Does this sound anything like you? You’re sitting down at your desk on a Monday morning planning out your week. You have these incredible goals and targets you want to meet for the week, and everything seems right within your reach.
Tuesday afternoon rolls around, and you already feel like you’ve blown your entire week and you’ll never accomplish anything.
It happens. Ideas don’t always pan out if they don’t have the right amount of research and strategy put in ahead of time.
One of the most significant changes I ever made with blogging and my content marketing was getting organized. I needed to plan out my entire week on Sunday before I started working the next day, and it worked wonders for me.
Eventually, I was planning my next week on Thursday of the previous week because I was so far ahead of the game. I had content planned out a week in advance, and it felt great. It felt amazing for a few different reasons.
First of all, I knew that money was coming in. Whether your writing on your own blog, contributing to someone else’s, guest blogging, e-books, whatever it is, you need to have a content calendar, so you know what to expect and when to expect it
I think the saying goes something like this, “Those who fail to prepare, prepare to fail.”
Did I get it right?
The Demise of Organizational Blogging
The reality is, most bloggers have a hard time developing content ideas consistently, and that leads to failure, disappointment, and burnout. If you sit down the day a blog post is due and try to come up with the idea you’ll want to slam the laptop closed and give up blogging forever.
If you’re a blogger, you most likely don’t have a team working beneath you, which means your generating ideas, developing outlines, writing, editing, and submitting all the work.
That’s a big weight on your shoulders.
You might be wondering how some of the best bloggers come up with these incredible ideas day after day, week after week, and it seems like they never regurgitate content.
They’re able to do this because they have it figured out long before they put their fingers on the keyboard. They’ve developed a content calendar that tells them what to write and when to write it. When you develop this habit, you’ll never have to worry about what you’re writing on the day the piece is due.
Think about it this way. YouTubers and vloggers always have their content backdated, so they never miss a video, right? If they wake up one morning and they don’t feel like producing a video, they don’t have to. They already have a video scheduled to upload that day because they have completed many in advance.
The same rule applies to blogging.
Why You Need a Blog Content Planner
If you’re trying to make money from your blog or generate enough attention to your cause, you have to utilize a blog content planner. You can’t just wing it every day and expect to have massive results.
It doesn’t work that way. I wish it did, but it doesn’t.
If you want to get more eyeballs on your blog, you have to put out content with great blog post ideas regularly, and the best way to make sure that happens is with a content calendar. Here are some of the biggest benefits of an efficient content strategy.
1. Stay Organized with Tools
Do you have any post-it notes anywhere in your office? Holiday napkins with crayon also count. If you do, it means you need help getting organized! I’ve tried using whiteboards and traditional thumbtack calendars, and they simply don’t work. You need an actual content calendar to plan everything out.
Utilizing tools like the WordPress Editorial Calendar, Google Sheets, Airtable or even your Google Calendar are the best routes for staying organized. These plugins allow you to plan out your entire day, week, and even months if you get that far ahead (pfft, overachiever) with your new blog editorial calendar.
The bottom line is, you need to get all your ideas in the same place with times and dates, so you know what to do and when to do it. You should never have to wake up and not know what is planned for the day. It should already be taken care of so you can execute. Bonus Point: If you plan out your SEO in advance along with your new content.
2. Gain Insight into the Days Ahead
One reason why I love planning all of my work ahead of time is that it lets me see how I’m doing for the week. If I sit at my computer on a Monday morning and find a blank calendar, I’m doing something wrong.
Using a content calendar helps ensure you don’t have too much or too little on any certain day. This way, you can stay consistent and crank out high-quality work every time.
3. Goal Planning for Your New Content
Putting your objectives on paper is the best way to reach them and planning out your content is like planning out your weekly goals. If you want to write three blog posts and tackle 1000 words in your e-book, you should have specific dates and times to accomplish it. This allows you to hold yourself accountable and figure out bottlenecks in your process.
4. Your Marketing Strategy and Content Creation
I can assume that you’re blogging for a reason; otherwise, you wouldn’t care about how to be more successful. You want to make more money or generate more traffic, but to do that you need a strategy. Having a content calendar will help you identify your weaknesses and find out what might be holding you back.
You’ll also be able to work towards a goal if you stay consistent. For example, if your goal is to rank an article in the top 3 for a chosen keyword, you can work that into your content calendar as well and give yourself a deadline.
How to Create an Efficient Blog Calendar
Understanding why a content calendar matters is important, but you need to know how to execute one properly. First, you need a calendar. I recommend using the WordPress Editorial Calendar or Airtable to get organized. Some bloggers use CoSchedule, Google Sheets, Excel, or Trello. Some bloggers even make their own editorial calendar templates.
Second, you need to come up with some of the following:
- Blog Topics and Ideas
- New Post Headlines
- Your Target Audience
- Time Frames
- Your Deadlines & Due Dates
You might use all of this information or only some of it. Either way, make sure you have plenty of content ideas and blog topics planned out ahead of time. This process will help you solidify a strategy, and it will let you focus on writing amazing content. An editorial calendar template, no matter what you use to do it, makes your life so much easier.
Now, get to it!