I recently wrote a post about why you need a content calendar for your blog. If you read that post, you know that the content calendar is the heart and soul of your blog and the tool that keeps the whole thing running. If you’ve ever sat down in front of your computer just before a new post should be going up and can’t think of anything to write, you know why a content calendar is important! It allows you to plan ahead and stay organized. It also helps to ensure you don’t hit writer’s block and blogger burnout.
Just making the decision to commit to a content calendar is a big step, but the next big step is actually putting it together. It can seem daunting, but just a few simple tips will make it infinitely easier for you.
Determine Your Publishing Schedule
I always think it’s a good idea to have a publishing schedule for your blog. Not only does it make it easier to put together your content calendar, knowing when you need to have a post scheduled for, but it also holds you accountable to your readers and gives them an indication what days they should check back for new posts. If you tell your readers you post every day, but they check back four days in a row to no new post, they’ll likely be disappointed and might not check back again.
Be realistic about what you can manage. If you know you won’t be able to write five posts per week, don’t make that your goal. You’ll get burned out quickly. When I first started this blog, I published daily Monday-Friday. It worked at the time because my posts weren’t as extensive and I had more free time. However, not long into blogging, I had to admit to myself that I was spending more time on each post and simply didn’t have as much time for writing anymore. Soon I lowered it to four posts per week, then three posts, and now I post just once per week.
Determine Your Platform
It’s time to decide what you want to use to create your content calendar. For a long time, I used a paper planner and that worked fantastically. That might be the best fit for you. Eventually, my blog required a little more organization, and so I started using Asana to manage everything in my business, including my content calendar. Other digital tools like Google Calendar or a WordPress plugin can also be a great way to create your content calendar. Using a digital product gives you the ability to have your content calendar with you anytime your phone is, versus having to carry around a physical calendar or planner.
Keep a Running List of Ideas
The easiest way to quickly plug post ideas into your content calendar is to keep a running list of blog post ideas. I do this on Asana, but you can also do so in a notebook or a different platform such as Google Drive, Evernote, or Trello. Schedule yourself a weekly or monthly brainstorm session to keep the list topped off, and break the ideas down by category. If you’re struggling to brainstorm post ideas, you’ll want to read my post about how to come up with blog post ideas.
Plan Your Calendar
One important thing to do when you’re creating your content calendar (and something that will actually make it easier to fill your calendar) is to break down your blogging categories and evenly disperse your post dates among those categories. To do this, you’ll definitely have to have a firm grasp of what your categories are. I can easily break down most of my posts into 3 main categories: 1. blogging; 2. productivity; and 3. personal development. I typically just rotate those categories in the same order over and over again.
How do you organize your blog content calendar?
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