You’ve decided on a topic for your blog. You set up your blogroll to ensconce yourself in that particular community. You’ve connected your Twitter account to your blog and asked your Facebook friends to check out your new blog. You post once, twice, maybe even three times. Then? Nothing.
Why? You’ve run into writer’s block and can’t think of what to write about. Sound typical? It is. But there’s a way around this: establishing an editorial calendar. That’s exactly what my JOUR 121 students are going to do and that’s exactly what I’m doing, too. What’s an editorial calendar? It’s a list of ideas for your posts and, possibly, when you plan to post them.
There are several different ways to organize your editorial calendar:
1. Each day has a different theme (especially good for bloggers who post daily). One blogger suggests a weekly schedule that might, say, look this: Mondays–tech posts; Tuesdays–writing tips, etc. Tell your readers about your schedule, and they’ll begin to anticipate your posts.
2. You could also do monthly themes. As with the previous idea, once your readers know what to expect, they’ll be more likely to come back to your blog, especially if the themes offer them something they need.
3. Or you could establish the categories you’d like to create blog posts for. For example, Pushing Social asserts that bloggers actually mentor people, and that as such, your blogs posts should do one of three things: 1) guide people, 2) inspire confidence, or 3) provide tools. With this in mind, Pushing Social says, each post in your editorial calendar planning should seek to achieve one of these goals.
You might have your own categories in mind. For our department blog, I came up with three primary categories: a) where they are now (for a look at what current and former students are doing now in the field), b) career and major advice, c) tips from professionals in the field, and d) department news. Once I did that, I was able to easily brainstorm post ideas under each category.
Of course, you can always deviate from your calendar (unless you’ve broadcast it to your readers), should new ideas come to mind. But one thing’s guaranteed: Establish an editorial calendar for yourself, and you’ll spend more time writing and less time with writer’s block.