Now that you’re blogging, do you want to get better at it? Are you looking to increase your traffic and reduce your stress? Have you tried scheduling your blog posts and thinking ahead a few days, a week, a month? How about looking ahead to the entire year? Looking ahead to your blogging calendar year is going to make you a better and more consistent blogger.
This type of planning is something businesses do all the time. It’s part of their overall strategic plan. How do plan on growing your blog and business?
These are all things you should start thinking about and the best way you can start is by creating an editorial calendar for yourself.
What’s an Editorial Calendar?
For one, it can also be referred to as a content management system, which might make a little more sense when it’s stated that way. An editorial calendar is your planning system for the year, months, weeks, and days that you are blogging and in business. It’s the management of ideas and content that you plan to put out there.
An editorial calendar can include everything from your blog posts, Ebook launch dates, tweets, and Instagram posts. It can also be as simple as just your blog posts, but if you used it just this way, you’re missing an opportunity to elevate yourself and your business to the next level.
Imagine sitting down for just a few hours one day a year and leaving the table with your entire years’ worth of content?? How liberating would that be? That’s not to say you won’t add to it or tweak it through the year, but you’ll have a clear map for yourself on days when you may feel less than inspired.
Here are the ways and reasons you can use an editorial calendar:
Schedule blog posts
Schedule social media posts and themes
Plan launch dates
List necessary photoshoots
Organization travel dates
Celebrate annual anniversaries or holidays
Always remember important events
Set goals for your blog and biz
Give yourself plenty of prep-time
How to create an inspiring Editorial Calendar:
Before you get started, you should decide what your maximum blog posts number will be each week.
Well, because by the end of this, you could have a bazillion blog post ideas and not enough time to really pull them all off.
Having a set number of posts you will be able to accomplish each week will guide you and show you where you may have too many ideas or where you may need some more.
One thing to keep in mind is that if you do end up with too many ideas, you can always look for a guest author who may be interested in writing this content for you, or you could just spread some of your ideas into next year, or maybe this blog post idea is better for a series of tweets or Instagram posts instead of blog posts.
So, let’s get started!
Get an Editorial Calendar template.
It just so happens I’ve got a free download for you here:
Plan and fill your annual Editorial Calendar:
Take a look at a typical calendar for the entire year and start mapping out larger big events like important things that only happen once a year like anniversary dates, Seasonal changes and the launches you’re planning.
Plan and fill your semi-annual Editorial Calendar:
There are going to be items that happen just a few times a year that you’ll want to put on your editorial calendar. These things are items like trade shows you may be following that happen 2 times a year, or maybe you like to do a particular series of webinars just twice a year?
Plan and fill your monthly Editorial Calendar:
Now that you’ve filled out your larger and semi-annual items, you can start focusing in on the months individually. Each month will have something you might want to focus on, like a special holiday or a theme you’ve chosen for the month.
Something fun and quirky you can do is take a look at different unique, fun or bizarre national holidays. For instance, did you know January was “National Bath Safety” month? It’s not a funny topic, but you might be a parent blogger that could find inspiration from something like this.
Here are some inspiring ideas for your monthly editorial calendar:
Provide a monthly Income and traffic report for your blog (this has a way of inspiring readers who are looking to start a blog of their own!)
Holiday related craft / DIY post
Start a theme for every month (Example: January Junk month, February Fiesta month)
Prep your audience for future launches
Check your affiliates for monthly specials
Find inspiration from your favorite magazines and blogs you follow
Plan and fill your weekly Editorial Calendar:
Remember above when I told you that you should set your weekly blog post limit? Was it just 1 blog post a week or 7?
Now, go back through your annual, semi-annual, and monthly calendar notes and see how many blog posts you have left for each week. If you were able to completely fill up the blog post spots with ideas from your annual, semi-annual, or monthly topics – then you’re set!
If you are full of blog post ideas but were hoping you could get more interesting topics in, then consider moving some of your annual or monthly topics into social media posts or newsletters! Not everything you think of has to be used as a blog post.
If you’re not filled up yet with blog post ideas, then it’s time to start brainstorming topic themes, a potential blog series, and killer topics your audience is interested.
Here’s a list of places to get inspiration from and more ways to fill your editorial calendar:
Poll your subscribers
Join relevant Facebook groups (like our Rymixer Club) and start listening to their questions
Do a photo series
Provide an infographic
Create a useful tutorial (like this one!)
Conduct an interview with an expert from your industry
Do a weekly roundup (a gathering of similar and interesting links your audience would appreciate)
Create a reoccurring weekly blog post (i.e.: Movie night Friday’s or Top Ten Tuesday)
Tell stories and reflect on memories
Use your most successful blog posts for future ideas
Are your creative blogging juices flowing yet? Needs some additional inspiration? Join our Facebook groups and get regular tips and free resources for your blog and biz by joining the Rymixer club for free.