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Thursday, 22 September 2011

Setting Up an Editorial Calendar - 31 Weeks of Better Genealogy Blogging

 Tonia Kendrick at Tonia’s Roots is half way through her series 31 Weeks of Better Genealogy Blogging. This week's  topic is all about Setting Up An Editorial Calendar or Planning a Posting Schedule.  

Tonia used an impressive spreadsheet, which I must admit for me would involve too much work setting up, colour coding and maintaining it  for the resulting benefit.   I have a difficult  enough job combining part-time work,  and domestic and family life   with  time for writing, blogging and reading blogs + other activities.    

So what works for me?  
I work outside the home the first part of the week, so most of my writing is done the second half of the week when I try to build up a supply of posts for publishing over the next 7 days.  My initial target when I started blogging just over a year ago was one post  a week and I soon expected to run out of ideas and my own family history material.  How wrong I was!  Geneabloggers has proved  so stimulating I am way above this target and do need to keep track of what I am doing.  

My approach is to.........  
  1. Use the Drafts folder.
  2. Create a "New Post" for any idea or prompt or anniversary reminder that I think I will write about, putting in at least the subject or draft title in the Title Box, and perhaps some quick jottings on content, to develop  later whenever I have the time.
  3. Add also the appropriate Geneablogger prompt into the title  box as a reminder  when to publish it. e.g. Thankful Thursday.
  4. Limit the drafts to no more than a page of the screen, so it is easy to give a quick overview - too many drafts and some get forgotten about.
  5. Having a number of drafts on the go also allows me to vary the style of postings,  balancing the short item with a longer more in-depth piece, or a largely visual posting with one that is mainly text - following here an earlier piece of advice from "Better Blogging".
  6. Keeping an eye on my Published Files by Categories/Labels means I can quickly identify gaps in content of a particular theme.
  7. For priority in posting,  the weekly contributions such as for Better Blogging and also 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy come first to keep up with these particular schedules, followed by date related material and the rest as and when.  
  8. Some weeks I have a   blitz with a number of posts ready to go, but I have learnt to be restrained and space them out.  Too many on one day I think runs the risk of posts getting overlooked by readers.
Not such a structured approach as Tonia's,  but for me, with my present scale of posting,  it does meet her criteria:  

  • Never again be stuck thinking, “What am I going to write about”
  • Frees up my  mind to do the actual writing
  • Helps me organize my time
  • Gives consistency to my blog
  • Allow me  to identify trends and lulls in your content.
How do you plan your posting schedule?  I would be interested in other views.


  1. I'm about to publicly embarrass myself but I had totally overlooked Drafts, Scheduled, Imported and Published folders. I mean I knew they were there - they are right in front of my face - but you know how you see something so much that you don't see it anymore? That's me.

    Anyway, thanks for the reminder to use that tool!

  2. I agree with Michelle. Thanks for this post.


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