Making Your Editorial Calendar Work for You

When I first started blogging, I laughed at the idea of scheduling my posts in advance. To me, the thing I loved most about blogging was the random spur of the moment writing. Never in a million years would I have believed I’d be scheduling out posts weeks (or even a month) in advance. But now that’s exactly what I do…and, guess what?–I love it! If you’re serious about growing your blog, nailing down your editorial calendar is a MUST! Here are a few tips I’ve learned on making your editorial calendar work for you. 
 Looking for a way to keep on top of blogging? These tips for making your editorial calendar work FOR you will help you succeed in the blogging game...no matter your niche.

 Step One// Find a posting schedule that works for you.

One of the most common mistakes I see new bloggers make is listening to the hype. The hype tells us bloggers that we need to get a post up at least 5 times a week when, in reality, that’s just a really good recipe for blogger burn-out. Yes, some people can churn out cohesive and informative posts every day of the week, but, for most of us, starting small is the way to go. Remember quality over quantity is a blogger’s motto.

For my blogging reboot, I decided on posting three days a week–Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday. For me, choosing not to post on Monday and Thursday gives me plenty of time to devote to taking and editing photos, keeping up with social media, answering emails/comments, and other blogging tasks. You might decide on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule or a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday schedule. Choose a posting schedule that fits in to your life instead of trying to fit your life around your posting schedule.

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Step Two// Keep an idea log.

I always come up with ideas for the blog in the weirdest of places–like walking through the grocery store, in the shower, or right before I fall asleep. And of course, Murphy’s Law being how it is, I almost always forget the best ideas within a few hours if I don’t write them down. Enter the Notebook app on my phone and a handy dandy mini notebook for my desk. Whenever inspiration pops into my head, I grab either my notebook or my phone (more often than not it ends up being my phone) and jot the idea down. Simple, easy, and it takes all of two seconds.

Once a week, I add the ideas from both notebooks into a Google Doc where I keep a running list of all my yet-to-be-posted ideas. I’ll also add in any notes I made about the post idea…sometimes I have a rough outline of what I want to say and sometimes it’s just a concept. Either way it’s all documented for me to look over when I’m searching for a blog post idea.

Step Three// Utilize a monthly or weekly theme if you can.

For example, July is my anniversary month so I’ll usually post a little more about marriage and our love story around that time. During December, it makes sense to add a few Christmas-related posts into the mix; for June, include a Father’s Day type post. Your theme is usually just for you to keep in mind throughout the month but it can really help your blog posts stay cohesive and relevant for your readers.

Step Four// Use Post-It notes for easy editing.

Ok, so now that you have a good idea on your posting schedule, a list of ideas, and an overall theme, it’s time to start planning! Everyone does this part differently but my favorite way to plan out my blog posts is by using post-it notes. Obviously, you could just write down the ideas on your calendar itself but that makes things super permanent and I’m just not into that kind of commitment when it comes to my schedule.  With post-its, you have a little more flexibility and can switch around posts without making a mess.

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Step Five// It’s color-coding time!

Wondering why my editorial calendar is starting to look like a rainbow? I use different colors of sticky notes to represent the main categories I write about on the blog. Dark pink for marriage posts, baby pink for all things Baby E related, green for Hawaii…..you get the idea.

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To be honest, color-coding my posts is the best part of the sticky note method for me and has revolutionized my editorial calendar. You can have as many colors of sticky notes as you have categories –the more colorful your calendar is the prettier it is, in my opinion. And it helps you know if you’re posting a lot in one category versus another so you can space similar themed posts out more.

I’ve loved what these editorial calendar tips has done for my blog and I think you will too. I promise it’s not nearly as daunting as it seems!!

LET’S TALK:

How do you currently organize your editorial calendar?

Do you agree with the ‘quality over quantity’ motto for blogging or do you prefer posting about anything and everything?

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  • Great ideas! I always make a blank calendar for each month on Word and fill in the days I want to post (usually MWF for me) with topics from the separate ideas document I have going… and then I start working on writing posts, editing photos, and scheduling the posts! It’s the only way I can stay organized enough to be consistent. 🙂

  • Jen

    I try to stick to a 3 day a week posting schedule too. I also do the idea notebook but I use a little calendar so I can write ideas down in the months I want to do them (holiday ideas, birthdays, etc.). I know a lot of people use co schedule but I just use a desk calendar to plot out my posts. Mostly because I’m cheap. 😛

  • I keep an editorial calendar but I’m all about electronic. I’ve never been able to stick to doing anything on paper no matter how hard I try. I use Asana and CoSchedule and that’s it. Keeps me mega-organized and it’s all done on either my phone or my tablet.

  • I do the exact same things you do…everything on this list!! Hahah! Great minds think a like!

  • I do most of these things. 🙂 But I’m intrigued by your post-its! I think I remember you mentioning them in the past. I use pencil to write down posts in my calendar and probably 80% of my penciled in posts get erased and moved around. With post-its you just peal them off and place them somewhere else. Brilliant! And there’s a built in color coding. You have sold me on this!!

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