Every blogger knows that staying organized is a monumental task. You have to constantly keep thinking about your ideas and your current blog posts so that you know your next move. This is where a blogging calendar would be useful. A blogging calendar also helps you see the bigger picture and understand whether your content plan is working or not. It reduces the stress of coming up with new topics on the spot. With all this is mind, here are a few tips to help you create your blogging calendar along with some free tools to help you out:
If you blog regularly, you would know the feeling of getting the most brilliant ideas at the most random times. Instead of scribbling this idea down on random pieces of paper in the hopes of finding it later, you should start collecting all your ideas in a journal or on your mobile devices. A lot of bloggers prefer journals as you can scribble, add images from magazines, doodle and add color swatches. Doing this online or on your phone also has its advantages. You could use the following tools for this:
- Trello: Organize all your ideas into lists. You can also add images, links, checklists, due dates and more. It also has a wide range of other features so it’s worth checking out.
- Pocket: Pocket lets you save interesting content from around the web for viewing later. You can view everything in a single place, and it also syncs content on all your devices.
- Flipboard: Flip-board is similar to Pocket in the sense that it allows you to save articles, images and videos from around the web. It also lets you create digital magazines – making organization and sharing easier.
Once you have a general idea of what your next set of blog posts are about, you need to come up with specific topics. These topics need to be relevant and intriguing for your audience. If you post about topics that are very common, there’s a chance that you’ll get drowned out by other bloggers who are diving deep into a wide range of topics. A good idea is to have a certain theme for the month and then build topics around it. For example, if you’re planning for December, then posts revolving around the holidays will most likely resonate well with your audience. There are content discovery tools that can help you with this. These tools will show you content related to your keywords, so that you can see what’s trending in your niche and see what topics suit your blog the best. Here are 3 such tools:
- DrumUp: DrumUp is a free web and Android content discovery tool that sorts through hundreds of sources and finds the most fresh, relevant content for you. No matter how small your niche is, DrumUp can help you discover articles that are suitable. It also has a Chrome extension that suggests articles similar to something you may be reading on your browser.
- Feedly: Feedly is for RSS feeds. It lets you add feeds from publications, newsletters and many other sources and gathers information from them. You can organize the content into collections and save them for later viewing.
- Scoop.it: On Scoop.it, you can create topics and enter keywords under that topic. The application then suggests content from all over the web. This will help you see the conversations around your topic.
Organize all your blog posts
The whole point of a blogging calendar is for you to be able to keep track of all your blog posts. Consolidate all your blog post links, past and present, along with the number of comments, likes and shares. This will show you what kind of posts get the best response, which ones are more popular and what you can do to increases your blog’s traffic. Collecting all your links in one place also improves audience engagement. You can start categorizing blog posts by themes/labels, schedule your posts, delete posts that aren’t working and do so much more. Certain tools also allow you to color code posts which is even better for organizing. Here are some free tools that are favorites among bloggers:
- Google Docs: Google Docs is a great tracking tool. It allows you to move posts around, color code them, add links. It syncs your documents across all your devices so you always have your schedule with you. You don’t need an Internet connection to create and edit these sheets. It also lets you collaborate with others on the same sheet, so it’s great for group projects. Docs also auto saves as you type so you don’t have to worry about your changes being lost. You can perform Google searches within the app to double check or find new information.
- Excel: Excel is the most basic option that is widely available to everyone. If you want a simple tool for tracking and creating graphs, flowcharts, etc., then Excel is the tools for you. You can also share your spreadsheets and add collaborators in the latest version.
Blogging calendars can help you save time and focus on creating the content instead. You can keep track of everything in one place and access it whenever you please. You can use these tips and tools to create your own blogging calendar and customize it to suit your needs. Try out all the tools and see which ones you prefer. You can also try out external blog writing services to help you stay consistent. Happy Blogging!