Wow, so first off I'm absolutely blown away by the reception for Monday's post, guys! I'm super happy to know that I'm not the only one who has a few pet peeves about blogging. You know what the funny thing about that post going viral though is that I originally published it way back in September. Yep, it was one of those I-can't-think-of-anything-to-write-so-I'll-republish-something type of posts.
You know what else is kind of funny? I'm admitting to that in a post devoted to planning your blog posts ahead of time. Oh the irony!
Anyway though, if you've been following the blog for awhile, you've probably noticed that I seem to have a pretty strict schedule going for my posts. Pretty much every weekday I have a post ready for you guys and I know you're all wondering just how on earth I accomplish that. So what's my trick? You guessed it.....a blog calendar.
Believe me when I first started blogging, I laughed at the idea of scheduling my posts in advance. To me that cut out all of the random spur of the moment writing I loved most. Never in a million years would I have believed I'd be scheduling out posts a month (or even 2 months) in advance. But that's exactly what I do...and I love it! So if you're serious about growing your blog, what can you do to make a blog calendar work for you?
ONE// KEEP AN IDEA LOG
I always come up with ideas for the blog in the weirdest of places--like walking through the grocery store or in the two to three minutes right before I fall asleep. And of course, Murphy's Law being how it is, I almost always forget the best ideas within a few hours if I don't write them down. Enter Listastic for my phone and a handy dandy mini notebook for my desk. Whenever inspiration pops into my head, I grab either my notebook or my phone (more often than not it ends up being my phone) and jot the idea down. Simple, easy, and takes all of two seconds.
TWO// HAVE A MONTHLY THEME
Pretty much a monthly theme can be anything that really sticks out to you for that month. For example, July is the month of our anniversary so it makes sense to have a ton of posts about our love story and marriage in that month. April was hubby's birthday month so I dedicated a whole week to posts about him. A monthly theme is usually just for yourself but it has really helped me to have more of a focus for my writing every month.
THREE// STICKY NOTES ARE YOUR FRIEND
Once you have your list of ideas and a super cute planner (I recommend the Kate & Trudy blog planner because that's the one I use--however any calendar that has enough space for you to write in the date box is fine), it's time to start planning out your posts!
Use the sticky notes to write down the ideas and plan out the dates for your posts. Ok, so you could just write down the ideas on your calendar itself but that makes things super permanent and if you change your mind, it can get kind of messy.
FOUR// COLOR-CODE YOUR BLOG POSTS
Wondering why my blog calendar looks like a rainbow? I use my different colors of sticky notes to represent the main categories I write about on the blog. Blue for sponsors, yellow for pinnable posts like DIY's or recipes.....you get the idea.
To be honest, the ability to color-code my posts is the best part of the sticky note method for me and I've loved it ever since I saw it on my friend Jana's blog. I have four main categories but you can have as many main categories as you have colors of sticky notes--the more colorful it is the prettier it is, in my opinion. And it helps you know if you're posting a lot in one category versus another so you can space things out more.
I've loved what my blog calendar has done for my posts and I think you will too. I promise it's not nearly as daunting as it seems!!