How to Set a Realistic Editorial Deadline

Editorial deadlines are not your thing? This is why you should rethink that sentiment

I am very large editorial deadline fan. Whether it’s self-imposed or passed on by a client, sets a due date for you write and edit Jobs is a valuable tool for prioritizing your work schedule.

Are you wondering why I praise editorial deadlines? Well, I’ve had a lot of experience with other people missing deadlines, and I know personally how much influence it can have on many aspects of a project. There’s nothing worse than someone else’s inability to meet deadlines messing up the work you’re doing. In fact, we all have a lot going on in our lives. People are busy, and things get messy and unpredictable – that’s life. You can’t let your life get in the way of a due date.

The problem with missing deadlines is simple. You disappoint a client or your boss and are branded as unreliable – a label that is very difficult to remove, especially when your missed deadlines are affecting others around you and their ability to get the job done on their own. You become the bottleneck, and who wants to be that person? No one should be an obstacle in the project. Once.

[Tweet “No one should ever be the bottleneck in projects. Ever. Hit your deadlines.”]

This is how most writers and editors fail:

  • They promise too much and deliver too little. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Even if you want to finish a project early, set a realistic deadline with it you are comfortable with. Any employer or client would rather get a project on the day you tell them to expect it, than be late and mess with their schedule. Better yet, if you set realistic expectations for yourself, you can surprise your clients with projects you finish early.
  • They procrastinate. You may do better under pressure, but what is your content? actually better once you are under pressure? With less time for rereading, less time for editors to copy edits, and less time for you to come up with better graphics or anecdotes, the answer is a big loss. no. you may be more efficient under pressure because you’re in a hurry, but your content will suffer. How much better with an extra day or week and time for extra attention?
  • They email content in the morning, like 2am. You might think this type of behavior is telling a client or employer that you are burning midnight oil for them, but what is it? is it right tell your clients that you are procrastinating. This is another way of showing that their project is not worth your time at the start of the week and day or that you are not practicing professional time management.
  • They give their clients the editing burden. Are you procrastinating and rushing past your deadlines? You can unwittingly give your employer or client more work. Before you submit any content, be sure to copy, edit it. You want to provide a perfect copy. Otherwise, your mistakes will make you less valuable to them.
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Here’s how you can be successful by setting realistic editorial deadlines:


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  • Estimate how long your content will take to complete. Once you figure it out, add 10-20%. Remember, it’s better to deliver on time as promised, than to say you can deliver content early and not. It’s all about setting expectations with your clients.
  • Make a editorial calendar a month before. Coming up with blogging ideas at the last minute means you’ll have less time to write good content. It puts you back before you even start writing. When you were in place, were you ever at your best?
  • Do your research early. If you follow my advice and create an editorial calendar ahead of time, you’ll know what content you need to research. Sometimes research is what I spend most of my time writing for clients. If I had known what I was writing about a month in advance, I might have done some preliminary research on everything up front, and bookmarked it for easy access later.
  • Write at least the next week. If your content is published next Wednesday, then your editorial deadline should be at least this Wednesday. By setting your deadline a week before publication, you give yourself a week to reread it, copy it, and review it. This way, you know at the time of publication that it is as good as it can get.
  • Plan ahead to ward off last minute problems. A few tips: If you get your work done on Tuesday, but it’s not due by Thursday, don’t procrastinate. Deliver when you can, and you can be sure your clients receive it on time. Make sure your work location has reliable internet access. If not, immediately find a new place to work. Always make sure to carry your computer charger with you, and remember to back up all your written content to the cloud or storage drive. These steps may sound trivial, but most of the problems arise from minor situations like dead battery, computer crash, and no internet access.
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The most important lesson to remember if you miss an editorial deadline is not to make excuses.

The client’s rule of thumb is to be a light of inspiration and help. Never burden your clients with excuses, whatever your personal problem is. No one will be fooled when you email them at 10pm on the night a project is due and say you are sick or your dog is dead. Unfortunately, most clients won’t care, and their ears will water when they hear it. You could be telling the truth, but the reasons have been told to them too many times before. By work ahead and given realistic deadlines, you are less likely to fall into this trap.

So what do you do if you know you’re going to miss a deadline? Step one – apologize sincerely, but make sure your apology is 100% excuse-free and at least a day before the proposed deadline. After you apologize, give them realistic new deadline. Doing what you said you would do when you said you would do it is paramount. Your final step is about shipping. Once you’ve committed to the new deadline, do whatever is necessary to ensure your clients have their content in time for the new editorial deadline.

[Tweet “There’s no such thing as a “good” excuse for missing a deadline. Be the one who planned ahead.”]

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