I'm a self-proclaimed Type A/B personality. I have traits from both, which normally keeps me balanced…but not when it comes to blogging. I walk a fine line between over-organizing and flying by the seat of my pants. To accomplish anything, I needed to find middle ground. It wasn't until I created (and used) an editorial content calendar that my I found sanity and success in blogging.
There are a billion (possible exaggeration) editorial calendaring systems out there. After trial and error, I created one that, I feel, is a great starter calendar. One that isn't super overwhelming. You can get as crazy as you want with it AFTER you've mastered the basics of blog organization. So let's begin!
To get ahead of your posting schedule, you have to know what you're posting. The first step in blog organization is brainstorming what topics you'll be covering on your blog throughout the year. Since most of us work on a weekly posting schedule, there are four lines per month for you to fill out with ideas.
I start with timely themes like holidays and seasons. Things that people won't necessarily search for year-round on Google and Pinterest.
Then I fill in the blanks with evergreen content. These are post topics that readers will be looking for all the time. I try to keep my ratio of evergreen to timely at 60/40. It's just what works for me.
After you fill out your themes for the year, it's time to transfer each topic to the Post Ideas sheet.
With your topic idea at the top, fill in three different categories you write about that your topic could fit in. This maximizes your posting options for not just that week, but for the future. It's not likely that you'll write theme weeks all year, so brainstorming post ideas in varying categories gives you content to use later. In subsequent posts, refer to your Post Ideas page to and link to the others that have already gone live. A little cross-promotion never hurt anyone!
When you're coming up with post ideas, ask yourself these questions…
- Who am I creating content for? Does this post address the needs of my target audience?
- What do I want to be known for? Does this post maximize that message?
If each post appropriately addresses these questions, you're good to go. If not, modify your post idea, or lose the post all together. Just because it's a fantastic idea, doesn't mean it's right for your audience and your blog.
Each post idea should bring in a source of income. Consider using affiliate links through companies like ShareASale or AvantLink, creating and selling an e-book, or partnering with a company for sponsorship. Not all posts will be able to be monetized, but if you have sidebar ads, you'll always have an income.
When you've decided which post ideas will go live when, pull out your Monthly Calendar and plug in the titles.
Once the title is down, figure out what you need to do to prepare for and complete the post. Do you need to build or design something? Will you need to take photos or shoot video? Do you need to contact a company about sponsoring your post? Work backward from your post date and schedule out your preparation.
Here's an example I did of working backward from a post. A week before, I'll finalize and schedule the post. Once I decide when I'm going to write it, I know I'll need to edit pictures, stage the pics, and create the item, taking pics while doing so. All of this goes on the Monthly Calendar.
Following the same pattern, I write down the remainder of the post ideas for the month with their assigned tasks.
Spreading out these tasks will help keep you ahead of the game and schedule your posts in advance. This frees up your time to be creative. And isn't that the fun part of blogging?
So how do you organize your blog? Are you more Type A or Type B?