Thinking of your blog as a publication and creating an editorial calendar for your content will help keep you on track with your blogging. Being organized with overall themes, post ideas, and using your analytics to make your blog readers happy can make your blogging life more manageable.
Once you have your editorial calendar created, you’ll find that creating more content is more comfortable because you know just what’s coming up next. This takes some of the pressure off of creating blog content and still allows you the freedom to move articles around in the schedule or work ahead in any order that you see fit.
When you're more organized, your creativity will be able to flow better, and your blogging will soar. “Increasing creativity will happen naturally as we tame the multitasking and immerse ourselves in a single task for sustained periods of, say, 30 to 50 minutes. Several studies have shown that a walk in nature or listening to music can trigger the mind-wandering mode. This acts as a neural reset button and provides a much-needed perspective on what you’re doing.
Daydreaming leads to creativity, and creative activities teach us agency, the ability to change the world, to mold it to our liking, to have a positive effect on our environment,” says Daniel J. Levitin for the New York Times.
Let's dig into some background organizational tasks for your blog and editorial calendar that will allow you more time to get into the flow of your writing.
Think like a publisher
Being serious about your editorial calendar starts with thinking like a publisher. Choose when you're going to publish and what your blog niche will be. From Jeremy Victor on Content Marketing Institute, If it is not necessary or relevant to your readership, don’t spend one ounce of resources on it. Your editorial must be for your readers, not you. Create a list of content types you are capable of producing or would like to produce. Draft guidelines describing the requirements for producing each. That’s what publishers do.”
You're a publisher. Be consistent with your quality, posting schedule, and every aspect of your content from idea to hitting the publish button to sharing on social media.
Pump out the ideas
From fantastic blogger Neil Patel, come up with fifty ideas in thirty minutes. The idea is not to focus on the quality (yet) but to get your ideas out in the open so you can polish them later.
Having a backlog of article ideas is gold.
Plan your article flow with Trello
Trello is a gift to bloggers to keep things organized and on track. It provides a solid foundation for working solo or with a team who can edit and add to your Trello.
You can add cards for tasks and add to-do lists on each card, then move it along in your writing process. An example of a blog post workflow:
- Blog idea – add your fresh ideas for blog posts.
- Researching – add your links to articles and quotes for experts to include.
- On hold – park your ideas, so they don't get lost.
- Editing and graphics
- Ready to publish
You can add other people to the cards, add due dates for tasks, and even checklists for the tasks. Once you have the cards set up by task, you can copy them for a new blog post with all the steps and lists.
Additional reading: Using Trello as an editorial calendar
Research your most popular content
You don't always need to recreate the wheel with blog content. If you have a topic or post that was particularly popular, write more of the same! Use your Google analytics to find your most popular keywords and reinforce the organic Google search to your blog with content using the keywords and favorite landing pages. Most people aren't hitting your blog through your homepage – find out where they are coming in and from where.
From Hubspot's knowledge
- Keywords are the foundation of your website content. The topic of every page and what it is about should tie directly back to a keyword or keyword phrase. Since keywords are topics, they are also prevalent when creating offers and emails.
- Keywords help visitors, and potential customers understand the purpose of your page. When reading the content of the page, a visitor will often scan for the keywords they searched for.
- Keywords help search engines understand the purpose of your page. When a search engine crawls your website pages to index them, it will parse the keywords on the page to determine the meaning of your pages.
Keywords should always be relevant to what you do and how you want people to find you in Google search. Start with a plan for your blog and content and be consistent with your keywords for the most success.
“While you worked oh so very hard on making your homepage sparkle and shine, people might skip it altogether. They’re more likely to come through a post via a search engine or clicking a link on social media. Once you know through which pages most people are visiting your site, you can clean them up and add links and info to help them find similar content.” from Xo Sarah.
Additional reading: Understanding keywords
Plan to repurpose your content
If you've created other media, repurpose this into blog content. Some examples of material you can build a blog post around:
- SlideShare presentations – embed them into a post
- Live Streams
- Podcast – a regular show or guest appearances
- Infographics – embed them and add text to share your ideas
- Social media posts – embed tweets from Twitter, Facebook posts, Instagram posts, Google+ posts. Share a heated conversation from social media and write a more extended form post around it.
Creating the richest environment possible by pulling in your content from other sources ensures that your biggest fans, your loyal blog readers, are exposed to your other short-form ideas as well. It can also help build your social media accounts if people click your other content and decide to follow you on Instagram or Twitter.
I hope these ideas for creating an editorial calendar will get you thinking like a publisher and give you more time for writing in the future.
What are your best tips for getting organized behind the scenes on your blog? Let's hear them in the comments!