7 Tips to Plan and Maintain an Editorial Schedule Like a Pro
Creating great content means spending time well, creating content. If you’ve got a blog (you should), your audience is likely expecting multiple new pieces of content from you each week. And that’s on top of your other job functions! Chances are, you’re not going to have something insightful to say every time you sit down at your computer. So if you want to stay on top of your content creation strategy, it’s essential to maintain an editorial schedule to help you stay on track.
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How to Maintain an Editorial Schedule to Improve Your Blogging Strategy
Editorial schedules are essential for bloggers who want to stay on top of their content offerings. Whether you’re blogging once a week or multiple times a day, when you maintain an editorial schedule, you can keep your content on track and own your blogging strategy.
When you use an editorial schedule to manage your blog offerings, you can ensure that you rotate through different post types on a regular basis – this keeps your audience engaged and increases the likelihood that one or more of your posts goes viral.
If you haven’t established an editorial schedule yet, there are a few things you’re going to want to keep in mind to give your blogging strategy a boost:
1. Get a planner.
Whether you prefer to use a physical planner or an app, you need a central location to keep track of your dates and your actual editorial schedule itself (whether or not it’s a physical reality).
I personally prefer physical planners and notebooks to keep track of my writing to-dos, but for Rystedt Creative, we work from a shared editorial schedule in a text file that we access through Google Drive. There are plenty of planning apps out there that you can find from a simple web search.
2. Sort posts by type.
Ideally, your blog should be a mix of different post types that are relevant to your audience. Maybe your post types include tutorials, lists, funny stories and product reviews. You can maintain an editorial schedule to manage post types by day so that you deliver your tutorial on Mondays, reviews on Wednesdays and lists on Fridays, for example.
3. Articulate post topics.
When you’ve got your post types figured out, you can easily plot future posts by plugging in applicable titles and topics to your pre-planned schedule.
This makes it easy to find places for your backlog of sewing tutorials, for example, rather than dumping a glut of tutorials onto the blog all at once. Planning your content in advance means that your audience will be more likely to see posts that they relate to and makes it so that posts of a similar style are less likely to be overlooked.
You can also maintain an editorial schedule to keep your blog posts seasonal. If you’re a food blogger, you’re probably not going to share a recipe for gingerbread in the middle of July. Instead of forgetting about that awesome recipe when you perfect it during the summer months, you can jot down a note on the editorial schedule to post it the weekend after Thanksgiving – a time when your audience is going to crazy for it.
4. Get work done earlier.
When you know what you’re going to post, you don’t have to sit down each day or week and fret about what you’re going to write. You can simply sit down and write what earlier you decided would be a good topic for the day.
Additionally, you can do as much work in advance as your heart desires. Then you can simply schedule content to post at 1 AM on your post day and not have to worry about it. This comes in handy when you have big deadlines coming and know you won’t have time to dedicate to writing blog posts on top of everything else. Or you can go away on vacation without doing much more than checking that your site updated with the right post data while you’re away.
5. Use your time better.
If you’re posting content with a lot of your own photos and graphics, you likely don’t have time to dedicate to daily writing, photo taking, editing and graphics creation. When you maintain an editorial schedule, you can take control of your work time as well as your post topics.
Let’s say you have access to your favorite photo spot on Thursdays each week and take a week’s worth of blog photos on that day. Maybe Friday works well as an editing day, and you have a solid block of time to create infographics on another day of the week.
You can adjust your editorial schedule to allow your writing to take place on days when you’re not trying to balance photoshoots and hundreds of files to sift through in Photoshop. Yes, this means you’ll probably need to write a few posts at a time, but you may find it easier to balance the rest of your workload around your planned writing days.
6. Share your workload.
A well-maintained editorial schedule lets you split your writing load among other creatives on your team. If you’re working with a group of writers or are managing guest posts, a shared editorial calendar keeps everyone on track.
The shared workload aspect of an editorial schedule also relieves you of some of the burden in developing post topics and creating content ideas. Chances are, if your creative engine is a bit burned out, you’ve got a team member who can maintain the editorial schedule creation for a month or two to let you refresh and recharge.
7. Coordinate sponsor activities.
If you regularly work with sponsors or write promotional posts for affiliate brands, your well-maintained editorial schedule gives you the leverage you need to attract new sponsors and provide places for sponsor posts to shine.
Often, sponsors are interested to know whether your posts with their products are going to attract the readership they desire. When you maintain an editorial schedule and keep track of your blog metrics in relation to your past posts in certain blog categories or over certain periods of the year, you can pitch your blog in the best light for attracting the sponsorships you desire.
While sponsorship isn’t our most recommended way to build a blog income, we do recognize that there are some bloggers who use this as a powerful source of blog revenue. And they’re using their editorial schedules to plot and plan these partnerships.
If building your brand’s blog or maintaining a robust editorial schedule is beyond the scope of your business activities right now, contact us to learn more about our custom copywriting services.
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About Rystedt Creative Services
At Rystedt Creative, we believe your web experience should be simple and straightforward. Whether your life’s calling is to make custom lawn gnomes or host conferences for pushing the boundaries of scientific knowledge, we can help you handle the details of maintaining your online influence.