One of my biggest goals this year is to organize my life. And within that goal, is to organize my social media life. I want to become more efficient so I can write better blog posts and somehow spend less time on Instagram. Somehow I am guessing there are a few of you out there who feel the same way.
There are 440 million blogs on the internet. That’s kind of depressing if you are struggling with growing your blogging audience. But this isn’t even the problem we face as bloggers. When I first started blogging, staying organized and coming up with blog topics was often what I struggle with most.
But then I got some great advice as to how I could write better blog posts and make my blogging life easier.
It’s easy. All I needed was an editorial calendar.
So what is an editorial calendar? The traditional editorial calendar is a schedule to keep track of stories and articles from concept to development to publishing. Magazines have used editorial calendars for years. In fact, if you google “editorial calendar” for your favorite magazine you should be able to find their editorial calendar for 2018. It will list the monthly magazine issue themes and details of what to expect in the magazine.
Here is the 2018 editorial calendar for Better Homes and Gardens.
Every blogger needs to create an editorial calendar for their blog. Your editorial calendar will be a plan of all of your blog posts. It helps you plan in advance and is a place where you can add blog post topics, anytime an idea comes to you.Ideally, you will be working ahead on your blog posts. Last year there were times I was weeks ahead of my editorial calendar. In other words, I had all of my blog posts written and ready to publish weeks in advance. (Of course, that was more of the exception than the norm.)
Here is a snapshot of what my Editorial Calendar from 2017 looked like.
At the top is a list of my blog categories and which days of the week I tried to write a post in that category. As you can see, when I started my blog in April, I blogged five times a week. That was a bit crazy and now I blog four times a week.
I created my Editorial Calendar in google docs. Since it was hosted on the google server, I could make changes from my iphone, ipad or computer and they were always saved. This allowed me to add blog topics to my editorial calendar wherever and whenever I wanted. If a blog topic idea came to me, I would add it to my calendar.
Here is what my first blog post, titled “My Life as a Dish-Whoreder” looks like on my blog.
You can keep track of an editorial calendar for your blog on a pad of paper, on your calendar, on your phone or in a spreadsheet. Just do what makes the most sense for you.
I made one change to my 2018 Editorial Calendar. I created themes for each month of my blog, just like the magazines have for their magazines.
So how do I manage my editorial calendar? I add topics as I think of them. (Although I do change them a lot.) Sometimes I have twenty new topics and sometimes I have only one. When I have some free time I will write a few blog posts in WordPress. It is kind of a moving target but there were times last year when I had three weeks of blog posts written and scheduled ahead of time. Plus, my blog post dictates my morning IG post. So four days a week I already know what my morning Instagram post will be.
Ideally, even if you can work ahead by one week, blogging will become a lot more fun!
And your life will be a lot less stressed.