Bloggie Wednesday: Planning Your Editorial Content for 2014

Bloggie Wednesday: Planning Your Editorial Content for 2014

Don’t you just love January? I do. It’s the month where people spend the least post-Christmas and it’s the month where shops are slashing prices even further to entice people to shop more even though we’re broke from spending too much during the holiday season. It’s also the month where web traffic is lowest as people are still on holiday and are slowly returning to the grindstone.

January is the month where made resolutions are the strongest (of course, it tapers in February then March and come June, it’s like resolutions? What resolutions?), which is why I think it’s the best month to come up with some organisation plans for our blogs. Low traffic in January doesn’t really bother me because 1) it’s a good thing that people are away from the computers and spending some quality time with their loved ones and 2) it gives me a bit of a breather to be able to plan content for the coming months and year.

What do I mean by planning your editorial content for the year? Take note of important dates and occasions of the year that you might want to cover for your blog. For instance,

  • Valentine’s Day
  • Mother’s Day
  • Fashion weeks
  • Your blog’s Anniversary
  • Your birthday
  • Your cat’s birthday (hey I intend to celebrate my dog’s on the blog so why not? ;) )
  • Easter
  • Racing season
  • Thanksgiving (if you celebrate it)
  • Christmas
  • New Year

The list goes on. In magazine time, content is planned for the intended month at least 3 months in advance. You don’t have to do that for your blog. That’s what makes blogs more interesting and real; you can do it on the fly. Having said that, it’s worth planning a rough guide of what you’d like cover for the year.

You can also plan your content in a month-to-month basis. After I’ve added the dates above to my editorial calendar, it’s time to plan what I want to feature on the blog on a specific month. I rarely go past 30 days of concrete topics to blog about because things change and I like to be able to switch topics around when I can.

For example, if I’m currently on my first week of trialling a new moisturiser that I would like to review, I check my calendar to about 6 weeks from today and write down the name of that moisturiser on the calendar. This means that I’m to review that moisturiser during that week. It doesn’t have to be a rigid time frame but I find that giving myself a deadline like that makes sure that I do write about it rather than forgetting and moving on to something else. In the mean time, I trawl blogs to find interesting tags or stories that I can also write about and fill that in to my editorial calendar.

Bloggie Wednesday: Planning Your Editorial Content for 2014

So, how do you plan your editorial content? A calendar is always a good start. You can use a digital calendar like Google Calendar where you can save and access your data on the cloud. Or you can use a physical calendar to plan your content. A notebook is also handy for any spur-of-the-moment ideas.

As for me, my tools for content planning is very simple:

  • A blank monthly calendar. I fill in my topic titles in the dates in pencil and move them around when necessary. I got mine from MUJI for under AU$2.00.
  • A small spiral notebook. Topic titles are written in the notebook where I expand on the actual content. I find this very handy especially when I’m trialling makeup and I need to write the colour description, texture, scent, etc. I can always type them out later if I want to write about that specific product.
  • A WordPress plugin called Editorial Calendar. I used to write my topic titles here instead of a physical calendar but I found that it cluttered my vision of what has already been published and what are drafts. The calendar gives me a bird’s eye view of my published content for the month.

I tried using Google Calendar for months but in the end, preferred a physical one that I can actually write on and erase. I can be quite old school that way. :)

While we’re on the subject of planning your editorial content, I stumbled upon a digital planner that you can print out for your blogging needs. You can buy these planners on Etsy but Erica from Confessions of a Homeschooler has made a beautiful one available for free to download. I thought it was a very generous gesture so if you’re reading this, Erica, thank you.

Every blogger has his/her own ways of planning content for their blogs whether it’s using an online calendar, a gorgeous Moleskine or a cheapie spiral notebook from Kmart (that’s me! :P ). It might seem extra work (on top of school or day job) but with proper early planning, it will save you so much time without having to worry about having no content later.

How do you plan your editorial content? What tools do you use? What works best for you?

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21 comments… add one

  1. MissCarole

    Absolutely love this article!
    MissCarole recently posted..Bye bye 2013…My Profile

    1. Tine

      Thanks Carole. So glad you enjoyed it. :)

  2. Paris B

    Good advice Tine! I work with Google Calendar because I like to have things on the cloud as I’m not as neat as I should be with my desk. It might change in future but for now I have to live with my head in the clouds hehe… That said though, I’m just about to toss my calendar out the window coz life changes right? We have to change with it :)
    Paris B recently posted..If you want just one Wayne Goss makeup brush get Makeup Brush No. 8My Profile

    1. Tine

      Thanks PB! I used Google Calendar for months and I thought I was all right with it until I realised I was writing it down on my notebook more than the calendar. Then I thought ah screw it, go old school and use a notebook and one of those paper calendar book things instead.

      Hahahaha damn right!

  3. Norlin

    Yeah I use an actual diary too and keeping it to my usual themes for each day and then plan around those themes – eg: Monday (lose day can be based on anything), Tuesday (beauty/hair), Wed (health & lifestyle), Thurs (Fashion), Friday (Friday’s Fave or Love, Like & Loathe). I used to run Saturday Shopping on Saturdays, but now, it depends on my mood (and time especially now it’s the school holidays and too hot for me to bother) ;)
    Norlin recently posted..Health & Lifestyle: Getting My Groove OnMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Ahh hence your diary from Typo, eh? ;) I wanted to get one but by the time I checked them out, the half price promo was over. Boo!

      Planning your editorial calendar and content based on themes is a great idea. I particularly enjoy your Love, Like & Loathe posts. :)

  4. Carina

    Great post! :) I normally use a Google Calendar that’s synced to my iCal, since I like using iCal more. I use GC though so that it syncs online and I have access to my stuff, even remotely. :D
    Carina recently posted..Depot and Press: Loose Eyeshadows and Bulky LipsticksMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Thanks Carina! Google Calendar is the consensus here for editorial content planning. ;)

  5. Shamim de Varax

    that’s such a good idea. so far the most I’ve resorted to is listing a bunch of products I’m thinking of reviewing and seeing what’s limited edition (priority) and what’s not (everything else)

    1. Tine

      That works too. Just add that to a calendar and you’ll be able to see a bird’s eye view on when there’ll be posts and when there won’t be. I find that it helps bloggers be consistent, whether they’re posting every day, 3-5 times a week or 2 times a week.

  6. Rebecca

    Up until now I’ve just been using a blank monthly calendar to schedule posts on certain dates then work around that, but I think I need to start using more detailed lists to really keep track of things. For some reason I still don’t like cloud-based calendars… probably because when I was in university most people still used paper diaries and it just got burned into my brain, hah.

    I found another set of useful blogging printables on A Well-Crafted Party: http://www.awellcraftedparty.com/2013/01/29/printables-blog-planner/

    Some of them are 2013-specific, but most of them are blank. :)
    Rebecca recently posted..Birchbox January 2014 (Review & Photos)My Profile

    1. Tine

      That’s what I’m using too, a blank monthly calendar. I find that it works very well for me because I can write topics down, erase them, shift them, etc.
      Thanks for sharing the link! :)

  7. Cassandra Hendriks

    Great post. I didn’t know about the wordpress editorial calendar so will check it out.
    Cassandra Hendriks recently posted..Fierce Animal Print Bathing SuitMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Yeah, definitely recommend you check out the Wordpress plugin. Works very well for me :)

  8. gio

    Great post! I’m using a physical calendar at the moment, but I was thinking of moving to a digital one cos my desk is too cluttered as it is! I will check out google calendar, thanks for the suggestion.
    gio recently posted..Product Review: Braologie BracieMy Profile

    1. Tine

      If you want to go on the cloud, do check out blog editorial calendar templates on Google Docs as well. They have heaps of it. I’ve seen most of them and to be honest, they’re not that good but it’s a good base template to work on.

  9. Angie

    Thanks for the tip about the Editorial Calendar, love it! Great post, thanks!
    Angie recently posted..Antipodes: Your top 5 essentialsMy Profile

    1. Tine

      My pleasure Angie. Good luck! :)

  10. lyn

    Excellent post! This year I vow to blog more frequently (and to be more active on social media) and to actually use my editorial calendar again. Nowadays I’ve been writing my titles directly into the WP calendar plugin and then expanding the post body when I get time. Then I spend a bit of time taking / editing photos over the weekend. That way my content is taken cared of and I get to plan my photos in advance. Seems to be working so far. *fingers crossed*
    lyn recently posted..Maybelline Lip Polish by ColorSensational: If You Like Plush and Shiny LipsMy Profile

  11. Marisa

    Racing season? Had no idea that was an actual season lol! These are some great ideas. Personally I use the Wordpress Editorial Calender, you right it does help to give a “bird’s eye view of or week or month. it so so helpful, love to use it to schedule posts. That way I could be asleep of traveling and all the posts are published consistently on a certain day and certain time.
    Marisa recently posted..Review of Buzz-Worthy Viral Content BuzzMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Haha, in Australia (especially Melbourne), it is a big one. Melbourne actually has a public holiday call Melbourne Cup Day! :P

      Your reasons are exactly why I love the WP Editorial Calendar too. So easy to schedule posts and see the month of posts.

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