New and old bloggers struggle with providing content, i.e. blog posts, on a regular basis. We get caught up in life events. We take on a lot of commitments. The inspiration well sometimes runs dry. We change focus.
After you’ve been blogging for awhile, you realize that an editorial calendar would be incredibly helpful. No more panicking at 10 p.m. because you don’t have a post scheduled for the next day, and you haven’t written one all week, or maybe in a few weeks.
Editorial Calendars Provide Structure and Routine
Using an editorial calendar helps you develop a rhythm and routine for your blogging. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a three-times a week blogger or a daily blogger. Having your topics written out on a monthly calendar helps you stay on track with writing, taking pictures, and sharing your content. You can plan ahead for busy family life with guest posts from other bloggers, or keep readers digging into your older content with simple round up posts.
Give yourself time to find an editorial calendar and posting rhythm that works for you. Despite being a digital gal (I’m writing a draft of this post on my mini iPad in Evernote while at a kids birthday party at Chik Fil A), I love my 2-page monthly calendar from Click It Up a Notch’s Ultimate Blog Planner. Before that I used Mama Jenn’s paper weekly blog calendar with check boxes for social media. The 2-page monthly calendar gives me more room for writing. Since I automated with NextScripts Auto-poster. I don’t need the social media sharing reminders anymore.
My Weekly Posting Routine
I post most of my content Monday through Friday. Sunday night and Wednesday night my 2 linky parties go live. Mondays are for blogging tips, Tuesdays for recipes and food-related posts, Wednesday for homekeeping/organizing, Thursday for frugal tips, and Fridays for kid activities, crafts, and tips. I don’t cover all those topics every single week, though I try not to skip more than one week.
Paper Editorial Calendars
I have my monthly editorial calendar in a pretty one-inch Studio C binder from Staples. It’s a bit bulky for travel though I love the ability to add and remove pages while I figure out, yet again, what works for me. I use color coded tabs from Avery to keep my monthly calendars organized. A binder clip marks the current month. Behind each calendar is a list of post ideas and various holidays for that month.
Previously I printed out weekly pages and had them spiral bound at Staples. I liked the more compact spiral notebook, though I couldn’t change the contents of the notebook later in the year if I wanted to.
Paper Calendar Resources
Digital Editorial Calendars
The beauty of a digital calendar is the ability to bring it with you everywhere in case a moment of inspiration strikes. If you use a digital calendar plugin on your WordPress site, you can see which posts are in draft mode, and make sure you have a steady flow of content.
I have 2 digital calendars, one is my Google calendar with the Ahalogy calendar feed and US holiday feed. I map out my blogging time weekly on the Google calendar and print it out to keep myself focused.
My other digital calendar is the Editorial Calendar plugin for WordPress. The posts display in a monthly calendar format within the WordPress dashboard. I can Quick Edit in Calendar mode except for changing the author of the post. I can move the draft post to a new date or drop it in the Unscheduled Draft column. I use a Template plugin for my linky party posts which I set up a few weeks at a time to reduce editing time each week.
Digital Calendar Resources
Google Calendar – goes across all platforms. It’s easy to pull in calendar feeds like a holiday one to help with you planning.
WordPress Editorial Calendar plugin – View your draft and scheduled posts in a monthly format in the WordPress Dashboard for your site
Coschedule (affiliate link) – I signed up for CoSchedule’s 14 day trial last week to see how I would like the integration of a post calendar and social media calendar all in one.