October 29, 2015

Tips for Bloggers: Editorial Planning

I always enjoy reading posts by other bloggers on the topic of blogging because I love learning new things. I'm always trying to improve my blogging skills, whether it's how to gain more traffic, how to plan out posts, or how to start a newsletter.

When I started Royally Pink, the only way I knew how to blog and grow as a blogger was watching other bloggers. At the start of all of this, I read blogs religiously and studied them -- how they were written, what they were written about, the photos that were taken; everything from editorial to design to the About Me Page.

In my opinion, that is the best way to learn -- by watching other people and researching the topic. You should always be original, you should never copy someone else, form your own voice and way of doing things but it's nice to take some tips from the people who have been doing this for a while.

I've always been an organizer, a planner, and I knew that when I started my blog back in May 2012 that I would bring that to the table. I needed too and I have and I think it's paid off.

Planning an editorial calendar has weirdly always been a dream of mine. I always wanted to work for a magazine and I dreamed of having a place to write all the ideas that were swirling around in my head. When I had the chance to create my own editorial calendar, I was stupidly excited.

That's what the post is about, by the way, planning for your blog posts and creating your editorial calendar.



I've tried multiple different ways, pretty much every way you can plan an editorial calendar but I finally found a way that works.

1. Physical calendar: I tried right off the bat when I first started my blog. I kept a separate notebook for my blog and would kind of create my own calendar by writing down ideas and putting a date next to it. It worked for a little while but then I started to get confused and it was difficult to remain organized and keep track.

I also love using my XOXO Heart Arrow Blog Planner
2. Combined agenda: What is a combined agenda you ask? Well, after a physical calendar I decided to use my regular, school planner as a blog planner as well. I had the Lilly Pulitzer large agenda and used the 12 month calendars as a blog planner. That worked really well for my junior and senior year of college. I had everything in one place and it was super easy to keep track of. When I had an idea, I just jotted it down and it was neat and tidy. Honestly, I used this a few months into post grad life as well but started to get bored -- that is really the only reason I stopped doing it.

3. Separate planner: When I graduated, I decided to become more professional with Royally Pink (has that actually happened?) and I wanted to get really serious. I had an extra planner lying around (My Whitney English Day Designer) and I started using that as my blogging planner. I was home more days a week and took my blog planning very seriously but it became too complicated to have two planners.

And now we come to my current routine...



4. Google Calendar: Once I entered the work force, I saw the appeal and amazingness of Google Drive, Docs, Calendar, etc. What I do now is so much easier than anything ever before. I plan out my blog posts anywhere from a week to two months in advance (I'll plan out weeks in advance if I'm inspired or on a roll and have so many ideas). I start off with the title of the blog post, which basically encompasses what the post will be about. If I have/want to input more detail I easily can by typing it all out in the description. Do I want to have two posts in a day? Do I want to move a topic from a Monday to a Friday? That's an easy, neat switch. There is no crossing out or page long outlines. Having an electronic calendar is not usually my cup of tea, but for editorial planning, it's the best way I've found.

Here are some other tips for planning out your calendar:


  • Create series on your blog to keep a theme and establish a 'brand feel'. I have Links to Love, Sunday Shopping, Recipe Wednesdays, Beauty To Know, etc. I like to write about a lot of different things so this helps keep things organized
  • Find a schedule and stick to it. I'm known for missing a day here and there but try to post 2-4 times a week and at the same days/times so your readers get used to when to expect a post from you. When I started out I posted 7 days a week and stuck to that for almost a year (WTF) but then I brought it down to 5 days a week and I still try to follow that now but if I get 3 posts up during the week, I'm not losing sleep
  • Find your voice. I'm a writer, I always have been, so finding my voice wasn't difficult. I blog the way I talk. If you're not a writer, it may be a little more difficult to find a niche but if you just say what you're thinking, a voice will follow.

These are just my tips-- there is no right or wrong. Do what you feel best fits you and success will come! 

What are your tips for blogging? I LOVE learning more and would love to know what everyone else does :) 

PS: Do you like posts like this? Would you like to see more?




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