Last week I posted a picture of my editorial calendar, and it prompted a chat between me and Whitney about how to organize your blog posts. It occurred to me that I never really shared how I organize my blog posts with you guys, so let’s do it!
First, a little background: I read a lot about blogging, so of course I’d heard about the advantages of keeping an editorial calendar a long time ago. But for some reason, I just couldn’t swing it. Finally, sometime in the last few months I found a routine that really worked for me. Here are my tips for keeping an editorial calendar.
Print it out. This just depends on the person I guess, but for me, printing out my editorial calendar has helped immensely. I had it set up in Google Calendar forever and rarely used it effectively. I still use Google Calendar, and fill in as many days as I can before the month starts, but then I print it at the beginning of the month. This allows me to keep it in front of me at my computer at all times, and there’s just a tactile functionality that comes with using a physical piece of paper.
Look at the big picture. Don’t just focus on what you’re going to write about tomorrow, or in the next five days- think bigger. It’s really important to identify the themes that you write about, and come up with some sort of structure to when you post about them. It keeps things consistent for your readers and gives you a routine to fall back on. For example, last fall I was posting a lot of recipes, and I almost always posted them on Thursdays. Now my themes are even more loose, but I know that Channeling posts go on Tuesdays, Tips for Better Blogging goes on Thursday and on Fridays I post Starred this Week. I don’t do all of those every week, which leaves me with some flexibility, but I still have a structure set in place, which gives me a deadline as I’m working on those posts.
Keep it loose. It’s okay to have days where you don’t know what you’re going to blog about. That’s when the spontaneous stuff can happen. And it’s even okay to intentionally leave days empty.
It’s not going to solve all your problems. This isn’t going to provide motivation or make sure that you get everything done on time. There are plenty of days where I intend to blog about something and it just doesn’t get done. Like yesterday, for example. That’s okay, this still has value.
Do you keep an editorial calendar? Do you have any other tricks to keeping your posts organized? I’d love to hear them!
And while you’re at it, check out this post that Lisa wrote about creating an editorial calendar.