If CK frequently seems like bursts of organized, topical posts followed by droughts of randomness and silence … well, that’s because it is.
Not that it’s meant to be that. As CK has transitioned from a personal blog to a blog about my music, Philly, and other specific topics, I finally settled on the perfect mix of posts for the current incarnation. I even made myself an Editorial Calendar – basically, a forward-looking schedule of what content is in which stage of readiness for the weeks ahead. EdCal’s are traditionally a tool of newspapers and magazines, but in recent years they’ve become an important resource for bloggers.
Then I hit a barrier: how would I keep the editorial calendar updated?
It was a barrier I couldn’t overcome with blogging as a part-time exercise, fighting for time against my three musical incarnations and dealing with the new house. Paper EdCals were a chore and got lost. A Google Spreadsheet was great for planning, but I just kept planning and never wrote. Penciling drafts into WordPress was meaningless without some structure, and I wound up with endless lingering drafts since I couldn’t see an overview the lineup of an entire week or month.
I thought, maybe WordPress has an EdCal plugin! It seemed like the sort of plugin motivated bloggers would create. Alas, I searched and searched, to no avail.
I keep re-drafting my own EdCals, but they never lasted more than a few weeks as they were interrupted by actual work and my musicianship. Despite a myriad of ideas for CK, I just didn’t have the spare time to wrangle them, write them, schedule them, and post them.
Then, in an actual work meeting about WordPress during actual work hours, Mel & I were glibly showing off our personal blog plugins to the social team at the office. I showed some of my favorites (Yet Another Related Posts Plugin being primary among them), and the she whipped out WordPress Editorial Calendar.
WHAT IN THE WHAT NOW!?
(I may have actually screamed that in the middle of the meeting with our Director. Luckily, he is already well aware of my insanity.)
Yes, about 13 months ago someone came up with a fully-functioning EdCal plugin for WP. Set up a schedule of posts, start a draft right on the calendar, and drag and drop them to your heart’s content. When a post is ready, just move it over to “Publish” status via a dropdown – or, edit it the way you’d normally edit.
Ta-Da – instant blog organization.
Needless to say, the next time I logged into CK I immediately installed the plugin. I’ve been working with it all weekend, and for the first time ever I have a month of planned posts. That doesn’t mean I wrote them all today – it just means I finally have a living schedule of what I hope to talk about and when I hope to say it.
I’m positively aglow about it. I hope you dig my first week of EdCal content, starting tomorrow morning!