This post was inspired by the feedback I got back when I posted about My 5 Favourite Blogging Tools. A number of you wanted to know how I used my editorial calendar, so I figured I’d do a little post about how I plan my blog posts. I actually use a combination of built-in blog calendar, paper calendar and a series of notebooks for jotting down and expanding upon different post ideas.
Although I do use (and love!) CoSchedule as my digital editorial calendar, I also like to use a paper calendar to plan out posts a month or two in advance before I commit them to CoSchedule. My basic method is adapted from The Dainty Squid, who uses a Target notebook calendar and colour Post Its to keep her posts organized. I really like this method for a number of reasons:
- Cute notebooks.
- The Post Its make it easy to shift things around as ideas shift and evolve.
- Using different colours for my different post types helps to make sure I don’t flood certain weeks with more of one type of post.
- Keeping it portable makes it easy to make adjustments whenever inspiration strikes.
- I like the tactile nature of moving and writing on the Post Its. It helps me remember.
I find that now with review requests and blog link ups that it is quite easy for me to have a full month’s worth of blog posts all planned out in advance. I keep a variety of notebooks with me at all times for recording blog post ideas and starting to flesh them out. For example, I’ll scribble a possible title or theme written at the top of a page with the rest of the page open for examples or notes to prompt me for when I finally get down to writing the post.
Some people like to use printable sheets to plan out their blog posts, so I included some links to some of the better designed and useful physical blog planners I’ve seen.
- Free Blog Content Planner – Clean design, includes social media check boxes and a content planning section.
- 10 Free Blog Planners to Download – This roundup from Babble has a little something for everyone.
- Printable Blog Planner – This set from PDX bloggers includes print outs for everything blog related, some affiliate income to monthly and weekly planners.
- Blog Elevated Editorial Calendar – I like that this one includes sheets for brainstorming and pages for individual posts.
However, even if you prefer doing your organizing online, CoSchedule isn’t the only option. Before I upgraded to CoSchedule I had a lot of success with the basic Editorial Calendar plugin for WordPress. And if you aren’t able to use plugins, Gwen from This Fashion is Mine has a great post on how to use Google Calendar to organize your blog posts.
After I have everything all planned out, I can then schedule myself two days a week where I sit down and write, edit, produce images for, and schedule posts in advance. It doesn’t always work out the way I’d like, but it works enough of the time to still be my go-to method. I know this method won’t work for everyone, but I find it works well for me and saves me lots of time and torment when it comes to writing time.
How do you usually organize your blog posts? Are you a planner, or do you prefer waiting until when inspiration strikes?
*This post contains affiliate links.