How to Create an Editorial Calendar

How to Create a Super Effective Editorial Calendar

Up until a few months ago, an effective editorial calendar was not part of my blogging strategy at all. I simply posted whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, without much forethought or reasoning behind it!

After I’d been publishing blog posts for a few months, I started to get into somewhat of a rhythm. My posts go out every week at 6am on Mondays, and I try to do at least one newsletter a week, on Thursdays.

But, let’s be honest: that’s still not really much of a plan! And it’s certainly not an editorial calendar.

I wouldn’t even pre-write my posts! I can remember talking to another blogger about this a few months ago (it might’ve been Kayla Hollatz?), and she was shocked that my process for writing blog posts was simply to….write them. And then publish them. No editing process, no outline, no anything!

Well, I still don’t do outlines (there’s always something to work on!). But I finally have a super effective editorial calendar that I can’t wait to share with you!

How to Create a Super Effective Editorial Calendar // Miranda Nahmias

How to Create a Super Effective Editorial Calendar

While I’m calling this an editorial calendar, it’s actually really more of a content calendar, since it includes overarching themes and even what my newsletter topics will be!

Choosing a Style of Calendar

This is such a personal decision, and there are so many options out there!

Are you a paper planner girl, or maybe you LOVE Google Calendar? Any type of organizational tool can work for this. I even know some people who use Trello!

When it comes to how I like to organize things, I’m totally a spreadsheet girl. I have a template in Google Sheets that I use to create my editorial calendar, and it’s always opened up in a browser tab on my laptop. The super rad part about Google Sheets, though, is that you can access it from anywhere as long as you have internet!

Back when I wasn’t that organized about my content, I used to use Google Calendar. But eventually I realized that I wanted to include more information that it was allowing me to, and everything was getting way to cluttered. So it was time to upgrade to a spreadsheet!

How to Create a Super Effective Editorial Calendar // Miranda Nahmias

Planning Your Calendar

The first step is to decide how far in advance you want to plan this baby out.

I personally choose around 4 months, since I like working in quarters. But if you are someone who posts every single day, that might not work for you! If you put out a ton of content, you probably will want to start out with just a single month at a time.

Making Use of Overarching Themes

Right now, I have all of my overall themes chosen up until November. For example, June was all about social media!

As a reader, you probably didn’t even notice this — but, behind the scenes, I really enjoyed how easy it was to organize everything when all of my posts and newsletters needed to conform to that one theme.

Adding themes into your calendar certainly isn’t necessary…maybe you are someone who writes a lot about current events. Obviously this sort of thing wouldn’t be best for you! But if you are a lifestyle blogger, working in “seasons” could actually create a very effective editorial calendar for you, as you could write posts based on the relevant holidays or certain times of the year. For instance: “back to school.”

Nailing Down the Nitty Gritty

Once you’ve decided the main aspects of your calendar, it’s time to input the smaller details, like the actual specific things you will be posting about, and what days your newsletter sends out.

Effective Editorial Calendar Details

Here’s an up-close look at what types of details I like to include in my spreadsheets. This is exactly what my calendar looks like for July in the spreadsheet, and I’ve organized it so that, at a glance, I can immediately see:

  • Which days blog posts are going out
  • Which days newsletters are going out
  • How many guest posts I have that month
  • How many blog posts still need to be written (I highlight things in gray when they are completed, so that this point, I have nothing done for July!)

There’s also information included about what types and how many content upgrades I’m sending out each month, and whether or not I have guest posts that I’m writing for other people’s blogs (that’s what the “location” column is for).

An Effective Editorial Calendar Helps with Guest Posting!

One of my favorite benefits of this editorial calendar is how much it helps me secure guest posters for my blog.

I get quite a few guest post submissions (head over here to submit your own!), and it used to be a little overwhelming and hard to remember what was going on before I had this handy spreadsheet.

Now, when I get a submission and approve it, I can instantly see what dates I have available for that post (based on topic and general availability). Super handy!

It also helps me figure out if I have too many guest posts going on during one month (in July, I have three, which is a lot for me! I definitely can’t accept any more for this month), and reminds me to submit my own guest posts out (in July, I have no guest posts going out, so I probably could’ve done better in that area).

All around, having this effective editorial calendar in my life has been a HUGE timesaver and productivity helper. Now, I’m getting blog posts written weeks in advance and scheduling everything out in advance so that I don’t have to be rushing last-minute on a Sunday night to get something published in the morning.

How to Create a Super Effective Editorial Calendar // Miranda Nahmias

20 thoughts on “How to Create a Super Effective Editorial Calendar”

  1. I love a ‘spreadsheet gurl’ because I’m the direct opposite. 🙂 It’s like you’ve been spying on me Miranda. I’m in the works of getting more organized with posting too. Love the way you’ve outlined your process. I’m going to have a go at your spreadsheet. Thanks for this and off to share 🙂

    1. Miranda Nahmias

      Haha yup that’s me! I’m can’t hide my love for a good spreadsheet. Thanks so much for sharing and good luck getting a bit more organized! It can be hard, but so worth it.

  2. My editorial calendar process usually works like this: I get all inspired, write down loads of blog posts into a schedule and then hate all my ideas and write something else at the last minute… The struggle is real.

    I badly need to get on top of this – STAT. I’ve downloaded your spreadsheet (Love spreadsheets!) and I’m going to give it a go. 🙂

    1. Miranda Nahmias

      Hahaha well that doesn’t sound very efficient! Thanks so much for downloading the spreadsheet…I wish you lots of luck implementing it on your own blog! Let me know how it goes 🙂

  3. Great post. Myself is more of a pen and paper planner kind of woman, but I should consider to also have one on Google so I can see it everywhere.

    1. Miranda Nahmias

      I wish that I could be a pen-and-paper girl, but I just could never get the hang of that. I make too many changes to write things down in stone like that haha. It’s also definitely a big help to be able to view all of your systems with the click of a button. I love how accessible Google Docs and Sheets are.

  4. I have been thinking of making an editorial calendar for myself. I am not sure what’s holding me back. Thank you for this template. I will make one for me this weekend.

  5. Miranda!
    So happy you came over to the editorial calendar side! I’m a freelance writer so it’s like a requirement that we have a process for our work 🙂

    I personally use Trello and love it. Did you know they have a calendar view too?

    Anyways, I’m going to download your sheet as I love to find better ways to be a blogger!

    1. Miranda Nahmias

      I didn’t realize that Trello has a calendar view! Good to know 🙂 I’m a little obsessed with spreadsheets, so I’ll probably stick with this one, but I might still try that Trello feature out, because now I’m curious!

  6. I like using Trello and I’ve used the Editorial Calendar and Edit Flow plugins for WordPress. I need to get back to using the a calendar regularly so I can stay on track. Thanks for the nudge. 😉

    1. Miranda Nahmias

      You’re welcome! I definitely love having something that keeps me accountable and let’s me know what’s next. I’ve even found that I’ve been writing more posts in advance, which is very unusual for me haha!

  7. I’ve been working on getting more organized myself and developing one. I have tried multiple times to get access to your calendar template but never receive the link

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  10. I’m not a fan of spreadsheets, personally, and at my last job (as a travel editor) spent a lot of time hunting down a program I could use to create an editorial calendar in an actual calendar mode. I ended up using a combo of GatherContent (which lets you attach the actual blog posts to a calendar) and Asana (disclaimer: I work for Asana now). GC helped me communicate better with external writers. Asana helped me remember all the tiny publishing tasks (e.g. create social share image, proofread, upload, etc.)

    1. Miranda Nahmias

      That’s awesome, Jessie! Thanks for sharing. I LOVE Asana! I use it for a lot of my tasks, but find that spreadsheets just come naturally for me with stuff like planning out my content in advance. But as long as you have a system that works for you and is successful, I’m all for it! (Btw, it’s super cool that you work at Asana!)

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