Last week, I wrote about the importance of having an editorial calendar for your blog and how to generate ideas for one. I use CoSchedule in WordPress to visually see where my stories are slotted, but I also have a spreadsheet to keep track of a few more details. The reason is, as your blog grows you will so wish you had an at-a-glance view of your posts in a more detailed way. It’s one of the major things I regret not doing with my very first blog because I quickly found out that once you have a few hundred posts under your belt, it’s hard to keep track of all that info!
Here are a few of the many, many reasons why you should consider having a more in-depth editorial calendar:
- You can easily see any seasonal/trend-based posts that can be updated
- You can see old posts that are related to new ones you’ve written that can be linked together
- You can see what categories/tags need more posts
- Catch and fix broken links to outside products you’ve linked to
- See which posts don’t have content upgrades and create one for them
- See posts that are connected and can be turned into a blog series
Your at-a-glance editorial blog calendar could just be your blog topics. But you should keep track of what you’ve written in a more in-depth way. Here’s what you should include in your editorial calendar + access to the free spreadsheet I use for my own editorial calendar.
What to Include in Your Editorial Calendar
Always start with the working title, even if you end up changing it later this will help you brainstorm ideas for your blog post. Keep it as clear as possible so you know what it is without having to click into the post. “5 Summer Fashion Tips” is far clearer than “5 Fashion Tips”
Include the category the post is going to be filed under. You want to do this so that you can easily identify other categories that need to be beefed up and make sure you aren’t creating too many categories for your posts.
Think of the tags for your blog posts as the subtopic for your post. For example, your post on “5 Summer Fashion Tips” may be filed under the category “fashion” but may be tagged “summer fashion”. Try not to go overboard with tags, either. Just like with your blog categories, having this laid out lets you easily see where you could beef up more posts on other topics.
You should always slot in the expected publish date for your posts. This doesn’t have to be set in stone but it’s good to plan ahead!
I always bullet point a few ideas or subheads when working on my editorial calendar. When you include this in your spreadsheet too, you’ll be able to reference it for more opportunities to update your post down the line or to easily see where you can link to other blog posts on your site in the future. Linking within is a great SEO strategy and helps keep your blog sticky!
Use this space for any notes to self, like if you linked out and where, if you need to link within later to a future post or if you’re planning a content upgrade.
This is the exact formula I follow when creating a Brilliant Blog Plan for my clients. We update it on a quarterly basis so we can apply what’s working and what’s not.You can get access to the exact spreadsheet I use to keep track of my own post history below.
Do you use an editorial calendar? What other details do you include in yours?
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