Bigger, Better, Bolder: Establish Your Editorial Calendar
By: Taylor Davies

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This is the next post in a very exciting series we’re bringing to you on IFB in anticipation of the upcoming #IFBcon. Each day in the month of August, we’ll have a different post designed to help your blog become – you guessed it – bigger, better and bolder.

 

fashion blog

 

People will always tell you that the first step in setting out on a successful endeavor is to get organized. Get those ducks in a row, right? So what are the “blogging ducks,” if you will?

Those would be your posts – so getting them in a row (literally and figuratively) is an essential step to creating a professional presence online and establishing a personal routine that will help you accomplish your goals. Using an editorial calendar is probably the most tried-and-true method of content organization. If you don’t have one yet, let’s start with the big picture and work our way down to day-by-day specifics.

By The Year

  • Don’t get scared when I say this, but you may want to structure your entire year’s calendar! Think about how glossy magazines work. Each month has a theme, and they build out their articles and editorials around that general theme. There are posts that stray from the theme of course, but having a broad topic you can come back to will give you direction and focus throughout the year – as well as a fresh approach to your content each month!
  • For example: September is always the “fall fashion” issue, and December often focuses on the holidays and gift guides. May is a great month to talk about fitness and skin care, etc!

By The Month

  • For most of us, it helps to see a visual of the month ahead, divided by weeks and days. Decide how many days a week you want to post (and be mindful of what’s realistically achievable). To keep notes on this, create a calendar on your computer or use one of those pre-deliniated white boards you can get from an office supply store.
  • Is there a monthly feature you want to create? Perhaps a style profile, an interview, a round-up of your best outfit posts… It could be anything really. Just be sure to mark on your calendar when you’ll post it, so you can plan ahead to get it done and ready to go live on time.

By The Week

  • For IFB, we have a semi-rigid formula we follow for posting each week. We try to put really interesting, juicy stories earlier in the week, and taper down to more light, list-centric posts later in the week. From studying our analytics and demographics we’ve been able to figure out what our audience will read – and when!
  • For a less content-heavy blog (like a personal style blog) you’re probably posting once a day at most. You may want to decide if you’ll have a theme for certain days of the week that you can stick to, to get your readers familiar with tuning in for certain things each day. For example: Shoes Tuesday, Workwear Wednesday, Thursday Style Challenge and so-on. With Eat, Sleep, Denim, I always post street style on Thursdays and denim reviews on Fridays, so I know how to plan my week and readers have something expected that they can look forward to.
  • With themed posting, you may want to indicate the theme in the title, again, to make things easier for your readers. Once you’ve been at it for a while, and built up a body of posts, you may then want to create category pages on the side or top of your blog where followers can access similar content all in one place.

By The Day

  • I hate to say it this way, but getting your blog posts done can feel a little like homework – and that’s not always a bad thing. Setting deadlines for yourself is a great way to stay motivated and on-track. Just like you had to turn your paper in first-thing in your English literature class, set a time for all your posts to go live each day.
  • We find that posts get the best chance to circulate the Internets and be seen by more people when they go live earlier in the day. Especially if you’re posting once a day, you’ll want to give that content it’s best chance for exposure, sharing and commenting across multiple time zones and platforms.
  • You don’t have to structure your social media into your editorial calendar, but you may want to include reminders about updating your Facebook page’s image gallery or pinning your latest outfits.
Don’t forget – we have practical tips for getting started in this post from last summer.

 

Do you use an editorial calendar already? Share your experience in the comments.

 

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Comments

  1. Avatar of katya01
    katya01 says:

    Wow this was a super timely reminder! As NYFW is approaching it’s so important to have a plan for when you’re going to post everything. And while a year-out plan seems a little daunting I’m definitely going to try it…and your Editorial Calendar. Thanks!

  2. Avatar of Lauren Fleming

    Well-timed post, for me. I recently started a new blog and am looking to do an editorial calendar for it, so I can get in the habit of writing on a schedule.

  3. Rebecca says:

    The advice to “be mindful of what’s realistically achievable” really resonates with me. I know plenty of bloggers out there manage to post daily while holding down a 9-5, but every time I attempt that schedule I get frustrated and burned out. Which means my posts aren’t quality posts. And quality is more important than quantity, right? I’ll definitely be taking a look at your download, I think it would be very helpful.

    • Avatar of Onianwah
      Barbara says:

      Holding down a 9 – 5 job and blogging everyday is HELL (if I do say so myself). Even posting 4 times a week can sometimes be too much to do. My saving grace a lot of times is perhaps I have taken loads of pictures on 1 day), edited them (1 day). I then upload them all at once and create draft posts (1 day) and then proceed to fill them in and schedule them.

      I will definitely try the editorial calendar, I did it once but it just would not stay put and so it scattered again.

      I guess it is time for better blog organisation.
      Barbara
      http://barbsiesmusings.blogspot.com/
      Lagos, Nigeria

  4. Ana says:

    I started making one in preparations for my non-micro-blogging blog, and I must say it’s time-consuming work, but I do enjoy it. I love themed posts, so I already have a few of them in mind.
    I’ll have to think about planning on a higher level, too – I would have never thought about yearly plans.

  5. Avatar of Shopping In My Own Closet

    Great advice! Starting a new “365 Days Project” and I’ve been looking for a way to “organize” my thoughts and posts around it. Thanks! This will be a big help.

    Cheers!

  6. Avatar of Monique
    Monique says:

    i am just starting to put my editorial calendar together, it’s a lot of work!!

    • CrissyM says:

      Hi Monique,
      I know what you mean, this past Wednesday, I created my first editoria, calendar for my blog and yes it required me to put a lot of thought into it. But I had so much fun in creating my calendar and excitment with knowing how beneficial it will be for me with organizing what needs to be done in a timely manner.

      Once you see all your work completed you will feel joy in what you were able to accomplish too!

      All the best to you :)

      CrissyM
      http://CityMuseMagazine.com/
      @CityMuseMagazine & @iLoveCMstyle

  7. MissAnaMon says:

    I like it when blogs follow a particular schedule featuring a certain theme each day of the week! I think it helps to keep you focused and on target. I work for a magazine in my day job and while it may sometimes be a bit of a pain to have to come up with an editorial calendar so far in advance, it always pays off! Plus, it helps with potential advertisers or guest bloggers and parnternships, too.

  8. Avatar of MissMikelah
    MissMikelah says:

    A calendar def helps for consistency …. I have one, now if I can just follow the darn thing!

  9. Toni Styles says:

    Being organised is beneficial for sure. Although I prefer when blogs go a bit lighter on the themes – I know I’ve tried the whole theme idea on every post/ by the day – but it can become limiting and worst you may resent certain days of the week lol. After that anything else you want to put out is considered random and may or may not result in a serious drop in traffic. The no comment thing is not that big a deal – but traffic, that’s always super important with so much competition. Once you commit to the frequency of your posts and feel confident in your niche – let your heart, soul and creative mind take over – post what you would want to read.

    http://rhythmandruffle.com <3

  10. Jade says:

    I use a very loose editorial calendar but always relatively the same – Mondays is a day to night post (an item that can be worn both ways), Wednesday is usually a trend, colour or item that I like/want and several images/options & Friday is a “Get the Look” of a celebrity. The other days I just go with the flow and whatever has caught my eye in the world of fashion!

  11. Avatar of Janelle
    Janelle says:

    I was aware that this is the way magazines operate but I never thought about doing this for my blog. Brilliant!

    stylecomrades.blogspot.com
    IG: mygirlparty

  12. Meredith says:

    I agree, Janelle, it never occurred to me either. But so brilliant!! Keep the tips coming

  13. Lovely, useful and well written article. I was working as a journalist in a magazine years ago, so, I already use the editorial calendar. What I find useful is having some articles in the ‘fridge’ like we used to say at Liberis Publications, which means having some posts ready so you can use them when you don’t have time.

  14. CrissyM says:

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! So much for writing a post on this topic. I had did a search for samples of editorial calendars for a blogger on IFB last week as well as google search. After viewing dozens of samples & templates, I was able to create an editorial calendar for myself (by thee week) earlier this week that would fit my needs/expectations.

    Your post has been very helpful! Now I know how to incorporate by the year, by the month, by the week, and by the day. AWESOME!!!!!!

    GRACIAS!
    CrissyM
    http://CityMuseMagazine.com/
    @CityMuseMag & @iLoveCMstyle

  15. Avatar of Filipa
    Filipa says:

    I have to say that I really love this idea. For the past few days I’ve been thinking about making something similar like this. I like the idea of having a theme for the week, so you can prepare yourself, and just like Trendsurvivor said, have some post ready for the use when you don’t have time to take pictures etc.
    http://ohmyfilipa.blogspot.com
    x

  16. BBella says:

    thank you, I really need some organization with my blog :)

  17. Thank you so much for the tips! They are super-helpful!

    I started using an editorial calendar this July [I've been blogging since February] and it has been a great help! Thanks to the calendar, my posts became more theme-focused, more polished, and I’ve started posting more.

    My calendar is a small spiral notebook that slowly evolves . I don’t use online calendars – I’m strictly a pen&paper girl.

    What kind of calendar do you use? Do you have any more tips on keeping an editorial calendar?

  18. Kena says:

    I’ve been working off an “editorial calendar” for a couple of months and its really improved my engagement with my readers. They’ve gotten use to what I post on certain days and will comment more on what the liked about it.

  19. Avatar of Kristian
    Kristian says:

    I started using an “editorially” calendar for my blog this summer and it not only has helped a lot (allowing/reminding me to plan ahead for more time-intensive blogs, but pre-prepare a lot of the less intensive posts ahead of time), but it has also made me much more excited about the days’ posts, and also less stressed about coming up with things.

    I’ve only been doing daily and monthly plans so far, a yearly plan is the next step!

    http://www.neverfulllydressedwithoutastyle.blogspot.com

  20. Avatar of CynthiaCM
    Cynthia says:

    I technically have an editorial calendar running for my main site, DelectablyChic! (www.delectablychic.com), but it’s really a guideline. I cover everything ranging from standard style and dining posts to events. When I’m planning, I don’t necessarily know whether I will get access to events, and there are also events that come up almost last minute, so I can’t necessarily follow the calendar too strictly.

    My personal style site, The DelectablyChic! Closet (http://thecloset.delectablychic.com) and body image site, Shorty Stories (http://www.shorty-stories.com), don’t really rely on an editorial calendar as it’s really about spontaneous posting (with the exception of my twice-a-year series, Petites at Fashion Week).

  21. Great tip about sharing and commenting across multiple time zones. I am not even a fashion blogger but so glad I found and subscribed to your blog. Thank you :)

  22. Avatar of MonicaP
    MonicaP says:

    Perfect timing! My blog is brand new .. and now I have find my direction for 2013!

    Monica
    http://www.pear-shaped-gal.com/

  23. Avatar of Shweta
    Shweta says:

    Thank you so much.. I was running as a headless chicken for last three months, but now, I can start afresh in 2013.

  24. Avatar of Maggie A
    Maggie A says:

    This post was extremely helpful in helping me set goals for next year.

    xo
    Maggie
    http://magz725.blogspot.com

  25. Avatar of Shayna
    Shayna says:

    An editorial calendar is such a GREAT idea! Especially if you are just starting out and trying to figure out where you want to go and what you really want to achieve – much like myself. Thank you so much for the tips!!

    Happy New Year!!
    Shayna
    http://afollowersguidetostyle.blogspot.com

  26. Avatar of Nasreen
    Nasreen says:

    Great post! recently went on a hiatus, and to get back on track I want to make an editorial calender to really keep me focused, motivated and excited for the content to come :)

    http://lazyobsession.blogspot.ie/2013/05/blogging-hiatus-and-stripes.html

  27. Julie says:

    This is a great post on editorial calendars, Taylor! We’ve created an editorial calendar for WordPress (http://coschedule.com/) that lets you schedule your social media with your blog posts. It’s a handy solution to the challenge of creating and maintaining an editorial calendar, and some of your readers might find it useful.

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