Blog Boss: How I Fill Up My Monthly Editorial Calendar In One Day + 30 Blog Post Ideas
When I first started blogging, I had no idea what an editorial calendar was, nevermind how to fill it up. I often would find myself sitting at the blank screen of my computer struggling with finding a topic to write about that was more than a few sentences. Sometimes, I would go days without posting anything because writer’s block is real and I would rather not post anything than posting something poorly written or thrown together.
I knew that if I wanted to have a successful blog, I needed to get my act together and start planning out my posts in advance. Having an editorial calendar has helped me in several ways and I can’t stress how important it has become to me in my blogging life. I currently use CoSchedule as my editorial calendar, but I’m looking into switching to Trello, but any type of calendar format will work, from a paper planner to a google calendar! If you don’t have an editorial calendar and want to be a blog boss…let me be bold and say you need one. Why?
My editorial calendar keeps me on a schedule:
I’ve found that by planning all of my posts on a calendar helps me stick to a posting schedule (I shoot for 3-4 posts a week). Having some kind of schedule for posting is pretty important for a successful blog because my audience can expect to come back to my blog on a regular basis and have new content to read. I know that as a blog reader, I get super frustrated when a blogger I love is super inconsistent with posting. Having a calendar filled with blog post ideas keeps me focused and it’s way easier to stick to a posting schedule.
My editorial calendar helps me see the bigger picture:
Having everything laid out a month in advance helps me the bigger picture. If I have a project I’m working on, I can visually see where to line up some posts to build up to it. If I have a series I’m working on, I can see what days I need to schedule out social media to promote the next part. I know exactly what my bigger picture is for the month instead of only looking at it day by day.
My editorial calendar prevents me from having writer’s block:
Like I mentioned before, there is nothing worse than not having anything to write about. Having an editorial calendar ensures that I have at least 3-4 posts a week to write about instead of twiddling my thumbs, giving up and watching three hours of Top Chef instead.
Okay, so now that I’ve convinced you to get yourself an editorial calendar, here comes the tricky part: how to fill it up with blog post ideas?!
How to Fill Up Your Editorial Calendar
At the end of each month, I go through my “months end” checklist. I clean out my Pinterest boards and remove any pins that have no re-pins. I schedule out all the fun links, blog posts or videos that I saved during the last few months to be shared on my facebook page for the next week. And then I take a few hours, sit down with my editorial calendar and fill the whole thing out for the next month. Yeah, I said it. I fill out my editorial calendar for the entire month in ONE day!
Start with your monthly series posts:
The first thing I do is plug in my monthly series posts (the posts I do EVERY month). This includes my monthly goals post on the first weekday of the month and my monthly Favs & Fails link up post the last Friday of the month. BAM! Two blog posts already on the calendar.
Schedule out any collaborations:
Any collaborations you have going on with other bloggers or companies should be the second thing to plug into your calendar because these are some of your most important posts! Producing content for brands in a timely manner helps establish your reputation and gives you more opportunities to work with other brands down the road. Collaborating with other bloggers gives you a great opportunity to create relationships, expand your audience and make friends. This coming month, I’m working with a Jamberry and have another BLOG BOSS post with Amanda. I am also guest posting on Currently Kelsie, so that’s three more posts on the calendar!
Take Holidays into consideration:
The next thing I do is look at what holidays are coming up. I definitely try to come up with 2-3 holiday posts because it’s a great way to capitalize on searches on Pinterest, Google, and Facebook. TIP: It’s important to consider your niche or demographic when planning out these holiday-themed posts. If you primarily are a food blogger, you wouldn’t want to write a holiday post about your favorite holiday lipsticks. I know I want to do a Valentine’s day Makeup tutorial and a Superbowl Sunday Style post, so there are two more posts added to my editorial calendar!
Refer to your Blog Mission Statement.:
My blog mission statement is like the thesis of my blog: what’s the whole point of me working on this thing? To encourage other women to embrace their scars, chase their dreams and pursue a vibrant life. I always want to make sure that my posts connect back to this statement in some way, so my next step is to come up with 5-6 posts that CLEARLY focus on that statement and my demographic/niche (primarily fashion/beauty) I keep a running list on my phone of blog post ideas to refer to when I reach this step in my process. Next month, I know I want to do a post about how to style a graphic tee, one on my favorite foundations from the drugstore and a highly requested hair tutorial on my messy bun mohawk.
Check in with Google Analytics and Pinterest Analytics:
I always check in with my Google analytics and Pinterest analytics to see what posts/pins are doing well and bringing traffic to my site and how I can expand on those topics. My pin for the 6 Best Blushes under 7 Dollars brings in significant traffic to my blog every day, so this shows me that that kind of post did well. I can write so many posts off of that one, including a tutorial using the blush, tips, and tricks on how to apply blush and my 6 Best Blushes in the High-End section of the makeup store! In Google Analytics, you can also check to see what actual search terms are bringing people to your site (under the acquisition tab- seo-queries) and that can be a great place to get ideas for blog posts. I usually find 3-5 more blog posts from checking my analytics!
TA-DA! I now have 16 blog posts lined up for the month of January! That’s enough for 4 blog posts a week. Some of these blog posts can be moved around if new sponsored opportunities come up, but if they don’t, I have more than enough to write for the whole month. BYE-BYE WRITER’S BLOCK, hello full editorial calendar!
To get you started with filling out your monthly editorial calendar, here are 30 Ideas you can plug in:
Alright you blog bosses, you! Do you suffer from writer’s block? How do you brainstorm your posts? What kinds of things would you like to read about in the new year on the Blog Boss Series?