Having an editorial calendar is a BIG DEAL. It makes blogging so much easier and way less intimidating. An editorial calendar takes much of the guesswork out of blogging. Instead of sitting down to your computer and saying, “What should I write about today?” you’ll say, “Next week I’m publishing a blog post on healthy snacks to take on a road trip.” Which scenario is likely to lead to you giving up on your blog? The first one, obviously!
When you only sit down to write when you have nothing on your mind, you’ll feel like you have to grasp for something to write about. This leads to blogging burnout. If you use an editorial calendar, you’re giving yourself some guidance. You are telling yourself what to do and when to do it. You wanted to be your own boss, right? An editorial calendar for your blog is the answer to your blogging inconsistency. Today though, I want to tell you how to actually set one up. First things first
Know what you are blogging about.
You can’t make an editorial calendar if you don’t know what you are blogging about. I mean it. You literally can’t. The first time I sat down to do an editorial calendar it forced me to think strategically about what I was actually blogging about. You need to know your main topics and subtopics.
Create your own list. Pick 3-4 large topics then work from there. Once you have a good list of the various topics and sub-topics you can write about, then you can start actually creating the calendar.
Determine when you will publish your blog posts.
Are you publishing every day? Are you publishing once a month? Many bloggers start out with a goal to publish once a week. I think this is a great place to start. Once you decide the frequency of publishing, then determine what day you want to publish on. Mondays and Fridays are good days for new content. I recommend you pick one of those days to publish your weekly post.
Use a calendar tool that works for you.
When it comes time to actually make the editorial calendar, use a tool that works for you. One really, really great tool is Co-Schedule. This is an editorial and social media tool all in one. And you view it right from within WordPress!
Collaborative bloggers, Co-Schedule is great for you too because it allows you to move different authors around on the calendar without having to go in and copy and paste their posts into brand new ones.
I’ve also used Google Calendar and assigned colors to different subjects. I even would have dates on the calendar that said “April posts due” because I often did batch blogging. And don’t be afraid to use a pen and paper calendar. Many bloggers use their planner. They plan it out a month in advance and color code it. It could be as simple as writing down the blog post title you want to publish next Monday.
The basic idea of an editorial calendar is that you have a plan of action.
In April, you know what you’ll be publishing in May. Which means you sit down to write those May posts in April, not May. You can do this when you have an editorial calendar. It also helps with consistency. You’re going to be way more likely to blog if you already know what you’re going to write about. Trust me. Trust me!!!