Most all professional blogs & websites, along with print magazines and newspapers, have an entire Editorial Department managing the Editorial Calendar for each section of the blog/website, magazine or newspaper. If someone in the Editorial Department happened to forget to publish an article at any of these news/media content sources, it would be chaos. The same goes for your blog/website or any site that wants to be taken seriously. Okay, maybe chaos is going a little overboard if you’re just starting your blog or if your site isn’t a major, professional hub for your niche. But that doesn’t mean you can’t hold your blog or website to the same impeccable standards as the “big boys”.
One of the most important things that any Content Creator must remember, is to always have fresh content churning out at a consistent rate. This rate could be 5 times a day for some and 5 days a week for others. A great way to make sure that you always have content ready to go, especially in an emergency (you can’t get out of bed, your kid can’t get out of bed, you’re out-of-town, etc), is to have 8-10 posts completed and scheduled to go out ahead of time. The best way to keep track of which posts you’ve scheduled and for when, is by using an Editorial Calendar.
Here’s a Handy-Dandy Editorial Calendar on WordPress
Like most ProBloggers, I run my website off the WordPress platform which makes up 20% of the entire planet’s content (it’s also the most popular platform for self-hosted websites, for its navigability and its seemingly endless Plugin options). Assuming that you too are using WordPress….follow these directions to install an editorial calendar onto your site’s dashboard:
- Hover your mouse over the Plugins icon on your WP Dashboard. Click on Add New, then type WordPress Editorial Calendar into the search box in the upper left-hand corner….it’s FREE! (see image 1)
- Click the Install button then hover your mouse over the Posts icon, where you should now see, below the tags icon at the bottom of the list, the word calendar.
- When you open your new editorial calendar, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see that all of your earlier posts are already listed on the days that they were published! Also, any drafts you have saved will be listed on the editorial calendar, on day that you most recently saved it.
You Can Also Organize Your Ideas With Your Editorial Calendar
Having an editorial calendar is a lifesaver and this one is very user-friendly. Looking ahead on your calendar, try to add some post ideas that you’ve had floating around in your head or maybe you’ve created a list of ideas in a notebook? If only you could find that notebook….the bottom of your purse….underneath your car seat?! Just add them to your calendar NOW and never again have to wonder where you left your thoughts!
If your goal is to publish 2-3 posts a day, enter 2-3 ideas or drafts on every day of the calendar that you can fill up. Once you’ve finished your post and it’s ready for publication, find it in your Editorial Calendar and based on whatever your posting schedule is, you can easily click & drag it from the day you came up with the idea, to the day you plan to publish it.
*Quick tip from Jessica: Open a New Post and start jotting down whatever ideas you have for a Post Title, add any notes you have in the body of the post, even upload some image ideas! This way your notes are already inside a post template and you can just go from there.
Did I Mention There Was an App For This?
WordPress also has a free mobile app that you can download from Google Play or the iTunes store, where you can easily pull up your editorial calendar to make any last-minute revisions or to re-schedule a post. You can preview, delete, edit, quick edit and schedule the exact future date & time you’d like a post published, all from within your new lifesaver….on your desktop or Smartphone.
Last but definitely not least! If you invite people to submit Guest Posts and regularly publish them on your blog or website, then you know how important it is to keep track of when these posts go out. Since you’re mainly in charge of promoting Guest Posts on your social media platforms, in exchange for the article itself, keeping notes of how often you’re doing so is really smart. You’ll find that having all of your Guest Post information in one place is incredibly helpful!