It’s day eight of the yeah write community following ProBlogger’s 31 days to build a better blog. We’re powering through each day of July including weekends, and the summer series is running alongside our weekly writing challenges. In the past week, we have:
- installed a stats tracker on our blog
- written or rewritten our blog’s elevator pitch
- created a list post
- promoted a blog post
- postponed a 31dbbb activity because life got in the way, and that’s okay
- emailed a blog reader
- made our blog mobile-friendly
- come up with 10 post ideas
Today’s topic and activity is to develop an editorial calendar for your blog.
Planning ahead is not just for the professionals or the lonely
So okay, let’s be honest. How many yeah writers actually plan out their entries well ahead of time? There are some—the clever bloggers who have been cooking up well-planned and beautiful nuggets polished by a so what. But if the majority are anything like me, they “work best” under pressure. They “need” that last minute thrill of typing against the clock to bring out their very best. Do you fool yourself into thinking that, too?
Here’s a surprise: Most professional bloggers—and those who want to maintain their sanity—use an editorial calendar to plan out their posting schedule. It can work for you even if you fancy yourself a free spirited, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pantser.
How to get started planning your posts ahead of time
Yesterday’s mind-mapping ten blog post ideas leads directly to creating your calendar. Be realistic while challenging yourself. Plan to blog everyday? Once a week? Once a month? Consistency is key, whichever one you choose.
- Decide how many times a week you can post. Trying to maintain a regular readership? Let your readers know how often to expect your posts
- Review your elevator pitch. Stick as closely as you can to what your blog is about
- Create a spreadsheet or blank calendar for tracking and recording your planned posts
- Pull out your mind mapping worksheet. Insert a few of those post ideas into your spreadsheet or calendar
- In the spreadsheet or calendar, make notes, add links to relevant information, add photos
Weekly themes are our friends
If creating and following editorial calendars is against your religion, try setting weekly themes for your regular content. Mondays can be for photo posts, Tuesdays for childhood memories, Wednesdays for movie reviews and so on. As with everything else, building a readership will depend on your consistency. First time visitors should be able to navigate without vertigo and returning visitors should come to know what to expect. Allergic to set expectations? Do whatever you want. These are suggestions for a better blog and better blogging experience. If you’re already good, we’re good with it, too.
Editorial calendar software recommendations
A quick Google search brings up these results:
- WordPress (self-hosted) plugin editorial calendar (also recommended by the ProBlogger workbook)
- HubSpot’s blog editorial calendar template, an Excel spreadsheet that can be used for any platform
We won’t need a 31dbbb grid today. You can leave your editorial yeas or nays in comments. Do you use one? Have you always planned to try one? Are you against planning of any kind, so editorial calendars can suck it? Start a discussion and let us know your thoughts or experience.
Catch up on last week’s 31dbbb
This is also a good time to start with the 31dbbb kickoff post and fill in the blanks with any workbook activities you may have missed in the past seven days. We’re sure your editorial calender will fill with ideas just from reviewing the past few days.