An editorial calendar can be a lifesaver for freelance bloggers. It might seem daunting to plan out an entire month or quarter’s worth of posts in one go, but your hard work will pay off when you no longer have to scramble to come up with something to post every other day.
WordPress has an editorial calendar plugin that you can use, however many bloggers find that using a pen and a piece of paper helps the ideas flow. Whatever you use, mapping out your posts in advance is worth a try for many reasons.
1. An editorial calendar can cut down on writer’s block. As many writers will tell you, deciding what to write is often the hardest part. On the flip side, it’s easy to think of article topics when you know you won’t have to write them right away.
Using an editorial calendar will ensure that you always have a topic on hand to write about. You can take it a step further and write posts in batches, so that if one idea just isn’t flowing, you can skip it and come back to it later.
If you’re prone to procrastination, your calendar can also give you a deadline and a sense of urgency about getting down to work.
2. An editorial calendar can help you refine your mix of posts. You can approach this in two different ways. The first way is to assign a different theme to each day that you publish. This can be as broad or narrow as you wish. For example, you can decide that every Monday, you will publish an interview and Wednesdays are for list posts and Saturdays are round-ups.
You can also approach it by writing down all of your post ideas, then placing them on the calendar in the way that makes the most sense to you. Perhaps you have five related posts that could be a theme week. Or you might want to break up those posts so that you’re running one a week, either as a formal series or as standalone posts.
This will help you avoid having too many posts on the same subject or format in a row and/or allow you to group posts as a linked series. It can even help you come up with new ideas for posts as you see the gaps in what is covered.
3. An editorial calendar makes it easier for you to outsource part of your blogging. If you’re at the point where hiring a writer for your blog makes sense, an editorial calendar is a much better choice than asking the writer to come up with their own ideas. This is especially true if you are hiring multiple writers and want to be sure that they do not write very similar posts at the same time.
Guest posters will sometimes ask if you have any requests on subject matter. With an editorial calendar, you can give them ideas that complement the posts that you were already planning on running. Again, this avoids too similar posts being published too close together and also increases the chances that the guest post will meet your audience’s needs.