Like most of y’all, I am not a full time blogger. To produce at least four quality posts a week along with working full time, being involved in my community, and having somewhat of a social life, I have to stay on top of my time management game. This is where my editorial calendar comes in. (If you’re unfamiliar with an editorial calendar, it’s basically a calendar where you plan out your content for the month.) Having a “prompt” already set for the day helps me stay motivated to write, and sometimes I’m even able to knock out two or three posts just because of this. There are many different ways to go about this, but today I am sharing my process and what works best for me.
About a week before a new month starts, I sit down with my planner,a blog notebook where I keep a running list of ideas, and some erasable pens. (Before I had a blog planner, I printed monthly calendar pages off of WinCalendar and tucked them into my blog notebook.) I am a color-coder, so I’m particular about my supplies. Haha.
Please note that by clicking on the photos, it will bring up a larger version of the photos so that you can read them a little more clearly!
Holidays, Deadlines, and Commitments
The first thing I do is look at a calendar of holidays and notable days, and I mark them on my calendar in a neutral color. If I have a deadline, I mark it in red. Then I mark anything I’ve already committed myself to, like a link up, in blue. (I write all posts in blue!)
Mark out series
I don’t stick by this to a tee, but it does help to have it laid out when later on I’m plugging content ideas! On Wednesdays, I typically do Wednesday Wisdom. On weekends, I do my Weekend Reading post, where I share my favorite links of the week.
Plan out any holiday related content
Timing is really important when it comes to blogging. You can write the absolute best post about finding cute green attire for St. Patrick’s Day, but if you publish it on Wednesday and St. Patrick’s Day is Thursday, you’ve missed the mark. (Remember – all of your readers aren’t from the same city, and they don’t all have access to the same stores. Online shipping can take time; allow for that in the timing of your post!) I also like to do a few “after the fact” posts, like sharing photos of my Easter dress the Monday after Easter.
Pull ideas from your list of ideas and “social media holidays”
I keep a running list of blog post ideas in my blog journal. Depending on the time, I may even sit down and bullet point them out so that when it becomes time to write, I remember what I was talking about and what direction I was going in.
I also use lists of “social media holidays” and trend reports to plan my content. A good example of a social media holiday is #NationalMargaritaDay, which occurred yesterday. March 2 is #NationalOldStuffDay, which is holiday that encourages people to be nostalgic. Share a vintage outfit or vintage inspired beauty look or share some photos of yourself as child with your favorite memories. The great thing about these social media holidays is that you can take them in whatever direction you want! (This post from SproutSocial and this post from Rebecca VanDenBerg are great resources on social media holidays.)
Ultimately, I like to have my content calendar about 75% full. This allows flexibility! I can pop a post in right as it’s relevant or laying on my heart (I really feel like God lays things on my heart to share with y’all, and I’m not about to make God wait!), and I can also accept sponsorship opportunities with short turnaround times. I also feel that writing in erasable pen allows me to feel less stressed about moving things around or taking a day off.
I hope that you found this post to be helpful, and if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me!
Do you plan your editorial content or do you just go with the flow?