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31DBBB: Day #12 Develop an Editorial Calendar for Your Blog

Win with 1 Top EngagedDay #12 of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog is a bit of an irritation to me. I’m almost obsessive about organization. I have a very full life and the only way I know to do all I want to do is to be scheduled and disciplined.

Blogging is one of the few areas of my life that is rather free form. I blog when I have something to say and I blog about whatever I feel compelled to share. So the idea of scheduling and calendaring the one area of my life that is driven by whim isn’t very appealing.

While I don’t think the exercise can hurt, I’m not sure the actual use of an editorial calendar will necessarily benefit either my writing or my blogs. So, while I remain uncommitted about following the resulting schedule, I decided to create a possible editorial calendar for Pix2Brix to see what I learn.

As I fussed about this editorial calendar, it occurred to me that it might be a good idea to align my calendar with the structure of categories I created when doing the post ideas assignment. Rather than create a schedule blocking in particular posts or post styles, I could create a general calendar assigning which category I should be writing in on a given day. This kind of calendar will have the added benefit of making the blog more well-rounded, by pushing me to write in the categories that I’m less likely to focus on.

Pix2Brix Editorial Schedule

SundaySpirituality & Character
MondayFamily & Relationships
TuesdayHealth & Fitness
WednesdayHome & Organization
ThursdayService & Philanthropy
FridayEducation & Training
SaturdayFinancial & Career
Interest & Recreation

As I said, I’m not completely committed to this schedule, but I’ll use it as a general outline when I don’t have a strong writing preference. This blog is usually updated two to three times per week, not every day. So this may just end up being a guideline for the days I choose to write.

I tried to work the table around the things I tend to be focusing on any given day. And since I usually have more discretionary time on Saturdays, I’ve double up two categories on that day. It’s likely that I’l choose one or the other, but sometimes I may do both.

The schedule also leads to the possibility of prewriting posts for a given category and then scheduling them to publish on the assigned day. That’s something I’ll have to think more about.

I recommend this assignment to you. Just working through it will get you thinking about how best to add great content to your blog.

{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Tia - BizChickBlogs.com May 3, 2010, 12:45 pm

    A nice mix is to create shorter schedules – 1 to 2 days in advance rather than a week. It certainly helps me! I’m the same as you, I blog on a whim. But I think that’s the better way to blog, since usually my posts end up being more passionate and more full of personality. If I decide in advance on a topic (like I have done with Common Sense Blogging) it makes it a lot harder for me to come up with something really genuine.

    Good luck! Follow up and let us know how it goes.
    .-= Tia – BizChickBlogs.com´s last blog ..In Business Blogging, Subtlety is Overrated =-.

  • David May 4, 2010, 10:15 am

    I’m using 31 DBBB too and I enjoyed it. Is giving my blog a good boost (quite difficult, having a hard niche)

    I recommend it to all bloggers, independent if they’re rookies or experts.
    .-= David´s last blog ..Economy Lesson: The Assault on Saving, by Henry Hazlitt =-.

  • Alison Moore Smith May 4, 2010, 12:15 pm

    So good to hear that it’s working for you, David!

  • Blog Angel a.k.a. Joella May 5, 2010, 5:02 pm

    @Tia – I agree with the whole blog on a whim approach. My posts are more passionate and energetic. I no longer try to schedule everything, instead I have minimums for what must get done on a weekly basis and I keep a running list of blog ideas and bookmark inspiring articles, tools, software, resources, etc on Jumptags and go back every week to review what caught my fancy. Inspiration on the gol.
    .-= Blog Angel a.k.a. Joella´s last blog ..The Lazy Bloggers Guide To Blog Promotion With Free Social Networking Software =-.

  • John Soares May 6, 2010, 5:59 pm

    Alison, I keep a list of potential blog posts for each of my six blogs. I do have a regular schedule for each, and usually the day before I go through my list and write about what is the best combination of what I think my readers want and what I feel like writing, unless something in the news or on another blog gives me a topic.

    I also have one or two posts already written that I can run in a pinch.
    .-= John Soares´s last blog ..Middle-Aged Brains Actually Work Quite Well =-.

  • Alison Moore Smith May 6, 2010, 8:04 pm

    John, that sounds like a really good balance between planning and spontaneity. And with six blogs, you have to be organized! I found the same thing when I had my fifth (and then sixth) children. I just couldn’t manage it all while going with the flow. 🙂

  • Kimberly Castleberry July 16, 2010, 6:29 am

    Hey Alison! Ms Ilene shared your challenge link and I had to drop in and see how you were doing. I’m getting ready to start the same process on my blog on the 26th and its incredibly nice to see your thoughts on it! I’ll definitely be back to read some of your other posts! (Kinda glad I’m committed already or the whole editorial calendar thing would be putting me off right about now…)
    Read Kimberly Castleberry’s inCREDible post…31DBBB Challenge – Are You In Starts June 26th 10My Profile

  • Alison Moore Smith July 16, 2010, 11:54 am

    Bless Ilene‘s heart! She is such a generous soul. 🙂

    Thanks so much for stopping by and your kind words. I hope the posts are helpful.

    I have been so swamped with building our custom home that, as you may have noticed, I haven’t touched the blog here since May. To make matter worse, it’s been over two months since I worked on the 31DBBB. Lame! But I did give a disclaimer on the very first 31DBBB post that I’d be taking longer than 31 days to complete it. At least I’m true to my word, eh?

    I’ve still been working on numerous client blogs, just not too much on my own. 🙂

    I’m anxious to get back to it. Hopefully I can work in a few more challenge days this month, but probably won’t get a serious time commitment until after we move. In all likelihood, your challenge group will surpass me and I’ll be learning from you! Good luck with the challenge and thanks for commenting!

  • Monica May 15, 2011, 8:03 am

    Just wanted to stop by to tell you how much I love your blog. I’ve been using Xanga for a personal blog and had a bit of a learning curve when I switched to WordPress for my business. I have learned so much and look forward to reading more. Thanks for featuring the 31 day Challenge–great stuff!
    Read Monica’s inCREDible post…Pros &amp Cons of the Weight Loss Product Alli weight loss CapsulesMy Profile

  • Alison Moore Smith May 16, 2011, 2:43 pm

    Monica, thank you for the kind words. Good to know it’s helping!

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