editorial calendarI spent last weekend in Salt Lake City, at the Altitude Design Summit, a three-day conference for design and lifestyle bloggers. I came home with nearly 60 pages of hand-written notes (scrawled on my iPad, of course) and a list of things I need to do with my personal blog in the next few weeks and months. At the top of my list was create an editorial calendar.

The hardest part of blogging — for me, anyway — is coming up with topics to write about. I’ve been an editor at a variety of sites, and we always had some sort of calendar to track what was assigned to the writers, when it was due, and when it would be published. For obvious reasons, this made life easier, particularly when there were three or four editors and a dozen writers creating the site’s content. But for my own site — and for the other sites where I am a contributor, required to develop my own topics — I’ve never done this, and recently, I’ve been scrambling to come up with ideas, always at the last minute, it seems. (In fact, in a deeply ironic twist, I am writing this post past deadline, on the fly — clearly my editorial calendar needs some work.)

Creating an editorial calendar for The Working Closet will, I think, let me do two things: it will enable me to write and schedule posts well ahead of when I want them to be live on the site, allowing me to have a consistent body of new content, and it will enable to me add some bigger projects to the site, like photo editorials and video, things that have to be planned and executed well in advance of publication.

In other words, an editorial calendar lets me act more like a professional writer — which is precisely what I am.

I’ve organized my calendar around eight different types of posts, each of which appears on the schedule in two-week rotations. Having a carefully selected set of posts will enable me both to focus my writing and to work more successfully with sponsors and advertisers. I think it will also change the feel of my site — in a good way.

More and more bloggers are relying on an editorial calendar to focus and organize their sites, and this, in turn, makes their work more professional and better suited for partnerships with sponsors and advertisers. I’m excited about the upcoming content at The Working Closet — and I’m hopeful that planning ahead will keep me excited and end my last-minute scrambling forever.

Photo: Susan Wagner