I already have the post-its so I just need a calendar! Actually I think I’ll just print some off from outlook so I can start right away!

  15. Susan

    Great tips! Love that you use post-its! I am so OCD about my calendar I hate having to scratch stuff out! I will have to give the post-its a shot! 🙂

  16. Faith

    I loved this Nina!! I think I might be using a version of this soon! So I do have a question though. Linkups! How many do you participate in a month? Just curious! 🙂

    1. Nina Post author

      I’m glad you like it. Right now it is working for me. How many link ups I participate in has definitely changed over time. I would say about 5 a month right now because I always do a link up on fridays and then throw in 1-2 other through out the month. This month one of those is this vlog thing….;)

      1. Faith

        Cool!! Thanks for the info! And yea…I saw you were participating in that really cool vlog thing! Lolol! I heard somebody ….. Called you out or something?? Craziness! LOL!

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