The plugin I use is for self-hosted WordPress blogs only. You can still create your own content calendar on paper, in a planner, or a digital app like Trello or Asana. I don’t know if they have native integration with WordPress but another app like IFTTT could possibly help you out.
But for now, I’ll only cover the plugin I’m using.
The Editorial Calendar plugin
This is the plugin I use. It’s straightforward in looks and what it does. I’m sure there are others out there, but this one is good enough for what I need it to do.
The Editorial Calendar shows you an overview of however many weeks you want with all the scheduled posts and the already published posts. You can select the option to have a list of your unscheduled drafts on the right side.
It’s an easy drag-and-drop system for the drafts you already have, and adding a new post is only three clicks away. Customise your view to what works best for you.
How to use a content calendar?
Ok, so now you have the plugin and you want to use the calendar. Well, how it works isn’t that hard to figure out. When you click on the [new draft] label in a day, you can enter a title, a quick write up, and the time you want the post to go live. You can see the hours written before the title in the screenshots above. This is especially handy if you post at multiple times a day.
I started my Blapril prep with opening the calendar from the post menu in the left sidebar. Hover over ‘Posts’ and you’ll see ‘Calendar’ at the bottom. I wanted to see all the weeks for Blapril so I changed the ‘shown weeks’ to five instead of four in the screen options (found in the top right corner).
Then I just wrote down quick blog ideas. Create a draft, enter a title and a time. Next. That’s how I quickly filled up two weeks worth of ideas. Whenever I get a brainfart for a new blog I can schedule it immediately or create a new draft in the unscheduled section. If you have recurring series, or have evergreen content that you can use to fill up gaps, the unscheduled section is your friend. On my Narratess blog I have drafts for posts that won’t go up until winter time hits again. I can schedule them already, but I’d rather have them within my view, so keep them there until I’m ready to schedule.
The calendar is great for working on content way in advance. It’s easy to what’s coming up or where you need more content. It also helps you to stick to your schedule if you decide on one after Blapril. I don’t use one on this blog, but Narratess only has posts on Friday’s and Tuesday’s.
A conten calendar is and always will be an organisational tool. It works if you work. If you don’t, it’s just sitting there being fancy. Install the plugin, check it out, use it, and see if you can fit it in your routine. If you’re just starting out, it might be worth it to add this part to your blogging routine if you’re in it for the long haul.
Good luck and happy writing!