Serious About Blogging? Then Try An Editorial Calendar


“He who fails to plan, plans to fail”

You’re serious about blogging but sometimes find that you have run out juice and ideas of what to blog about, and many a time you find that you’re simply pulling just about any topic out of your blogging hat, hence coming up with filler posts that you’re not happy with. Or you end up not blogging at all.

The key to a good blog is consistency. Consistent quality content. To achieve that, you need to do some simple planning. I admit that in the past, blogging consistency was not my strong point. There were times when I was so lacking in inspiration and ideas, I thought of shutting the blog down. It changed when I started using an editorial calendar. It kept me organised, and took away those blogger’s block blues.

What is an editorial calendar?

Well, it’s basically a calendar where you plan out your posts throughout the month. When you have a spare hour or so, take out your calendar and plan out what you want to write about for the month. All you have to decide at that point is the subject you want to write about. It could be a product review, tutorials, tips and tricks, etc.

Once you plan out your blog topics, organise them in your editorial calendar on when you want to publish them.

Why use an editorial calendar?

Once you write your blog topics down in the calendar, you get a macro view of what will be published in the coming weeks. Then you can start writing the posts, scheduling them as needed. You wouldn’t have to worry about running out of things to blog about because as time goes by, you’ll be struck with inspiration of what you want to blog about, and then you can put it into the calendar. Feel free to shift topics around different dates as you see fit.

What can I use for an editorial calendar?

Now, what would I recommend to use as an editorial calendar? It’s up to you if you want to use your diary or personal organizer for this. I would prefer to use something apart from my personal and work life. If you have a Google Account, I suggest Google Docs, or if you have an iPhone and/or iPad, Springpad (my current favourite app :))

Do a Google search on calendar templates that you can customize on Google Docs. There are plenty out there. What I like about Google Docs is that you can make changes on the cloud, which means you can view your up-to-date calendar on any computer, smart phone, etc.

You can also make your own editorial calendar on your favorite word processor or spreadsheet. You can also do a Google search on “editorial calendar templates“, and you’ll find that a whole lot of bloggers use editorial calendars too.

Wordpress Editorial Calendar Plugin

For self-hosted WordPress users, I highly recommend the WordPress Editorial Calendar plugin. It integrates flawlessly with your posts, which means all your drafts, scheduled posts, published posts will be displayed in a month-view calendar. You can make changes to the posts directly from the calendar too. It’s probably not as comprehensive as other editorial calendars out there (or one that you make your own) since you cannot add notes to it, but i think it’s a sufficient start. The Calendar page has become my WordPress dashboard as it’s my go-to page when I want to see an overview of my posts in a monthly view.

Write those blogging ideas down, even if you don’t know what to do with them yet

A suggestion with the editorial calendar is to also have a document close to the calendar for blogging ideas. I have mine on a Google Docs document marked, surprise surprise, “Blogging Ideas”. With the blog topic written in the editorial calendar, I write notes relating to that topic. Very rough notes, in lists. Since they’re saved on the cloud, I can write them on the train or bus when the ideas come flooding (and you know there will be times when you’re completely inspired with so much ideas, and times when you’re just bone dry) and when I have an access to the computer, I’ll just tidy them into proper paragraphs. It saves a lot of time and more importantly, you don’t lose those ideas.

It’s up to you if you want to share your editorial calendar with your readers. At the moment, I haven’t done so but some editors do (they place it on their sidebar or a separate page). It gives your readers a heads up on your upcoming posts. Something for them to look forward to.

Having an editorial calendar makes blog posts organization a whole lot easier, and it keeps us consistent in producing quality articles. It’s an essential tool in any serious blogger’s box. Do give it a go. It will decrease days of writers’ block and hair-tearing frustration when you stare at the computer thinking of what to write.

You might find yourself wondering how you got by without one for so long! 🙂

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30 comments… add one
  1. Nadia

    Fantastic post, Tine! 🙂 I do this too, it really helps with the planning and knowing when to write what.

    1. Tine

      Nadia: Pleasure, Nadia. Glad you use one too 🙂

  2. Nikki

    For someone who marries an organizer (that includes calendar) and religiously uses it! I’m surprised I havent’ done this! Great idea Tine!

    1. Tine

      Nikki: Hahahaha hey whatever works for you, right? You post regularly and never seem to be running out of ideas anyway 😉

  3. rinnah

    Hmm, maybe I should implement this idea myself…goodness knows my blog’s been gathering cobwebs and is practically dead for now. 🙂

    1. Tine

      Rinnah: Hahaha I know what you mean. I went through a rut too. I find an editorial calendar helps me get organised and for some reason, the inspiration just flows in. *zen* 😛

  4. Paris B

    I was using a hard copy calendar for a while – you know those huge ahpek desk ones that show by month? 😛 It worked best for me because I could work on it off line. Then I went the way of Google Calendar which is also very useful because it’d ping me reminders. But I’ve fallen off the bandwagon now, so I sometimes plan, sometimes wing it. But if you really want order and to be consistent in blogging, this is an awesome tip for all bloggers 🙂

    1. Tine

      Paris B: Hehehe yes I remember those ahpek ones. When I read “ahpek” I thought you were going to say those one day a page tearaway kinds, you know, the ones with the big green numbers my grandparents use? BAHAHAHAH!!

  5. Sara

    Thanks for the advice Tine! My blog’s been a bit higgledy piggledy of late so it could benefit from a bit of structure. Will definitely give this a go!

    1. Tine

      Sara: You’re welcome Sara. Hope it helps 🙂

  6. beetrice

    I’m definitely in need of this! My blog’s been all over the place simply due to lack of direction (and sometimes inspiration, even though there’s so many products to choose from!). Awesome tips! 🙂

    1. Tine

      Beetrice: Yeah, I was wondering how come you’ve stopped blogging. Get on it pronto! 😛

  7. akisa

    great suggestion Tine!! Downloading plugin now

    1. Tine

      Akisa: My pleasure Akisa 🙂

  8. Me my best and I

    Argh I’ve been meaning to do this but haven’t got the time to yet! I’ve also downloaded Springpad but again haven’t had to time to sort it yet!!

    1. Tine

      My my best and I: I love Springpad! I’m one of those “on-the-cloud” people. I need to be able to access my stuff anytime, anywhere 😛

  9. milktea

    Hi Tine. I’m not a blogger but the editorial calendar looks useful for work and life planning too! Thanks! 🙂

    1. Tine

      Milktea: You are so right! Organisation skills apply in everything we do, not just blogging. I’m a bit of an organisation freak meself 😛

  10. Bun Bun Makeup Tips

    I’ve been meaning to get an editorial calendar but am afraid I wont keep to it anyways. Do you?

    1. Tine

      Bun Bun Makeup Tips: I’ve been using it the past few months, and I love it. Before this, I used a calendar on Google Docs. That one tanked 😛 I think it’s better to use the Wordpress plugin because it’s right there on your dashboard.

  11. Amanda

    I have an editorial calendar every month, but when other more important duties knock at my door, all plans have to give in. I think I need organization and time management skills to pair with my editorial calendar to make the calendar really work for me.

    1. Tine

      Amanda: I know what you mean. Life happens, and things get pushed aside. I think that’s why I like the editorial calendar for Wordpress plugin because I get to draft titles for certain days, just as a macro view of how my blogging week/month will be like. And if other more important duties take over, I just drag the topic and drop it onto another day 🙂

  12. Melissa @ Dyno-mom

    This was very helpful to me. I have been needing to start something a bit more organized and this gave me some ideas. What’s more is I love the tagline to your blog! I am not a size two myself. What’s more is I would totally buy a shirt that says “I’m a big deal on my blog”, that is awesome.
    Melissa @ Dyno-mom recently posted..Do the math, eat better eggs!My Profile

    1. Tine

      Melissa: Glad it’s helpful to you Melissa. It definitely helped me be more organised with my blog posts 🙂

      Btw, I do have a small poster (which I framed up) that says “I’m A Big Deal On My Blog” 😛

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