Planning an Annual Editorial Calendar

To run a marathon, run one step at a time. To write an article, write one word at a time.

Fired by our passions to do well and achieve, we rush to get started – running two, three steps at a time – only to trip and fall hard. Slightly dazed, we’ll look around and ask ourselves: “What happened?!”

Slow down! Take your time to plan and organize before you begin in order to take one assured step at a time. One tremendously successful method to plan your writing efforts to create an annual Editorial Calendar.

By keeping an annual Editorial Calendar, you can easily keep track of your monthly, weekly, and daily activity throughout the year. This allows you to track your overall article goals, plan the number of articles you want to write, make sure your social media efforts stay on track, and even pre-plan for holidays and other news-worthy events (e.g., presidential elections, award shows, etc.). In turn, you will always be ready to provide the content your audience wants when they’re craving it.

Plan Monthly Themes and a Strategy

First, get a 12-month calendar. If your calendar doesn’t have holidays or observances in it already, add any that are relevant to your audience. Add annual events that your audience recognizes or participates in (e.g., tax season, seasonal farmer’s markets, banned books week, big sporting events, etc.).

Next, create a list of the months and brainstorm relevant themes for each month that are relevant to your niche and in the hearts and minds of your readers.

Finally, coordinate your goals with your monthly themes by planning weekly topics that relate to the month’s original theme.

Let’s say you write for the Health and Fitness: Weight Loss niche and your goal is to write 200 articles this year. If you write 4 articles every week, you will have achieved this goal and more. Using your Editorial Calendar, pre-plan your writing strategy.

The following is an example of an Editorial Calendar breakdown for January:

January Theme: Weight Loss Resolutions

Week 1: Setting weight-loss goals and making resolutions
Week 2: Exercise Plans
Week 3: Food and Diet
Week 4: Integrating into routine to get results

Monday: Idea generation day! Set aside a specific amount of time today to research and outline the 4 articles you plan to write this week. Share any articles published last week on social media, websites, blogs, etc.

Tuesday and Wednesday: Write 2 articles on both of these days for a total of 4 articles this week.

Thursday: Proofread and edit all 4 articles (thoroughly). Submit articles.

Friday: Look to the next week. Find out what your audience is talking about by researching the web for news-worthy events or trends as well as find buzz-worthy books. Consider how you can implement those topics into your niche and keep a notebook to capture ideas whenever they occur.

As they say, rinse and repeat. Once you make this strategy a part of your routine every day, every week, and every month, it’ll become easier and second nature.

Planning helps minimize uncertainties, makes your goals and objectives clear, reduces stress, and gives you a competitive edge. Keeping an Editorial Calendar will help you stay one step ahead of the competition by laying out a clear short and long-term plan for your article writing success.

Do you use an Editorial Calendar to plan your writing efforts? Are there any other methods or strategies that you use to make sure you hit your writing goals and stay on track? We’d love to hear them, please share your comments!

7 Comments »


1
Jose Quintero writes:

Sometimes we rush to much on results and dont pay attention on the process to achieve these results. I think that a Calendar is an excellent idea to keep track of our daily, monthly goals. Excellent Blog.

Comment provided December 17, 2012 at 11:06 AM

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2

Planning makes sense, doesn’t it? Article writing, like other aspects of our Internet marketing, requires considering the steps and making a plan.

Good suggestions for promoting our articles.

Thanks.

blessings,
Cynthia

Comment provided December 17, 2012 at 11:46 AM

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3
Salihu S Dikko writes:

Thanks a lot for the Editorial Calendar you outlined for us. I do have a similar calendar, mostly on wall in my room and my head. Because, I hardly follow it when written on paper and arranged as you advised. But, I want get used to your style or bring the two together.

Comment provided December 17, 2012 at 8:02 PM

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4
Helen Hoefele writes:

I like how you scheduled your writing process into each week, too. In the past, I’ve mapped out topic ideas for certain days of the week but always had a hard time sticking to it as inspiration wasn’t always there on the day that I wanted or needed it to be. And, your idea of a monthly theme makes it seem much less overwhelming. What you outlined seems like it will work better than what I had tried in the past. Thanks for sharing!

Comment provided December 17, 2012 at 10:15 PM

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5
Martoons writes:

It’s a perfect time to start planning for next year. You bought your diary for next year yet? Here’s a great (free) 2013 calendar (not sure if it’s an editorial calendar though):
http://calendartoprint.com/2013-calendar/
Good post – thanks :)
Martin

Comment provided December 18, 2012 at 2:43 AM

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6
Sherryl Wilson writes:

Do you have a favorite online Editorial Calendar? I am looking for one to use online that I can get to from my phone, tablet and desktop.

Comment provided December 28, 2012 at 10:58 PM

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7
Blog Editorial Calendar writes:

This is a good article for all bloggers to use editorial calendar for managing their contents effectievly.

Did you get a chance to check the website http://www.ezedcal.com to manage editorial calendar easily for your blog and show your editorial calendar in your blog easily (optional)
Thanks & Regards
~Jo

Comment provided January 2, 2013 at 2:23 PM

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