|If you don't like spreadsheets, use paper to plot your calendar.|
First, here's how I define an editorial calendar: A list of content with dates attached to when the content goes live. For instance, I created an editorial calendar specifically for this April Platform Challenge and "April Platform Challenge: Day 20" was scheduled to go live on April 20 (fingers crossed I can finish this post).
It's really simple. In fact, I keep track of my editorial calendar with a paper notebook, which gives me plenty of space for crossing things out, jotting down ideas, and attaching Post-It notes.
Here are tips for different blogging frequencies:
- Post once per week. If you post once a week, pick a day of the week for that post to happen each week. Then, write down the date for each post. Beside each date, write down ideas for that post ahead of time. There will be times when the ideas are humming and you get ahead on your schedule, but there may also be times when the ideas are slow. So don't wait, write down ideas as they come.
- Post more than once per week. Try identifying which days you'll usually post (for some, that may be daily). Then, for each of those days, think of a theme for that day. For instance, my 2012 schedule offers Life Changing Moments on Wednesdays and Poetic Saturdays on, umm, Saturdays.
One more benefit of editorial calendars
There are times when I feel less than inspired. There are times when life throws me several elbows as if trying to prevent me from blogging. That's when I am the most thankful for maintaining an editorial calendar, because I don't have to think of a new idea on the spot; it's already there in my editorial calendar.
Plus, as I said earlier, you can always change plans. While I always knew "April Platform Challenge: Day 20" was going to happen today, I originally had a different task assigned to this day. I altered the plan to accommodate the challenge. So I don't want to hear that an editorial calendar limits spontaneity or inspiration; if anything, having an editorial calendar enhances it.
One last thing on today's assignment
Don't stress yourself out that you have to create a complete editorial calendar for the year or even the month. I just want you to take some time out today to think about it, sketch some ideas, and get the ball rolling. I'm 100% confident that you'll be glad you did.
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How to Use Social Media to Promote Your Writing and Yourself.
In the webinar How to Use Social Media to Promote Your Writing and Yourself, super freelance writer I.J. Schecter teaches writers how to avoid the most common social media pitfalls, how to respond to others strategically, how to get work for yourself by talking about others, and more.
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Need to catch up or re-visit earlier challenge tasks? Here are the most recent: