Managing Your Blog Content: How to Use an Editorial Calendar to Plan Your Content
Maintaining a regular publishing schedule is a promise we make to our readers. It doesn’t matter if that means writing daily, weekly or even monthly. What it does mean is when that publish date arrives, you need to have something ready to go. That’s why we love our handy-dandy WordPress Editorial Calendar (screen capture from the plugin developer site)!
How to Manage Your Content Using a Editorial Calendar
Map Out Content Blocks – Take your blog content categories and create a rough schedule. It doesn’t necessarily mean you need to tackle those topics in that order, but it helps give your editorial calendar structure.
Brainstorm Topic Ideas – Think of 3 to 5 ideas for each of your content categories. Even if you can’t come up with the perfect title, write a title that summarizes the gist of what the post will be about. If you find yourself really inspired, add a few bullet points in the body of the post before clicking SAVE.
Attach Draft Posts to a Date – Drag and drop the draft posts into your editorial calendar. Even if you don’t use the WordPress Editorial Calendar plugin, it helps to attach a timeline to your proposed topics.
Check for Duplication or Overlap – Review your editorial calendar to see how the content flows from week to week. Pay attention to closely related topics. It’s okay to cover a topic more than once from a different angle, but you may want to consider pushing the second post further out in your calendar.
Insert Time-Sensitive Content – Give yourself the flexibility to insert time-sensitive content as it happens. Because the editorial calendar lets you see exactly what is coming in calendar format, you can easily replace your regular column with that breaking industry news story and not mess up your content flow.
Post Guest Assignments Reminders – Use your editorial calendar to keep track of posts you assign to guest authors that way when your guest expert forgets that idea you were discussing last week, you can pull out your editorial calendar.
Monitor and Maintain – Get in the habit of reviewing your editorial calendar on a regular basis. Not only does it remind you of who you need to nudge for that upcoming post, it gives you topics to ponder in the shower or during your morning walk.
Brainstorm and Continue Building – Take 30 minutes once a week (or daily if you maintain a more rigorous blogging schedule) to brainstorm and build your idea archive. It happens more often than not that you sit down to write and you draw a complete blank. That’s when it’s nice to be able to browse through a long list of possible topics until one strikes your fancy!