This post is an excerpt from the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Workbook
Yesterday your task in the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog challenge was to come up with a list of at least 10 post ideas for your blog. The idea was to spend time before you needed posts coming up with ideas. Doing this can release you later on to just write instead of having to brainstorm ideas every day.
Today’s task is to take the list you created yesterday and to plan your posting schedule (or editorial calendar) for next week.
This is something I attempt to do on a weekly basis for each of my blogs (I usually do it Sunday night or Monday morning).
How to Develop a Weekly Editorial Calendar [or at least how I do it]
1. Calculate how many posts you want to post in the coming week on your blog.
2. Set up a spreadsheet or table in a word document that has a slot for each post and the date and time that the post needs to go live on the blog.
3. Take the list of ideas that you’ve previously brainstormed and begin to slot them into the empty slots in the table. As I do this I often get other ideas that I’d not previously thought of for posts that might make good followup posts to those I’m planning. I slot these into the schedule too.
4. For each post that you slot in write a sentence or two about what the post is about (so you’re able to remember later in the week). I often also take a moment or two at this point to brainstorm some main points for the post. If any examples, illustrations, pictures or related posts that I’ve previously written come to mind I make note of these too.
Let me say at this point that what I come up with after going through this process is not always the way that I roll out posts in reality. My blogging style is a little more fluid than this and I tend to add new posts into the mix, reorder posts and extend single posts into series.
However – going through this exercise is fantastic because it means I’ve got a week’s worth of post ideas at my finger tips. It also means that for each post I’ve got ideas that I can use when writing the post – this gives me a real head start and means that I can usually get right down to business and start writing on the days I need to do the writing of posts.
Another Editorial Calendar idea to Consider
Another way that some bloggers approach editorial calendars is to come up with a weekly rhythm for their blog. They assign a different type of post for each day of the week and stick to that rhythm over the long term.
For example Mondays might be ‘list post’ day, Tuesdays might be ‘link post’ day, Wednesdays might be ‘opinion/rant’ day, Thursdays might be ‘review’ day etc. In this way they know the style of post for each day and then just have to slot in topics that fit each style.
The above two methods are only two suggestions of many and there are many variations on the idea of blog editorial calendars that you might like to explore. Here are a few posts that pick up the idea from archives here at ProBlogger:
- Editorial Calendars and Professional Blogging
- Having a Constant Stream of Blogging Ideas
- How to Develop a Niche Blog Content Plan
- 7 Ways to Keep Fresh Content Flowing On Your Blog
How did you find this process? Have you got next week’s Editorial Calendar set up? Share in the comments, or join the discussion over at the forum: Day 12 – Develop an Editorial Calendar
This task is a sample of one of the tasks in the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Workbook – a downloadable resource designed to reinvigorate and revitalize blogs.
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