Blogging

How to Create an Editorial Calendar to Organize and Plan Blog Posts

Excited because you wrote your first blog post?

It’s thrilling isn’t it!

But, sometimes the thrill is short lived because your new content didn’t attract many readers!

Want to know a secret?

When I first started Twins Mommy, I launched my blog with only 1 blog post! I was excited and I was sure I was going to get readers. I even emailed my freelance writing list of thousands about this new blog and blog post.

Want to know what happened? I barely got 5 visitors!

I was missing something!

It was a plan for my blog. I needed a calendar of what I was going to publish, instead of relying on one blog post to attract readers.

And, one of the hardest things new bloggers face is planning that editorial calendar for the month or the quarter.

I have several blogs and every day I have to come up with blog topics in different niches. But how can you organize your blog post ideas as well as each blog post to ensure you are growing your blog each day?

As a professional writer for big online brands, I need to make sure that every blog post I write for my clients is optimized for attracting leads.

So, let’s break up this post into two parts: for the first part let’s go over how to organize your blog content schedule effectively. The next section will go into how to optimize your blog post for traffic and leads.

And, if you haven’t started a blog yet, make sure to check out my easy and tech-free tutorial where I walk you step-by-step on how to start a blog.

How to Create an Editorial Calendar

Raise your hand if you use the backend of WordPress to hold all your blog posts ideas? *raises hand.

Yes, I’m guilty of this, but I’m learning better ways. Some digital planners or spreadsheets can help you streamline your process much quicker for finding blog post ideas.

Let’s look at a few of these editorial calendars.

1. Trello

Trello is a great visual editorial calendar to help you figure out your blogging goals and plan out your blog topics.

You use boards for your big tasks and within each board are cards. You set up how you want each task to be organized. This is what I have for Twins Mommy.

Some blog planning ideas might be:

  • Blog post ideas
  • Outline
  • External links (people/blogs/products/tools I want to feature)
  • Affiliates/Products (of mine)
  • Due date
  • Already published

I personally don’t use Trello all that much now that I have other ways to organize my blog. But, when I first became a freelance writer, I used Trello a lot to help me with my client pieces.

2. Evernote

I don’t know much about Evernote, but for the basic free plan, you can create notes, and that’s what I like to do.

I can keep this open, and whenever I get an idea for a blog post topic, then I can jot it down in Evernote. What I like is the user platform. I can jot down an outline if I wanted to or an excerpt of an idea.

From there, you just go into Evernote of your feasible blog titles and choose one to work on.

3. Create a Spreadsheet

A free Google tool you can use is G Sheets. This is a spreadsheet and you can keep track of anything. I use G Sheets for keeping track of my writing articles for my clients and keeping tabs of when I submit invoices.

I also use G Sheets for my writers with blog topics for my blogs. This is a great editorial calendar tool because you can share it across your team.

4. Create a Blog Post Checklist

You might find it easier to create a blog post checklist for yourself. You know you the best! How do you write a blog post? What process do you go through?

For example, I have to do the following before I publish my blog posts:

  • Create an outline
  • Find keywords for both Pinterest and Google
  • Write the post
  • Include relevant posts – interlink
  • Include affiliate links/course links
  • Take screenshots if need be
  • Grab free stock photos for my subheading topics
  • Create a Pin graphic
  • Create a feature image graphic
  • Create a Facebook/Twitter graphic
  • Proofread my blog post
  • Set the publication date

You can use Trello to create this blog post checklist or G Sheets! Give it a try!

4. Get the One Hour Content Plan

Wouldn’t it be great to get a year’s worth of blog post topics in 1 hour? Sign me up!

Meera Kothand is a powerhouse blogger and helps us with content marketing strategies. She’s also a blogger friend and course student of mine!

I personally have not read this book, but it’s on my list of books to get. I’ve heard so many good things from other bloggers like Terra Dawn of Uncork Your Dork and many others.

If you are a beginner blogger or just stuck with finding some blog post ideas, this book lays out the foundation for your blog strategy and the important things you need to focus on (like your audience and what they want) to develop strong blog topics.

If you need more of an editorial calendar, makes sure to check out Meera’s book, Create.

Okay, we have some great organizational planners, spreadsheets and books to help us plan our blog topics easier. Now, let’s look at how to organize our blog post for traffic and leads.

Because that’s what you want eh? Your words to convert a reader into a subscriber or customer.

How to Organize Your Editorial Calendar for Traffic and Leads

Is there a way to write blog posts for traffic? Yes and no. Your headline is what will initially bring in the traffic, but your words will keep them glued to your blog.

This is what you want. You want a reader to become invested in you so much they stay and hang around on your blog, reading blog post after blog post.

So, let’s go through the steps in your editorial calendar.

1. Save Your Reader!

The blog posts you write should help your reader so much, that you are saving them from doing something else or about to do something big. One of my commenters mentioned a blog post of mine is saving her blog.

I provided value and help to this reader and in return, I hope she subscribes to my list or checks out some of my courses.

So, when thinking of blogging ideas, figure out the immediate problems your audience is facing.

2. Format Your Post for High Readability

One thing that you can do to ensure your readers stay on your blog long enough to invest in YOU is to format your blog posts for online reading.

This means that online readers lose attention quick and they tend to skim content to get the gist of it.

You can help them read your blog post and hopefully get them to read EVERY sentence by:

  • Making shorter sentences
  • Making shorter paragraphs
  • Using bullet lists
  • Using subheadings
  • Using images to break up text
  • Having a lot of white space around your writing (i.e. the line spacing and content width)
  • Having a large font

When you have all of those in place, your blog post suddenly becomes 1000% more readable. Your bounce rate will decrease, and you’ll probably see a jump in email sign ups!

3. Have an Awesome Headline

Your headline is the seller here. It’s one of the most critical pieces of your entire blog post.

If you have a dud of a headline, you won’t see click-throughs.

But, if your headline aligns perfectly with your audience, you’ll get eyes on your blog and shares too.

As a professional writer and copywriter, I know some tweaks to turn a bland headline into an awesome one!

One easy way is to add superlatives to your headline. Using something like “9 Super Easy Ways to…” sounds so much better than “9 Ways to,” right?

Try adding superlatives on your Pin graphics and not so much your actual headline (this makes it hard to rank in Google).

Another tip is to make your headline have some curiosity behind it. For example, “The Secret to Making Sales Every Day with Amazon Affiliate Marketing,” sounds like a great post to read than, “Using Amazon Affiliate Marketing to Make Sales for the New Blogger” or something like that. This is a long headline so, it’s a bit jumbled.

In either case, realize that people scrolling on social media want easy tips that they can do quickly. They are also looking for secret tips or hacks that not many people know.

Try these two tips out to give your headline a boost.

4. Be Personable

Look – one thing I noticed from me that makes me say, “I like this blog!” to just clicking back to Pinterest to find another pin to check out is the way the blog post is written.

I like reading very engaging blog posts. It reads better and before you know it, you’re almost done reading the blog post.

You want your blog to be casual, and like you’re talking to your best friend. At least, this is what I do.

5. Start Your Intro With a Question

This step isn’t set in stone and not every blogger uses it. I mostly use this strategy.

Try to ask a question as the first thing on your blog post. This is an easy way to connect with your reader right away. For example, if you blog about productivity and decluttering and your blog post is 8 Simple Ways to Declutter Your Office, start off like:

When you are sitting at your desk, is it filled with 5 pens, 6 pencils, 4 notebooks, one bullet journal, and 8 crayons?

This makes the reader envision their office desk and if they are reading this blog post from a blog about decluttering, you bet they need help with decluttering (so their office desk is probably disorganized and cluttered!).

The reader then nods in agreement. This is a great thing. This makes it 100% more likely they will read the next sentence. And that’s what you fundamentally want – to read your entire post.

If you find you still need more hand-holding help, make sure to check out my video masterclass on Creating Content for Blog Traffic!

Get an Editorial Calendar and Get Organized As a New Blogger

Getting everything organized for your blog isn’t a hot topic, but it’s an important topic. Never run out of blog topic ideas again! For more help check out Hayley’s blog, Organized Blogging!

Over to you – what digital planner to you like to use? Or are you a bullet journal mama or notebook person?

Tell me in the comments!

I'm Elna, wife to my college sweetheart and mother to my school-aged twins. Together we are the parent entrepreneurs. I'm also a professional blogger and freelance writer. I help mom bloggers make money blogging so they can stay home with their little ones too! Come join me in the Mom to Mompreneur Facebook group!

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19 Comments

Thanks so much for this great article, it was really helpful. As a new blogger, I am always looking for tips to stay organize and not go crazy.Reply to Latanya
Hi Latanya, I know what you mean! I run several sites and I really have to stay “tight” with my schedule so that I’m not creating the same blog post topics or forgetting to publish a post!Reply to Elna
Hey Elna, thanks for sharing such a Great Article. I am also a blogger, found a solution to organize my blog posts after reading this. Well, I recently published a n article on “The Best Time to Post on Social Media”. I think you should check it here https://itgiggs.in/best-time-to-post-on-social-media/Reply to Manish
Hi! Sounds good and thanks so much!Reply to Elna
Hi Elna, Thank you for these tips. So timely. Organized plans lessens stress and adds to productivity. Can I have your goal setting planner for new bloggers? I’m a notebook person. I call it ‘ipaper’ 😁Reply to Diana
Hi Diana! You’re welcome! Yes, figuring out your editorial calendar for your blog can be a challenge if you have not inspiration coming to you! Sure you can grab my goal setting planner here: https://twinsmommy.com/goal-setting-planner/Reply to Elna
I am just beginning and this has helped me so much, thank you for giving us tips and showing us your tools. This blogging world is so overwhelming! So much work!Reply to Catherine
Hi Catherine! Oh, that’s so great to hear! I’m glad this post streamlined your thoughts and you know the tools you need! Yes, the blogging world is crowded and there is a lot of info and resources for sure!Reply to Elna
I am so glad I found this Post. I have been doing my calendar all wrong. ? Sharing.Reply to Kim
Hi Kim! Oh thank you so much! I’m sure you weren’t doing your editorial calendar wrong! There really is no set or right way! Just do what works for you!Reply to Elna
How do we grab the free goal setting planner WB?Reply to Joanmarie
Hey Joanmarie, If you are already a subscriber you may not even see the opt-in form! That’s Thrive for you. They think once you sign up to a list why would you want to sign up again? Really!!! Here’s the link to the page but you may have to try a new browswer (your phone or friend’s phone) to view the form: https://twinsmommy.com/goal-setting-planner/Reply to Elna
I’ve been a bit scattered the last few months and I’m working on organizing my blogging and writing times a little bit better, so this was REALLY helpful for me today 🙂Reply to Loretta
Hi Loretta! That’s awesome! So glad you found some inspiration and motivation to start organizing and plan your blog posts!Reply to Elna
Thanks so much for the shout out, Elna! I truly feel that blog organization is the missing piece for so many bloggers. Love all these tools and I’ve used several of them!Reply to Hayley
Hey Hayley! You’re welcome! Love your blog soo much 🙂 Thanks for stopping over. I’m sure not the best person to learn about organizing, but I do my best and I know a lot more than what I actually do 🙂 Can’t wait for your Live next week!Reply to Elna
Elna, as a fan and student for the past year now I’ve been eagerly awaiting something like this to pop up. Between major Pinterest changes and rebranding, I have been at a loss for content creation. (yes, I did get the content creation course) I’ve been in a major blog rut lately and have been trying to snap out of it. Thanks for this! Cassie from delightful motherhoodReply to cassie
Hey Cassie! Glad you enjoyed this post on organizing your blog posts! Did you enjoy my Content Traffic masterclass?Reply to Elna
I did, I found it helpful with the keywords area. I didn’t realize I still had not crated my ideal reader bio so niching down was hard.Reply to cassie