The Business of Blogging – Backstage

One of the questions that we get from new bloggers is about how we manage and organize our content calendars. So today, you’re getting an insider peek at our desktops and the way that we streamline the work that our editors do by keeping a really tidy content schedule. We’ve tried different paid solutions and calendars but for now, Google Calendar works the best for us. It’s a little cluttered and scary upon first glance though after a week of working within our color palettes and flow, it’s easy breezy.

Here is the general flow.

1. Weddings come into our submissions queue at an alarming rate. Erin goes through each wedding, noting the ones that we would like to publish, then imputing them into our calendar. We have 12 different blogs so there are a lot of content streams that need management. Erin handles all of our main page calendar. Our other editors manage the calendars on the local level.

Each type of content has a color code. So that at a glance, we know if we are writing a real wedding feature, an e-sesh, a paid sponsored post, a photoshoot, etc. The color coding system is key to ensuring that our content is balanced and doesn’t overwhelm with any one thing. All editors and salespeople have access to this calendar and can update as needed.

The great thing about this shared calendar system is that changes are super easy to update, content is easy to rearrange with a drag and drop interface, and the color coding means that everyone always knows what’s up. If the week’s view is too chaotic, we can drill down to just the day’s view to stay on track. Google now grays out any event that has already taken place so that makes it even easier for us to keep moving forward.

So the real beauty of our system is that we’ve got our own groove down pat. And the calendar allows us to work quickly and efficiently. After a wedding is set, the individual event is updated with a few pieces of key information. First, the date and time that the post will be scheduled which allows us to work ahead and schedule out posts. The submission link is there so that we can easily access the original submission if needed. The gallery link allows us to build our photo boards right there in the galleries. The prepped post itself is linked- and by prepped post I mean that we have someone who creates a draft, adds in verbage, links and such – and any other important information to add is pasted in, like a video code if there is one.

This calendar is our editors’ bible. Erin schedules up to a month in advance so we can all work ahead if we need to. That means that we are never (or almost never) scrambling for content. Which makes blogging much, much more enjoyable. It’s up to our editors if they want to work way ahead, like our LBB editor Mallory who is always like a month ahead of everyone else, or they want to work the day-of like yours truly.

So there you have it. An insiders’s view of how we manage the crazy amount of weddings that come in the door! Someday soon, I’ll show you how our back end technology allows for a single submission to be auto populated to our galleries where we build inspiration boards, tag and color code images, create rollover credits and publish to the blog. It’s a well oiled machine round these parts!



2 Responses to “SMP’s Editorial Schedule”

  1. Erin B. says:

    Ooh I love a color coded calendar! I should’ve known a Google tool was part of the equation : ) Thanks for the overview & screenshots!

  2. Autumn Buys says:

    As a writer in the wedding industry and a loyal Style Me Pretty fan, this was like my version of a “backstage pass” at the best rock concert in town! I loved reading more about the system behind the style. I think this careful thought and organization really shows through in the detailed descriptions of each celebration and sponsor. Thanks for sharing this great glimpse.

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