As fun as blogging is, it can be crazy stressful sometimes. Especially when it comes to trying to figure out and plan all of those blog posts.
It doesn’t have to be so hectic, though. In this post, I showed you guys how I use my bullet journal to organize my posts (and keep me sane!) so today I thought I’d go a little more in-depth on the mechanics behind actually setting up and planning out an editorial calendar. This not only applies to a bullet journal, but anywhere. If you don’t have a bullet journal, Trello and Asana are great platforms you can use online.
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What is an Editorial Calendar?
Before we get into how to set up an editorial calendar for your blog, we need to go over what it is (and why you need one!)
An editorial calendar is basically just a fancy way of saying a schedule that lays out your blog’s content. You can lay out your content for the month, or get really crazy and plan for the whole year.
I actually use two platforms for my editorial calendar, my bullet journal and Asana. Here’s an example of what my editorial calendar looks like on Asana right now:
Here I usually just keep up with my blog posting schedule and any tasks I need to do.
So now that you’ve got an idea of what an editorial calendar is, why is it so dang important and why do you need one for your blog?
For one, knowing when your content will go live in advance gives you the ability to plan around things. So if you’ve got things coming up like holidays and vacations, you can properly plan around them. Also, it’s pretty nice knowing that you’ve always got something lined up, and you never have to worry about not having anything to write about.
Ultimately, consistency is key when it comes to crafting a successful blog. If you only post when you feel like it, your potential readers (and brands) are likely going to be turned off. We need to know when you regularly post on your blog, so we know exactly when your next post will be up and aren’t left wondering if you’re ever going to post something new.
In my personal experience, I’ve found that maintaining an editorial calendar and posting content consistently has increased my traffic immensely.
Now that we know why editorial calendars are so awesome, here’s exactly how you can set one up for your blog:
1. Decide how many posts you can write per week
Whether you want to post twice a week or twice a month, you need to set a number of posts that you want to publish each week, and stick to that number. Once you get into the groove of blogging you’ll get a better idea of how many posts you can cook up in a week, but if you’re a new blogger I would recommend shooting for 1 post a week.
Some people will tell you to write as many posts as you can, and post 5+ times a day, but I’m a big believer in quality over quantity.
My very first blog post ever was this post right here. And guess what? Within a month, it had well over 2,000 page views in one day. In the same week, I had written 3 other posts, and they had maybe 10 page views altogether. I’ve since taken those other posts down, and rewritten them so that they are actually high-quality posts. Now, they’ve had thousands of views each.
The point is, quality is more important than quantity. It doesn’t matter how often you post if your content isn’t good.
So, if you don’t think you can comfortably write 5+ posts a week that are high-quality, don’t do it. That’s why I’m a big believer in starting with 1-2 posts a week and working your way up once you’re confident in your skills.
2. Brainstorm post ideas
Once you know how often you want to post each week, it’s time to brainstorm post ideas! Some people can it down and plan out content for the year, but I like to go month-to-month.
I’ve found that it’s really helpful to look at previous posts and see what topics have done well on your blog. Also, if you’ve got a specific niche (or a few niches) then you can brainstorm ideas that relate to that category.
If you’re feeling stuck, here are some helpful questions to ask yourself:
- What blog posts have had the most success, in terms of traffic/comments?
- What blog posts have the most shares on social media?
- What topic do you enjoy writing the most?
- What posts from other people have you found helpful or successful?
- Do you want to guest post for a blog? Do you want to feature another blogger on your own blog?
These should give you a good idea of what topics you should cover. If nothing else, you can always check out this post full of blog post ideas for basically every niche!
Even if you don’t think it’s a good post idea, write it down. Some of my best and most popular posts are ones that I didn’t think would do that great. Remember, you can always tweak it later to fit what you want!
3. Plan out your posts
Finally, this is probably the easiest step, but also the most important! The placement and timing of your content may not seem like a big deal, but it is, especially if you’re looking to increase your blog’s traffic.
Some blog posts are what’s known as evergreen, where it’s relevant year-round and can bring in consistent traffic no matter when you post it. For example, my 50 Bullet Journal Page Ideas post is evergreen, because people will be searching for it year-round.
However, my How to Set Up Your Bullet Journal for Christmas is not evergreen, as it will really only do well around Christmas. In June, I’ll likely see much less incoming traffic from it.
Evergreen content can be posted whenever, but every other post should be posted around a specific time to ensure maximum traffic and engagement.
So how do you know when to plan your non-evergreen content?
The best way to do this is to research the main keywords that pertain to your post. If you can get an idea of what’s trending (via Pinterest or Google Trends) it will help you boost your blog’s traffic, because you know people are going to be searching for a specific topic and they are more likely to search and find your post!
Follow these steps to setting up an editorial calendar, and you’ll be one step closer to growing your blog. Remember to have fun with your blog! Don’t let your editorial calendar run your blogging life, and feel free to stray from it time to time. It’s totally okay!
If you found this post helpful, be sure to pin it so others can find it, too! 🙂
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