Tips for Filling Your Blog Calendar
If you're a blogger, you've probably heard so many times that you need to use an editorial calendar. It sounds like such a foolproof plan - writing in one post for every weekday should be simple, right?
Not so much.
Maybe you're like so many others who find themselves staring at a blank calendar with zero ideas for what to post for next month. Or maybe you have ideas but they always seem to be about the same two things...leaving most of your blog's categories empty.
In my most recent Blog Management Worksheet Set (now updated!) I added in a Post Ideas Planner along with the Blog Calendar to help this process.
Become Your Own Editor-In-Chief
One great idea I heard was to picture your blog as if it was a magazine. Most have special columns, themes and features they repeat every month. So let's say you have a fashion blog. If it was a fashion magazine, you would see more than just "what I wore" articles on every page. You'd see things like, "styling tips", "beauty news", "celebrity picks", and "cheap finds."
What features could you regularly write that make sense with your blog? Maybe you could focus on sharing tutorials or teach something you know once a week. You could also switch it up with different types of media. I personally love video blog days or when others share weekly music playlists.
Brainstorm it out
Once you have your themes in mind, write them into the planner and have a brainstorming session. See if you can come up with 5-6 post ideas for each one to start out. I would argue that making your blog month more complicated with featured themes can actually make your job as a writer much simpler. Coming up with content is a little easier when you have a bit of direction.
The top of the planner also features space to write in your categories, as well as series and guest post ideas. I always like to list my categories so I can keep track of the topics I forget to add in.
Write a Multiple-Part Series
What kind of posts make you feel energized and excited to share? What experiences and strengths do you have that might help someone else? What do you like to write a lot about? Think about something you're really passionate about and turn it into a series. It could be as little as breaking up a message into three parts. Or you could really spread it out and do an extended 31-day series. (If you've thought about writing an ebook, doing a series is a really great way to test if anyone's interested in the topic.)
Team Up With Fellow Bloggers
Readers usually care about your opinion and likes just as much as your personal writing. So feel free to feature other bloggers and businesses and their fun projects. Do a roundup of your favorite products, recipes or Pinterest pins. You could also team up with a few friends and swap guest posts. As long as you consider your audience, I think it can really mix things up.
After you've thought out all of your theme and post ideas, filling in your calendar is so simple each month. You can assign each theme to a day or spread your posts out based on how much work they will take. Then just write in as much detail as you want. The Editorial Calendar that comes in the Blog Worksheet Set has lines for post titles and checkboxes for crossing off those you've published already.
Another nice thing about printables is that you can get messy. Feel free to scribble or draw arrows if you need to switch days around. By the end of the month, my calendar looks like crazy but that's part of the fun:) Much better than empty!