Let’s be honest- even if you’re not a full-time blogger, blogging is a full-time job.
From writing posts to editing photos to keeping up with posting on social media, there’s a lot to do. And, let’s be honest, sometimes life gets busy and your blog is left straggling behind while you’re playing catch-up.
That’s why with my blog I like to work smarter, not harder. Rather than stress and freak out on those busier weeks, I actually have a secret weapon that helps me finish my posts and schedule my content on social media ahead of time, and that’s my editorial calendar. This has been a life-saver for my blog, so today I’m going over how to start one of your own!
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WHAT’S AN EDITORIAL CALENDAR?
If you’re constantly on-the-go and have, ya know, a life, you don’t have time to write posts every week. An editorial calendar is a tool you need to map out your blog’s content for the upcoming months/year. This makes it easy for you to schedule out your posts, figure out what needs to be prioritized, and not have to worry about thinking up and writing a new post every week.
In the beginning it can be a little hectic seeing all of these posts you’ve mapped out and haven’t started. But trust me, once you get started it’ll make life so much easier. You’re basically stock-piling your posts, so when you’re busy doing other stuff you don’t have to worry about your content. Like, at all. There are even tools that’ll even help you schedule your posts on social media ahead of time!
HOW TO START AN EDITORIAL CALENDAR
HOW OFTEN WILL YOU POST?
First you need to decide how often you want to publish a new post each week. Personally, I choose to post once or twice a week because I’ve got a full-time job and I’m a momma. But I still make sure that every post is high-quality and at least 1,000 words.
Some bloggers post 5 days a week but I feel like it’s harder to make sure all of those posts are worth reading. Don’t feel like you have to write 5 posts a day just to put out more posts. Remember, quality content is most important!
So whatever number you decide on, make sure you give yourself enough time to write all of those posts, create content upgrades, keep up with social media, newsletters, etc.
Always make sure you write down or take note of any blog post ideas that come to mind. Even if you don’t think it’s an idea you’ll use, you may tweak it and create an awesome post! I’ve got a page in my bullet journal dedicated to blog post ideas, and it’s helpful having these all in one place.
When I’m brainstorming ideas for new blog posts, I like to sit down, set a timer, and write down a few topics that I cover on my blog (blogging, bullet journal, social media, etc.) Then i just write down whatever comes to mind related to those topics and see if it’s something I can turn into a post.
Whatever works for you, think of as many posts as you can, so you can schedule as many posts as possible!
BREAK THINGS DOWN INTO SMALLER CHUNKS
Also, try breaking up any large posts into smaller chunks if you can. For each post, I aim to reach at least 1,000 words, but if I’m nearing 2,000 I either turn that massive post in two smaller posts, or I take out some of that info and create a downloadable worksheet that includes more info (which serves as my CTA in the original post and helps me gain more sign-ups, so it’s a win-win!)
CREATE A SCHEDULE
You can write your content in your bullet journal, on a paper calendar, or in a spreadsheet, it’s up to you! But make sure you write down the date, title, and any other important notes about your post in your schedule.
I’m super weird and have an editorial spreadsheet on my laptop and an editorial calendar in my bullet journal. The one in my bullet journal is more of a rough draft, to get my thoughts down, and the one in my spreadsheet is my official one.
If you’d like to keep up with your content in a spreadsheet, but you’re not a tech-savvy girl, I’ve got you. I’ve created an editorial spreadsheet template for you, which you can download below!
When you’re planning out your posts, keep in mind any upcoming holidays or seasonal content that you may want to post, and make sure you plan that out first. Then, if you cover multiple topics on your blog and want to alternate between them on your blog, make sure you plan for that also when you’re scheduling out your content.
WRITE YOUR POSTS
Now comes the fun part- you get to start writing! I’d suggest writing each post in the order of your editorial calendar, so the upcoming posts get done first. Some people set aside one day and crank out as many posts as they can, but I like to write a little each day. You do you.
After you’re finished with your post, make sure you schedule it for the date you’ve set in your editorial calendar. You can schedule your post directly in WordPress, so it’s super easy.
SCHEDULE YOUR POSTS ON SOCIAL MEDIA
You may think you’re done there, right? Nope! Possibly the most important thing to do to your post is to schedule your posts on social media. The great thing about having an editorial calendar and getting posts done early is that you can go ahead and schedule them too!
My go-to scheduling tool is Tailwind. It’s hands-down the best Pinterest tool I’ve found, and I love that I can schedule my posts before they’re even public. So when my post does go live, it’s already being pinned to all of my boards on Pinterest!
If you’d like to try Tailwind for free, they offer 100 scheduled pins free! Click here to get started!
Once you’ve started your editorial calendar and get a few posts finished, your blogging life will get a lot easier. This has saved me time and is honestly one the best things I’ve done to grow my blog.
And feel free to save this post to Pinterest!
Do you have any editorial calendar tricks that you use? Let me know below!
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