If you are approaching your blog as a business or are hoping that one day it will become a business, you need to organize your ideas. The best way to organize those thoughts and make sure they end up in a blog post is with an editorial calendar.
Simply put, an editorial calendar is a listing of the days when you plan to publish posts on your blog. For each day, you choose a topic and to work smarter and not harder, you write those ideas down several weeks in advance. You can use a desk pad calendar, post it notes, blog planner, or a WordPress plugin.
Know when you are posting
Before your can begin planning your post ideas, you first need to decide when you are going to post.
Frequently I am asked how often someone should post if they are pursuing blogging for the purpose of making money. Obviously, the more content you have on your blog, the more traffic you will generate and traffic equals money. So, in the beginning, I would recommend “as often as possible” but three days a week is a great goal. However, if writing three posts each week intimidates you, do less, but whatever you choose to do, do it consistently.
Why post consistently? Two reasons:
- You look like a professional. If you were working outside of the home, you would be required to keep consistent hours. You could not take several weeks off and then work for three days straight and then take a month off, only to come back and toss two projects together. No, your boss would require consistent, quality work and your personal standard for excellence as a professional blogger should be the same.
- Your readers know when to expect your next post. The fastest way to kill your audience is to disappear for long stretches of time. To be a successful blogger, one of your goals should be to grow a tribe of people who hang on your every word. These readers are your foundation and must be treated with respect. They deserve consistency.
Rock your blog’s SEO with trends
For most of you reading this, SEO is as mythical as the Lock Ness Monster, but hang with me. I promise that you will be able to understand.
When do you search for Christmas gift ideas? When are you most likely to be searching for barbecue recipes? At what point int he year do you browse the internet for school lunchbox inspiration? If you are looking for particular topics as certain points during the year, don’t you think someone else is looking for those items too? And if everyone is searching for the same thing during the same week or month, wouldn’t it be nice if some of those people ended up on your website?
So, when you are planning your editorial calendar, consider the trends for each month. Create a graphic that communicates that theme and choose your title based on the words you think people will use in search engines. Post the hot topics while they are hot and you will get a traffic boost from Pinterest and possibly Google.
Build a solid foundation with evergreen content
For the first two years of my blogging career, I would just write randomly. I would write “Happy Birthday” posts to my kids (which would not have been bad if I had not been a deal blogger) and rant about a local restaurant… whatever. When I assumed a more professional approach, I had to write within my niche and create evergreen content.
An evergreen tree never loses its color. Likewise, evergreen content remains relevant year after year and you can promote that post 5 years later and it will still resonate with your readers. These are the blog posts into which you can breathe fresh life by creating a new image and promoting the post through social media during seasonal trends.
Once you have established when you will post, can locate the trends for each season, and plan to write evergreen content, your editorial calendar will become a organized tool for blogging success.