Create an Editorial Calendar: Day 9 of the 2015 October Platform Challenge

As you may have noticed from the beginning of this challenge, I like a good plan. I also like blogging. Today’s task brings both of those actions together.

Create an Editorial Calendar

For today’s platform-building task, create an editorial calendar for your blog. Before you start to panic, this is a pretty simple task that can be accomplished with a computer or even a pen and paper.

Here are tips for various 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 post, write down ideas for that post ahead of time. There will be times when the ideas are humming along 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 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 Poetic Asides blog always has a prompt on Wednesdays, sometimes has a poetry market on Mondays, interviews on Thursdays, and so on.

You can always change plans and move posts to different days, but the editorial calendar is an effective tool for setting very clear goals with deadlines and accomplishing them. Having that kind of structure will improve your content–even if your blog is personal, fictional, poetic, etc. It’s helped me a great deal over the years.

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Another Benefit of Editorial Calendars

There are times when I feel less than inspired. There are times when life throws me several elbows as it trying to prevent me from blogging. That’s when I am the most thankful for maintaining my 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 wrote earlier, you can always change plans. While I always knew today would be the ninth day of the October Platform Challenge, I originally had create an editorial calendar set for later in the month. I altered the plan a few days ago, and here we are.

So I don’t want to hear that an editorial limits spontaneity or inspiration; if anything, having an editorial calendar enhances both.

One Last Thing on Today’s Task

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 down some ideas, and get the ball rolling. I’m 100% confident that you’ll be glad you did.

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roberttwitterimageRobert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community, which includes editing Writer’s Market and Poet’s Market. He regularly blogs at the Poetic Asides blog and writes a poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine. He also leads online education, speaks on writing and publishing at events around the country, and does other fun writing-related stuff.

A published poet, he’s the author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53) and a former Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

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153 thoughts on “Create an Editorial Calendar: Day 9 of the 2015 October Platform Challenge

  1. ConnieCockrell

    Editorial Calendar
    Mondays: Blog about what happened with me (a personal connection) over the last week: Gardening, Hiking, Travelling, anything that makes me look more like a real person.) Plans for the future: Book Signings, Conferences, Gardening, Travelling, new books to write. My Writing: in other words, my progress on current work, where I am in the draft, where I am in the editing, and so on.
    Fridays: I post a free, 1000 word or less (flash), fiction story. This is a sample of my writing.
    18th of the Month: I blog for a writing group, Forward Motion, in their Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour. The group sets up prompts for each month.
    25th of the Month: I blog for a cooking blog, Chicklets in the Kitchen. I get to post a recipe, with pictures.

  2. azlatic

    This is difficult for me, because I blog almost daily and usually don’t know what I’ll be writing about until I sit down at the keyboard. In an attempt to calendarize myself a bit, I did map out some ideas for regular, themed posts, plus started a running list of topics for future posts, for when I get stuck. Another great exercise!

  3. Sherlock

    I was glad to be reminded of an editorial calendar!

    I had promised myself a new blog posting on Sundays but have found that I am not always doing that. I also like to post something about midweek that has something to do with one of my prior posts.

  4. Suzanne Adair

    Since early 2011, roughly twice a month on Tuesdays, I’ve posted guest author essays for the “Relevant History” feature of my blog. Months in advance, this enables me to know what fresh material will appear on my blog. Having that material appear regularly keeps subscribers coming back. The schedule varies when I need it to change. For example, I’m not having any Relevant History posts in October and early November because of the busyness during that time of Bouchercon 2015, the launch of my sixth book, and post-launch promotional events.

    (And I’m still catching up from Bouchercon and my book launch.)

  5. marlacarlton

    Okay. I’m late but done. I will post on Mondays for Blog because I have a friend who started Twitter hashtag #MondayBlogs so good. I hate Mondays so perhaps this will help me enjoy Mondays.

  6. Northside Girl

    Task completed using Microsoft Word template and printed it. I have to have a hard copy posted before me as a reminder. I plan to blog Saturdays, as that’s where you started us posting. If my week permits, I’ll have ideas for Wednesdays, too. Thanks for this tool.

  7. semayawibeth

    Thank you for this post! I’m renovating my blog and have decided to blog about what interests me instead of specifically about writing. It’s rather freeing, and I found it much easier to make my calendar.

  8. Janusjoys

    My challenge is staying consistent with my calendar goals of writing daily and posting weekly. There is a scripture that says and I’m paraphrasing “write the vision down so others can run with it ” task completed PS I have 12 new followers on my new Twitter site already!

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