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Blog Exercises: The Editorial Calendar

Blog Exercises on Lorelle on WordPress.Throughout these Blog Exercises you will be building your own editorial calendar, a schedule for content. Consider these as blog planners and self-deadlines.

There are many calendar types, traditional and electronic. I recommend starting simple by printing out a 12-18 month calendar, one month per page, right from a free template in your word processing program. Or find a template that is more like a spreadsheet with dates. I’ve included some resources below.

With your printed calendar months, buy some sticky notes that fit within the dates. Consider selecting a range of colors.

This calendar will take a beating as you learn how to use it, so start cheap and easy rather than investing in a calendar system that doesn’t work for you. Later in this series I’ll discuss the systems that work best for me, but all of my projects start off with plain paper printed calendars from my word processor.

Blog Exercise Task from Lorelle on WordPress.The first editorial calendar exercise is to go through the list of holidays in your region or country, national, secular, or religious. Note them across the entire calendar. If it is a national day off, mark the whole day with a colored pencil.

As you go through the major holidays, think of topics you could blog about related to those holidays. Use your imagination. It may take some work, but write down each idea on a sticky post and stick it to that holiday date or an appropriate number of days (or months) in advance ideal for publishing a post about that holiday.

Here are some ideas to help you get started thinking holidays.

  • For a crafts blog, three months before Christmas is a good time to start promoting gift projects for the holidays.
  • For a family/parent blog, Labor Day in the United States is about when school starts, so consider articles on preparing for school to begin and the last minute summer holiday ideas a few weeks to a month before.
  • For an educational blog, pick a holiday like Presidents Day, Independence Day, or Memorial Day and consider articles explaining some historical aspect of the date.
  • For an astronomy blog, consider day-off or long weekend holidays for some night viewing. Teach people where they should be looking in the night sky and what they should expect to see as they plan their outdoor and travel adventures that weekend.
  • For pet and animal bloggers, Independence Day and other holidays that feature fireworks and noisemakers is a good time to start a campaign reminding people to take care of their pets and protect them, as well as to find them if they run off terrified of the activity.
  • For sewing and craft bloggers, remember major sales in craft stores are often associated with holidays, so time articles on favorite tools and must-have items before such sales to help readers get the most out of their coupons and discounts.
  • For a fashion blogger, holidays are a perfect time to get dressed up or change outfit styles. Share your tips in advance of the holidays on what to wear – or not wear.

There are many ideas, stereotypical and unusual, out there related to your subject matter that are associated with holidays.

I’ll be expanding on more calendar-based activities in future blog exercises, but start here. If you think of more ideas, put them on the sticky notes and add them to the calendar or add them to the margins for future scheduling.
 
Here are some free calendar resources to help you create your own editorial calendar. TimeandDate.com is one of my favorites.

You can find more Blog Exercises on . This is a year-long challenge to help you flex your blogging muscles.


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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen.

18 Comments

  1. Posted January 14, 2013 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the great idea!

  2. Posted January 15, 2013 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the idea. Blogging is new to me and this motivates me to be more organized about how I post.

  3. Posted April 25, 2013 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    This, also, has been a great way to prepare what you want to say and when. Actually it has done more than just help me to calendar my posts, but so many new ideas coupled with blank days to complete and post as well. :)

    • Posted April 25, 2013 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

      OOPS.. this was meant for the calendaring exercise! Sorry!
      I have already learned the track-back – thanks to you!

    • Posted April 26, 2013 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      LOL! It’s good all around. No problem.

    • Posted April 26, 2013 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      It’s all about balance.

      With family, friends, work, and life in general, throw in car problems, leaking roofs, weather, and all the other things that get in our way as we move through life, it helps to make appointments with yourself to stay on track, if possible, or at least return to a starting point. I find my life goes more crazy the further I step away from my datebook.

    • Posted April 26, 2013 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      Typically I do everything on my Mac and phone synching calendar and so on. I like the visual of the calendar as you suggest but now find myself making voice notes and reminders on my phone to add to my calendar when I can sit down with it again. :)

    • Posted April 26, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

      Wonderful! Use those tools!

      I’ve tried every type of calendar and scheduling technology and I still find myself with pen and paper. Odd that but it works so I keep working with it.

    • Posted April 26, 2013 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      One more note. I can’t read the pink font on your site. I have an exercise coming up on using color fonts, but the summary is don’t. :D

    • Posted April 26, 2013 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      Lol – ok – I will change it. I just like pink… I am always told not to use it, but I like colour… I will just have to settle for it being in the background.

    • Posted April 26, 2013 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

      The pink is cute but it is more than hard to read. It isn’t readable. I’ll have some resources in my exercise on the subject to help you test the readability of your stuff.

      This also brings up a good point. Your site is not about you. I’ve said that millions of time. Sure, it’s about you, your life, experiences, business, products, services, but that’s not the true audience. You are not the audience for your site. Your readers are. Their needs must come first. Design is one of the ways you can best serve your audience first, and increasing the readability of your site is key to reaching your audience.

    • Posted April 26, 2013 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

      You are the best Lorelle

    • Posted April 26, 2013 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      Thanks again I already change the colors this afternoon and I’m going to Leave the site Alone for a while now just work on writing the blog exercises so I can Learn as much as possible

    • Posted May 1, 2013 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      Hi Lorelle,
      I hope that you are well. I have taken a few days and several re-writes and this is what I have.
      I know.. there is a little something missing and I will let it play quietly in the back of my head until it is there.
      Thank you so much for all of your time and sharing of your journey with me. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate it.

      “I cried to the Lord and He heard me” Christian writer & inspirer having overcome the darkness of fear, illness and depression, now living in love, hope, faith and joy; With a light and joyful heart, I share my life and God’s love through poetry and stories

      Feedback, as always is welcome. :)

    • Posted May 1, 2013 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      This is great. It’s also not the post for this discussion. LOL! Let me move it.

    • Posted May 1, 2013 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      I am such a spaz. Sorry!!

    • Posted May 1, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      Okay, things are a mess but I’ve moved it here to keep it with the what do you do conversation. I can’t switch the gravatar but it features your site and name.

    • Posted May 1, 2013 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

      I’m so sorry – I have been soooo sick with a kidney stone and bladder infection so I am not myself today. I just did not pay attention to where I replied. Thanks for correcting the placement of the comment.


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