Do you have an editorial calendar? An editorial calendar isn’t just for bloggers or an online magazine. You can also use it when creating contents for YouTube. After the past few months, I can safely say that a good flexible calendar is a great tool.
I repeat. A good editorial calendar is a good solid flexible way to keep on track with the job of content creation. I have a reason for empathizing that one word.
My reason has a lot to do with my writing style and my learning to keep a schedule. I’m also hoping to share some tips that could be of value to you.
Between the image of the signpost and the offer of tips, you are likely thinking of a straight forward article. Though I have done software reviews, straight forward writing is not my natural style. My writing style is more conversational and storytelling. This style is perfect for blogs like Inspiration Point.
Though I am not a true free spirit, I do like the idea of writing with the flow. It is one reason that my blog site contains a wide variety of articles on so many topics. According to the experts, my site lacked a clear focus and direction. In the beginning, they would be correct. It’s why I did not immediately take to an editorial calendar. My blog site is now, eight years old.
An editorial calendar can help in maintaining your focus; however, there is a step that you need to take. Before I could create a calendar in an Excel spreadsheet, I needed to decide on the main eight categories. A calendar will not help if you don’t have an idea of what you’re going to cover on your blog site or YouTube channel.
Thankfully, I had developed a writing history and I could see what my readers wanted. With tools like Google Analytics and WordPress’ Site Stats, I learned what article resonated with my readers. I also learned to let go of dead topics. A dead topic is just that. They are blog
A dead topic is just that. They are blog posts that rarely got any attention from the readers. It could be a lack of interest by your target audience. I would not get too discouraged by these type of articles. They can help define your list of categories or range of topics.
There is a reason that I’m not writing about American politics. Did you notice my mention of YouTube content? It is because people have shown an interest in it. As it happens, an editorial calendar is great for any type of content creation. Here is a warning, though. Don’t overload your calendar with too many topics!
The rule of thumb is quality over quantity. My blog writing schedule permits a two-day writing schedule. I’ve only two days to commit to producing content. I could squeeze in an extra day; however, it would be overloading things. At first, I thought frequent posting is the way to go.
I grew frequently frustrated because I couldn’t produce more content. It did not help that I had family emergencies and other issues to deal with. Then, I had a book to write and market. These things took time away from perceived writinng time. Truth is, frequent blog posting isn’t the way to go. Ali Luke wrote on
Here is an old article that I found on ProBlogger. It is written by Ali Luke and it’s called “How Often Should You Blog? (Hint: The Answer Might Surprise You)” She points out that bloggers should pick a two or three-day writing schedule. This way, they can focus more on quality. How frequent? It depends on your niche and the purpose of your site.
Let’s get to the mechanics of creating a schedule and one that allows for flexibility. I’ll reference my own editorial calendar. Personally, I prefer to use a spreadsheet to create an editorial calendar. You can create one, in either Excel or Google Docs. For each worksheet, I created a calendar for each month.
In the first column, I entered the dates for a specific month. To make things easier, I applied color to the weekends. In the fourth column, I entered the list of categories. Once done, I dragged a copy of each item to the second column and placed them by a designated posting date. Did you think I forgot the second column?
Here is where flexibility comes in. This past weekend, I had a great idea for a blog topic on Friday. I’d have liked to have done it, on Tuesday. If I really felt the need, then I’d have rescheduled this blog post for a later date. An editorial calendar is meant to help you and not the other way around.
In other words, I would not get upset about missing a specified date to write something. The world is not going to end because you failed to write something or create a YouTube video. If you have a good track record, then people will understand. In fact, a track record can give a clue to your next publishing date.
An editorial calendar can help you with establishing a good track record. If you are committed to writing or creating videos, then please don’t leave your audience in the dark. Tell them, if something comes up. I know of a busy YouTuber, who generally lets his fans know when a video is coming forth or not.
In doing some research for this article, I’ve found two more ways that an editorial calendar can help. They are site promotion and an idea bank. Yes, my calendar helped in determining the best day for the first one. I’ll typically post to Facebook & Twitter. On Wednesday, I’ll focus on scheduling my tweets with TweetDeck.
The last one is a surprise for me. I came across it, when I read “5 Mistakes That Make Your Editorial Calendar Useless (and How to Fix Them)” on the Content Direction Agency. The author suggested that I use a spreadsheet tab and place all my blog post ideas on it. I may tweak it. I could potentially place ideas in its own column for a specific month.
Here is a final note, for this article. Any good calendar is useful if you use it on a regular basis. I created my calendar, a couple of months ago and it has proven quite helpful. Will I make changes? I am already seeking to implement the idea bank on the calendar. That is the beauty of any calendar. They will grow and change to fit your needs.
I hope this blog article has proven helpful. I would love to hear about other content creation related article ideas. Please leave a comment in the comment section.