How to Use a Post Calendar for Your Blog

Goooood mornin’! I hope you had an excellent weekend.

I had a pretty low-key weekend: date night in on Friday, lunch date Saturday, errands, and just bumin’ around, and then serving at my church Sunday before prepping for today.

The weekends are my time to take a break from the routine and just chill, but in order to keep things running smoothly during the week, I usually try to set some time aside to buffer up a few posts. I know many of you have been curious and asked questions about the post calendar that I use.

I haven’t said too much about it, other than that I can’t live without. So I thought I would give you guys the full scoop of how that works and how to use one for yourself!

How to Use a Post Calendar for Your Blog | Freeing Imperfections

Firstly, I’m sure there are many WordPress plugins for post calendars. I am going to go over the post calendar I use, which is called WordPress Editorial Calendar Plugin. It’s free to download for anyone to use. :)

After downloading & installing the plugin, the actual calendar can be found under the “Posts” tab and then in the drop down link, “Calendar.” It took me a little while to figure that out, so I thought it was worth mentioning where it’s located.

Where to locate the post calendar

Main Features

When you first log in, you should see a calendar of the current month. If you’ve posted anything so far, your previous posts will show up.

The main features of this plugin are:

  • Being able to add new posts as drafts from the plugin
  • Drag & drop posts to change the date they are scheduled
  • Move posts from published to draft, scheduled to unscheduled
  • Scroll through the months (using your mouse scroller) for easy use

Once you take a little time to play with the calendar, I’m sure you’ll find that it’s very user-friendly. I’ve had zero technical issues using this calendar. It’s very easy for anyone to use.

Now that you have a basic understanding of what the calendar can do, how do you use it for your blog? There’s a lot of benefits for using a post calendar, but I know note

The main reasons I use a post calendar are to… 

  • plan posts in advance
  • easily reschedule or move posts around
  • use the visual element of a calendar to better understand my blog as a whole
  • have better overall organization of my blog

Plan Posts in Advance

Before I even begin about this one, I know that some of you are inherently against planning posts in advance. But please, hear me out!

I know planning posts in advance can seem like cheating. In a way, it is. You get to do the work a head of time and then (if you schedule social media in advance) you get to sit back and watch your blog work all on its own like a well-oiled machine. And let me just tell you – that is priceless to me. If that’s not your deal, though, I totally understand.

I know for a lot of writers, the writing has to come at that time – not ahead of time. Obviously, all of my posts cannot be scheduled in advance because then my blog would basically sound like a robot all the time. And nothing would be current.

One way to still “schedule” posts while still maintaining the real-time aspect of blogging is to at least plan the subject matter for a certain day’s post and put it on the calendar. You could, say, schedule a post for Thursday about a new smoothie recipe that you have yet to even create. Simply create the post for Thursday, title it “Smoothie Recipe,” and leave it as a draft. If there’s anything you can write in advance, do so. But if not, you can at the very least use the post calendar to make a rough draft post plan for the week or month.

Easily Reschedule Posts

If scheduling in advance doesn’t work out – guess what? None of this is set in stone! The best part about the calendar is that all the posts are easily moved by dragging & dropping and you can delete on the spot as well.

However, this feature is also really useful for “evergreen” posts, or posts that you can post anytime. Say you get some recipe posts buffered up and you plan to post one this Friday. But then you remember that Friday is the Faith in My Friday link up and you would really rather post about that instead.

No problem! Move your recipe post to another day. Or if you can’t decide when to post it next, drag it into the unscheduled drafts to use at a later date.

Better Understand Your Blog

I like using the calendar just for the visual aspect alone: being able to see what I’ve blogged about in the given month in a visual way is better than my blog can do on its own. The visual aspect of the calendar is the biggest appeal to me, helping me better understand what I’m blogging about and when.

This is useful for me to see how often I post blog tips, recipes, or workouts. I don’t like to post more than one of those type of posts a week to keep variety here. So when a new workout pops in my head, I take a look at the calendar to see when an ideal time would be to post it. If I just posted a workout last Friday, maybe I’ll wait until this Friday to post another one so they’re not posted right after one another.

——

Overall, the post calendar has greatly increased the organization in my blogging. Scheduling posts was quite a nightmare before I had this tool.

If you think this tool isn’t for you, that’s okay. But I would urge you to try it out just for a week. Even if you never use it to schedule much in advance, I think it’s still helpful to have around to glance at now and then.

Questions for You:

  • What are your thoughts on writing blog posts ahead of time?
  • What helps you stay organized with post writing?

This is not a sponsored post. I just really like this plugin. :)

Comments

  1. Thanks for singing the praises for this awesome plug-in. I first found out about it from your blogging tools post and it’s been a life saver. By the way, love your blogging tips posts. :)
    Shawn @ Fruity ‘N’ Nutty recently posted…Race Recap: Yangmingshan Trail Run Challenge 10kMy Profile

  2. I’ve tried to use this, but I actually have a lot of problems with it. Sometimes none of my posts show up, and my drafts are never there. It’s super annoying ;/ I’ve meant to look and find a different one and see if that works but i kept forgetting. I do plan my posts if I can, but some weeks it doesn’t happen!
    Heather @fitncookies recently posted…Low Key, Baking Kind of Weekend- MIMMMy Profile

    • At first, I was having the same issues but realized I was doing something wrong. I can’t remember what it was right now but when I have gone to look into it I’ll let you know. Once I fixed it, it became much more useful obviously!

  3. Agreed! I can’t live without my editorial calendar either. I love to create post titles for the week or upcoming weeks and then write the post the day before (or earlier, if I can!). It has really helped me with blog organization and feeling like I’m not repeating topics!
    Kim @ Racing Bananas recently posted…MIMM: Enjoying a Little R&RMy Profile

  4. I love writing and scheduling posts ahead of time. I am currently working on getting posts made and set aside for rainy days! Have a great day :)

  5. I JUST switched over to WordPress last week from Blogger and man is it different! Thank you for sharing this plugin – if you schedule posts in advance, is it possible to get the link to it so you can schedule it for Twitter/Facebook in Hootsuite?

  6. I write some ahead of time but usually spur of the moment kind of things. I am trying to get ahead and write some more in advance if there is something that I know I want to write about. I use my daily planner and write it in there with all of my other things that way everything is in one place.

    I’m not against writing posts in advance, as I do it sometimes- but I like the spontaneity of throwing together a post that’s “in the moment” as well.
    Laura @losingrace recently posted…Stepping back & bouncing forward all in one week.My Profile

    • I used to use a planner too… I wonder where it went? lol! I appreciate spontaneity as well and wish I could have more “real time” posts, but my schedule just doesn’t allow for it if I want posts every day!

  7. I usually just use my calendar in Gmail to “Schedule” my posts during the week. I’m definitely going to look into this though, it sounds much more convenient!
    Marissa @Barefoot Colorado recently posted…Fall Inspired Recipe: Apple Cider MuffinsMy Profile

  8. Thank you so much! I just pinned this for future use and hope to upload the calendar this weekend! :-) I love writing race recaps from races that I’ve run in the past before I started blogging. Those are easy for me to prewrite and schedule to post on the day that that race will be run. Otherwise, I write most of my posts on the day I publish them.
    Debbie @ DebRuns recently posted…Marine Corps Marathon(s) RecapMy Profile

  9. I love the editorial calendar! I also love the unscheduled drafts column on the right hand side- I use that to “draft” posts with topic ides I want to write about, that way when I am out of ideas there are some waiting for me!
    Katie @ Live Half Full recently posted…Fall Reading ListMy Profile

  10. I don’t think it’s cheating, I think it would help me immensely if I organized my content on a calendar. Thanks for sharing! I will definitely try this plug in out!
    Gracielle recently posted…Trick or Treat, Smell My Feet 2013My Profile

  11. I just downloaded this to my blog and I love it so much it makes things so much easier and more organized. I can even jot down ideas for posts and come back to them later. Stopping over from SITS
    Kita recently posted…The Power of ColorMy Profile

  12. Thanks for sharing this. I feel overwhelmed by my post schedule sometimes. I’m also in need of a place to schedule all my freelance posts in addition to my own. Every time I open an excel file, I just give up.
    Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life recently posted…Part Time Work and Unemployment. Is it Worth It?My Profile

  13. I used it for a while but for some reason it was overriding the actual publish and would use rough drafts instead of the updated posts. It was great to be able to see the whole month at a glance, maybe it’s time to give it another try. I write up a rough draft as soon as I can after a test so I keep half a dozen or so going at a time, I love having most of the work done so posting days are less stressful, a little cleanup and editing and DONE!
    The Involuntary Housewife recently posted…The Drunken Lemon – DIY Essential OilMy Profile

    • Yeah, if you read some of the comments above, other readers and I were having the same issues before as well. To be honest, I have NO idea what the issue was, but I figure it out as an issue on my end (not using the scheduling feature right or screwing up the publishing times). I wish I could remember exactly what was going wrong.

      Obviously, it not scheduling your posts correctly or on time is a huge problem for something like this. I would encourage you to Google search for the answer becuase I think that’s how I figured it out the first time. If it comes to me what the problem actually was, I’ll be sure to update this post and let you know!

  14. I don’t use wordpress but I do love scheduling my posts.I do everything weekly -social media posts and more and it is so great because I don’t have to worry about posting for an entire week.I just focus on answering people and on the off chance that something just comes to me, I can post an extra thing if I wanted to.

    Visiting from #sitssharefest

    Keep it Touched,
    KG
    http://www.kgstyleblogs.com
    KG recently posted…Happy Halloween Friends!My Profile

    • Scheduling social media is also the next step. As soon as I schedule a post, I schedule the social media as well. It’s great!

      For using Blogger, your blog looks amazing. I love the layout of all the recent posts!

  15. I’m not on WordPress, so I can’t use this plug-in, but I do love using a calendar to schedule my posts. I try to stay a day ahead of myself with the plan that if something else happens, most things can be bumped to another day. It gives me a structure to work within while also allowing flexibility.
    Rabia @TheLiebers recently posted…Ozeri 10′ Stainless Steel Earth Pan {Review}My Profile

  16. Thank you for the tips! I need to get the calendar plugin immediately. It will make blogging easier especially when I write drafts for posts that I may want to use later on!

  17. I can not live without my publication calendar either. I want to make post titles for the week or approaching weeks and afterward compose the post the day preceding (or prior, in the event that I can!). It has truly helped me with web journal association and feeling like I’m not rehashing points

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