The idea of having an editorial calendar has been covered here several times over the last few years of this blog. Part of the struggle is creating a calendar (how the heck do I do that when I don’t have a lot of post ideas?!) and the other struggle is how to use your calendar and time to get ahead on your posting schedule. So today I’ve got a few simple steps on how you can get ahead with your calendar!
Keep a notebook of post ideas
So it all starts with having a place to collect your post ideas. For me, I get inspired by lots of things when it comes to what I want to share with y’all. It may be a podcast I’ve listened to, something people are struggling with in a Facebook group, or even a random thing that might have happened while I was running errands that could be applied to business or blogging. Because it really is that easy to come up with post ideas, it’s important to keep a notebook handy at all times so you can quickly jot down or type up your idea so you don’t forget it. I personally keep a few small notebooks in my purse at all times, and I also have a note in my Notes app on my iPhone specifically for post ideas.
Schedule time in your day or once a week to write
Next up, it’s time to start writing. This is the step that you have to take if you really want to get ahead with your calendar. It’s not enough to have two months worth of ideas scheduled if you don’t sit down and right them out. I like to do this at the end of the week for the following week(s) or on the weekend while my hubs is studying at school. A great way to keep the momentum going here is to not worry about editing or creating graphics for your posts while you’re writing. Instead, just sit down and actually write out the content you want to share. You have to make this time a priority just like you would answering emails or working on client work, especially if your blog helps promote your business.
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Batch edit your posts + create your graphics
Once you’ve got a few days worth of posts done (hopefully a week at a time), you can sit down and start doing the editing and create graphics for each post. When I’m editing, I like to open the Preview version of my post so I can read it outside of the post editor, for some reason I’ve noticed that helps me catch mess ups much easier. When it comes to creating graphics, keep a few folders of your photos for posts on your computer or know your go to sites for when you just want to pull a stock image. It’s also helpful if you have an extra folder for graphic templates. I have a special folder for this inside my Blog folder on my computer, which makes making post graphics about a hundred times easier. Bonus: it also makes your graphics more consistent!
Schedule social media at the same time
We all know one key way to getting our posts out into the world is obviously through social media. There comes a struggle, though, when you have to remember whether or not you scheduled the tweets or Facebook post about your new blog post. The final thing to do for your posts each week is to schedule the social media blasts at the same time you’re finishing up scheduling the posts. Buffer and Hootsuite have been popular in the blogger world for a long time when it comes to scheduling posts, but recently I’ve made the switch from Buffer to CoSchedule. It makes it incredibly easy to schedule as many social shares as I want (whereas I was limited to 10 posts at a time on the free plan with Buffer), and I can see what’s being shared and when as well as make room to promote my peers’ posts and my services or products.
Having an editorial calendar is key to taking control of what you post as well as taking your blog to the next level, but getting ahead with your editorial calendar can be as easy as adding the four steps above to your weekly blogging routine.