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The 5 Things You Need to Plan Your Blog Calendar

When it comes to your blog, planning is the Ron to your Harry.

The GiGi to your Kendall.

The Shawn Hunter to your Cory Matthews.

…your best friend, if none of those are ringing any bells.

I’ve been creating blog posts for businesses for oh, about six years now…and I’ve tried this every which way.

So I can tell you that blogging without a plan, by the seat of your pants, is the WORST way to do it. No question.

Luckily, planning your blog’s editorial calendar isn’t overly complicated. In fact, it only takes five key ingredients.

The Highlight Reel

1. A clear idea of your audience

I could give you all the reasons why knowing your audience is important.

Or, I could just politely ask you to take me (and the zillions of other copywriters, advertising writers, and successful bloggers) at our word that this is really, really necessary.

It’s a step that many people skip. But it’s a crucial misstep.

Need help getting to know your audience? Download your free Audience + Brand Clarity Workbook »

2. Your bigger marketing goals

I like to plan my content quarterly, so I define my quarterly marketing goals first.

Your blog is a business tool. So treat it like one!

By defining your marketing goals, you’ll give your blog calendar structure. You’ll keep the “why” front and center when you’re planning your content.

Plus, you’ll give yourself a trail of breadcrumbs to follow when picking your topics. You want to tie your content into your bigger business goals, after all.

3. Clearly defined categories and content mix

Your blog doesn’t have just one note. It’s a mix of different topics, formats, and/or vibes.

As humans, we love having a choice. But when we have unlimited choice, things get overwhelming real fast.

(Click here for a great piece on the paradox of choice, involving jam and spaghetti sauce.)

When you sit down to write a blog and your only guiding force is “I need to blog about something,” it’s pretty damn impossible to choose a topic.

That’s why clearly defining your blog’s categories is such a life-saver. It’s so much easier to come up with topics within a set of categories than pick one out of the blue.

4. Your topics!

Oh yeah, we’re getting granular up in here.

You know those bloggers who say “we’d love to share your guest post. The next available spot in our blog calendar is in three months.”??

You can be one of those bloggers!

Planning your blog calendar means committing to your topics and assigning them dates.

Use your categories and bigger marketing goals to guide your topic selection.

Picking your topics in advance not only helps with accountability, it also shows how everything will interact together. You may decide to move topics around to give them a more logical flow.

There are a lot of tools you can use to choose compelling topics, which I’ll go deeper into during the Blogoween challenge later this month.

5. A content creation schedule that you commit to

Finally, you need to make this all REAL.

How will you get these posts done?

Where is there room in your schedule that you’re going to commit to creating your content?

There’s a saying that you shouldn’t prioritize your schedule, you should schedule your priorities.

This is where you make blogging a priority.

Think through how you’re going to create these bad boys and what you’ll need to to make blogging non-negotiable. Then, commit to a content creation schedule that works for you.

Go from knowing to doing

So now you know the five things you need to successfully plan an editorial calendar for your blog.

But as any solopreneur knows, KNOWING something and DOING something are completely different.

My 5-day Blogoween challenge is all about DOING.

We’re going to work through these five things.

You’ll define your audience, your bigger marketing goals, your categories + content mix, your quarterly blog topics, and the content creation schedule that works for you.

It’s totally free to join us for the challenge, and it’s all happening NEXT WEEK.

Yes! I’m in for the blogging challenge!

Wish your blog could be all “new year, new me” come 2017? It totally can.

 
Join us for the FREE 5-day Blog Planning Made Easy Challenge where you’ll plan your quarterly blog calendar.

You won’t just learn how to plan your blog calendar, you’ll actually DO it.

By the end of the challenge, you’ll have a crystal clear plan for 13 compelling, click-worthy blog posts your ideal audience can’t wait to read.

Want in? Just click below to sign up — it’s free!

Click here to sign up for the 5-day blogging challenge. »

join the convo

Which of these five things is your biggest struggle right now?

Where could you use a little extra support?

Do you have a bigger plan for your blog or do you freestyle it each week?

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© Whitney Ryan LLC

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