Blog Planning: Creating Your Editorial Calendar. Consistency is key. I’ll give you my tips for creating and sticking to a regular posting schedule + share my all-time favorite tool for blogging.
THIS POST IS LESSON FOUR OF MY FREE BLOGGING AS A CREATIVE BUSINESS COURSE
For more lessons:
Blog Planning: Creating Your Editorial Calendar
Your editorial calendar boils down to four C words: Create. Content. Commit. Consistency.
Creating an editorial calendar is essential to blogging as a business, but it isn’t as hard as it may sound. Consistency is more important than how often you post.
The Basics steps of developing your blog’s editorial calendar:
- Create a posting schedule.
- Fill your calendar with Content.
- Commit to your plan.
- Be Consistent.
Creating a Posting Schedule
Example: Commit to two posts per week, every Tuesday and Thursday. Pencil in all your posts on the Tuesdays and Thursdays on your calendar for an entire month (or more). Then get to work on creating those posts!
When I first started blogging, I posted four times a week. Studies show that more frequent posting yields the best results for growing your site traffic.
As my blog grew and that posting frequency became too much, I took on a Creative Team of other bloggers to contribute posts to my site. That was a lot of work to manage, so I ultimately cut the team down to my two most reliable contributors and moved to posting three times a week. It’s ok to change your plan, as long as you’re doing it with intention and maintaining consistency.
Tip: Don’t sacrifice quality for quantity. It takes a lot of work and time to create a post. You need to write copy, create a project/printable/recipe, create graphics, take photos, edit photos, edit content for SEO (we’ll touch on that in a later lesson), promote on social media, etc. If you can only commit to two posts a week, that’s fine. Just make those two posts extra great content!
Fill Your Calendar With Content
My top three tips for keeping your calendar filled with content ideas:
Make and Keep a Running List of Post Ideas.
I use the Notes app on my laptop (which I can access via my iPhone and iPad thanks to iCloud). Ideas come to me at random times, so this allows me to “get them on paper” quickly no matter where I am.
Keep Your Posts Within Your Niche.
If you’re an art blogger, stick to it. Anything else is filler and isn’t likely to do well because your readers are following you for art.
Create an Ongoing Series
Series are posts you can do each month, which helps give you direction. My Monthly Calendar Printables + Tech Pretties series, lasted several years and was one of my most popular posts each month. I’ve since moved those to my Happy Email Club list for two reasons: (1) It’s not evergreen content, which makes it better suited for email content than blog content. (2) Too many other bloggers started doing the same thing.
Commit to Your Plan + Be Consistent
If you want your blog to be a business, you must treat it like one. There’s no way around putting the work it takes to grow a business into your blog.
On the main page for this e-Course, I note that blogging as a business is not for you if you’re not organized or a self-starter.
This course is for you if you’re ready to put in the work. You must be dedicated to putting in the work if you want to reap the rewards. Blogging is hard work. And a lot of it. You have to wear a lot of hats, be extremely organized, and love what you do.
Blogging as a business, at its core, is a lot of heart and a whole lotta hustle.
The only person you’re accountable to is yourself, so these traits are a must to be successful in the business of blogging. Especially when it comes to sticking to your self-imposed deadlines.
My Favorite Editorial Calendar Tools
Co-Schedule is hands down my favorite blogging tool. The Co-Schedule plugin means my editorial calendar is built right into my WordPress Dashboard. I’m currently on the Essential Plan with the Re-Queue Social Automation add-on. It is a paid service but considering that it’s pretty much like having a virtual assistant, it’s incredibly cost-effective.
I can quickly move posts around in the calendar view of the WordPress Plug-in and set my posts to auto-share to all my social media at different times of the day. It saves a ton of time and helps me re-share old posts to get more traffic. Being able to auto schedule content to my Facebook page, Facebook Groups, Pinterest, Twitter, and Google Plus page saves me so much time.
Re-Queue is my favorite because it allows me to “set and it and forget.” I schedule social shares for my blog post once and click “re-Queue.” Co-Schedule automatically and smartly re-shares my content to my chosen social media platforms according to the parameters I set.
Everything in green in my Co-Schedule calendar below shows items that are automatically sent to my social media via Re-Queue.
Here is a video overview of how Co-Schedule works:
I use these for additional blog planning, sharing tasks with my Virtual Assistants, Income tracking, Blog Stats Tracking, and more. They’re a great way to stay organized, easily accessible, and free!
Keeping a paper planner helps me stay organized as well. I keep a lot of lists! The Passion Planner in the classic size is my all-time favorite planner. Mind-maps, goal planning, weekly motivational quotes, and the fact that they give a planner away for every planner purchased are just a few reasons it’s my planner of choice.
Does this help spark some ideas for Creating an Editorial Calendar for your blog?
Up Next: 3 Easy SEO Tips for Beginners
When you know how to use Search Engine Optimization to rank for keywords in Google, it can mean traffic gold for your blog! And it’s way more fun than you’d think.