It seems like ages since you last updated your blog and you know you really should, yet the inspiration isn't there.
You simply don’t know what to write about!
We've all been there – it’s frustrating, I know. You've got the best intentions but all the positivity in the world can’t make you write a single word if the inspiration isn't there.
You need a plan!
For bloggers this plan comes in the form of a editorial calendar. It’s an overview of what’s going on with your blog, what you’ll be writing, when you’ll be writing it, and when you’ll be publishing.
It will become one of your new best blogging friends! So why don’t we look at how a content schedule can help you out.
It Organizes Your Thoughts
Sure, it may be a basic concept, but having a schedule really does help you get your thoughts in order.
I don’t know about you but, day-to-day, I get lots of great blog post ideas – far too many to write. So I pick the ones that stick with me the most and add them to my schedule, before they disappear into the void.
It’s a known fact that writing things down helps you to remember. Once they’re there, I know I have to write them, meaning they’ll actually see the light of day, instead of flitting around in my head as ‘just an idea’.
It Keeps You Focused
Click To Tweet Mull on that for a moment and allow me to explain.
You’re blogging for a reason. That reason might be to make money, or it may be to give people advice or raise awareness of a cause. Whatever the reason, to achieve your goals you need to stay focused and a content calendar can help you here.
Having a clear content plan that’s aligned to your blog’s goals will make sure you don’t waver from your path. It automatically focuses your attention on what you need to do to reach your goals, so you don’t get sidetracked along the way.
It Improves Your Productivity
Want to make sure you get the most writing done for your blog? Then create a blog calendar.
We all have times of the day when we’re more productive than others. So it makes sense that we schedule in writing times on our schedule, for those times when we can crank out a lot of work.
This prevents you from procrastinating on your blog post, when your head isn't in the right place.
It Keeps You Consistent
You might have already heard or read that the key to a great blog, is consistency. Whoever you heard this from was right!
Consistency ensures your readers know what to expect from you. They’ll know when you usually update your blog, they know your niche and they know when to look out for you in their inbox.
A content schedule will help you to keep up this level of consistency. It allows you to set out the days and times you’re wanting to publish. Then you can make sure you have content ready to go out in time.
There are two content schedulers that I recommend. I use CoSchedule, which puts your blog and your social media on the same drag-and-drop calendar. It's only $10 per month and you can get a free 14 day trial to check it out.
4 Tips for Using Your Content Schedule for Maximum Effect
Now you know why a content schedule is a great idea to get set up for your blog, let’s look at how to get the most out of it. It’s all well and good to jot things down, but if you’re not using your plan to get the very best out of it, it’s well..a bit pointless!
1. Leave Room for Flexibility
When setting out your dates, times and blocks of work, make sure you leave a margin of flexibility. You can’t predict life (even if it would be cool if we could) and you don’t know what’s around the next bend.
Allow some wriggle room on your plan for things like having a sick child, an impromptu invitation out or other events that are impossible to predict.
2. Write In Bulk
I can’t stress how useful it is to get all of your writing work done in one go. As I mentioned earlier, we all have our most productive times of the day but we also have times of the week that are quieter than others.
I now use “theme days”, a term coined by my colleague, John Meese for my writing times. I set aside two mornings a week to compose my blog post and my guest posts for that week. I use this time as a way to get as much written as I possibly can.
You might find the first blog post difficult to write but more often than not, by the time you start your second one, you’ll be in the full swing of your writing process – you’ll be in the zone!
3. Set Goals
Setting goals for your blog is great, you’ll focus your thoughts much easier and find the process smoother.
Similarly setting smaller goals with your content schedule will further break each task down. It could be that you have a goal to reach a certain word count for each blog post. You might have a time you want to stick to for spending on the writing of your post.
Regardless of what that goal is, providing it’s achievable, doable and not over enthusiastic, it will break your tasks down into much easier and rewarding chunks.
4. Record Your Achievements
Now this is a big one, so read this carefully. My last tip for really getting the most out of your content schedule, is to keep a record of your achievements.
Why? Well look at it this way. Every time you achieve something and note it down on your schedule, you’re giving yourself a recordable pat on the back. It’s a thumbs up for working through and getting stuff done. It’s a confidence boost that will make the next goal easier to tackle.
After a week, a month, a year, you can look back at all of those achievements and see just how far you’ve come. Those small pats on the back suddenly turn into a massive hug, a great big congratulations, an enormous confidence boost so that you can keep on, keeping on toward your goal.
Your content schedule is your brainstormer, it’s your to-do-list and calendar. It’s a record of achievements, a slap on the back, a thumbs up when you’re getting it right and a motivator when you’re struggling.
Your content schedule is your new best blogging friend.