Why I Use A Monthly Blog Calendar
Everyone who runs a blog does so in their own way which can evolve over time so that their process may look nothing like what they first started out with. Something that's been with me for a while now is my monthly editorial calendar, it's a way to plan the next blog month and work it all out all whilst still creating and hopefully not have a post day sneak up on me. This, for me, is an essential part of the process is an important bit of organisation that still offers some versatility. Here's why I'm not letting go of the blog calendar just yet, do you prefer a more planned system or do you like spur of the moment posts?
S E E W H A T T H E M O N T H L O O K S L I K E
I've found that working week to week didn't really give me the scope I was looking for, not only did it not take into account where seasonal content should fit as I purely focused on that week without really having the blinkers on for anything else either side, see the bigger yearly picture nor could it always accurately work around my schedule outside of the blog. Seeing the month as a whole gives me a bit of breathing space and I can plan my content around what's coming up away from the blog and take inspiration from it. This format allows me to jiggle things around if need be, for example if a blog post requires more preparation than another they can be swapped. It helps me to visualise the month as a whole, although I occasionally skip some days it's not for lack of trying on the planning front. It basically takes the panic and left feeling adrift or rushed asking 'what's the next post?'.
O P P O R T U N I T Y T O W O R K A H E A D
As I don't always have a lot of free time to myself finding a couple of hours for some meaningful blog productivity can be a challenge, although it rarely happens I aim to be a week in front of my content so there is a little bit of leeway and cuts down the rush plus I can create quality over quantity. Seeing the month as a whole can help you gauge the time needed to spend on each post. It is possible to plan more than a month but when you get too far ahead sometimes you lose perspective of your creative goals and your post's intention but every creator is different and I've seen some talented folks work months in advance. On the flip side you can also tell when it's time to truly relax: be it for an afternoon, a day or even longer - this can be a good indication of whether a burnout is imminent as you're quality may not be as high as usual and you cold feel more frustration.
B A T C H W O R K I S K I N G
In my post KEEPING THE BLOG PRODUCTIVE (EVEN FOR DOWN DAYS) (found here) I spoke about the power of batch work and how it can do wonders. At the minute it works for my current routine. Putting together a monthly calendar actually cuts down on the amount of time spent planning as opposed to a weekly plan plus seeing the potential ideas as a whole can make things more considered and flow better. I really enjoy the end of the month and it's time to look at the upcoming schedule as it's an excuse to put some mindless background noise on be it TV, music or a podcast and looking at all my resources to assemble the best month's worth of content I can. It's not always as straight forward as it sounds as you're not always in the right place mentally to generate / assimilate a lot of potential ideas but it can be a good activity when you want to get away from the laptop for a bit.