I won’t lie, in the past, I really haven’t been all that great about setting goals and much worse about sticking to them. When I returned from London this year, things changed. I decided that if I really wanted to see my blog’s traffic and income grow, I was going to have to do a little bit more about planning, setting goals and making strides to actually accomplish those. It’s easy to write down a few goals, but it’s much harder to accomplish them when you don’t have a plan in place. So, do you have a plan?!
About a month ago, I sat down for several hours and made a six month editorial calendar. Yup, you heard right, SIX MONTHS. It felt weird writing down ideas for content that I won’t create for months, but it also felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulder. I did it in a Google Doc so I can access it on the go and keep it updated as sponsorships come in or if I want to move content around. I also have it color coded! I use green for sponsored content and light blue once a post is scheduled and ready to go. I do a slightly darker shade of blue when I’ve scheduled a sponsored post. It lets me look back at a month and see how many of my posts were sponsored and how many were just regular content.
As you can guess, the main part of an editorial calendar is the content (or post ideas), but I also left some blank spaces at the end of each week to scribble in notes and goals.
I found it really helpful to write down when certain holidays were happening and then write notes a few weeks before so that I can start preparing that content before the deadline hits. It’s always good to post holiday content early enough so people can share it, pin it and purchase items from your posts before the actual holiday hits. Think of Halloween for example! Pinterest has a high volume of people pinning and re-pinning Halloween content starting three-four weeks before Halloween, so make sure you plan accordingly! Obviously Thanksgiving and Christmas are major holidays too and really, it’s not too early to start thinking about that.
I also write down major sales that are happening so I can make sure to capitalize on those things as well and increase my commissions. Preparing early and posting timely content will help increase your page views. Especially when it’s in tandem with well-written thoughtful posts and stunning imagery.
For the section on monthly goals, this can really be anything you want it to be! For me, I set goals for where I’d want my social followings to be at the end of each month. It’s important to be realistic to keep yourself from getting discouraged. I also write in different ways to reach those goals — for example: running a promotion or giveaway, pinning more often at peak times, engaging with other blogs, etc. It keeps me accountable and it’s cool to see where I am at the end of the month. I went ahead and wrote out goals for the next 6 months and I’ve already surpassed the numbers I set for myself for June. Pretty exciting!
It turns out that if you have a plan, it’s easier to stay on track. I’m setting a few new goals for my site and new design elements I’m hoping to add in the next few months to increase commissions and hopefully help my page views. I’ll keep you posted on those when I’ve got them updated!
How do you stay organized? Motivated? Do you have an editorial calendar and do you set goals for yourself? I’d love to hear about any methods that work for you!
P.S. Next week’s email newsletter will include the free download of this Google Sheet 6 month editorial calendar. Sign up for the newsletter today to ensure you get your copy!