Editorial Calendars for Bloggers

editorial calendar

As a genealogy blogger, are you ever at a loss for ideas about blog posts?  As a would-be genealogy blogger, does the fear of running out of ideas keep you from setting up a blog?  One solution taken from newspaper and magazine publishing world is the use of an editorial calendar.

What Is An Editorial Calendar?

An editorial calendar not only allows you to designate certain days of the week for certain types of blog posts, but it can also be used to capture ideas, especially during those “aha” moments.  How many times have you come up with a good idea for a post (while watching television, riding the bus, etc.) only to forget when it comes time to write?

You can use any format for an editorial calendar:

  • a text file on your computer desktop
  • a Microsoft Word document, perhaps with the calendar template (click here for a sample you can use)
  • a Google Calendar (access the GeneaBloggers public calendar on Google)
  • a calendar on your favorite e-mail website or application such as Gmail, Hotmail or Outlook

The most important thing is to use a format which works for you and is easy to access and maintain.

Daily Blogging Prompts

Don’t forget to check the GeneaBloggers calendar for upcoming events including Daily Blogging Prompts and carnivals.  Note the events in which you plan to participate and jot down the ideas for each post.

Set Your Own Weekly or Monthly Themes

Many genealogy bloggers also build their own weekly themes which keep their readers engaged and looking forward to the next week’s installment.  Some great examples from genealogy bloggers:

Tip: if you do create a weekly or monthly blogging theme make sure you not only create a tag or label for the posts, but also a quick access link on your blog’s sidebar so readers can access the posts easily.

Get A Jump Start On Posting

Once you have a blogging editorial calendar in place, you’ll find it easier to compose draft blog posts and even schedule posts for future publication (most blogging platforms such as Blogger and WordPress have this feature).  This is also handy if you are planning a vacation and won’t be able to post while away.

Resources

Develop An Editorial Calendar For Your Blog (via ProBlogger)

Editorial Calendars and Professional Blogging (via ProBlogger)

Managing Your Blog(s) (via GenBlog)

© 2009, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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Comments

5 thoughts on “Editorial Calendars for Bloggers

  1. This is such a great idea. I have so many different calenders on my computer for keeping track of life itself. I just added one for blogging. I inserted all the daily themes and need to go insert weekly prompts and upcoming carnivals.

    This will definitely help keep me organized so that I can blog more than I normally do. Plus, it can serve as a reference tool if I insert the information in on who I blogged about. That way once I start blogging more frequently, I will not have to search the blog for who I have blogged about!

    Now if someone could just scan everything I needed to get me to do the work. LOL!

  2. I’ve felt much more settled in my blogging now that I have a calendar going and have dozens of mini-posts ready in advance (i.e. Evelyn in Montreal on Mondays) but there are also two other advantages:
    1. by pre-writing a series of one type of post I find it easier to develop a consistent style for that category.
    2. I have so much to share with family (and others) that I’m afraid something will fall through the cracks. Deciding to share certain types of information (e.g. tombstones on Tuesdays) in a methodical way should prevent this.
    As fM implied above, one musn’t become too regimented but I actually feel more free to experiment with other posts now that I know I have a basic publishing schedule in place.
    Evelyn in Montreal

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