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Now With An Editorial Calendar

A photograph of an open diary with a pen on it

By the time this post goes live I will have been using an editorial calendar for 2 months. That I’m writing this post a month in advance is part of the reason for writing it.

I used to think editorial calendars weren’t for me. A system wherein you note which posts you want to put online and when, that fundamentally means you’re working with a view to weeks ahead, wasn’t something I thought would work. Many big blogs speak highly of it but trying a few WordPress plugins only confirmed my thoughts.

From the time I started my blog, I’ve kept posts in drafts. I always found deciding what posts to post within a two week limit to be what worked best and I rarely reached that limit.

I’ve been using a calendar since the start of March. The turning point was when I realised just how much time I was spending looking at my drafts and wondering what to post. Knowing a calendar could make that easier, because you slot posts in in batches, I decided to go semi-old school, manual, and created a table-based calendar document. It offered the control I felt was lacking in the plugins. It’s working; I’ve been a month ahead. I can look at a full month of days and by slotting in all my ideas and noting where I am in the posting process I can easily switch them around if needed later. It’s also spurred me to write more as seeing blank dates, even if they’re weeks away, pushes me to fill them. It’s a kind of good anxiety.

All this to say if you’ve noticed a change here, there has been one. It seems to be affecting what I post, too, in a good way. I can see at a glance how many less ‘involved’ posts are planned – round-ups, links – and mix it up better.

My belief is still the same – an editorial calendar will work if you want one but I don’t think they’re as essential as some blogs say. It really depends on your ‘whys’, ‘hows’, and time.

For me, the time was right.

What tools do you use for blogging/writing/keeping track of your reading?



April 25, 2016, 6:18 pm

I am a fairly new book blogger and the truth is, I am still looking for a plan or method for my posts, but more so, I am still playing around with what I want my blog to ‘be.’

I look at your blog as an example of what to aspire to, so I really appreciate a post like this. Right now, I use a notebook as I read and jot down what strikes me. I try to write up a post soon after finishing the book, even if I may post it later. I stash these drafts in a Word folder.

I am wrestling now, as a matter of fact, with a better order for my posts that include days for fiction, nonfiction and some of my historical research, but it is still a muddle. But thanks to this post, I think an editorial calendar might be perfect for me now.

I do have a question if it isn’t too personal…how does the actual writing for your posts fit in? Do you look at a month and say, “I’d like to write about this, this and this and this is how I’ll arrange it.” Or do you have a writing schedule where you decide what you want to write about, write it, then arrange the month by what you have already written?

April Munday

April 25, 2016, 8:27 pm

There are plug-ins for this? I use a sheet of paper and a pen, mind you, I usually only plan a couple of weeks ahead. Sometimes I decide what I’m going to write about the day before.

I quite like having the flexibility to go down a rabbit hole if a bit of research interests me or if there are comments on a post that raise further questions. On the other hand it’s great when I have a couple of posts in hand and know that I can relax for a week or so.


April 25, 2016, 9:27 pm

i confess that I don’t plan at all. I tend to write whatever I feel in the mood for. I start lots of drafts and then decide which I have energy to pursue on the day in question

Jenny @ Reading the End

April 26, 2016, 1:19 am

I have had a blog calendar before, and it IS the best thing. I meant to have one this year, but for whatever reason, I’ve been woefully awful about keeping up with it. I keep trying to get back to speed!


May 13, 2016, 3:26 pm

Laurie: Keep doing what you’re doing, I’d say. It’s good to experiment and work out what you want to be doing and find a posting method that works for you. Glad to hear this post helped you; it’s taken me a while to get where I am in terms of knowing exactly what to post and honestly it changes every so often, but at the same time (I’m happy to say) many people work more quickly. If I didn’t know otherwise, I’d say you’ve been blogging for a good while :) Noting down your thoughts I can’t agree with enough, so to speak – reading without having notes when you know you’ll want to discuss the book on your blog can be a problem. Summaries can’t compare to the level of detail in immediately scribbled down notes. I try to write my reviews as soon as I can, too.

Yep, I’d say give a calendar a go. You’ve got a good categorised idea going on and it would likely help.

The second mode you included – I used to write posts whenever, but with the calendar I’m currently aiming to write four posts a week and then I label the progress in the calendar (so ‘on paper’ ‘word document’, ‘blog draft’, ‘almost reading; needs editing’, scheduled’, and so on). I’m writing posts for July at the moment and June’s are in various stages of completion. (I’ll reschedule them if something comes along that I feel needs posting earlier.) I do sometimes think of what I want to write and add it in with a question mark, but I prefer to have the posts written before they go into the calendar. That way I know they’re some way towards being ready – I think I’d feel a false sense of security otherwise.

April: I think there are, yes. General ones, I believe. I’ve found planning it out has helped flexibility – it’s weird to think, in a way, but having it planned and then writing something off the bat for the next day is easier, less pressured, than doing that without a plan. Yes to relaxing. I’ve scheduled posts to the end of May because of other things going on and it’s nice to know it’s one less thing to worry about.

Bookertalk: Having lots of drafts ready to elaborate on is something I tried to do; it’s a good idea and helps with that blank page problem. I’d say it’s a plan of sorts :)

Jenny: You’ve said something I’m expecting to happen at some point – it’s a novelty now, but I’m assuming it’s subject to mini slumps. Hoping the more ahead one is, the easier it is to deal with.



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