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Welcome back to The Ultimate Guide to Book Blogging! If you’ve never been here before you can catch up on previous posts in the series here.
To succeed as a blogger, you have to post high quality content on a regular basis. Here are three steps to scheduling your editorial calendar to help you stay organized and avoid blogger burnout.
Step 1: Determine the Frequency of Your Posts
The first thing you need to do is determine how often you can realistically post quality content. I struggled with this for years. When I first started blogging, I read that it was important to post frequently, so I tried posting 5-7 days a week. My posts were nowhere near the same quality they are today, but even so, I quickly came down with blogger burnout. What followed were years of sporadic posting, often going a month or more without posting anything. Needless to say, this strategy did not work well. Eventually I realized a few things.
- Posting frequency is a very individual thing. Just because someone else seems to be able to effortlessly post 5x a week doesn’t mean that’s right for you.
- Quality + consistency > quantity. It’s better to post meaty, engaging content once a week every week than to post medium or low quality content every day or high quality content in sporadic bursts.
- You can more than make up for posting less frequently by spending just a little more time marketing your content on social media.
Finally I found my sweet spot. I write three posts per week, two specifically for Parchment Girl and one for Book Riot, which I repost here. Any more and I would burn out quicker than a dried up oil lamp. The key is to find a posting frequency that works for you. And if you have to choose between posting shorter, less meaty blog posts 5x a week or posting longer, high-quality posts 3x a week, choose quality over quantity. It will serve you better in the long run.
Step 2: Choose a Scheduling Tool That Works for You
If you’re a planner geek like me, this is the fun part! There are an infinite number of planners, calendars, and tools you can use to schedule your editorial calendar. Here are two of my favorites.
This is what I’m using right now. The Book Blogger’s Planner is particularly handy if you write a lot of book reviews and want prewritten checklists to remind you where to post them (Amazon, Goodreads, etc.). It also has ample room to make notes, keep track of books you’re reading, and more. I’ve found that I really only use the monthly calendar layout, so this hasn’t been quite as good a fit for me as I had hoped, but if those extra features sound like something you need, this might be the right planner for you.
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These printable planner pages are a blogger’s dream–and they’re FREE. The kit includes a monthly calendar, monthly and annual stat trackers, pages for keeping track of your monthly and annual blogging goals, a brainstorming guide, weekly post planner, and pages to track your sponsors, advertisers, affiliate programs, contacts, finances, to-do lists, usernames and passwords, and so much more. The great thing about The Ultimate Blog Planner Kit is that it’s flexible. You can use whichever pages are relevant to you and set aside the ones you don’t need. I recommend buying a ½ inch 3-ring binder and using it to organize your planner pages. If you need a monthly calendar layout with a little more writing space on each day, try this free printable from Calendar Labs.
Tips & Tricks
- When filling in your calendar, note when blog posts are scheduled for publication and when they have to be written. This will help you pace yourself and avoid blogger burnout.
- In a few weeks we’ll be talking more about how to use social media automatic scheduling tools to make your life easier. Unfortunately, there are no totally automated scheduling tools for Instagram, so I use Avery Color Coding Labels to mark the days when I have to post a photo.
- Experiment! Don’t be afraid to play around and try out different scheduling tools.
Step 3: Write Down Your Ideas
Keeping track of your ideas is just as important as having a good blog planner. It would be terrible to come up with a brilliant idea for a blog post, only to have it slip out of your head! I keep lists of ideas for blog posts, Book Riot posts, Instagram photos, Instagram tags, future book bloggers that I want to feature, and more. Sorting all of this in an orderly fashion is difficult to do on paper, so I use Evernote, a free app that makes it easy for me to jot down, sort, edit, and develop ideas.
Above all, do what works for you! Everyone has different organizational strengths and weaknesses, so tailor your system to fit your needs.
Questions? Leave them in the comments below!
Check out The Ultimate Guide to Book Blogging for more tips and tricks on how to become a book blogging wiz!