If you aren’t using some kind of editorial calendar for your blog and you want to be serious about growing your blogging business, then stop what you’re doing, grab a coffee, and read this post, OK?
Why A Blog Editorial Calendar is So Important:
When I got serious about using a monthly calendar and actually sticking to it, woah did it ever made a HUGE difference to my ability to stay on track, plan out my work, and be way more productive.
Instead of using any kind of software or online calendar, I decided to go old school and plan out my calendar with pen and paper. I had been using a google calendar before, but once I went to paper (and kept my calendar with other blogging paperwork in my blog planner), the whole routine just stuck.
Snag the FREE Editorial calendar:
Before we dive in to how to actually use the editorial calendar, make sure you snag it. Enter your email address below and I’ll send the printable straight to your inbox, along with some goal setting sheets too!
My editorial calendar method:
Step 1 / Brainstorm
At the end of each month (before the next one starts), I sit down and have a brainstorming sesion.
My first step is to write out all of my blog post ideas for that month. Usually I go overboard and write out every single idea that comes to mind.
When you are doing this, be mindful of any products you are wanting to promote. If you have an Etsy shop with printables, think about a blog post that somehow incorporates a framed print (maybe in a room makeover?). If you are trying to sell online decorating services, maybe you could have one post that is dedicated to showcasing some past client work. You always want to use your blog posts as a marketing tool for any paid product or service you have.
Once I have those ideas down, I also add in any sponsored posts I know are coming up. Because I only plan one month at a time, it means that I usually have a pretty good idea of any sponsored content I have coming down the pipeline.
You also want to think about the seasonal themes and incorporate some of those types of posts into your calendar. If you are stuck for ideas, this post lays out blog post ideas for every month of the year.
Step 2 / Categorize
After all of the ideas and sponsored posts are down on paper, I categorize them.
If you are a home and DIY blogger, then those categories might look something like this:
- DIY project tutorial
- Home decor finds or some kind of round up
- Room makeover (not necessarily just “before + after” – could be a progress post of a makeover)
- Home decor lesson or trends
- Product Review (this is a great spot to integrate some affiliate marketing!)
- … etc, etc. (you may also do recipes, fashion, or other “lifestyle” posts – these categories will be different from blogger to blogger)
Why do I categorize?
Well, not only to make sure that I have scattered the posts appropriately throughout the month, but it’s also because each category has a different time requirement. Doing a DIY project where I need to gather supplies, do the project, take photography, edit photos, write, etc, takes WAY longer than doing a round-up post of favourite marble bathroom accessories. A room makeover update post would be somewhere in between those two. So by categorizing, I can be realistic about how many of each type of post I can get done within the month.
You want to focus on writing good evergreen content instead of too many “filler” or quickie posts, so you need to be realistic about how many you can actually do in a month without running yourself ragged or not accomplishing your other, bigger blog biz goals (you can read about my method for planning and accomplishing goals here).
I’m a big believer in quality over quantity in terms of blog posts. By focusing on really stellar evergreen content and not trying to stick to an unrealistic posting schedule, you still have time to grow the other parts of your business model AND stay sane.
Step 3 / Enter into the Calendar
When I go and actually write out the posts into my calendar, I do it on paper. I have a physical blog planner that I use every single day. If you don’t have your own planner, you can print out 12 date-less calendar sheets. Then use one calendar sheet per month and plan out your content out on it.
I like to be able to look at the calendar easily within my blog planner and if it’s hidden in a software, then it’s just one more tab I need to have open on my computer. By seeing the calendar everyday on my desk (along with other things like my to-do list, goal sheet, etc.) I stay WAY more focused and on track. Plus, I just like putting pen to paper. I’m old school.
This is what it would look like just printing out the FREE calendar sheets I linked to above:
I keep the editorial calendar mostly just focused on content: blog posts and email newsletters. If I’m launching a product or have a webinar, or something like that, I would add those in too.
What I don’t write on this calendar?
Social media posts, my to-do list tasks, appointments, calls, etc. Those go into another sheet within my blog planner. And I use scheduling tools for social media (find out which social media tools I use here).
Getting the calendar down on paper not only means I can look it over and make sure I like the overall plan for the month, but it also makes it super clear to me what I need to be working on. It gives a natural priority to the task list.
Step 4 / Be a blogging badass
Since I started utilizing this method, I can usually be a couple of weeks ahead of schedule for blog post writing. No more feeling rushed to whip out a last minute blog post because I feel like I “have to”. Honestly, it’s been a huge time AND stress saver. And I actually feel like I have my shit together (most of the time).
Oh, it also means that your content will be better – it’ll planned more thoughtfully and strategically. Basically it’s an all around win.
Download Your Calendar Templates:
Make sure you grab the calendar and goal setting sheet printables. This printable is date-less so you’ll be able to print out a whole year’s worth at once!
Do you want to launch your own online shop?
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