Blogging 101: How I Create an Editorial Calendar (in Four Steps!) | Seersucker Sass

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Blogging 101: How I Create an Editorial Calendar (in Four Steps!)

Like most of y'all, I am not a full time blogger.  To produce at least four quality posts a week along with working full time, being involved in my community, and having somewhat of a social life, I have to stay on top of my time management game.  This is where my editorial calendar comes in.  (If you're unfamiliar with an editorial calendar, it's basically a calendar where you plan out your content for the month.)  Having a "prompt" already set for the day helps me stay motivated to write, and sometimes I'm even able to knock out two or three posts just because of this.  There are many different ways to go about this, but today I am sharing my process and what works best for me.

Blogging 101:  Editorial Calendar


About a week before a new month starts, I sit down with my planner,a blog notebook where I keep a running list of ideas, and some erasable pens.  (Before I had a blog planner, I printed monthly calendar pages off of WinCalendar and tucked them into my blog notebook.)  I am a color-coder, so I'm particular about my supplies.  Haha.

Please note that by clicking on the photos, it will bring up a larger version of the photos so that you can read them a little more clearly!


STEP ONE:
Holidays, Deadlines, and Commitments 
Blogging 101:  How to Create an Editorial Calendar
The first thing I do is look at a calendar of holidays and notable days, and I mark them on my calendar in a neutral color.  If I have a deadline, I mark it in red.  Then I mark anything I've already committed myself to, like a link up, in blue.  (I write all posts in blue!)


STEP TWO:
Mark out series
Blogging 101:  How to Create an Editorial Calendar
I don't stick by this to a tee, but it does help to have it laid out when later on I'm plugging content ideas!  On Wednesdays, I typically do Wednesday Wisdom.  On weekends, I do my Weekend Reading post, where I share my favorite links of the week.


STEP THREE:
Plan out any holiday related content
Blogging 101:  How to Create an Editorial Calendar
Timing is really important when it comes to blogging.  You can write the absolute best post about finding cute green attire for St. Patrick's Day, but if you publish it on Wednesday and St. Patrick's Day is Thursday, you've missed the mark.  (Remember - all of your readers aren't from the same city, and they don't all have access to the same stores.  Online shipping can take time; allow for that in the timing of your post!) I also like to do a few "after the fact" posts, like sharing photos of my Easter dress the Monday after Easter.


STEP FOUR:
Pull ideas from your list of ideas and "social media holidays"
Blogging 101:  How to Create an Editorial Calendar
I keep a running list of blog post ideas in my blog journal.  Depending on the time, I may even sit down and bullet point them out so that when it becomes time to write, I remember what I was talking about and what direction I was going in.

I also use lists of "social media holidays" and trend reports to plan my content.  A good example of a social media holiday is #NationalMargaritaDay, which occurred yesterday.  March 2 is #NationalOldStuffDay, which is holiday that encourages people to be nostalgic.  Share a vintage outfit or vintage inspired beauty look or share some photos of yourself as child with your favorite memories.  The great thing about these social media holidays is that you can take them in whatever direction you want!  (This post from SproutSocial and this post from Rebecca VanDenBerg are great resources on social media holidays.)

Ultimately, I like to have my content calendar about 75% full.  This allows flexibility!  I can pop a post in right as it's relevant or laying on my heart (I really feel like God lays things on my heart to share with y'all, and I'm not about to make God wait!), and I can also accept sponsorship opportunities with short turnaround times.  I also feel that writing in erasable pen allows me to feel less stressed about moving things around or taking a day off.

I hope that you found this post to be helpful, and if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me!

Do you plan your editorial content or do you just go with the flow?

Happy Tuesday!





26 comments:

  1. i def plan something like this out as well- it keeps me on top of everything i need to do esp for sponsored posts or more 'personal posts' which i can put back to any day if i need some space. xo

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  2. I definitely plan -- I actually have months planned out! I made myself some removable stickers that fit into my calendar for my posts and videos, so I can move them around or replace them if something changes!

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  3. These are some awesome tips! I just recently started having an editorial calendar and I've been racking up some tips and advice to add to it. I rely on sticky notes to plan mine out so I can easily move my ideas around. Thanks for sharing! (:
    xoxo
    Amy | Pastel N Pink

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  4. These are really great tips for planning in an editorial calendar!

    I plan out posts, but not necessarily when they will be posted. I have elaborate brainstorm notes, so that if I don't happen to actually write a post when I think of it, I can still immerse myself in it exactly where I left off when I get back to it.

    Sarah
    Sweet Spontaneity

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  5. Useful! Thanks!


    Alix
    apintsizedlife.blogspot.com

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  6. you are SO organized! this inspires me to work on my editorial calendar haha!

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  7. I am so impressed with your organization!!! You go girl!

    Carley @ preppylane.blogspot.com

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  8. This is so great! My editorial calendar always seems to get so muddled half way through the month but this is inspiring me to keep it all together. Thanks so much for sharing! xx Merisa | Monogrammed Magnolias

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  9. I use a calendar as well to plan out posts and it makes me feel so together!

    http://thealwaysblog.com

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  10. I rarely plan when it comes to blogposts! The only time I really plan is when I have sponsorship and advertorial. You're so organized, I have to learn from you!

    P.S: Join my pre-Spring giveaway and win a pair of sunglasses of your choice.

    xx
    Oh Dear Bumblebees

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  11. This is super helpful! I have struggled with posting regularly because I feel like I just don't have time to get four quality posts out every single week. I think I'm going to try to use your method of planning (maybe with just two posts a week to start!) and see how it goes next month :)

    xoxo, SS

    The Southern Stylista

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  12. I almost always plan out what I want to blog about the week prior but almost never stick to it. For the most part I do my best writing sporadically but...there are times this method has been overly stressful. I would like to be better about using an editorial calendar, I do keep a running list of ideas and that is helpful! Great tips girl!

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  13. You have a really great system going on! I do pretty much the same thing, I have a calendar that has a month view and a weekly view. I go through at the beginning of the month and write everything out in colour coded pens. I also keep a number of running lists and notebooks to keep all of my ideas and content under control.

    La Belle Sirene

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  14. Love this! I used to have a planner specifically for blogging that I would carry around in my purse so if inspiration hit, I could write it down at that very moment. Sadly, I haven't been so smart with the tracking down a set schedule but it really does wonders for your blog and content... gotta get back on that grind!
    xoxo
    Brooke|LookBrooke

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  15. Girl this is GENIUS! I have never used an editorial calendar before, but now I have to! I adore the way you described it. I appreciate you making it easy to follow. Thanks for the tips!!!

    Nicole // Chronicling Home

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  16. This is seriously laid out so well - I'm definitely taking a look at mine now!! Thanks so much for sharing your process SS! (Also super stoked to be counting down the days to the #springflinglinkup2016)!!

    Pick Your Beau

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  17. This editorial calendar looks great!

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  18. ooooh! Thank you so much for sharing! I am still trying to figure this out and what works with my school schedule as well because editing and writing a post can take a long time. Its like studying for the required study time per class you take in a week 0_0!

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  19. An editorial calendar is something I've really wanted to start creating! I love your tips!

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  20. Great post! I have been going with the flow since I started but as a result I havent been posting nearly as much as I would like... I have been wanting to create a content calendar and this gave me some great ideas for where to start!

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  21. I can bearly squeak out two posts a week, how on earth do you do 4?? Great job, love this, thank you for the help :)

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  22. I use calendars for work, I really need to use them for my blog too! Love this idea and so simple.

    XO Chelsea http://www.shesaidhesaidfashion.com/

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  23. I thought this was fantastic!!! I want to save it on bloglovin' and pin it so I don't forget.

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  24. Thanks for the tips! I really need to get organised, and I think an editorial calendar will really help.

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  25. THANK you for posting this!! Definitely want to update my blogging binder. :)

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  26. Does this only work for blogs? Or could I use this as a social media manager for my business as well?

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