The other day I posted my personal biggest time wasters while blogging. First I posted some possible time-saving email solutions and today I’m posting some solutions related to my issue of not knowing what to blog about first.
Notice I did not say “I have no idea what to blog about” – it’s actually very rare that I have no clue what to blog about. My brain is always on idea overload. However, too many ideas, can be just as bad as not enough.
I actually realized I had this issue a few weeks ago, and started a plan that has helped immensely. I made a darn editorial calender.
For a long time, at numerous blogging blogs, I’d see the following tip,“Make an editorial calender for your blog to speed things up.” I never listened because I’ve always been more a spur of the moment blogger. Free to blog what I want, no topic or editorial schedule to speak of. I thought an editorial calender sounded sort of lame. But, with no topic schedule, my brain is always hopping, “What to blog first! I’ve got 100 topics in mind! Hmmm….”
Waste. Of. Time.
I decided to make a weekly editorial calendar. I already have a normal weekly schedule so I simply added topics to it. For example, on my schedule I always list all my blogs plus the numbers of posts needed per day. Now with topics added my schedule looks like this:
Above is a clip of my schedule – this is part of my week-long schedule for Tree Hugging Family, but all the rest look the same. The post topics in non-bold font never change from week to week. The items in bold do. When I first tried an editorial schedule I made it too rigid. It had no free post times and I felt overly confined (what if a news story pops up?). That said, I now leave 2-3 free spots per day. If I have a special feature going on I add it in bold. As you can see we’re doing a weekly special on green feminine products and a month long green wedding event.
I do detour sometimes from a topic, but overall, just having to look down and see a topic is way easier. Now I just glance and think, “Oh, it’s time to blog about natural gardening.” I can blog anything about natural gardening I want, but knowing my goal is to get a post on this exact topic done helps.
But my blog’s not so diverse. I can’t have all these topics…
It doesn’t matter. With the green blog, I can have a lot of variety but with say, my organizing blog, I don’t go by topic so much as space. Take a look:
If you had a baking blog, you could do topics by item; cookie, cake, muffins, etc. Or if you have a blogging blog you could do it by tips; traffic, how-to, comments, etc. This sort of editorial schedule works for any blog. One last thing. What you see above is from this week’s schedule (no holidays) on a week with a holiday, I’d add that for the week on whatever day. I also add contest announcements, theme days, and general issues like that.
By the way, if you have no clue where to start when developing topic themes, I’ll tell you how I got mine. One from stats. The topics you see in my schedule are the most popular I write on. Two, at both these blogs I had polls up that asked readers what they wanted to read more of. The winning topics are also included on my schedule.
In any case, I’m kicking myself for not listening to everyone sooner. This has saved me more time than any other time management trick I’ve tried so far, because I’m not always wavering about trying to focus on a topic theme.
Give it a try, I bet you’ll save time too. Just don’t forget to leave a little flex room.
Have you tried a blogging editorial calender? What did you think?