Blogging 101: Getting Organized with Editorial Calendars

By: Eden Hensley; Photos by Brooke Dennis and Justin Hackworth for Alt Summit

Have you been following along with our Get in Shape for Spring Site Cleaning? Today we focus on planning, specifically using editorial calendars.

Editorial calendars don’t have to be complex. But, they’re especially valuable if you have limited time. And really, who has enough hours in the day to create? With an editorial calendar you can schedule more labor-intensive posts, such as DIYs or styled photo shoots, to work with your time constraints and fill in other days with curated content or from the archives pieces. By spacing out content that requires more than an hour or two to produce, you can be more creative and ensure you're not scrambling at the last minute to get a post live.

New to editorial calendars? Chris Gardner of Curbly has a few tips on how to implement one, including scheduling free time to allow for spontaneity. He also shares a few of his favorite tools for creating one.

Monica Lee of Smart Creative Women decided to ask a few members of the Alt Community exactly how they post consistently – are they using an editorial calendar? Here’s how some sites are balancing seasonality and consistency:

For the most part, I like to keep things loose and organic. If there’s a holiday coming up, I’ll pencil a few things in for my editorial calendar. I might pinpoint a few different ideas that I have, but the rest of the holes get filled in as things come along.” - Kelly Beall Watch the entire Using an Editorial Calendar interview.

 “I try to keep things organic. I do try to keep things very seasonal. I want everything to reflect what season we’re in and I do planned shoots.” - Chelsea Fuss Watch the entire Using an Editorial Calendar That Works for You interview.

"Our contributors are on a routine schedule. Our blog manager has the editorial calendar and she updates everyone with their dates for the month. She’ll say when a teacher tip will be due, when a download is due. Ideally we have them four days in advance so that they can be scheduled in the post and just autopost." - Nicole Gerulat Watch the entire Using an Editorial Calendar to Manage Contributors interview.

Do you have an editorial calendar? How far in advance do you plan? Share your tips in the comments.

Catch the Rest of Our Spring Cleaning Series