This wasn’t supposed to be my second post in my Blog Along With Me series. But, things happen and I realized the importance of an editorial calendar. Therefore, at this point in my blogging career, the best advice I can give you is to have an editorial calendar. And, try to be at least a few days ahead of schedule for writing. My current goal is to get myself to a week ahead of schedule.
I Am Not Even Close
I promised myself I would post at least 3 times a week when I relaunched the blog. Monday, Wednesday, Friday. That was the plan. Ok, so once that I can think of, I posted Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. I don’t remember why, but I also told myself I was ok with that because I still met my goal of 3 times a week.
If you’re seeing this on the day that it goes live… today is a Tuesday…
Case in Point
I feel miserable, not quite the flu, but achy body, sore throat, headache. And completely exhausted.
I’ve been working on an editorial calendar for 2017 in addition to a mini version for the remainder of 2016. But I never finished my plan for this month.
Now I’m sick, still trying to finish my Christmas shopping, finish up the mudroom renovation, work on another project in the kitchen, and get the house ready for hosting Christmas Eve. If I had my editorial calendar done, I would have had today’s post written ahead of time. It also would have been scheduled to post and would be one less thing to think about during this busy time of year.
So why don’t I just say, oh well, no post today, and move on? (Well, I kinda did… at least, I pushed back this post a day.) Because I’m trying to take blogging seriously and treat it like a business. When I let life get in the way of blogging last time, I ended up letting the blog go for so long…. Until I had to start over this past fall.
Developing an Editorial Calendar
A few weeks ago I read the eBook Creating a Blog Editorial Calendar. A simple read that I was able to put into action right away. Until of course, this week when I realized I hadn’t finished this month’s!
I use Evernote for my editorial calendar. Since I have the app on my phone, my tablet and my computer I can access my Evernote account from anywhere. When I’m sitting in the car, waiting to pick up a child, I can see what I need to work on. I can make some notes, draft a post, or reach out to upcoming guests.
Where to Start
I can’t tell you what to write about, but I can tell you a quick way to plan for your blog.
- Open a new note in Evernote for each month of the year
- Within the month, list each date and denote the day of the week (example: S1 stands for Sunday the 1st)
- Fill in any holidays and block out any days you do not plan on having a post (I changed the color of the font for the weekends since I don’t plan on normally posting on weekends)
- Add in anything during the month you already know you plan on posting (do you have a regular monthly guest, is there a promotion or special event that is time sensitive and needs to be posted on a particular day)
- Fill in other days with topics you plan on writing about (for example, I know I want to include at least one Blog Along with Me post per month as well as at least 2 completed home improvement projects)
- If you’ve ever brainstormed post ideas, start filling in the empty days with those.
- Highlight any empty dates, but don’t let them go unfilled. I plan on looking at February’s empty dates by the 15th of January so I remember to do a bit more brainstorming before February starts!
Plan for the Unexpected
Don’t be like me, nursing a cold and trying to do everything else. Aim to be ahead of the curve and know what your topic needs to be ahead of time. Otherwise, you’ll be writing this post, from your phone.
Sitting in the school parking lot.
With a throbbing headache.
Wishing you were home in bed.
And then editing it when you should be in bed.
Or cleaning the house.
In a panic…
What are you waiting for?