I was ready to start a blog. I had a theme. I had a title. I had an idea of what I wanted to write about. What I didn’t have was a complete editorial calendar.
During my research of best practices for blogging, virtually every successful blogger made mention of the editorial calendar. It didn’t take me long to realize that by having such a calendar I could develop consistent posts and publish them on a regular basis.
I went to my Outlook calendar, selected the full month view and printed a copy of each month. Now I had the beginnings of a working calendar.
I had already decided that I would post new material once per week on Sunday evenings. I have since then moved the publishing date to Monday mid-mornings because it appears that more people respond to my notifications and visit on Monday mornings.
So, on the printed calendar I wrote a theme for every Sunday. My first posts were about introducing myself and my profession, so that was easy.
The next few posts were to be about projects I was working on, or had worked on, so those weren’t too difficult. But, once I got three months out I realized that I was running out of ideas.
After much thought, and a quick phone call to an experienced blogger, I decided to turn each month into a theme, rather than each post. This made the upcoming months much easier to fill in with post ideas.
Now I had a road map I could follow. Now I was ready to publish my blog.
Until I realized that I had only one post written and according to my calendar it was to be published the next day.
I work well under pressure, but soon learned that having this kind of pressure every. single. week. was going to be annoying. That’s when I was struck smart with the idea of pre-writing posts.
Following my calendar and themes, I wrote posts for the next 14 weeks and saved them as ‘to be published’ on selected dates.
This is where the nice part comes in – sometimes I want to write a different post for that week. All I do is go into my blog dashboard and change the publish date of one of the pre-written posts. This leaves me with an extra post that I don’t have to worry about.
The other nice part is knowing that when the mood to write strikes I can add the piece to my dashboard and put a future publish date on it. Right now I’m about 4 weeks out and need to write a few more posts, just to be sure that something will publish on the date I want it to.
I recommend to everyone who wants to have a blog to have an editorial calendar and to use it. I can’t tell you how many times it has saved my sanity and kept my blog’s message consistent.