How to Create an Editorial Calendar for your Blog

Yesterday I challenged you to come up with at least 10 blog post ideas for your blog. Today we’re going to take those ideas and begin to form an editorial calendar around them – specifically we’re looking to create an editorial plan for next week on your blog.

As I share in this episode this something I resisted doing in the early days of my blogging but having started to do it a few years ago it transformed my blogging on many levels so if you’re yet to do it I can highly recommend you give it a go.

Editorial Calendar

In Today’s Episode

You can listen to today’s episode above or in iTunes or Stitcher (where we’d also LOVE to get your reviews on those platforms if you have a moment).

  • 10 Quick Benefits of creating an Editorial Calendar
  • How to Create a Simple Editorial Calendar for Your Blog
  • A basic weekly format for an Editorial Calendar that you might want to try (with a different type of post on each day)
  • Tools you might want to check out to help you create your editorial calendar

By the end of this challenge you now should:

  • know what you need to create
  • have some starting points for each post
  • have a plan of when you’ll create each post

Tools Mentioned in this Episode and Related Reading

Here are the editorial calendar tools I mentioned in today’s episode:

And here is some further reading on the topic:

How did you go with today’s challenge?

  • Do you already have an editorial calendar?
  • What tool do you use if any?
  • What does your next week of blogging look like in your editorial calendar?

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  • This is great. At the beginning of the year I decided to start using an editorial calendar. I couldn’t cope with the WordPress plugin so I went all old school and bought new inserts for an old file-o-fax! It works really well for me; I list the posts I’m planning, any regular linkys or blog hops I join in with, but also if it’s a national day or something I can talk about on social media. It really helps me when I’m planning posts, to see what I already have planned for that week or what else is going on. And it made a big difference to my blog, in terms of traffic but also how I approach blogging – I think it’s become more professional rather than just a hobby now and hopefully that comes across in my posts too.

    • very old school but it’s about doing what works for you and it sounds like it has! Congrats!

  • Wow, this one turned out to be more of a challenge than expected b/c I do not want to have my notes in one application & the calendar in another. Couldn’t find an app to fill that requirement, not even a paid one. So I created an Excel book. (Where would I be without Excel??) I used an Excel calendar template which is really quite nice. Then I added a note page where I can brainstorm; copy/paste ideas to the calendar; and created a desktop shortcut. I still need to do more formatting but it works. The template even came with space for additional notes & adding images.

    I completed 2 weeks. My goal is to blog 3 times a week & give myself time for research, editing etc. Some posts I can do in a morning but some are much more involved & detailed.

    Nice challenge! Just need to make this a good habit.

    • That all sounds so complicated to me, but I’m also thinking of the 3/4 times a week but all on my iPhone notepad and a piece of paper! Lol!

      • If you know Excel, it’s really not complicated. I’m not an Excel powerhouse user, although I wish I were. It has lots of templates that can easily be inserted as a sheet. On the other hand, if you do not know Excel, then yes, I suppose it may seem complicated. Still, it’s an app worth taking the time to learn.

    • Sam Walker

      Wow, Shirley, that is impressive. I love the idea but it is way too complicated for me. I never did manage to get the hang of Excel and every time I go to learn it something more pressing comes up.

    • very impressive – well done!

      • Thank you:) Sometimes I even surprise myself. If it wasn’t for this challenge, I probably would have put it on a to do list and moved on.

  • Just finished listening and I’m definitely a reluctant planner, have had a go in the past but never really stuck to it. Though my husband who is slowly becoming a blogging widow Ioves the idea, I will give it a try, it might mean I work more productively and spend a little less time on the blog. Oh and I’ll write the post about auto correcting humanity post too! Thanks

    • it definitely takes a little work to get it set up Amanda but it’ll be worth it if you can get into the habit!

  • Jerry Everard

    This was really useful for me – I am using the mac’s Calendar app and have scheduled ongoing posts by type to remind me of what I should be posting on what day. Definitely one of the better pieces of advice so far 🙂

    • Great work Jerry. I used that same app for quite a long time and it worked really well for me!

  • Sam Walker

    Yes, love the idea of an editorial calendar. Have just never managed to put one into place in the past. I don’t have a budget to pay for one so I’m going to attempt to use the wordpress plugin. Given my dramas with just about every technical thing I’ve tried to implement in the last year or so, I’m not sure how I’ll go. But there’s no harm in trying.

    • Hope it works for you Sam!

    • Hi Sam, I’ve just installed it and it’s really easy to use! Good luck 🙂

  • I’ve set up a Google Calendar because it dove tails into the electronic calendars I already use. I’ve put in the Editorial Calendar which looks useful for seeing where the gaps are. I’m planning to post no more than3 times a week initially, because I’m busy in my real job, designing gardens!

  • I started an editorial calendar earlier, but haven’t kept up with it. I have kept up with a social media calendar for FB, but that’s self defense because otherwise I share the same 5 things over and over again.
    Now to dig out my calendar and work on it better.

  • Hi Darren @darrenrowse
    Is there a sample of what the workbook looks like anywhere? I can’t find anything obvious, and I’m one of ‘those’ people who likes to look before I buy…
    Also, what format is it? PDF, Word etc. If I could make my notes direct in the workbook that would be useful.

  • I use a spreadsheet to keep track of my items. It helps me know when my topics are scheduled for release. I write in spurts (busy mom and all). I can crank out 5 posts and then not return to writing for a week. The calendar helps me to release ‘on time’ but write when my schedule permits.

  • Pete Reece

    I’m a little lost with this one mainly because I’m in early days yet with my blogging (only ten posts so far). I’m only planning on doing one (quality) post a week at present and with having only a handful of readers (but growing!) I’m not really sure where most of my traffic is going to come from so time zones etc. are something I don’t have to be concerned with at present. I think it’ll be a very good idea when I’m posting more often and following up with shorter posts e.g. tips or quotations and with tweets, FB posts etc. At present I think the calendar would be full of things which don’t get done because I’m too busy with more basic stuff.

  • An editorial calendar is definitely a great idea. I already have a little routine set up- I usually publish every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so I start planning the posts during the weekend, just write down general points and ideas. Then, I draft the post the day before. I usually publish each post after 12:00 pm because that’s when traffic starts to increase, at least in my case. However, I’m sure having everything in my head is going to get confusing pretty soon. I am setting up an editorial calendar today!

  • Simplify.Create

    Having an editorial calendar was the biggest turning point for me, motivated by an upcoming baby and needing to get ahead. It became such a big part of my blogging process that I even created my own tool but I also utilise coschedule as the ability to drop posts into a different date is such a time saver.

  • Jake Pryszlak

    You have on the 25 – ‘reach out to an advertiser’ .. Do you have any particular advertisers that you go to? Do you have a blog post on this?

  • This was soo much fun, I used your guide above to put things into place as to how frequently and modified the frequency of posting of course to suit my schedule. Used Google calender to repeat schedule them, them use the tasks feature to actually add blog post ideas and notes into the equation. Like a few other people your sample schedule prompted ideas within me, but I wondered if you could share what you do on a few of the different days or link to posts that cover them. Specifically reader focus day, and if you have a system of SEO Audit and dead link hunt?

    I actually feel like I have a plan for my blog now.

    I also created a Social Media schedule using the same of your editorial calender on another page, Excel is very effective for sceduling.

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Joy

  • I’m going to create one of these. The key will be balancing both calendars. But I like this idea as it should keep me from forgetting some of the key things I need to stay on top of.

  • I’ve been blogging for over 2 years. I’ve pretty much had a schedule the entire time. I started using an editorial calendar at the beginning of the year./ It has worked wonders for me. I have my post for the rest of the month already planned and listed on the calendar.

  • It feels good to have a plan now. Before it was just write when I felt the urge. After brainstorming with yesterday’s challenge I’ve racked up 20 topics about money & debt and I’m excited to blog again. I plan on writing on my days off Sat-Mon and scheduling them to publish the next week. That way, I’m always working in advance and I’ll have some room to breath vs waking up and trying to publish something before it’s too late that day. I will be publishing 2 posts per week and currently have 4 posts on the calendar; an opinion, list, how-to, and a link post. Looking forward to working the calendar and providing great content to those working on making more money and getting out of debt.

  • Miller

    This podcast. is brilliant. love it.

  • Phil Statham

    Very much, this is one of the best and most motivating podcasts I have ever heard. I have applied its scheduling principles in a number of areas including client website development plans, social media campaigns and now am starting my own blog, for the first time. I listen to a few podcasts while travelling to meetings (much more valuable use of time that listening to the radio) but I always look to catch this one first if a new one is available.

  • This is a great way to get started! I would highly recommend, though, including a few more pieces — especially if your blog is in service to a business. For example, I like to have my clients include WHY they’re writing a particular post. Is it to attract attention? Generate desire for a product? And so on. That way, you’re always aware of the larger context of any given piece. I’ve written about it more here:

  • have you considered doing a transcript? It would be incredibly helpful. Your podcast is amazing. Thank you!!

  • Christie Adams

    Hi, I’m using Google Chrome, with gmail calendar as I find it easier on all devices (I’m an Apple convert, cost an arm and a leg and a bit more but worth it)
    A bit limiting on colour coding etc so far – no doubt because I need to sit down and spend time playing in it.
    Once again, great podcast.
    Thank you!