Do you have an editorial calendar for your blog? This is one of those things that some bloggers swear by to help them plan, plan ahead, stay organized, and grow their online presence . On the other hand, some bloggers reject the idea of an editorial calendar for their blogs because it goes against their creativity.
It’s great to write about whatever comes to mind that morning, but having a clear strategy will make your blog posts more impactful.
I go through stages of blogging and get very strategic for a few months, planning all my content to maximize exposure and get the best results. For the next few months, I’m going to try writing about whatever I’m passionate about and excited about. I don’t force anything, I just write what I want, when I want.
Realistically, we know we should do something somewhere in between these two extremes.
Too much planning can feel limiting and boring. But poor planning can leave you feeling stressed, confused, and missing out on great content opportunities because you weren’t prepared.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned since I started blogging, it’s this. Everything is going to take longer than expected. Creating a new blog post takes time to plan, buy props and products, visit new locations, write posts, edit photos and videos, get approval from brands, edits, and possibly more often takes several weeks will be late! Therefore, you need to plan ahead and be prepared. This is where a blog editorial calendar comes in handy!
Leave space for creativity – It’s a guide, not a set plan
My first tip for blog content calendars is to leave space for creativity. Set up your blog’s editorial calendar as a rough guide, rather than a strict plan that you must follow.
I truly believe that blogging should be a fun, creative and rewarding hobby, and the more you enjoy it, the more successful you will be.
If you enjoy writing blog posts, people will enjoy reading them!
If you become a copywriting and content creation machine, no one will enjoy it!
How often will you post?
My second step is to establish a realistic idea of how often I will post new content.
Currently, I’m aiming for two to three new blog posts per week, but remember to be flexible. We’re currently in lockdown in the UK and I’m homeschooling my two kids and have a baby at home, so I’m not being too hard on myself. However, I will be posting more as soon as this situation changes.
Print out a paper calendar
OK, maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I like to print out a yearly calendar and write blog post ideas on specific dates. Canva has tons of calendar templates worth checking out!
I know you could use a spreadsheet, but putting pen to paper allows you to brainstorm ideas and feel more creative.
I also know that I can buy a beautiful diary for the year to make my blog’s editorial calendar look a little nicer and more professional, but this doesn’t work for me either. When you have a nice journal, you don’t want to doodle or tear out the pages if something goes wrong!
With a printable calendar, you don’t have to worry about it getting messy, you can even reprint entire months and start over!
Post one blog per week that highlights your niche/ speciality/ expertise
No matter how many blogs you post per week, I highly recommend highlighting your area of expertise in at least one blog post. If you don’t have a clearly defined niche, think of it as your specialty and what you’re an expert on.
If you don’t write regularly about your area of expertise, your audience will be confused and won’t know what you’re blogging about. You also won’t have a chance to highlight your expertise if you don’t write about it regularly. If you want to be recognized as an expert, you need to prove that you are. Your Instagram profile should not just tell people you’re a “cheesecake maker” and what that is all about, but should also regularly feature weekly updates, tutorials, recipes, inspiration, examples, etc there is.
Even if you have a broad niche like ‘lifestyle’, you need to specialize within it if you want to stand out from the crowd and carve out a space for yourself online.
My main focus right now is getting outdoors and being active with my kids. If you’re reading this in the future, we’re currently in the middle of Covid-19 and most parts of the UK are in lockdown, so my area of expertise is changing with the times. We have to adapt and this won’t last forever!
Remember that nothing is forever
If you’re tired of defining yourself in just one area, it’s worth remembering that nothing has to be forever. During the COVID-19 pandemic, you might think he wants to focus on one thing, but things may change next year when the world (hopefully!) changes.
Many bloggers (myself included from time to time!) get so caught up in defining their niche and choosing the niche that is best for them that they forget to create the actual content.
Choose something to focus on, but don’t take up too much of your headspace.
Do the 100 post ideas challenge to enhance your blogging editorial calendar
If you find it difficult to write a blog post every week about your specialty, don’t worry. I highly recommend doing the 100 Blog Post Challenge!
This is something I talk about a lot in my blogger courses, and everyone who takes this course does it and finds it very useful!
Basically, you sit down with a notepad and pen and write down 100 blog post ideas that enhance and highlight your area of expertise and expertise. It may seem like a lot of work, but once you get started, you’ll realize that you have a lot of ideas and potential ideas. His one idea for a blog post sparks another. Get to the nitty-gritty and think about how you can elaborate on your original idea in multiple blog posts that explain it all.
An example I always use is writing about a weekend getaway. Let’s say you’re spending a weekend in the Cotswolds and planning to blog about it. Reviews of accommodations, posts about where we ate, posts detailing our entire itinerary, one post dedicated to our favorite activities, and one post with tips we found while planning our trip, write a post about what you wore and what you brought with you during your trip. There were also things like diaries and travelogues. There are so many potential ideas!
If you have 100 blog post ideas, you can narrow it down to 52 of the best ideas to keep you busy all year long!
Expand on what’s already popular
Another way to come up with ideas for new blog posts is to write more of what’s already popular on your blog.
Look at your top 50 blog posts from the past 12 months and think about what more you could post on the same topic. If you’re already ranking for similar articles, you’re likely to perform better, and you can link to your new posts from existing popular posts, increasing traffic and keeping users on your blog longer.
Alternate between SEO posts and engaging/personal posts
When planning your content, you need to find a balance between creating posts that perform well in search engines and creating posts that attract established followers.
SEO-friendly posts are necessary to provide evergreen content that attracts new people and maintains consistently high page views (especially if passive income is an important source of income).
But you also want blog posts that are personal and engaging, which are more interesting to established followers who follow your blog to follow you.
An example of an SEO-friendly post is: My Danner Boots review
Although it’s a new post, I’m sure it will perform well in Google searches and attract a lot of traffic in a few weeks. But will my followers be interested in reading? I’m sure some people do, but only those who want to buy new walking boots!
Here is an example of a personal and engaging post: My plans, goals, hopes, and dreams for 2021
This worked very well when it was first published. Because my existing fans were interested in what I would do with him in 2021. But will anyone read this in 3-4 months? Probably not!
In an ideal world, you would create blog posts that are both SEO-friendly and appealing to your existing followers. An example for me was “How to lose baby weight”. It was very popular when it was first published and is now starting to rank higher in Google searches as well.
Some bloggers create blog posts that are 100% SEO friendly and may attract a lot of search traffic, but it doesn’t necessarily convert people into loyal fans. This means that a user may visit your blog, read only one or two posts, and never return. But if your blog has personality, people will feel like they know you and will come back next week to read more.
Plan in seasonal or topical posts
Seasonal content varies by niche, so think about which seasons, holidays, and events will be important to your blog’s editorial calendar.
It could be something obvious like Christmas or Easter, or it could be festival season, winter ski season, fruit picking season, or even International Donut Day (June 4th for those who are curious!) It could be something more specific like!)
Also, think about when people do things. January is often the time to start a healthy eating and exercise routine. January-February is when people start planning their vacations. March is the time to start gardening. May is the time when people start shopping for their summer wardrobes.
If you don’t know the seasonal trends in your chosen niche, search on Google to learn more!
Add to your blogging editorial calendar the dates you need to start prepping
Not only do you mark your seasonal dates and content ideas on your calendar, but you also mark the date you need to start planning and preparing your seasonal content.
If you’re planning seasonal content like Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween, or Christmas, you should actually start planning about 6 to 8 weeks in advance. It’s really weird to start thinking about Halloween in August, so I think it’s super helpful to have a date on your calendar to remind you to start planning.
If you want more blogging advice, you can find all of my blogging tips here.