7 Great Posts to Help You Create an Editorial Calendar for Your Blog

how to develop editorial calendar for blog

how to develop editorial calendar for blogI’ve written a lot this past month about how to develop an editorial strategy for your blog – and I’ve shared some additional thoughts about how to create a broader content strategy for all your other channels. If you’ve successfully completed the assignment and have memorialized your strategy in written form, you’ll quickly find yourself in need of some help for making that strategy a reality.

Take a deep breath and muster up some patience, as you can’t do everything you’ll want to do all at once. You’ll need to develop an approach to help you prioritize and plan your work – and you’ll need to find a rhythm and cadence that works best for you – if you are to be successful in implementing the strategy you’ve worked so hard to develop.

How can you take your first steps towards realizing the vision, mission, purpose and goals you’ve outlined in your strategy? I’ve managed hundreds of communications programs over the years, and I can think of no tool more valuable than the almighty editorial calendar for translating strategy into execution.

A solid understanding of the editorial calendar will help you accomplish the following:

  • Prioritize and plan your work
  • Capture and nurture ideas for future posts
  • Encourage communication and collaboration across your team
  • Capitalize on opportunities across departments or disciplines
  • Inform teams about pending posts and to mobilize teams for sharing or amplification
  • Manage the content production and approval process
  • Provide a historical archive of past content ideas to accelerate new team member development
  • Open lines of communication with external partners, influencers and collaborators
  • Maintain consistent messaging and content balance across topics defined in your strategy
  • And much, much more

If you’re not already convinced about the value editorial calendars provide for the content team as a whole, or you’re unsure how to develop an editorial calendar that will work best for your team or organization, I’ve collected some of my favorite posts about this topic to help you find the right approach and fit.

In no particular order, here are some of my favorite posts about how to create an editorial calendar. If you know of a great resource that I missed, please share your suggestion in the comments below this post.

How to Create an Editorial Calendar

The following posts represent some of the best resources I have found about how to develop an editorial calendar – a valuable tool for helping you translate your editorial strategy into action.

How to Create an Editorial Calendar for Your Blog,” by Kaleigh Moore, Entpreneur.com, September 2015 – there is no right way to create an editorial calendar, but not creating one is the wrong way. If you’re trying to decide whether or not you should plan the posts you’re going to write, perhaps Kaleigh’s post will bring you over to the planning side.

Content Strategy 101: How to Create an Editorial Calendar for Your Blog,” by Shane Snow, Contently’s “The Content Strategist” blog, May 2011 – this post falls into the “oldie, but a goodie” category. Not a lot has changed in the editorial calendar arena in the past couple of years, and Shane’s post is a plain and simple introduction to creating an editorial calendar specific to your blog – as an extension of your overall content strategy. If you don’t already have an approach that works for you, consider Shane’s approach to be a good starting point.

Create Consistent Content with a Content Marketing Editorial Calendar,” by Garrett Moon, CoSchedule Blog – Oscar Wilde might consider consistency to be the last refuge of the unimaginative, but I disagree when it comes to planning your editorial calendar. On the contrary, consistency is key to building trust with your audience. Garrett knows that, which is why I’m sharing his post. Of course, this suggestion is consistent with my other recommendations. 

10 Reasons Your Editorial Calendar Sucks (And How to Make It The Best),” by Nathan Ellerling, Convince & Convert – knowing how to create an editorial calendar is one thing, knowing how to create one that doesn’t suck is apparently another. Nathan’s post is the most-extensive post on the topic of creating an editorial calendar I have found. If you want to develop a great editorial calendar – or you have a great editorial calendar that could use a little un-sucking, this post is a must-read. 

How to Create an Editorial Calendar,” by Jeremy Porter, Journalistics, July 2013 – hey, I know this guy – he writes about editorial calendar planning too? Joking aside, I have written about this topic in the past. And since you’re reading this post, there’s a good chance you like the way I write and might find this post valuable in helping you create your editorial calendar.

5 Reasons Why a Social Media Content Calendar is Important for Your Business,” by Olsy Sorokina, HootSuite’s Blog, November 2014 – if you’re going to use an editorial calendar for your blog, you might as well combine it with your social media content calendar – consider Olsy’s advice for the latter in this post. This post is particularly relevant for content teams that are managing both the company blog, as well as social media channels. As a bonus tip here, when planning your content for your blog and social channels, be sure to plan your sharing or amplification of new blog posts via your social channels. Likewise, if you have some great ideas for social posts, consider whether those topics might be good ones to explore in longer form via the blog. And if you still don’t think an editorial calendar is important, maybe Olsy can set you straight?

How to Set Goals for Your Content and Weave Them Into What You Create,” by Sean Smith, Copyblogger, March 2015 – here’s a novel idea, as you’re planning the content for your blog (or social channels), consider the goal or outcome you’re hoping to achieve with each post. This could be as simple as clarifying the communication goal for the post (e.g. inform audience X about Y topic), or could be a more elaborate goal as part of your ongoing marketing efforts (e.g. get reader to complete form in sidebar of post). Regardless of your intent for each post, Sean’s tips for setting goals and incorporating them into your content are a helpful reminder of staying true to the purpose behind the content you produce.

What did I miss? Do you have the information you need to create an editorial calendar? Did you find one of the resources above more valuable than the rest? Please share your thoughts below.

(Image Credit: “Calendar” by studio curve / Flickr)

About Jeremy Porter 214 Articles
Jeremy Porter has been passionate about the intersection of public relations and journalism since studying both Public Relations and Journalism at Utica College of Syracuse University in the late 90s. Porter launched Journalistics in 2009 to share his ideas and insights around both professions and how trends and developments in modern day marketing, communications, and technology impact those working in these fields. Porter also values the traditions and history of both professions and regularly shares his perspective in these areas - and related topics geared toward the next generation of journalism and public relations professionals.

8 Comments

  1. This post is extremely helpful. As someone who is just starting out in the blogging world, I am learning just how difficult it is to actually keep to your editorial calendar. The tip that I found most helpful is capitalizing on opportunities. It’s good to have a rough plan of your blog posts, but it is so important to stay active with up-to-date news and write about topics that will really strike the audience. Thanks for the tips!

  2. Hey there, Mr. Porter!

    Although I have already made an editorial calendar for my blog, I LOVE these tips and wish I could have had them when I was first developing mine. I liked reading “10 Reasons Your Editorial Calendar Sucks (and How to Make it Better) because it challenged me to improve mine and direct my blog more to my audience. Even though I already made one, I have changed my topics so many times over the course of 6 weeks. Also I want to take your advice and use the social media plan on Coshedules. And since I’m doing my blog on PR in the entertainment industry, I think using social media will really connect with my audience. Thanks for the great advice!

  3. This by Garrett Moon’s post from CoSchedule blog is quite interesting read I must say.

    Thanks for sharing this Jeremy!

    Anja

    • Hi Anja! I’m glad you liked the CoSchedule post I shared. I thought it was pretty awesome myself. Please feel free to share anything else interesting you come across as you work on putting together your editorial calendar. Thanks!

  4. I recently made an editorial calendar for the first time, and I wish I had seen this article beforehand! It provides so much beneficial insight into the types of thought processes that help organize editorial calendars. There are always ways we can improve our blogs, and the backbone information I’ve learned from this article has given me a fresh perspective. Thanks for the advice!

    • Hi Claire, thanks for your reply. First off, I’m happy to hear you have started using an editorial calendar. I hope it helps you better organize your content. I wish you had seen the post first too, but I’m glad you figured out how to do it on your own. Let me know if you have any additional suggestions for readers based on your experience going through the editorial calendar process for the first time – or in review of the suggestions I provided, if there was anything that stood out as a “best tip” to highlight for readers. Thanks again!

  5. Thanks for pulling together some great tips! I’m going to spend some more time digesting these to hopefully improve our current process.

    I think the hardest part is sticking to your calendar when things change throughout the year; I find we are often reacting to things out of our control and having to change our direction.

    Maybe I’ll find some insight in here.

    • Mary, I’m glad you found the tips helpful and appreciate you taking the time to comment. I agree the hardest part is sticking to the calendar, but I’ve found the more people on your team you can get involved in the process the better. You need a couple of people to stick with things, so the rest of the group takes the calendar seriously and starts to hit their deadlines. I’ll also add that it helps to brainstorm topics as a group, and to encourage team members to write about the topics they are most-passionate about. As one final thought, make it as easy on your authors as possible. If you’re a good writer/editor – let them know all you need is their raw thoughts or a rough draft, and that you can help them proofread, rewrite or revise the final product. This can sometimes motivate even the most frequent deadline-misser to cooperate. I also suggest writing posts for your experts, if it’s easier for them to simply talk about their subject in an interview, and let you do the hard work of putting it on paper. I find most experts would rather edit something written based on their input, than start from scratch writing it themselves (if they aren’t used to this sort of thing). I wish you the best of luck.

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