Create an Editorial Calendar
For today's platform-building task, create an editorial calendar for your blog. Before you start to panic, this is a pretty simple task that can be accomplished with a computer or even a pen and paper.
Here are tips for various blogging frequencies:
- Post once per week. If you post once a week, pick a day of the week for that post to happen each week. Then, write down the date for each post. Beside each post, write down ideas for that post ahead of time. There will be times when the ideas are humming along and you get ahead on your schedule, but there may also be times when the ideas are slow. So don't wait: Write down ideas as they come.
- Post more than once per week. Try identifying days you'll usually post (for some, that may be daily). Then, for each of those days, think of a theme for that day. For instance, my Poetic Asides blog always has a prompt on Wednesdays, sometimes has a poetry market on Mondays, interviews on Thursdays, and so on.
You can always change plans and move posts to different days, but the editorial calendar is an effective tool for setting very clear goals with deadlines and accomplishing them. Having that kind of structure will improve your content--even if your blog is personal, fictional, poetic, etc. It's helped me a great deal over the years.
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This kit includes:
- 50 Ways to Increase Your Blog Traffic tutorial
- How to Blog a Book e-book
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Another Benefit of Editorial Calendars
There are times when I feel less than inspired. There are times when life throws me several elbows as it trying to prevent me from blogging. That's when I am the most thankful for maintaining my editorial calendar, because I don't have to think of a new idea on the spot; it's already there in my editorial calendar.
Plus, as I wrote earlier, you can always change plans. While I always knew today would be the ninth day of the October Platform Challenge, I originally had create an editorial calendar set for later in the month. I altered the plan a few days ago, and here we are.
So I don't want to hear that an editorial limits spontaneity or inspiration; if anything, having an editorial calendar enhances both.
One Last Thing on Today's Task
Don't stress yourself out that you have to create a complete editorial calendar for the year or even the month. I just want you to take some time out today to think about it, sketch down some ideas, and get the ball rolling. I'm 100% confident that you'll be glad you did.
Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community, which includes editing Writer’s Market and Poet’s Market. He regularly blogs at the Poetic Asides blog and writes a poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine. He also leads online education, speaks on writing and publishing at events around the country, and does other fun writing-related stuff.
A published poet, he’s the author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53) and a former Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere.
Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.