How often do you sit down to write a post for your blog because “you know you should” and then promptly think “god what am I going to write?”
Enter the editorial calendar.
An editorial calendar helps you plan in advance your blog content so you’re not left sitting, wondering what’s next. It can be a spreadsheet; paper based or use the WordPress plugin ‘WP Editorial Calendar.’
How do you get the most benefit from your editorial calendar?
1. Decide how frequently you will publish posts each week. Multiply this number by 26 and the result will be the number of post ideas you need to generate.
2. Allocate yourself time (5 minutes) to identify the key focus areas (themes) of your posts.
3. Brainstorm and write down (or as I call it brain dump) as many ideas as you can. You’ve got 10 minutes. Don’t judge the quality, just get the ideas down. It might take a couple of sessions to have sufficient quality ideas to fill the six months.
If you prefer, create a mind map instead of simply listing the ideas. Try Bubbl.us.
4. Group according to themes and logical order, especially if a number of posts are interrelated.
5. Schedule the ideas in your editorial calendar against the days you chose in step one.
You’ve planned your blogging until the end of 2012. Won’t that make life a bit easier when you’re flat out in the lead up to Christmas.
Before you think “well that’s done” here are a couple of bonus tips.
Bonus Tip 1: If you want to be really clever batch write your posts. This will save you tonnes of time in regards to setting up to write and attempting to recapture your train of thought.
Bonus Tip 2: Always have access to your editorial calendar so that whenever you have a spare five minutes you can scribble an outline for one of the post ideas. This will keep you on track when you sit down to batch write posts later.
Got a spare 15 minutes? Get steps 1 to 3 done. Now!
Do you use other strategies? Please share them below and let’s grow together.
Need a bigger challenge? Sign up for the Olympic Blogging Challenge and/or the Small Business Olympics for 14 days of blasting your blog and business to greater success.