Ever sit down to write a blog post and end up spending more time coming up with a topic to write about than actually writing the post?
Having a library of blog post ideas helps. Leveraging the library to create an editorial calendar really helps.
Sure, not everyone needs to blog, but for those who do, the rewards are many. Like establishing yourself as an expert, building trust, and having a home base for your other online content. Writing is also a great way to process, research and learn new topics.
But who has the time? The refrain is probably the most frequently cited reason for not blogging. Armed with the knowledge that you can do like the acclaimed Seth Godin and put out a quick, short-but-impactful 60 word post or one approaching 1000 words, probably eases your mind. But the way to keep on track with your blogging is to have a library of blog post ideas and an editorial calendar.
We’ve covered how to use Evernote to store your blog post ideas. Now we’ll take a look at creating an editorial calendar.
An editorial calendar lays out which topics you’ll cover, who’ll write the post if the blog has multiple authors, and when the post will be published.
Calendaring posts is especially useful if you blog more than once a week. For instance, every Friday we feature an App of the Week here on Legal Productivity, so I never have to consider what topic I’ll write about. I just head into my Apps blog post note in Evernote, choose one and start writing.
Many blogging platforms have plugins and extensions that help you to schedule posts, like the appropriately named WordPress Editorial Calendar plugin that gives you an overview of your blog and when each post will be published.
Or, you can simply use a desk or online calendar or spreadsheet. Schedule posts for the next week on Friday or Sunday evening. Some bloggers schedule topics months in advance. I prefer to do it week by week to keep the topics fresh and relevant.
All you need is a keyword or topic for each day. If you have links for research and reference include them. You may also add a working title, author, category and tags. I keep it simple by adding the @ sign to the title of seven or eight of my 100+ blog posts ideas stored in Evernote. It brings those notes to the top of my alphabetically-sorted Evernote folder. The notes contain a working title and often, research links. Now, when I sit down to write, I have a choice of relative topics to choose from.
Give editorial calendars a try, incorporating some of these tools and practices, honing a process that works for you.