My personality mandates that I have structure and organization so it was only natural that I put my own spin on the Editorial Calendar. Editorial Calendars are a must if you are serious and dedicated to your craft as a writer. For some of us (bloggers) our blogs have morphed into lives of their own and demand fresh content and ample time. Personally, I hope to position my blog as beauty/lifestyle resource and in order to do that I'll have to learn how to generate original content and stick to timelines. Beauty editors at major publications aren't going to care if I'm sleepy,sick or fresh out of ideas thus the Editorial Calendar helps to create discipline and habit which is a definite in this thing called blogging.
Dissecting MY Editorial Calendar:
|Screen shot of a portion of my Editorial Calendar|
- Ideas- when an idea hits me, I go in and add the idea so that I don't forget. You'll note that some of my ideas have my themes, this helps me to sort by theme and identify topics that I've already covered.
- Title- Sometime there is an idea and the title takes longer to pop in your head. You won't ever have to worry about duplicate titles with the find feature offered in excel.
- Status-Sometimes I input ideas and forget to follow up or research so this column helps me determine if my idea has gone from idea to reality. It's kind of like crossing off my To Do list.
- Due Date: This section really helps to keep me accountable and get content out in a timely manner.
- Date Posted: Listing the date is great because I can sort (I really love features in Excel) and determine how I need to schedule feature posts. By comparing my due date and posted date it lets me know if I'm overloading myself or just being a slacker.
- Notes: Pretty simple to figure out...I'll note if the post generated hits that exceed the norm or if I PR company sponsored a post or it's a Press Release.
- Maximize your Smart Phone: I downloaded the Google Docs application so that anytime I have an idea I can go right in and add to my calendar/spreadsheet.
- Color Coding- If you note in my screen shot I use different colors to serve as a "key." As soon as I open the document I know Yellow is a pending post which is important and Red indicates that the post is extremely urgent, thus it gets my attention first.
- Flexibility- Don't overwhelm yourself...allow days off and BREATHE!! You have a dedicated audience and as long as you engage them with great posts and fresh content, they'll understand that everyone needs a day off. Besides, taking a break can give you new perspective. Also, keep in mind things like events and award shows that may cause some due dates to change beyond your control.
What are your tools for managing your Editorial Calendar?