One of the ways I keep so organized and consistent with my blogging is by using an editorial calendar to plan, schedule, and post my content. Along with my favorite organizational tool and my handy editorial calendar plugin, I stay on top of all of my blogging tasks and I’m able to do so efficiently. Efficiency is such an important part of running a blog and a business, and since I do both, I have to use tools that really help get the job done. I’m sharing with you all today how I use my editorial calendar, and the ways it allows me to blog consistently daily.
We all know how much time it takes to blog, a lot! The last thing we want is to be stuck not knowing what to write about, when it always takes so much time to do it. For me, I find myself with plenty of topics to write on and not enough time to do it. Not a bad problem to have, since I can’t control the fact that there are only 24 hours in the day. However, what would make it a worst problem to have is if my content and ideas were all over the place and not the least bit organized. Using an editorial calendar to organize and plan my content keeps me from having that very problem. The best thing about the one I use, is that it is so easy to plug things into it and move them around as needed.
A Real Lifesaver
I’m sure there are more robust scheduling tools out there, but this is the one that works for me and its free! Editorial Calendar is a lifesaver, because I can lay out a month’s worth of post and see exactly how my content looks. I don’t like to post on the same categories back to back, so I need to see all of my posts laid out to insure this doesn’t happen. If I have two posts that are in the same category scheduled to go live two days in a row, I can see exactly which posts they are and move them accordingly. I can also easily schedule my posts right within the calendar, because when you hover over the post title an option to edit, quick edit, delete, and view are given. I use the quick edit option to set the time and change the status of the post to either draft or scheduled. If my blog had contributors, they could set the status of their posts to pending review directly from the quick edit option in the editorial calendar as well.
Sorting & Searching
One of my favorite features to use is the Unscheduled post area of my editorial calendar. A lot of times I’ll come up with blog post ideas and add them as drafts via my dashboard or the mobile app. When I do this, they typically get saved according the the date I made the draft, however if I go in an edit that draft the date will change. If I were just going through my drafts areas in my dashboard, certain posts would be difficult to find and I’d have to search for the post or click through tons of pages to find it. While you can sort your drafts in the backend of your dashboard, its much easier to just move them around via the editorial calendar. When I make a draft, I’ll usually go to my editorial calendar once I’m on my computer and drag the post into the Unscheduled area. Once posts are in this area, they are organized alphabetically, which makes them super easy to find, and again its a simple drag and drop to add it to the calendar.
Its no better feeling than pulling my unscheduled drafts over to fill an entire week of my calendar, and already having a well-organized idea about what I’m going to write on. Occasionally, I’ll move the post around, but more often I stick to what I plan out and it makes posting that much easier. I can honestly say that moving posts around is one of my favorite things, and also being able to look back at my calendar and see what’s been published. Many times, if I’m looking for a post that I’ve published a while back I’ll head straight to my editorial calendar to find it. This saves me from having to search through my blog for the post and allows me to see what else was posted during a week or month. I’m able to get immediate insight and track the type of content I’m publishing, as well as assess any trends that my posts may have seemed to take on.
The Old-Fashioned Backup Method
As much as I love the editorial calendar in my WP dashboard, nothing beats good ole pen and paper. While I use the calendar to schedule, I also want to start writing down my ideas and keeping track of them the old fashioned way. There may be times where I don’t want to get on my computer or have access to it, and I want to have a back up. Plus, everyone knows that when you write something down that it gives it a little more energy, because its being put out in the universe. I want to implement another method of accountability for my blogging, which is why I created a handy monthly blog post content calendar.
I made it so that it could be used during any month, by leaving the days blank. I can easily fill them in as I go or at the beginning of the month when I start my planning. All I need to have on hand is a pencil, so that I can add my post ideas and erase as needed. To additionally hold myself accountable, I included social media icons on the days, so that I can cross them out after I’ve promoted on them. I also included an area for me to record my goals, to include page views, unique visits, bounce rate, income, and social media growth. I couldn’t forget an area to jot down quick ideas that may come up while I’m planning, so I added a little notes section to be able to do this. Of course I couldn’t keep this tool all to myself, so I’m sharing it with you!
I love knowing that I’ve created something that can help my fellow blogger blog better! Next up, I’ll actually be creating a blog post checklist to accompany the content calendar and a few other tools to help you blog better. For now, you at least have this tool to help you get started!
Do you have any favorite tools that you use to keep your blog posts organized? – Do you go the technological route or stick to pen and paper?