Blogging // Editorial Calendars and Planning

editorial-calendars

I’m a planner. You guys know I love lists, calendars, and everything in between. And lately I’ve started really trying to get a system going for Lovely Indeed’s editoral calendar. Now, I by no means have this down to a science, but I do know that I’ve fallen into a little system that works for me. So I’ll break it down for you.

Firstly, I’m a visual gal, so I need something to look at that lays out an entire month. I used to use a pencil and paper setup, with a planner specifically dedicated to my editorial calendar. But (no joke, this is really why I stopped using it) it was really heavy in my purse. Ha. So I looked for a plugin that I could just use on Lovely Indeed’s dashboard (I blog on WordPress, FYI) and found a really basic calendar plugin. It’s not perfect, but it does the job.

So when I look ahead to plan a calendar, I first take stock and decide if there’s anything I’ve been wanting to say or feature or make, and kind of sketch out a theme for the month or season. As an example, I’ll let you in on a secret: I’m doing a small feature series during the upcoming holidays about my family’s traditional holiday recipes. I’ve been wanting to make them all and I thought it would be a perfect thing to share with you guys during November and December. So I decided which recipes, how many, and when to feature them. I plugged those into the calendar to reserve the days.

Next, I always factor in my regular columns. I know that most of the time on Fridays right now I have a Ten Things list. Boom, scheduled. I know that I like to post one or two DIYs every week, and I know the style of DIY I’d love to feature for the season that’s coming. Boom, scheduled. Then I fill in with my other regular columns (like Married Life or Blogging) wherever they might fit or make sense.

Now, I’m a planner but that doesn’t mean I’m not flexible. If a post needs to move a day forward or back, I use the WordPress calendar plugin to drag and drop it to a different day. (Again, it’s not the best program but I love the drag and drop feature.) This way, if a cool opportunity comes along or I need to insert a last-minute post, I can just shuffle things. And I do shuffle a lot.

Once everything’s scheduled, I go through the editorial calendar and put the actual creation and writing of every post on my own personal to-do list. For DIY posts, I usually start trying to make them about two weeks before they go live. For regular written posts, I usually start writing about a week out. That way there’s plenty of wiggle room if something goes haywire, which it usually does.

So that’s the nuts and bolts of my system! I get asked often how far in advance I have my planning done. I can honestly tell you that right at this moment, I have an idea for a post on every day of my editorial calendar through the end of the year. But! My best guess is that about 25% of it will change, because it always does. DIY ideas don’t work out, or I run out of time, or whatever. The best laid plans and all that. But the moral of the story is that everybody’s work flow is a little different, and you just gotta find what works for you.

And if you have any other process or workflow that you’d love to share, let’s hear it. Leave a comment so we can all benefit from your brilliance! xoxo

18 thoughts on “Blogging // Editorial Calendars and Planning”

  1. Wow! I’m super impressed that you’ve got ideas through the end of the year! I’m usually working on planning about week or two in advance. Sometimes I have a loss for ideas, and I’ll plan a post the week of.

    I think it’s a great idea to have an editorial calendar though. It definitely helps to plan holiday related posts!

    1. Well, the ideas are there — but the really tough work comes when I try to bring everything to life. For some reason, planning is the easy part for me. Go figure!

  2. I’m still on the old pen and paper method as far as planning goes. I’ve never thought about using a plug-in through wordpress.

    Great idea!

  3. I’m still old school with pen and paper cause I like being able to carry my blog planner with me. Tho for 2014 I would like something a little more interesting to look at – I am a visual girl too! Lisa xo

    1. I know, that’s the one thing I miss! You can access posts from a WordPress app on a smartphone, but it’s just not the same as having a pen in your hand!

  4. Such a great system! I dream of the days when I can plan so far in advance. Perhaps when my kids are in college…I usually think of DIY projects when I am running errands, write ideas on my daily ‘to-do’ list and complete and photograph in between the tasks of daily life. It can be frustrating to get something completed around kids’ schedules. But I try to use the blog to record and encorage us to find beauty in our daily life.

  5. Thanks so much for this, what a helpful post! I’ve only been blogging for a couple of months, and have just started an old-timey pen and paper editorial calendar. Seeing your method of planning is super inspirational – thank you! 🙂

  6. Hi there! Very helpful post. I’ve just gotten more serious about blogging and noticed that when I participated in the thankful project, it was much easier for me to keep track of my posting! Now I’ve gotten my December and January calendar filled out as well! I made myself a binder-I like writing! I tried using technology and that wasn’t working for me. My binder also has a Blog Master list (things I plan to do for the week to network, projects I want to post on my blog), and a Blog Idea sheet. I also keep a notebook and a pen in there to jot down anything that inspires me throughout the day.

    Thank you for sharing!

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