I used to be a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of blogger until a few years ago when I realized how valuable creating and planning an editorial calendar could be to my blog’s growth. Since creating that calendar, I’ve found a better rhythm, stronger voice and I’m able to create better, more quality content. Why? Simply because I’ve planned for it. I’ve seen growth in my blog’s traffic, but also my social following as well. Knowing that I have a plan also takes a lot of stress of my day-to-day schedule.
So if you don’t already have a blog editorial calendar, you should think hard about it. Here’s a few reasons it’s a good idea.
1. Stay Ahead
I used to underestimate the power of being ahead of the curve. Now that my schedule includes running two businesses (one of them solo), staying ahead is just about the only way I stay sane. Being ahead also keeps you alert and aware of upcoming trending topics so you can plan content accordingly.
2. Keeps You Accountable
If you’re serious about this whole blogging thing and want to see your site grow and even make money from it, you need someone, or in this case, something, to hold you accountable to get stuff done. It’ll make sure you have content for each week and helps to avoid burnout. It’s a huge help in making sure deadlines for collaborations and partnerships are made.
3. Keeps you Organized
The easiest way to keep posts organized is to have a visual! I use a combination of a spreadsheet and WordPress’ Editorial Calendar plugin to keep my posts organized. This plugin is great because it allows you to visualize when posts are going live, which ones are still drafts and where you have holes that need filling. The spreadsheet is great because it holds the details of each post like when it should go live, when it should be written by and whether or not photos have been taken and edited — these tabs might differ for you, but for me those are the major elements of each post.
4. Create Opportunities to Make Money
If you’ve started a calendar and you’re already accomplishing steps 1-3, you’re already set up for this one. Being organized and ahead will allow you to see opportunities to capitalize on holidays, seasonal trends and upcoming sales. Being prepared can result in more commissions from affiliate links and even more traffic!
6. The Bigger Picture
Having an editorial calendar keeps you from getting bogged down in the day to day stuff and allows you to step back and see the bigger picture. You might see trends developing in your content and decide to start a weekly series based off a post that got a lot of traffic. It also helps you make sure that your content is diverse and balanced from week to week. It’s also a good way to remind you to think about your blog’s end goals and if the content you’re putting out is helping you get there.
I like to think that creating an editorial calendar is one of the most beneficial and strategic things you can do if you’re serious about growing your site. It’s also a lot smarter (and less time-consuming) than just posting random stuff and hoping people like it. Consider your goals and how you will create content that will help you accomplish those goals.
Here’s a few examples…
I want to make more commission.
I will create content posts that allow me to tastefully include more affiliate links ( keyword: tastefully — you don’t want to run people away!).
I want to obtain more brand collaborations.
I will reach out to brands I love and tag them on social media (I’ve found that latter to be particularly helpful!).
I want to meet new people.
I will attend blogger meet-ups and/or join a blogging community in my area.
I want to create awareness of my product or service.
If you’re a wardrobe stylish, mix in your own personal style pieces with a client’s styled look and tell people what you do. This is particularly helpful when your product or service directly ties into your blog.
These are just a few examples and your goals might be totally different, but go ahead and scribble a few of those down and start brainstorming ways to create content that will fulfill those goals. Oh, and be patient. This stuff doesn’t happen overnight people! But know that you’re on the right path, and that feels good, doesn’t it?!
P.S. If you haven’t signed up for our newsletter, you should! Each week I dive deeper into the prior week’s post. So next week I’ll be discussing some ways to create a killer editorial calendar!