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Developing an Editorial Calendar

Wednesday, October 28, 2015
How to develop an editorial calendar
Last week we talked about beating blogger burnout, and now that you're feeling all inspired and ready to get cracking on some killer content, I thought it would be as good a time as any to jump into the wonderful world of editorial calendars. Love 'em or hate 'em, having a solid plan for your site each month not only helps you stay on track, but it can help you better organize your efforts and create posts that flow and compliment each other as a whole. Remember this: much like those beloved Instagram grids of ours, new readers who land on our homepages will consider the content they see as a whole before deciding to follow, so giving them a well-rounded first impression of what you do could be just the thing to keep them coming back for more. Let's say you really love cupcakes, and have worked really hard on three unique recipes that you're really proud of and can't wait to share. The only problem is, posting said recipes back-to-back might not be the best use of these posts; readers will likely tire of your insatiable appetite for cupcakes and stop visiting your site for a while (if not altogether). A well-planned editorial calendar will help you better position those posts to maximize traffic and reader engagement, and not lead to angry, cupcake-fuelled hate comments... after all, consistency may be key, but redundancy is not.

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?


The main reason to get serious about your editorial calendar is that it can help you position your site for growth and help you take a more active role towards getting where you want to be. Planning ahead keeps you thinking strategically, and with major holidays, sale seasons, and other time-specific topics of interest (depending on your niche) getting lots of google action, why not direct some of that traffic your way? The month of October, for example, is brimming with topics that people are actively searching for: Fall fashion, fall beauty, Canadian Thanksgiving, Halloween, applicable DIY projects — the list goes on. Unfortunately for me, this October was a total write off in terms of planning ahead, which is why you're looking at a blogging tips post right now instead of my usual week of Halloween-themed content. Serious fail! I know I've missed out by not planning ahead for this month, but that's just more reason to buckle down and get organized moving forward... it's never too late!

GET BUSY


I like to start each month with some general planning; if I have any campaigns coming up, I'll note those dates on my calendar and jot down the general categories I plan to cover from week to week. For example, I generally do personal style posts on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, so I jot those down as a basic guideline for what's ahead. I know that a few of those Wednesdays might turn into Wardrobe Wednesdays, so that's an easy enough item to swap in or out. At this time, I also think about any holidays or special occasions that may be coming up, and start brainstorming ideas for how to incorporate them into my content.

Once I have a general view of what the month will look like, it becomes a weekly process for me. By the end of each week and leading up to the weekend (which is when I shoot the majority of my looks), I'll know what outfits I plan to feature the following week, and how I will fill my Tuesday and Thursday slots (usually something beauty or shopping based). Everything is marked on my calendar at this point, and to-do lists are formulated to help batch tasks and make sure everything gets done for the following week. This system works really well for me in terms of giving me structure, yet enough room to adapt to any last minute ideas or campaigns that come up.

THE TAKEAWAY



1 / Maintaining an editorial calendar will help you strategically plan for the growth of your site.

2 / It can help point out any redundancies in your content and any gaps that could be better filled.

3 / Planning ahead helps ensure you don't miss any opportunities in terms of high-traffic periods, like Christmas or back-to-school.

4 / Be specific, but don't kill yourself over the details — a general plan is better than no plan at all. 

5 / Start with a broad look at each month, then add specifics before every new week. This will give you a general outline to follow, but lots of flexibility as well.

6 / Use this time to plan content you love and that you know your readers will respond to.

7 / If you fall off track one month (ahem), don't throw in the towel — there's always next month!


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4 comments

  1. I love this post, girl! I've been constantly working on tweaking my editorial calendar and improving it. Do you have tips for any templates you use for the calendar itself?

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, love! I'm a pen-and-paper kind of girl, so I keep myself organized in an agenda that's dedicated to Adventures in Fashion — if that's not your thing, I believe Wordpress offers a calendar to plan your content on :)

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  2. Great post! Very informative! Thanks for sharing.

    Xx, Fatima

    www.fatimasabri.com

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  3. Thank you girl, This is is super helpful

    Stay golden, your blog is wicked!

    Nathalie P.
    A Girl on Planet

    ReplyDelete