There’s really only one way to blog like you mean it, and that’s to post content on a regular basis.
Most of us come to our new blogs with enthusiasm bubbling from our pores. I was going to say orifices, but that would be gross. Oh sure, 90-95% of bloggers abandon their blogs, but we’re certainly not joining that slacker-fest. And we sure as heck won’t ever be one of those loafers whose blog posts begin with, “Sorry I haven’t posted in the last 87 years but . . . ”
Despite our shiny intentions, the reality is that writing blog posts on a routine basis is a lot tougher than it looks. Even though I love to write, there are days when I don’t like it one bit. On those days I feel like there’s an empty cartoon bubble above my head. I stare out the window, waiting for inspiration to rain from the sky. I trim my fingernails. I play with the cat. I wonder if Johnny Depp has gotten that letter I sent him. I eat a Snickers bar. Okay, two Snicker’s bars, but who’s counting?
The good news is that there’s an easy way for people like us to avoid all that “I-have-no-flippin-clue-what-to-post-about” angst. The bad news is that it takes some up-front planning.
So what’s the secret? How can we all blog like we mean it?
May I have a drum roll please?
The secret to blogging like you mean it is . . . . . creating an editorial calendar!
Well, that was quite the letdown, wasn’t it?
Sorry, but there’s just no way to make creating an editorial calendar sound sexy. In case you don’t know what an editorial calendar is, it’s a written schedule of what you plan to write about over an upcoming time period. Traditional publishers have been planning their content this way forever, and many smart bloggers have adopted the practice.
Why would a blogger use an editorial calendar? Well, I can think of several good reasons:
- It eliminates the stress of having to think up a new posting idea every time you sit down to write and puts at least a few words into that cartoon bubble over your head. This in turn cuts back on the number of Snicker’s bars consumed, thus eliminating the expense of buying new fat pants.
- Having pre-planned posts lessens the likelihood you’ll use your blog for public rants about your boss, greatly reducing the risk of unemployment and homelessness.
- Plotting out posts in advance gives your blog’s content a sense of focus and direction, which gives the impression, however false it may be, that you boarded the Clue Train the last time it rolled through town.
The term “editorial calendar” sounds stiff and boring, but yours doesn’t need to be like that. It can just be a scribbly, brainstormy sort of thing. All you’re doing is making up a plan of what you want to write about for the next week, month, or however far out you decide to take it. I don’t even assign actual dates to my posts because I know there will be times when I want to swap things around or go in an entirely different direction. I love my editorial calendar, but I’m not married to it.
If you decide to create an editorial calendar for your blog, here are some tips:
- Be clear on your topic, your brand, and your target audience before making up your calendar.
- Think about how many times a week you plan to post.
- Ask yourself if you need to deliver your content in any particular order.
- Consider seasonal or special events that might influence the content or frequency of your posts.
- Determine if you want posts to be unrelated, series-based (several posts covering the same subject), or a combination of the two.
Still have questions about editorial calendars? Post your questions in the “Comments” section or check out this post on Problogger.
Leave a Comment. Do you use an editorial calendar? If so, do you stick to your posting plan or make changes as you go along?