Reader Request: How I Plan My Editorial Calendar


When I made the choice to switch up my editorial content from fashion to what it is now, I needed to rethink how I approached producing content. Instead of curating lookbooks and street style snaps, my vision was to share what I spent most of my time on: living a meaningful and healthy lifestyle.

This huge content shift would involve writing lengthier posts, shooting regular photography (every photo you see on here, with the exception of fashion roundups, is produced by me) and opening myself up in a way that I hadn’t before. I was wildly excited to take on the change and knew that the work load was going to be much greater. I needed to get organized. Here’s how I did it:

DEFINE CONTENT CATEGORIES
Figuring out what to write about can be overwhelming so defining exactly what those categories were was important for getting organized. I landed on the following which are reflected in the navigation of my site which I redesigned to coincide with the new content:

WELLNESS with a drop-down menu of self love & mindfulness, fitness, & wellness challenges

FASHION with a drop-down menu of personal style, lookbooks & street style

RECIPES with a drop-down menu of smoothies, wellness shots, breakfast, salads, sides, dinner, dessert & cocktails

BEAUTY with a drop-down menu of makeup, skin, hair & DIY

CREATE CONTENT CALENDAR
I wanted a calendar where I could see everything I had going on at a month’s glance including deadlines for original and sponsored content. I couldn’t find anything that existed so I created my own in Google docs which I’ve made a copy of for you HERE – please feel free to take a look and/or copy it if you’re in need of something like this.

There are tabs for each month along with tabs for working content (this is where I track the status of content that’s in the works), content ideas (more on this below) and photos needed.

I’ve made a mock calendar for May to give you a sense of what it looks like filled out. I use to color code the content based on the category – beauty, mindfulness, etc. – but have since stopped because I decided that it didn’t really matter to me if I had two back to back posts about ‘insert category’ here. What mattered to me was that I was sharing content that meant something and resonated with my readers.

CONSISTENCY & FREQUENCY
When flushing out the calendar I knew I wanted to bring some uniformity and consistency, something readers could count on. I established that Friday’s would be for outfit posts and when I came up with the idea of ‘weekly wellness challenges,’ those became Monday’s main squeeze.

In between Monday and Friday is where there’s freedom to write about whatever it is that I’m inspired by, struggling with, researching, practicing, pondering, etc. And now, Sunday’s are dedicated to a recipe (something I started this month and am really excited about).

In addition, I started posting at the same time every day, 8am PST Monday – Friday and 10am PST on Sunday.

TRACK IDEAS & CONTENT
In the ‘content ideas’ tab (all the way to the right) is where I add every idea that comes to mind – it’s my pool of inspiration. I find that it’s good to have it all in one place, it’s like my back-up brain so that I don’t have those “what was that idea again?” moments and really comes in handy on days when I’m having writer’s block or am idea deprived. I also keep a running list of ideas in my email drafts since so many of them happen while I’m out and about.

PLAN
I roughly outline the calendar a month or two in advance but it ALWAYS changes. Mapping it out in advance helps give me a sense of what I need to shoot (which I track in the photos tab), what the content flow will feel like and I open up the calendar every single day as a way to give me direction for what I generally need to work on.

As for how I plan it, there isn’t much rhyme or reason outside of the three weekly columns (wellness challenges, outfits and recipes), it’s truly a mix of what I’m inspired by and/or what Chelsea, who contributes to my site, pitches.

This calendar has REALLY helped me get my s**t together. Anyhow, I hope this was insightful (specifically to Rachel who requested this post)!

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20 comments

  1. I really like this post in particular. I have an interesting website idea brewing and this is super helpful for me, to get me started and map out my ideas. I’m wondering you mentioned that you take your own photographs, what kind of camera do you use?

  2. I really like this blog post. I have an interesting website idea brewing and this editorial calendar template is super helpful for me to get started and map out my ideas. You mentioned you take your own photograph, I’m wondering what type of camera you use?

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