Blogging consistently can be a struggle. Not only is it a time-intensive task, but the creativity and stability required to maintain a routine can become difficult, especially when things pop up. Let’s face it, as organized as we strive to be, life can get in the way. One of the most effective ways to combat this struggle is by creating a content calendar.
I like to plan at least a month in advance and to be as specific as possible, but you can create one that works for your planning style. These tools and strategies will help you create a effective content calendar. With just a bit of time and planning, you can be set for months!
Editorial Calendar Tools
An editorial calendar does not have to be elaborate – it doesn’t even have to be electronic! You can use a paper calendar, an app on your phone, or even a list on a piece of paper. Use whatever tool that you will consistently use. If you are on WordPress, one of the easiest ways to manage your content is with the WP Editorial Calendar plugin. The drag-and-drop interface allows you to move posts around, set them as drafts or publish and schedule your upcoming brilliance all right within WordPress.
Editorial Calendar Strategies
Which days provide you the most flexibility? Which days leave you pressed for time? Consider when you will have the most time to write more in-depth articles when planning out your schedule so you are not left feeling rushed. Then, save your quicker, easier posts for the times when you know your availability is limited.
Do you participate in any memes (such as Wordless Wednesday)? Does your blog have a regular feature that you anticipate will continue? Put your static content in place first so you can stick with what you already do with your posting.
The best approach to do this successfully is to pick a day each week – or month if you’re really ambitious – to be your planning day. Spend about a half hour to an hour sketching out blog post topics, series ideas, and a general schedule for when you want to post which information. Since you are the only one who sees your calendar, you are not set in stone. Plenty of events or topics may crop up throughout your scheduled time, so feel free to be flexible! As a bonus, if you write some of the posts ahead of time, you have content you can post if you’re running behind.
Remember, a content calendar is about making things easier and more organized for YOU. Do not worry about boxing yourself completely in and if spontaneity is the core of what your blog is all about, then stick with that. If something amazing happens, write about it- don’t feel like it has to wait to an assigned day. Use the content calendar to help keep your ideas organized, a general schedule planed and your blog on track.
Photo Credit: magurka on sxc.hu