If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know I’m a big fan of scheduled posts and an editorial calendar.
I’ve talked numerous time over the years of the benefits of using an editorial calendar because you can schedule posts ahead of time and then move them around as needed.
This week, I offer you an example of exactly how one post went from draft to published…a few weeks later than planned.
Though the post was written in response to a recent post, it wasn’t so timely that it couldn’t wait if it needed to because it talked about a broad, “evergreen” topic. This is to say, it wouldn’t matter if the post ran that last Friday in March, the second Friday in April or even the fourth Friday in May.
The post was initially scheduled to run on March 29th. Normally, I do a post on the topic of faith every Friday. But on that particular Friday, I had a story on the topic of grammar that was more timely, so I made the rare decision to pre-empt a Friday faith-based post in favor of the grammar post. With my editorial calendar, I simply moved the post down to the following Friday, which was April 7th.
But on the day before, comedian Don Rickles passed away at age 90, and as he was a comedian I long admired, I felt a more timely post on his passing would be more appropriate for that day, which meant the post about hymnals was moved down one more Friday to April 14th.
I really expected the post to run that date. But then there was one more post, this time, at least, a faith-based post, that became more pressing: it was a post about an ongoing protest over a candy manufacturer’s decision to remove the word Easter from an annual Easter egg hunt event. Easter was on Sunday the 16th, so a post relating to the (Easter) egg hunt seemed more timely. So with my editorial calendar, I once again slid that post down one more week.
This time around, the third time — or at least, the third postponement — was the charm.
Could I have done all of that moving around without an editorial calendar? Certainly.
But I’d have had to look at a calendar elsewhere to figure out which date would have been the next one on which it should run. With the editorial calendar open, I had that information in front of me: all I had to do was just adjust the schedule date in the post to the next date I wanted to run it.
What’s more, when you have an editorial calendar, you can see at a glance what your scheduled posts look like and which days you haven’t yet scheduled something. If I know, for example, that I have posts scheduled for the next four days, but that fifth day still needs a post, I can focus on that first. But I can also look a few days past that and see there’s a post draft that’s nearly finished and go in and complete that post: I can either schedule it for the day on which nothing yet has been scheduled, or I can leave it where it is and know that there’s one more day already taken care of.
Either way, because I’m easier able to see where I stand, there’s less “deadline pressure” on my shoulders. Plus, there’s a greater sense of accomplishment as I get another post ahead of schedule.
And, the final benefit that can’t be discounted is that I have more time to go back into a post before it publishes and re-read and re-edit if I wish. It definitely beats trying to crash a post together the day it runs.
So that’s an example of how scheduled posts go from the draft stage to the scheduled to stage to actually winding up being published.