The doldrums of Summer are here and perhaps your blog is feeling the effects. I don’t know about you, but my blogging experience has proven that summer can be a slow season for bloggers. Recently I have read a few posts on how bloggers can enjoy their summers while still maintaining a minimum blogging presence.
One way to accomplish this without losing all your hard-earned followers and readers, is to take this time to critically examine your current editorial calendar.
And what if you do not have one? At the bottom of this post, I will leave a few links to resources you can use now.
Choosing the Right Calendar for your Blogging (or Writing) Needs
While creating this post, I googled “editorial calendars.” Yes, the hits are huge! I wrote a post last summer “What’s On my Editorial Calendar” and in re-reading it, I realized how much my blog has changed just since then. So what do I use? I have a hard-copy notebook-style planner with weekly and monthly calendars, with room for notes.
Features in a calendar that bloggers seem to prefer include:
- Room to write notes
- Week-at-a-glance, with spaces on which to write
- Monthly calendar, with room for notes
- Access to a yearly calendar
- Spiral binding for lying flat
- Dates with holidays or other special days
Why Use a Planner or Editorial Calendar at All?
Blogging is a choice that provides much satisfaction, but bloggers who have been at it a while know how much work it takes to think of, create, write and prepare a fabulous blog post. While some bloggers can write every single day (more power to ya!), many choose to post just once a week. If you are in somewhere in the middle of that spectrum, you are not alone.
The Need for Pre-Planning
For the past several months, due to the demands of lecturing in new courses at a university, I chose to cut my blog posts down to twice a week, with one post dedicated to the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge. Even with my summers off from teaching, I made a commitment to write daily as I prepare my e-books, which has taken time away my blog.
Recently, a family emergency caught me off guard and an unexpected week-long trip south hampered my ability to spend time on the blog, much less write content for my e-books. This event and another post I read got me thinking about how much pre-planning needs to go into my blog.
Rather than let my blog go completely dark, I tried to read and comment on some others’ posts, but just didn’t have the time given the circumstances. By the end of the week I managed to post for the weekly photo challenge, but emotionally I was drained. And quite honestly, spending face-time with my loved ones was more important than worrying about my blog.
Having an editorial calendar with planned posts would certainly have eliminated the guesswork and emotional turmoil I was experiencing which led to not writing.
The Kinesthetics of Writing
While down south, I spent a lot of time visiting my mom in her nursing home and away from a computer. I brought a small planner with me that allowed me to write notes and capture ideas. It’s the right size to fit into my small handbag, with plenty of room for notes. I also carry a journal-style notebook for writing down the big ideas and storing loose pages. I just cannot jot notes onto a mobile device, even with the best of One Note or Ever-note at my disposal.
While waiting in the hospital, I had the opportunity to write with pen and paper which was the therapy I needed to get me through the week. As writers, we never know when inspiration will strike, and I know my midlife brain under stress would not remember a thing.
I used this time to plan my next two months of blog posts.
Editorial Calendar Round-Up
WordPress has this great post explaining the value of using editorial calendars.
Debbie Rodrigues of Debbie In Shape also had tips for handling summer down time.
Elena Peters shares her post Why Bullet Journalling Will Make You A Better Blogger.
There are lots of great ideas for finding or creating your own editorial calendar. I finally found one on Amazon called “Tools 4 Wisdom Planner Calendar.”
What is your action plan for summer blog posts? Do you use an editorial calendar or planner? I would love to read your ideas in the comments. Leave a link (in the comments) to your blog so I can come visit!