Post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess
We have had lively discussions in the BlogPaws Community this week about editorial calendars: should you use one? -- which moved into a "paper versus electronic" conversation on ways to capture your blogging ideas. It was surprising to me to find that while most bloggers used the calendar setting in their personal blog sites to schedule posts, many of them/us still use paper calendars or notebooks to capture our ideas and to sketch out our editorial calendars.
An editorial calendar, as the buzz in the group indicates is used by many pet bloggers and with great success. I became a fan of editorial calendars during my time as a newspaper reporter and a magazine editor. As we continue to celebrate International Pet Blogger Month the conversations about editorial calendars and the number of our bloggers that use paper for them was intriguing. You can join the conversation and add your two cents to the discussion.
Whether you use a paper planner, a spread sheet, whiteboard or sticky notes to jog your memory about what you want to blog about this week, bloggers seem to all agree an editorial calendar is a must.
Are you still wondering whether it's worth the time to sit down and do an editorial calendar? It does take time and yes, that may be time you should be blogging, but believe me, once you spend the time determining what content you will post -- and where -- you may find you're spending less time blogging than you were previously. Why? Simply because you know what you're going to write about and when and where you're going to post it. Your editorial calendar can also house the social media platforms on which you will promote your posted blog.
If you look online you will find myriad sources and how-tos for your editorial calendar planning as well as various platforms you can use for the calendar itself. There are, of course, apps for that! You may be thinking, "But I'm 'just' a pet blogger." Ask yourself this:
- Do you want to be more than 'just' a pet blogger?
- Do you want to be part of paid pet program promotions?
- Do you want to be able to reach pet industry experts and have them guest blog for you?
- Are you looking to become a reviewer of pet products?
- Do you have a particular area of expertise you wish to share?
If you answered "yes" to any of these, then you need an editorial calendar. The basics of your editorial calendar that I have gleaned from several sources should be:
- Most importantly "what to publish" and this will be based on your particular pet niche
- Where to publish -- your blog, an online content source, a guest blog post
- The dates you will be publishing
- Where you will be promoting this blog post
- Brainstorm titles for the post in addition to knowing you want to "write about pet health month" consider what your searchable headline will be
- Who can you interview if you need an expert opinion in your post and how will you contact him or her? Having their contact info in your ed cal will make it easier once you begin the interview scheduling process
- A listing of events you plan to attend (great fodder for content)
- Listings of monthly pet-themed holidays.
Where and how you store this information is, of course, a personal preference. I personally use a Circa calendar that has a "brainstorming" feature/page that I can move around the calendar. Whether you use a spiral notebook, whiteboard or an electronic calendar, getting the information written down is more important than the method you choose.
If you're still wondering if paper or electronic is best for you to capture your ideas for pet blogging, read this interesting article here from The Huffington Post on the secret to writing faster. Intriguing concepts here for the pet blogger as well!
So 'fess up... are you an electronic editorial pet blogger or a paper calendar pet blogger? We'd love to hear!