Regular Doses of Common Sense™

Does Fear Keep Bloggers From Trying an Editorial Calendar?

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Does Fear Keep Bloggers From Trying an Editorial Calendar?

For years now, I’ve explained the benefits of an editorial calendar for bloggers. But I think I understand why some still won’t try one.

I’ve said it before: an editorial calendar can make a world of difference for your blog and the pressure we place on ourselves as bloggers to stay on deadline.

I’ve wondered for years why there are some bloggers who just seem hesitant to try it.

I think I understand the problem. And I think it’s important enough that we talk about it to set the record straight.

You see, there was a time that I would have said I didn’t need to deploy any kind of calendar for my blog. “I can handle it,” I’d have said if pressed about why I wouldn’t use a tool plenty of bloggers swear by.

“Anyway, I like to be flexible,” I’d have said at some point during the conversation. In fact, after I was thinking about the concept of an editorial calendar, I recalled feeling that way about them before I actually took the leap of blogging faith to try one.

Bloggers fear an editorial calendar because they fear they’re giving up control.

If you stop and think about it, that doesn’t make sense; but on the surface, I really do think that’s it.

The fear goes something like this: Once you put something on that calendar, you’re locked in. Once it’s actually on the calendar, it’s set in stone.

But it isn’t. That’s not how an editorial calendar was ever meant to work. In fact, in the past two weeks, I’ve probably moved something — from a day off to more than a week off — as more pressing topics came to my attention. I move scheduled posts all the time.

Let’s imagine a food blog as an example since everyone can relate to food. Let’s say that you post three times a week — for the sake of argument, let’s say you publish on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Let’s say it’s early Wednesday morning and you’ve managed to get ahead of schedule and have Wednesday and Friday’s posts already written and scheduled. But on that morning, you see breaking news about a big food recall.

A recall, I would think, it pretty timely. So you start writing up a post that you think shouldn’t wait until the following Monday. What do you do?

What I would do, with the WP-Editorial Calendar WordPress plugin, is click and drag Friday’s post on the calendar to Monday, and then drag Wednesday’s scheduled post to Friday. I’d then start a new post for Wednesday and run it that morning.

The plugin gives you that “drag and drop” option for a reason: you’re not locked in when you place something on the calendar. You were never meant to be locked in.

All an editorial calendar is ever supposed to do is give you a visual representation of what you have scheduled for which dates and help you plan.

But we all know that plans change.

There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, that’s expected. That’s why plugins like this have the “drag and drop” feature to begin with.

So if you’re a blogger who has allowed the fear of “commitment” to keep you from trying an editorial calendar for your blog, I’d encourage you to reconsider. Mine has helped me get further ahead than I’ve ever been, and it’s definitely worth it.

It doesn’t cause more stress; it relieves stress by helping you stay on goal.

Isn’t that worth a try?

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