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Quick Tip: Use a Blog Editorial Calendar

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on June 17, 2014 in Blog Content Strategy
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HubSpot Editorial Calendar Template

Whether you manage one blog or many, content planning can become overwhelming at times. A simple tool to help with your content strategy is a blog editorial calendar.

My old editorial calendars focused on monthly topics, but I didn't go much further than that. They were meant to be rough guides to help me focus my blog posts around important topics, and at the best times during the year. But I found that I didn't always stick to them. I needed things to be laid out in more detail.

I also used the WordPress Editorial Calendar plugin for a while. But ultimately it proved to be better for reviewing past content from contributors rather than planning new content. I also wasn't keen on the idea of using editorial calendar software, as most options available either tried to be too much (and I don't need yet another complicated tool to deal with) or they couldn't handle the sheer volume of blogs I had to manage in a streamlined way.

While my developer hubby is still planning to create a custom solution for me, we aren't sure when he'll have time to finish that project. So in the meantime I've opted for a simple manual editorial calendar template.

The one I'm currently using (and highly recommend) is the free blog editorial calendar template from HubSpot.


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I don't use everything there, but it's easy enough to modify it once and re-use your edited template. Rather than breaking it up by week, I keep a full month of post ideas on each page and instead split them up by blog. I also add extra content types at the end of the calendar so I can plan out downloadable content, reports, etc. that I'd like to release during the month. So far, so good. It's quick to use, and it leaves me with a detailed outline of what's to come.

Do you use an editorial calendar for your blog yet? If so, what tool do you use, and how detailed do you make your plans?

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Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, and indie author. She began writing for clients in 1999 and started her first blog in 2004.

She owns 3 Beat Media - a publishing and client services company which operates All Indie Writers as well as several other websites and blogs including The Busy Author's Guide and BizAmmo. Jenn comes from a background in online PR and social media consulting, having owned a small PR firm for several years before choosing to pursue a full-time writing and publishing career.

Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names in the areas of children's fiction, mysteries, and horror fiction. Jenn is an active member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) and currently serves as the organization's Assistant Coordinator of Promotions and Social Media.


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6 Comments

  1. John Soares June 17, 2014 Reply

    Jenn, thanks for sharing the Hubspot template. I’ll soon be writing on more than one blog, and my current method for organizing and scheduling posts involves cutting and pasting in a Word document, which is clumsy and archaic.
    John Soares recently posted…The 11 Top Event-Networking Tips for Freelance WritersMy Profile

  2. Amandah June 18, 2014 Reply

    Thanks for the reminder!

    I tried using a schedule but it didn’t stick. Of course, I need to sit down, maybe take a weekend, and brainstorm for posts. I’ve been somewhat scattered lately.
    Amandah recently posted…3 Effective Ways to Boost Your Health and Wellness BlogMy Profile

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      Jennifer Mattern June 18, 2014 Reply

      I try to keep a certain amount of flexibility. I’d love a totally rigid schedule that I never stray from. But I know that’s not realistic for me. I’ve just had to learn not to beat myself up over it if I miss something. I make it up when I can, but my general policy these days is just to jump back in where I left off. The more specific editorial calendar has been helping with that, and it makes it easier for me to shuffle plans a bit if I missed anything important.

  3. Anne Wayman June 18, 2014 Reply

    Jenn, the hubspot looks like an editorial calendar I might actually use… thanks again for all you do.
    Anne Wayman recently posted…08 – How Freelance Writers Can Receive PaymentsMy Profile

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