By the end of this year, my blog will be thirteen years old… and this teenager is finally starting to grow up.
With the start of 2015, I’ve finally taken care of a few things that have been on my blogging to-do list for ages:
- I switched up my permalinks to ditch the dates. It’s a much cleaner, easier to share url, and I’ve read that dates in your permalinks can hurt where you show up in Google. (Beware – messing with your permalinks can cause broken links if folks had your old urls saved.
Contact me if you need help with this.)
- I ditched the colorful language on my really old posts. I started my blog in 2002, when I was still in my early 20s. Ask anyone that grew up with me, I used to swear like a truck driver. As a result, there’s places that actually block my website because it’s categorized as a questionable site. Which, as you can imagine, isn’t quite good for business. I don’t swear even close to as much as I used to, and now my blog’s cleaned up it’s act, too.
- I finally started a blog editorial calendar.
Having a blog editorial calendar always felt really out of my league and unnecessary. I wrote what I wanted, when I wanted, who cares what goes where and when. I started realizing my need for one with this last busy holiday season – my stats are better, I’m getting more sponsored posts, and I felt the need to schedule things in a place where I could organize upcoming posts so I wasn’t doing sponsored posts every single day.
As time went on, I started realizing that there were categories on my blog that I wanted to keep, ones that I wanted to be able to get sponsored posts for, but they were stale topics that hadn’t been touched upon in months.
I’m all about constantly evaluating and re-evaluating what works and what doesn’t for my business, so I started my own blog editorial calendar. Because my time is pretty precious these days, I don’t get super crazy about saying I have to post on this topic on this date and that topic on that date (unless it’s a sponsored post, of course!). I’ve found something nice and easy to integrate into my Google calendar – I set up a different event for every day of the week, and each of those events repeat once a week on an ongoing basis. Each of those events calls out a couple of my blog categories. Check out today’s:
My basic blog editorial calendar goes like this:
SUNDAY: Family, Home, Crafts, Cleaning
MONDAY: Motivation / Inspiration, Media (TV/Movies/Books)
TUESDAY: Tech, Computers, Apps
WEDNESDAY: Art & Design, Illustration
THURSDAY: Travel, Events, Outings
FRIDAY: Food, Drinks, Recipes, Restaurants, Gardening
SATURDAY: Small Business and Blogging
If I have time to put together a blog post that day, I gotta follow what the topic of the day is. If I have an idea that fits better in another category, I can either set up an event on my Google calendar listing that post idea on a day where it fits the category or I can write it up and schedule it in my WordPress backend to publish on that day. You know, depending on how my free time’s looking.
What this is giving me is more control over my blog content (and my sponsored posts for January!) and a reminder that I have blog topics that need to be freshened up along with my well trod Art & Design and Family & Friends categories. In the end, it’ll produce a more well-rounded blog with more predictable content. If, for instance, you want to read more small business and blogging posts, those will be Saturdays from here on out.
Another happy side effect of putting a blog editorial calendar into play? It’s kind of like writing prompts for every day of the week. It keeps your creative gears turning when you’re offline – can you snap a pic of something you’re doing with your kids to turn into a post about parenting for an upcoming Sunday?
A Free Printable Blog Editorial Calendar For You
While my whole life is pretty much scheduled out in a Google calendar, I know lots of people that are still very pen on paper types. I wanna empower you to start a blog editorial calendar, too! Click below to get a free printable blog editorial calendar – write all over it, tack it up by your computer, put it to serious use this year!
Do you use a blog editorial calendar?
Why or why not? If you’ve got tips on sticking to this, I’d love for you to share in the comments!