Blogging 101: Utilizing an Editorial Calendar

For today’s post I wanted to share a little behind the scenes look at what exactly goes in to running this blog and the strategies I’ve adapted to help me create content five times a week. Even before I started blogging, I loved reading blogging tips post like these so if you’re thinking about starting a blog or are new to blogging, I hope you find this post helpful!

Until the last month, I honestly flew by the seat of my pants when it came to this blog. I would pick out outfits to shoot the day before I had a shoot scheduled and then I would come up with my post ideas after I received my photos. Rarely would I look past a few days when it came to planning a blog post. For me, running my blog this way was stressful and took away the fun, creative aspect that I loved about blogging in the first place. This, combined with the fact that I wanted to take my blog more seriously and treat it like a business, led me to make two big changes that have really helped me in being more successful with my blog: creating an editorial calendar and a shoot schedule.

First, let me talk about the editorial calendar. Like I said above, before creating the editorial calendar, I was literally flying by the seat of my pants and blogging about whatever I had last shot and haphazardly picked out. Since creating the editorial calendar, I have started to think much more strategically about my content. When it comes to thinking about trends, sales, holidays, and what my readers are enjoying the most, the editorial calendar now helps me to plan for and prioritize all of these things.

For the longest time, I tried to find an editorial calendar template that I liked, but I could never find one that encapsulated all the information I wanted it to hold. So I created my own – and I’ve shared it below if you’d like to download it!

My editorial calendar consists of two tabs within an excel sheet – one tab is a detailed view of each post focusing on what outfit, brand, and category I’ll be featuring. It also has the tentative publish date, shoot date, and title. I’ve realized since starting my calendar how helpful it is to come up with my titles before hand so that I know what to focus on in the post, in the pictures, and for strategizing for SEO. Having this sheet in excel is also great for filtering by post status (draft, scheduled, published) and quickly sorting by date!

The second tab is a calendar view of each of those posts. Together, these two tabs offer a detailed view that helps me remember everything I need to feature in each post and a long term view of what’s coming up. Below you’ll see screenshots of each of these tabs, and if you’d like to download the template, you can here!

Editorial Calendar Sample

Now that I have this editorial calendar, it also helps me better prepare for each shoot, which I’ll talk about next.

As of last month I now shoot 12+ outfits in one session so the editorial calendar has been key in detailing for me which looks I need to bring to my shoot and when is the latest date that I can shoot those looks.

Once I know which 12 looks I plan to shoot I copy paste them into another excel sheet that I call my shooting schedule. Within this sheet I then list each outfit in the order I want to shoot them. When I put them in shoot order I base the sequence off the fact that I wear one clothing item with multiple outfits (all about styling more with less! I then color code each line item that shares a piece and then bold the shared piece.

For example, in the shoot schedule below the first two outfits featured my white jeans, then the next two featured my white ruffle top, which was also part of one of the white jeans looks, and then the last three all had my boyfriend jeans. Ordering my shoot this way helps me change quicker and stay a little more organized in my changing room aka the back of my car!

Shooting Schedule Sample

Download the Shooting Schedule Sample here.

Shirt (similar, similar) // Jeans // Flats (similar) // Purse

And there you have it. My system isn’t perfect and I’m refining it all the time but it’s definitely helped me be more organized over the past month. I hope it helps you as well, and if nothing else, shows you how much work and planning goes in to blogging!

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