Should I have a blog plan, blog calendar or editorial calendar?

8 Jan 2014

Blog plan, blog calendar and editorial calendar – you have probably seen all three items used when talking about blogging.

And you get confused.

“What’s the difference?” “What do I need first?” “Why should I have any of these?”

To help you I will be talking about the difference, why you should have them and how to make them the coming days:

For today I’ll be talking about what all three items are and why they are useful.

Blog plan

When you start a new blog or want to improve your current one, you first start off with a blog plan.

The blog plan is your main strategy. It’s the raison d’être for your blog. It tells you whom it’s for, what you are going to write about, what your goals are.

This will help you:

  • think of the reasons why you want/need this blog (audience, goals)
  • think of the main topics on your blog and get you started on possible titles
  • plan when you will talk about what topic

Your blog plan can be a stand alone product, but if possible it should be part of the bigger online strategy you got.

Blog calendar

A blog calendar is something to help bloggers plan their posts.

Let’s say you decided to blog every weekday. That is a lot of posts! This means you need to think up a lot of blogs, write them, decide when to post them and how they fit the bigger plan (getting to your goals).

But it doesn’t just work when you have 20 posts a month to write, it also helps when you need 4 a month. A blog calendar helps to track what blog posts are written, which dates still need a blog and shows any goals you might have set.

This will help you:

  • get systematic with which topic is when
  • plan blogs around events or offers you have
  • see where gaps are in your calendar, with enough time to fix it
  • make sure you have your content ready with plenty time to spare so you can always more, fix, expand, etc

Editorial calendar

An editorial calendar is almost the same as a blog calendar. While a blog calendar only works for blogs (duh!), an editorial calendar is for all media types and channels.

It shows whether the next ‘post’ is text, video, image or audio and shows where it’s gonna be posted. This way you can keep track of different channels.

But it’s not just types and channels in an editorial calendar. It also shows the content of the post, why you are writing it and what purpose the post has (how does it help your goals?)

This will help you:

  • get systematic with which topic is when
  • plan content around events or offers you have
  • make sure you have a good mix of different media types
  • see where gaps are in your calendar, with enough time to fix it
  • make sure you have your content ready with plenty time to spare so you can always more, fix, expand, etc

To recap

  1. If you have a general strategy, use this for making your blog plan. Otherwise just start on your blog plan.
  2. If you have just a blog and no other channels to speak of you can use a blog calendar to keep track of your posting habits. If you have multiple media then you should have an editorial calendar with a part for your blog.

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