Good old writer’s block… one of most blogger’s worst enemies and biggest pains in the butt! Staring at a blank screen for countless hours in hopes that maybe, magically, a brand new blog post idea will pop into your head isn’t good for anyone. It is frustrating, stressful, and VERY annoying.
I’ve dealt with this more than I would have liked to throughout my blogging career and let me tell you, it is not fun. BUT I am here to tell you that there is hope! The countless number of times that I have faced writer’s block are no longer a part of my life… I have discovered one of the best blogging tools and it has helped me beat writer’s block more than I thought anything ever could…. I have discovered an editorial calendar!
Utilizing an editorial calendar has kept me on track with my posting schedule and has helped me steer clear from all of the stress that comes along with not having any idea of what to blog about on a given day.
What Is An Editorial Calander?!
An editorial calendar is basically a very detailed schedule for your blog posts, social media outlets, and all of the other great stuff that comes along with blogging. The goal of an editorial calendar is to help you stay on top of your content and keep you on track with what you need to get done ahead of time.
Why Do You Need An Editorial Calander?
First of all, an editorial calendar will save you a lot of time, as well as sanity ;). Planning and creating your content ahead of time allows you to do things in bulk. So you would spend one whole day creating graphics, writing, editing, etc. rather than spending a few hours each day scrambling to complete a single piece of what eventually you would like your end result to be.
Working in bulk allows you to stay focused on the same task for an elongated amount of time… rather than trying to refocus in a short period of time every single day. Say goodbye to cramming within an hour or so to get a post up and say hello to good, quality, posts.
Taking the time to write, edit, and prepare your posts before the day that they are actually scheduled to go live will improve their quality immensely. We all know what procrastination leads to…. and it usually ain’t pretty. Rushing to get things done right before your deadline is stressful and frustrating. When you plan ahead you have more time to prepare your content, and to make it as perfect as it can possibly be.
How To Hop On The Editorial Calander Bandwagon:
There are a ton of ways you can create an editorial calendar ranging from something as minimal as a paper and pen method to something as advanced as some type of technical, computerized, software that organizes and manages your content. Whatever method you choose, here are the key steps for creating an editorial calendar:
Well, it’s kinda simple! The first thing you will need is obviously, a calendar: You can pretty much find these anywhere and everywhere and can even find free printable ones on sites like Pinterest and Google.
Up next- a few important tools! You will need to figure out which tools work best for you when it comes to creating a post, a graphic, or whatever it is you really want to create. This includes where you will be composing your post (Evernote, Blogger, Word, and WordPress and just a few), where you will be creating your graphics (Canva, PicMonkey, or Photoshop are all great for this), which social media outlets you will be using to notify your readers about your content (Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest ,Facebook), and how you will be able to get into contact with your readers or sponsors ( your best bet on this one would proooooooobably be any type of email website).
After you have figured all of that out, comes the hard but fun part! This is basically where you have to write down any idea you possibly have for a blog post: I find that when I am scrolling through Pinterest, a ton of people have posts that are titled “106 Blog Post Ideas” or something similar to that, and these help a lot! When I’m really in a rut I’ll just go through a bunch of these lists and write down whatever I think my readers would enjoy. I also keep an ongoing list of blog post ideas in the notes section of my phone and this helps a lot! It allows me to remember any posts that spontaneously pop into my head when I’m out and about without a notepad or computer nearby.
Almost done….. up next is where you need to plan plan plan… did I say plan?!
After you have your blog post ideas generated and have figured out which social media outlets you would like to use, and how you would like to create your blog posts and your graphics, it’s time to get planning! Here’s where your calendar comes into play. Take some time to think about which of your posts should go live when. For example, if you know you’ll be having some type of party/gathering at the end of the month and you also know that you want to create a blog post about a recipe… you may as well use one of the recipes that you will be making for this party as the recipe you will be writing about in that blog post…. does this make sense!? When you think wisely about what posts should go live at which times, it’s kind of like killing two birds with one stone.
After you have this all figured out, you simply have to write it down on your calendar. Next comes in all the extra but very important stuff. Make sure to write down which graphics you need to create when, which social media posts you need to create when, and which emails you need to send out to marketers/sponsors when.
And that’s it!
Find a calendar that works for you, discover which editing, writing, social media tools that best suit you and you’re ready to go! Do you use any content planning tools other than an editorial calendar, if so which types?!