{Handmade Business in 31 Days — Day 21, Create an editorial calendar.}

Day 21// If I didn’t feel so comfortable as I do around here I may hesitate to share this embarrassing business fact: just this summer we started using an editorial calendar for our blog content. Oh yes, you read that correctly. I have been writing here for over four years {FOUR!}, and for most of that time this blog has been a business/full-time income for my family. And to admit we never used an editorial calendar until this summer?? I feel like it’s almost shocking. I know it’s silly, it’s just a calender, but having an editorial calendar breathes goodness {and growth} into your blog.

 

 ^ our monthly cal, which includes our editorial calendar for October

I’ll never forget the scene. Cambria + I were meeting at Panera to work together for the morning when I rushed in with my Macbook and said, “Today is the day we’re going to create an editorial calendar for Gussy Sews!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” And then I started rambling off ideas + suggestions and there sat Cambria, doing what she does best: helping me to get it done.

I can’t tell you how many times I’d email her an idea, or we’d talk face-to-face about one, but it would never come to fruition. I can almost guarantee it’s because we didn’t have an editorial calendar. Now that we have one it’s so easy to follow one of our ideas with, “OK, when should it happen?”

Boom, an idea becomes a plan. When you schedule things — when you take something seriously and “pencil it in” it is more likely to actually happen.

5 REASONS WE USE AN EDITORIAL CALENDAR:

  • When I sit down to work on a blog post I know exactly what I need to be working on
  • We can plan ahead + make sure all content reflects our purpose statement
  • Any gaps in the blog’s schedule are easily visible {weekly, monthly, quarterly}; similarly, it helps us to know the ebbs and flows of the content of my blog posts {to ensure we have a variety of content}
  • Since I have an assistant {Hello, Cambria} helping me with advertising, sponsorships, blog content, sales tracking + promotions (really I could go on and on) it’s important we are in tune with what’s happening on the Gussy Sews blog
  • Planning out blog content in advance gives you more time to better prepare for + write a quality blog post

HOW TO YOU SET UP AN EDITORIAL CALENDAR:

It’s so easy, I can’t believe we didn’t do this years ago — and I truly mean that.

  • First things first: consider using Google Calendar which allows you to share it with others, like an assistant or spouse/partner
  • We have a main calendar linked to my email address that includes sub calendars for blog content {aka: editorial calendar}, employee schedule, events {like the Allume conference I’m speaking at later this week}, mentorship calls, important tasks to accomplish each week
  • Fill in any monthly or re-occurring editorial content to your blog calendar, like baby bump updates, sponsor giveaways, noteworthy links or contributor posts
  • Fill in any one-time content you have in the works, such as unique topics/ideas, collaborations with other bloggers/brands or guest posts. Don’t forget about that series you are wanting to publish {get it on the cal now} :)
  • Review your calendar! How is the month looking? If you are trying to post just a couple of times a week, do you have enough content? The same applies for if you want to have content for every weekday, do you have enough? What if you have two giveaways scheduled? Are they spaced out far enough?

^ The Dainty Squid shares her editorial calendar tips via paper + sticky notes

To start, commit to filling out an editorial calendar for the rest of October the best you can. It’s OK the month is quickly coming to an end, the goal is to practice writing one. For example, jot down any major events, like conferences; if you make a product, write down when you’ll be blogging about that new piece; or any upcoming family/personal events you want to document. Then for the following months work on having a more complete calendar each month. Try to put down one post topic for every day you’re supposed to write.  And this may be the most important part of all: leave room each month for content to be shifted around at the last minute. For example, anything that has a firm content deadline could be a darker shade of green whereas flexible content could be a lighter shade of green.

It’s important to try to plan as many days of your calendar as soon as possible but it’s totally OK when the topic comes to you the day before. This is where having flexible content a couple of times each month will help you out.

Homework// Start by writing down the content you know you need to post this month, then commit to following through with publishing it. Then map out November + December, keeping in mind the many upcoming holidays and their potential implications for your blog. For example, will your readers be checking in on their favorite blogs the days surrounding Thanksgiving? Commit to checking in on your editorial calendar at least once daily. I usually keep mine open in a new tab so I can easily reference post content deadlines + other blog related tasks throughout the day.

I’m so curious to know what you think: would an editorial calendar help you, or doesn’t it matter? Regardless of which way you sway, share with us why you feel this way below in the comments. I’d love to discuss and/or answer any questions. xo

 

read the entire 31 Days series here

Comments

  1. 1

    says

    I am in the process of starting a new blog and was just thinking I should plan out by the week, but an entire month is a better idea. Thanks for this series! It’s a huge help!

    [Reply]

  2. 2

    Donna says

    This idea, the editorial calender is going to be my life saver. I am in the process of getting my blog and online store(s) started. I’m just starting out but thanks to this series I am actually working to make it all happen. The problem I have is I have CRS, Can’t Remember Stuff. So sitting down to write a blog without having a written plan for content will probably make for an ineffective blog. Several times I thought of material that would be great for my blog and I jotted them down, somewhere. I am going to be working on my editorial calender today. Thanks

    [Reply]

  3. 3

    says

    Brilliant!! I seriously don’t know why I never thought of this!! I have so many post ideas and they never happen because I can’t get to my computer to type it up right away and I don’t have an editorial calendar to write it down. Craziness. No more!! This mama is going to get her calendar on! Thank you for the practical tips! Love it! Another idea that would be good for me (maybe not others)… a lot of my writing ideas come when I’m in bed at night after the lights go out but before I fall asleep. I should have a notepad on the headboard and write them down… then I can add them to the calendar the next morning! Boom. I’m so excited right now! haha

    [Reply]

  4. 4

    says

    I love using an editorial calendar. I sit down at the beginning of every month and schedule all the ideas I’ve collected during the previous month. It keeps me from getting writers block, or panicking because I don’t know what to blog about. I’ve used evernote, but I think Google Calendar, or a paper calendar, might be even easier, because I won’t have to do as much double checking dates to make sure the Wednesday post is actually on a Wednesday. Great tips Gussy!

    [Reply]

  5. 5

    says

    I used an editorial calendar for a long time. It worked so well! Then I kind of fell off the wagon a little bit when race season started & I was working up to 20 days in a row without time to relax… it got a little rough, and you can totally tell from my blog. Now I’m trying to get back on the editorial calendar wagon. I’ve got stuff pretty planned out for Oct & Nov at this point… hopefully I can keep it up this time. It really does help a TON!

    [Reply]

  6. 6

    Tracy says

    Hi! Love your blog and the ideas are inspirational. Just one thing, and I hope I don’t come off sounding like a horrible person, but I have this thing about reading misspelled words… The correct spelling is calendAr, not calendEr. Anyway, thank you for all you do, and please don’t hate me for the wee bit of criticism.

    [Reply]

    Gussy Sews Reply:

    @Tracy, Not at all — thank you for letting me know :)

    [Reply]

  7. 8

    says

    Loving this series i look forward to reading the posts. I do a editorial calandar monthly for my book review blog and i notice the difference when i have done a month of planned posts, i get more followers and visitors to my blog because i am posting reguarly.

    I think i need to incorporate one for my handmade busness as well. Thanks for the post!

    [Reply]

  8. 10

    says

    I don’ t have a handmade business, but I have been thoroughly enjoying this series! This post especially because even though I don’t have a business, I do have a blog. I constantly go back and forth over what the purpose of it is. Do I want to keep up with it? Isn’t it much easier to just post things on Instagram (dmg314)? This post encouraged me to plan out the blog until the end of the year and see how I’m feeling about it then.

    Thanks!
    Dawn

    [Reply]

  9. 11

    says

    Oh, Gussy..This is so great! I’ve heard of the idea to plan ahead with posts but in my head that was always interpreted into: writing 12 posts at once and then scheduling them to post on the day each one is on the calendar. Make sense? Silly, now I know. The way you broke it down in this post makes so much sense..how was I so mixed up before?? I’m excited to practice with October and by November have the whole month mapped out! Thank you!!

    [Reply]

  10. 12

    says

    hello :) i’m widi from sailory vouge
    i love this post <3 i use monthly editorial calendar for my online shop and it works very well for me. I know what i have to do and stay on schedule. Your "Handmade bussiness in 31 days" post are nice!! the day 31 is very helpful <3

    [Reply]

  11. 13

    says

    Sitting down with my chai tea to read through this series. You’re awesome! Reading a couple posts each day and just reserved Entre Leadership from my local library (love Dave!!) Ok, so….Re: editorial calendar–do you have any tips for images and planning that out? I find that I am not short on topics but on incorporating images. It’s easy enough to have ideas about recipes, tutorials, etc. but the actual picture taking and editing takes more time than the post! Do you ever feel set back by that part of the process?

    [Reply]

  12. 14

    says

    I have often read about the positive implications of having (and maintaining!) an editorial calendar. I have even set one up before! Only to never set eyes upon it again. Thank you for reaffirming once again that these are important tools to not only create, but utilize!

    [Reply]

  13. 15

    says

    Hi! I’ve been reading your weblog for a long time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give
    you a shout out from Porter Texas! Just wanted to tell you keep up the excellent
    job!

    [Reply]

  14. 16

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    of Red Cliffs. I love playing call of duty black ops in both 2d and 3d but how does the game stand up in the eyes of others as a great 3d
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