I created the 2013 editorial calendar for Curbly.com during a week in November 2012. It was cold outside, got dark at 5:00p, and the world was preparing itself to go into a long winter’s nap. Over that week, my assistant editor and I updated our daily publishing times, our weekly schedule, and the monthly themes that we’d used for inspiration and motivation for our original content pieces and project for the whole of this year. We roughed out items on the calendar, penciling in ideas for what we thought might work well over the next twelve months. A new year was about to begin, and it was exciting to have a fresh start, and get started on our new serieses and posts and projects.
Today, it’s 90 degrees outside and amazingly sunny. I feel that special kind of summer lazy, and the last thing I want to do is work and spend time with a blazing hot laptop on my legs. (The throw pillow I’m using as a buffer has been thoroughly heated through). It’s Friday, and the rest of my editorial team is on vacation, and we’ve been taking breaks from our regular meetings anyway. And, I remember: this is why we spent all that time creating our editorial calendar. Sure, it felt awesome to be starting a new year with pages full of ideas, but we invested that time then so we could enjoy the benefits now. The post-holiday slump and dark days of January and February were nothing compared to trying to stay motivated in the middle of swimming pool and bike ride and backyard barbecue season.
This is why I believe an editorial calendar is the single best investment you can make for your blog. More important than a new site design, or revenue stream, or that great post you know is just gonna go insane and blow up everywhere. Because an editorial calendar will set you up for those things. Know what you’ll publish and what it’s going to look like is what makes site designs necessary, convinces that sponsor that they should work with you, and gives you time and a deadline to work on that high-value post.
We can set ourselves up to be productive and successful for when that next slump arrives then.