Welcome to Part 4 of A Witch’s Guide to Magickal Blogging. This post will cover how to use an editorial calendar to plan posts. This is the last installment in my four part guide to magickal blogging; I hope you enjoyed it.
Planning Posts for Your Magickal Blog
Step 1: Why Have an Editorial Calendar?
In order to explain why you should have an editorial calendar at all, I’m going to use myself as an example. For a while I posted when ever I had an article finished, then it was about once a week, then for a while I alternated between Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday and Monday/Wednesday/Friday posts. I found that M/W/F worked best for me: it was versatile, and people don’t seem to be online that much on the weekends. I also never, ever publish posts right after I write them. Usually they’re written weeks or even months in advance. That’s because it’s just me here, I have no editorial team (or proofreader), and that creates a few issues that the editorial calendar helps with.
The first issue with being a solo blogger is that I’m a typo monster, I find typos in old posts all the time. Tip: If you see that an old post is suddenly getting hits again, open it up and proofread it; I always seem to find something that I want to change. Second, and I’m going to blame my Scorpio Sun/Virgo Moon combo for this one, I’m a mean reviewer. It’s that Scorpio sting, coupled with Virgo’s perfectionism, I’m telling you. I’m naturally a hyper-critical perfectionist, and I’ve had my critical chops cultivated by my education and profession (I teach writing and literary analysis). Because of this, I write my reviews ages before I post them, then I go back and take out most of the unnecessary snark, then I re-read it again before it’s published. All told, my posts go through an average of a dozen revisions each, with some posts getting over two dozen edits. Perfection, go!
The editorial calendar helps with all this because my schedule is set at least a month in advance (sometimes two), and there’s no room for a spontaneous post. That gives me time to re-read for typos, and to save you from my bad attitude (while still writing honest reviews, which is really important to me). To plan your posts, you need to know your posting schedule – M/W/F in my case – and any regular features.
My regular post features and their benchmarks are below for an example:
- Book Reviews: No more than once a week; two week+ gap ideally.
- Cosmic Concerns (Monthly): 3-5 days before the new month.
- Full Moon Magick: 3-5 days before the Full Moon.
- Late-Month Link Roundup: Last day of the month of first of the next month.
- New Moon Magick: 3-5 days before the New Moon.
- Magickal Journal Ideas: 3rd to 5th of each month.
- Mid-Month Link Roundup: 14th to 16th of the month.
- Sabbat Ideas: 1-3 weeks before Sabbat.
I have six posts that appear every calendar month, and I post twelve posts in a four week month, so half of the work is already spoken for, which is the only way I can relax and write. Once that’s all sorted, I start planning.
Step 2: Setting Up an Editorial Calendar
For my editorial calendar, I use Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook; I recommend using any datebook that has a weekly spread, including a custom planner, digital calendar, or BuJo setup. I like my week to start on Monday, so adapt your system to your preferences.
To start, I put small sticky notes on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in the calendar. I will usually do this about a month in advance. Then I plan the regular features (those six recurring posts listed above) and, once I know where they’ll go, I write them on the sticky note. Then I open my drafts folder and see what, if anything, I’d like to add in from the drafts. The minimum I plan ahead is 2 weeks, so if that’s full I move on to something else, and if not I chose articles from the drafts folder to fill in the gaps. If I need to move anything, I just move the sticky note to where it needs to be. The sticky notes make it really easy to switch posts around.
Once a post is drafted, I write “D” in the left corner of the sticky; once it’s scheduled I write “S” in the right corner. Then, in the morning, I proofread posts one (or two) more times before they’re published. If inspiration is totally gone or I don’t have enough time to write a full blog post, I edit and proofread instead.
Once the post is published, I take off the sticky and write the post title in the calendar. I put a checkmark next to the post title once I’ve promoted it on social media, but I can’t give you advice about that because I don’t get a lot of social media traffic, really. I think it’s something like three hits a day come from social media, my lack of enthusiasm for it really shows!
I hope you found this little post helpful when thinking of a way to schedule your own blog posts. This is the end of my four part Witch’s Guide to Magickal Blogging. If you have any requests for things that I didn’t cover, I’d love to hear from you in the comments.
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