I’m sure you’ve heard that creating an editorial calendar is one of the best ways to achieve your blogging goals. When you plan out your blog content in advance, you can make sure that your posts not only align with what is seasonally relevant but are also all leading to achieving your goals for your blog.
That makes total sense, doesn’t it? But actually creating an effective blogging content plan is a pretty daunting task!
In this post, I’m going to show you how I created my blogging content plan so you can create your own. But if your brain gets all fuzzy when you think about creating a plan from scratch, don’t worry! I’m sharing my template with you, too.
I’ve always wanted to be an organized blogger, but for the past couple of years, I’ve been coasting along by creating content basically whenever I feel like it. The truth is, I’m not really good at sticking to a schedule.
I’m an emotionally driven writer which means that I have a hard time creating content on demand. I really just want to write about what I want to write about.
And that has really hindered my ability to stay ahead of the game. But instead of fighting with myself, I’m creating ways to work with my natural flow. I don’t want to end up hating my work. I love writing for my blogs, and I don’t want that to turn into a chore.
I’m really focusing on ways to be more efficient and bring in more income. I know that in order to make more money I want to do three things.
- Increase monthly pageviews
- Add more subscribers and monetize my mailing list
- Increase affiliate and digital product sales
By planning my posts in advance based on what is popular in Google searches and Pinterest, I can drive not only pageviews but I can also make an actionable plan to increase newsletter signups as well as product sales.
Creating an editorial calendar
The whole process of creating an editorial calendar seems completely overwhelming, but I’ve found I’m most efficient and organized when I use spreadsheets. By creating and storing my projects in Google Docs & Sheets I can access them any time on any device. And that’s a huge benefit for me since I like to work when I feel inspired.
I set out to create a template for myself that will work with my style. If it’s too restrictive, I know I won’t use it and it’d be a waste of time to create it. But if I just had a set of ideas that I could choose from for each month, then I can choose a topic that inspires me but is still inline with my goals.
So here’s what I did
The first thing I knew I wanted to do is use the Pinterest Possibilities Planner to determine when I should be writing about certain topics. If Pinterest is going to tell me what’s popular, I’d be an idiot not to listen!
Pinterest is my main source of traffic, and it’s much easier to get noticed there compared to Google search (especially in the blog about blogging niche). So it only makes sense for me to focus on what’s popular on that platform.
Also, did you know that in Pinterest land holiday planning starts in the summer?
Yeah! If you’re writing holiday gift guides in December, you’re like so late to the game!
And I know there’s no way I’ll remember to start writing about Christmas in July. So the first thing I did was use the suggestions in the possibilities planner to arrange the hot topics by the month that I should be writing and promoting them.
This is what I came up with:
It’s basically the same thing that’s in the possibilities planner but arranged into a spreadsheet that can be accessed any time. I also added a couple of things like healthy food, gardening, and saving money because those are topics I talk about on my other blog.
But just having that didn’t really help organize a content plan.
So I created a separate sheet for each month and copied/pasted the topics along the first row. In the first column, I put a space where I can add my goals for that month. This will help me remember what my focus is for that month.
Some examples of goals to put in this column would be:
- Increase email subscribers by creating 3 new lead magnets
- Prepare readers for a product launch
- Promote affiliate product sale
In the following columns, I can populate the cells underneath each topic with appropriate keywords and post titles and arrange them according to which goal they can help me achieve.
As I go through this process for each month, I have a list of post ideas that are seasonally relevant, will be popular on Pinterest, and get me closer to achieving my goals.
Plus, I have tons of options to choose from so I can write about whatever inspires me at that moment. Like I said, I’m not trying to fight my natural way of doing things just guide it.
I can also use this template to plan out lead magnets, products to sell, and the best time to launch them.
Would you like to use this editorial calendar template?
I initially created this spreadsheet template for my own blogs, but I figured there were lots of others who might be able to use it. And…since it’s already the end of April, I thought I should definitely get it out there ASAP.
You can view and make a copy of this editorial calendar template in Google Docs to use for your own blog for free! Just sign up for my newsletter, and I’ll send you an email with the link.
How do you create an editorial calendar?
Do you have your own template or method?
What ways have you found to make creating an editorial calendar easier?
Inquiring minds want to know! Leave a comment and share your knowledge!