I’ve been blogging for many years and I’ve seen several bloggers come and go over that period of time. So many bloggers get started with an extra enthusiastic fervor, only to fizzle out a couple of years (or even months) later, because they’ve either run out of ideas or they’re not seeing the results they’re seeking.
But you should stick around. And if you stick with blogging, it’s important that you maintain a very consistent publishing schedule. This not only means making sure that you have new content up on the blog on a regular and predictable basis, but also that the type of content you post is consistent.
For the sake of argument, let’s say that you publish three main types of content on your blog: vlogs, news and tutorials. It doesn’t make sense if you have two weeks straight of tutorials, followed by a single vlog, and then another week of tutorials before you post a single news story. But looking at the default “posts” screen in WordPress can be difficult to discern exactly how you’re spreading out your post types. For that, you want an editorial calendar.
By being able to see a whole month at a time, laid out in a calendar format, it’s far easier to organize and plan your content schedule. Maybe you want to post news three times a week, a vlog every Wednesday, and a tutorial every two weeks. An editorial calendar lets you see that at a glance and there are several WordPress plugins that can help.
Edit Flow is a particularly good option for multi-author blogs, because you can more easily manage and collaborate with your editorial team from directly within WordPress. In addition to the main calendar view, you can also define custom statuses so you know how far long each post is. You can also participate with threaded commenting to discuss what you want to accomplish, as well as manage your story budget for the month.
The calendar can be filtered based on post status, post category, and author, so it’s easy to see if any particular user is coming up short or if a certain category is being underserved (or overserved).
Editorial Calendar is suitably named, because it does exactly what you think it will do. This lightweight plugin makes it easy to see when your posts are scheduled out for the whole month. From the calendar view, you can even drag and drop the posts to move them around without having to open up a “quick edit” dialog. That’s really convenient!
Nelio Content is better suited for bloggers who seek more robust functionality. In addition to the editorial calendar, that functions similarly to the other plugins in this list, Nelio Content also functions as a “content assistant.”
This means you can use it to automate a number of additional tasks. There’s a content analysis tool, for instance, that offers suggestions on how you can improve your posts before publishing them. What’s great is that you can not only manage the actual blog posts on your site, but you can also manage the social media updates you are going to use to promote that content. Share easily across Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and Google+.
WP Content Calendar Lite
WP Content Calendar Lite, much like Editorial Calendar above, is a simple content calendar that’s meant to be easy to use. When viewing the calendar, you can drag and drop your posts around to adjust their publishing dates.
This way, you can make sure you’re not crowding certain days or going long stretches without new content. Optionally, you can also upgrade to a pro version of the plugin to unlock a “what to write” feature that suggests what topics to cover based on the traffic you’re getting.
Do you use a content calendar for your blog? Maybe you should!