Bloggers don’t generally follow editorial calendars, but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t. Many of us wait until it’s too late to blog about products, seasonal topics or trends. Rather than wait for the last minute,plan ahead and organize an editorial calendar. Here are a few tips for getting ahead of the game in 2008:
Start researching trends now. Find out what the hot products and topics will be for 2008 and start writing about them NOW. And continue to write about them. By the time everyone else jumps on the bandwagon you’ll already have made it to the tops of the search engines and you might even be considered an expert thanks to your early analysis.
Any interesting holidays or events befitting your niche? Research the history, traditions and ideas behind the event and plan a series. Start writing now, but use your timestamp feature to post closer to D-Day.
Research your stats. What days and months have the higher traffic? Try writing your best posts on the days with the most traffic and perhaps drop a linkbait or two at times when traffic is needed the most.
Will you be away from your blog? Will you be unavailable for blogging due to vacation, family events, or other matters? Blog now, post later.
Plan weekly features. Plan weekly features for your blog, maybe an interview Monday, product reviews on Tuesday, a tutorial Wednesday, and so on. The good thing about this is that you don’t run out of ideas.
Write more than one post at a time. Rather than post on the fly, try taking some time out to write several posts and adjust your time stamp for each post accordingly.
I like editorial calendars because they help keep me focused and prevent me from getting bloggers block. If I know I have to post a certain thing each day of the week, it’s easier for me to plan ahead.
Did you know many bloggers have no idea what they’ll blog about each day? They make it up on the fly. By preparing as much as you can in advance, you only stand to gain traffic and better your reputation.
How funny. I had desktop research on my To-Do list but mixing debng ‘Plan Now for 2008’ with my subject ‘desktop research’ resulted in a nice new article about finding the trends for 2008.
Follow-Up: Desktop Research: Trends 2008 (Bonus: OPML File) (in moderation because of the many links but will be online soon – I hope…)
Follow-Up: How-To Create An Editorial Calendar For A Blog
@JOClark: Very good points!
Related: How-To successfully monetize repeating content
Remember the reason publications have editorial calendars is to sell advertising based on editorial content. If you’re blogging and selling ads on your site, having an editorial calendar will give potential advertisers the ability to bid on ad slots for times when the content will be highly relevant.
Also, don’t forget to use the keyword research Keyword Discovery, to look at a year’s worth of data and see during which months keywords spike. Tie your calendar slightly ahead of the spike to make sure you’re driving traffic and providing current, relevant content.
James Clark – Capture the Conversation
I am syncing the Palm application with airset.com which in return sends me alert emails and daily schedule lists. No need to have a Palm but if you have one you have your jacket beeping just in time 🙂
Link: performancing.com search for airset.
And Yes, “Sample Blog Editorial Calendar?” is on my performancing.com article To-Do list.
Call me primitive but I have a big wall calendar. I tried online calendars and outlook but if something isn’t right in front of my face I tend to forget about it. A big fat wall calendar or white board calendar works for me.
Many useful tips
I love the idea of creating an editorial calendar for at least a couple of the blogs I maintain. For some reason though I get hung up on the idea of it and haven’t been able to fully commit to creating one yet. Does anyone have one of your own that you’d like to share, or tips on how to create one?
Hope Wilbanks @ HopeWrites.com
Markus, I like index cards too. Forget about the PDA
Great article, Deb. I especially like the first point. With newer sites, it takes time to rank on Google so it’s important to post about future trends early.
My GTD bookmarks (RSS).
I love that crazy guy with his index cards on Flickr 🙂
I suppose you can call it an editorial calendar, but I call it .. HART’s Sample Preposting Sheet For The Taking! I have a lot of blogs, and sponsors on many. It’s quite possible for me to overlook a blog or many and what seems like a day or two in my mind, actually turns out to be almost a week or two. So, when I prepost entires (usually on a weekend or maybe one or two nights a week) – I mark down the time that I set the article to post.
So, while thinking 2008 might be good in the long-term (and probably something we all should be doing regardless) .. I’m more concerned with looking at this posting sheet and the next two weeks and just filling in the blanks and trying to round it out. (see example pic on the bottom of my link above which shows that I was probably enjoying the cottage too much those 2 weeks :D)
That’s a very good point, Ahmed. Editorial calendars don’t have to be set in stone. Do play around with it until you find a formula that works.
one thing to remember about editorial calendars is that they should be flexible and open to change at the beginning, because sometimes we set an agenda in advance but until we can implement it in practice we don’t know how it will work out, whether we’ll enjoy it or not.
@august – amen to that
@deb – you’re far more organised than most of us
It’s because I’m so disorganized that I’m beginning to plan ahead. I find it really helps to balance my day to have specific times to write for my different blogs and also to have topics to write about. If I wake up feeling unsure about my day I can look up and say, “Oh Yeah. That’ll work.” Since my blogging comes second to being a mom, I’ll take every bit of help I can get.
Did you know many bloggers have no idea what they’ll blog about each day? They make it up on the fly.
D: You got me there, Deb. I’d love to start using an editorial calendar because just like Chris, I work for days on end, most of the time weekends included so I forget what day it is. 🙁
Has a new blogger this is good information, I am going to begin working on it. I have yet a lot to learn but I am open to receive knowledge from good sources. Kudus to you.
I so need to start working to a calendar. Since I started working for myself I barely know what day it is
I started out with no idea what I was doing, and I’m still posting on the fly, but I’m working on planning for 2008 now. I think that even for a personal blogger like myself, putting some effort into organisation in advance will really pay off in terms of maintaining and improving the quality of your blog. Planning can help get you through the times that are a bit lean on inspiration, as well as reducing the stress and leaving you with more headspace to focus on other important things like your relationship with your readers.
With regards to the events, I’m planning on posting my 2008 list once it’s complete. I figure that if I’ve done all the leg work, I may as well let others else benefit from it as well. I know there were a couple of things I missed out on because I found out too late.
Even better, Garri!
Good stuff, especially editorial calendar.
Anyway, we’re now planning for 2009 😉