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What is an Editorial Calendar & Why Your Blog Needs One

I’ve had the pleasure of getting a peek into the work of the editorial team of a publishing house I was invited to. While I was completely amused by their ‘fishbowl’ – where the employees generate ideas for upcoming content, I had the privilege to take a look at their Editorial calendar, and that was something that caught my attention. Shouldn’t bloggers also be making the most of such a wonderful content organizing tool? If you have ever worked in pressrooms, publishing houses or public relations, an editorial calendar is something you must have come across pretty often. For those who haven’t heard or even ignored it for most of their blogging years, this is something you must be seriously taking note of.

What is an Editorial Calender?

An editorial calendar is supposed to be a 12-month planning of the editorial pieces that are to be published in the upcoming time span. This editorial calendar is fundamental to magazines and newspaper publishers. Coming up with stories for publishing almost instantaneously is somewhat exacerbated and planning upfront is how these publishers remain consistent. Many of publishers also opt to publicly release their editorial calendars to attract more readership, and that is one surefire way to build up some suspense for your content. Here’s an example of the 2015 Editorial calendar of Forbes magazine, and another one from Inc Magazine. Although the published editorial calendars are just a basic snippet of their featured articles, a private editorial calendar runs around in the team chalking out major articles well in advance.

What has it got to do with Blogging?

Blogging is technically nothing more different than magazine or newspaper publishing, just the channel of communication being different. Leveraging this method will be beneficial to your blog in many ways. While it sounds to be too trivial to be worth your attention, it deserves your attention if you are serious about your blogging.

Here are a few things that make having an editorial calendar for your blog provide you with an edge over the rest.

Makes your content better organized

First of all, your best content will be organized way before get into the process of writing it. More productivity and organized content are what you will probably get by sticking to it for your blog.

Kills Procrastination

You kill all the procrastination and will know exactly what needs to get published and when, so no more random thoughts taking up your precious blogging time. If procrastination is your biggest enemy, let an editorial calendar put the demons to rest by having everything planned up from the very beginning.

Builds up anticipation among your readers

Publicizing their editorial calendars would be a great way for bloggers to build up some anticipation for their upcoming articles and get more readers on board.

Great tool for multi-author blogs

Now for bloggers who run multi-author blogs, an editorial could be a boon to improving your productivity three-folds. Knowing who handles which article and the exact details of the publishing date of the same makes everything fall perfectly in place.

Tools to help you build an Editorial Calender

Assuming that most of you bloggers power on WordPress, here are a few tools that would let the plugins do the work of making you an editorial calender. For other bloggers not based on WordPress, there’s something for you as well, so hold on as we take a look at the best tools for getting your content organized.

Editorial Calender (WordPress)

The Editorial Calender is a free plugin, found at the WordPress.org plugin repository. This is one of the finest editorial calendar plugins out there for WordPress users. It allows you to drag and drop your posts in the Editorial calendar, and it seamlessly integrates into your WordPress dashboard.

Apart from being a great way to manage your editorial calendar, this plugin also lets you create, edit and schedule those posts from a quick edit dialog box. It also lets you manage posts from multiple authors easily view the status of your posts.

 

Edit Flow (WordPress)

Another free plugin available on the WordPress plugin repository for your Editorial calenders is the Edit Flow. The filter feature on this editorial calender is mention worthy. Filter all your upcoming posts on the editorial calender by their publishing status, users or categories. The publishing statuses could also be customized to make the publishing process personal.

Editorial comments aid in the private communication between editors and writers on a post-by-post basis. It also provides with the option to stay notified regarding any advances related to work on a post.

If you aren’t on WordPress or if you are of the notion that you mustn’t use too much of plugins for speed issues, Google is always there to your rescue!

Google Drive

How many tools have we seen coming from the Search Engine giant that changed the lives of people for the better? I’ve probably lost count of that! Google Drive, formerly integrated with Google Docs, is a great way to create and manage your documents on the go, and of the format of your most concern is the Excel spreadsheets.

With lots of space available to store your files, multiple tabs and unlimited color combinations; sky’s the limit for creative editorial calender that hasn’t got anything to do with WordPress and its plugins. You can easily create multiple tabs for Post titles, Author name, Status, Category, Links to be used, Sources for inspiration, keywords and your imagination is the limit to these multiple tabs.

Also consider Google Calender

Another great way to create Editorial calenders easily synced across various devices just with a Google account is by using Google Calender. Although it would turn out to be pretty clumsy if you include too many details into the Google Calender, it should do good for storing simple post titles and accessing them anywhere, anytime. You can create a powerful Editorial Calender using Google Calender with this amazing tutorial at Hubspot.

Do you happen to use an Editorial Calender for your blogging purposes or intending to use one in the future? Shout out your thoughts and comments on how significant Editorial calenders are for bloggers.

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