Photo by j_piepkorn65 Last time we talked about different ways to create an effective blogging strategy that would keep your readers engaged and save you time through organization. Today we're going to give some tips for employing an incredibly useful tool to improve the organization of your content: namely, creating an editorial calendar. There are many reasons for creating an editorial calendar for your blog that go beyond simple organization. An effective calendar can keep all of your blog collaborators on the same page, allow you to schedule posts around certain themes and keep your content consistent. If you don't have one of these calendars for your blog or you have one that needs some work, have a look at these tips for creating one that really works. 1. Choose a Good Tool The first thing to do when starting up your editorial calendar is to find a good tool. If you're on WordPress like we are, the WordPress Editorial Calendar Plugin is a great resource. If you're an Excel ninja, you might feel more comfortable in simply tracking out your calendar using that format. The important thing here is to choose a tool that you're comfortable with and that you will actually use. 2. Set Goals and Track your Metrics Your editorial calendar can be a great way to track your goals and your blog metrics. Visualizing your goals is always helpful (keeping track of number of posts per week for example), and tracking your metrics can also be useful. In fact, use your calendar as a reference point for tracking the number of visitors to your blog per day, comments/likes/tweets per post and other metrics. Use these figures as a way to gauge what your audience finds the most useful, and optimize your content accordingly. 3. Use Your Calendar to Schedule Themes and Series Keep the big picture in mind by grouping posts and having themes. These are both much easier to visualize on an editorial calendar, and an excellent use of the tool. Utilizing themes and series can have a positive impact on the number of visitors to your blog by encouraging them to engage in your content over several days and several posts, rather than one day and one post at a time. What are some effective methods that you use to plan content? Be sure to let us know in the comments!