Do you have a blog and find yourself scrambling for a topic, content or images the day of your post? This was me up until just a few months ago. The ideas were there, but when it came time to write them down and create a blog article that was clear, effective and captured my style - I was failing.
Then somewhere I read about a blog or editorial calendar. At first I had never heard of this concept - so I searched around blogs here and here and found some really incredible tips, free downloads and more.
Planning everything out beforehand has been such a positive monumental shift for me and my blog. I now feel prepared, focused and accomplished.
In the incubation stage of blogging, before I start writing, I consider the following:
- Who: Will I be writing solo or will the blog feature work or writing from other artists or creatives? Will I be interviewing anyone for this blog post? If I plan to feature anyone's work, words or ideas, do I have the proper credit, permission and criteria? Have I emailed the creative yet to get their take on the subject?
- What: What exactly do I want to write about? What kind of images, artwork or typography will I use to capture the essence of my story? What do I want to say? [Side note: A majority of my blog ideas come to me while I'm in shower, meditating, in nature or when I'm running. It makes sense, these locations are quiet, independent and therapeutic - allowing me to relax, listen and imagine. For a long time I thought I would just recall these ideas the moment I sat down at my computer to blog, but quite the opposite was happening. So now when an idea comes up, I try to write it down asap or make a very serious mental note.]
- Why: This is sometimes a question I forget to ask myself, but have found when I remind myself of 'why' I am sharing this on my blog, I find clarity in the direction of my writing. So why I am writing this?
- When: When do you want to share your topic? Take it or leave it, but I once read that Tuesdays and Thursdays tend to be the days that people are more likely going to read blogs. What time of day do you want to blog? My sweet spot (after my morning routine and just before I dive into work) is between 11am and 1pm. In the future I'd like to have my blog posts pre-written the night before, so all I have to do is press "publish" in the morning. Baby steps.
Now that I have the ideas, I need to write them down. I have attached a 2 page editorial/blog calendar that I created that has been helpful at organizing what I want to say and when I want to say it. You can download if for free by clicking HERE and HERE.
The calendar has 2 parts:
- The Ideas (Step 1/Page 1): Here you will be asked to define the title, overview and style/images. I have found these are the most important things for me to focus on when I am jotting down my ideas. I recommend printing off several of these guys. Once I get brainstorming, I find filling out 3 pages is easy smeazy. [Note: when I say style/images - I mean what images, artwork, lettering, typography, photo filters, etc are you going to use that's unique to your style and brand and that capture your story the best.]
- The Dates (Step 2/Page 2): This page is a basic calendar template that you can fill out the month and date yourself. That way when you have all of your ideas written down on the fist page, you can start plugging in which ideas fit best on which date.
Ok, now that you have your blog or editorial calendar, what are you going to write about today? Because I am new at this whole 'planning my blog' thing, what tips or tools have you found that are helpful for you?