If you run a blog, you have no doubt at some point made great plans to publish regular content, to keep your blog fresh and relevant to your readers. But did you stick to that ideal? Did you find it difficult to track whether you had posts ready for the times you’d planned to publish?
Most people do have trouble tracking their posts – and that’s because WordPress doesn’t have a calendar view by default. Here’s how you can start viewing your upcoming posts in a way that actually makes sense – that is, with a calendar.
The WordPress Editorial Calendar is a plugin that you will instantly love. It makes all of your forward planning for your blog an absolute breeze. And the more you use it, the more you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.
What Is The WordPress Editorial Calendar?
The WordPress Editorial Calendar is the calendar view your WordPress posts always needed. It lets you view all of your posts (whether they’re draft, pending, scheduled or published) in their correct position on a calendar. This makes your planning simple, as you can see at a glance how many posts are prepared for any given day and how the content is spaced out over time. You can also very easily move posts about in order to space out the different subjects you write on. It’s a huge time-saver and a quick way to reassure yourself that your content is scheduled in the best possible way.
Why Would You Need An Editorial Calendar?
If you’re trying to publish regular content on your blog, you need to be able to plan easily, and this is a great tool to use to make that planning a cinch. Why would you want to publish regularly? Well, many reputable bloggers have said that this was the key to building their blog and growing their readership. If you’re blogging in order to quit your day job, then publishing your blog content regularly is one of many things you can do to reach your goals. You might also like to read about the essential steps to starting a WordPress blog, how to create a successful curated blog and our full guide to WordPress.
Install WordPress Editorial Calendar
You can grab the free WordPress Editorial Calendar plugin and get started with it on your blog, or if you are a little unsure you can check it out using a tester sandbox site first. If you try out the sandbox you can get a quick feel for how easy it is to rearrange your content and plan ahead.
Using The WordPress Editorial Calendar Plugin
The editorial calendar is an extremely user-friendly plugin. Try it for yourself! In the sandbox, just try dragging and dropping a post or using the quick edit function. It really is very intuitive.
To access the calendar from your regular WordPress admin panel, you should see a link to the Calendar on the left in the Posts section under Categories and Tags. Follow this link and see your entire collection of posts come to life in a way that actually makes a lot of sense.
The plugin can be set up to show as many as 8, or as few as 1, week at a time. This makes it possible to manage the content of a small blog’s schedule as well as that of a larger blog such as MakeUseOf — plus all the many different sized blogs in between. You can also choose whether to show details of the post’s status, author and time of day it is set for. To get to these settings, head to the top right of your screen and click on “Screen Options”. You also have a toggle button on the right to show or hide unscheduled drafts.
Posts can be quickly adjusted for title, content, time and status using the quick edit function. This is somewhat different to the regular WordPress quick edit function, but serves much the same purpose. Showing the content in the quick edit means you can very quickly proofread the post before scheduling it – a useful feature. To change the date of a post, simply drag and drop the post to the right day. It will retain the time settings it had previously.
If you want to start a new post, navigate to the day and hover at the top. You’ll see a “New Post” link you can click on, which opens a new Quick Edit popup. Add as much or as little information as you like, then save as either Draft, Pending Review or Scheduled. Later, you can mull over your drafts in the traditional view and flesh out the posts that are there.
It’s even possible to have separate calendars for the different types of posts you have. For instance, you could have a calendar for text posts and another calendar for your podcast.
Issues With The Editorial Calendar Plugin
My gripe with this plugin is that I can’t make the day’s scheduling box any bigger and I am forced to scroll. As you have probably noticed by now if you have more than a few posts on a day, if you scroll the day’s posts and reach the bottom of the day, the plugin will instantly think you’re scrolling to view a new week or month. So, all of a sudden you’re viewing posts weeks in advance. If the developers fix this tiny little problem I could not fault this WordPress plugin at all.
How do you schedule your blog posts? Let me know in the comments below.