Staying on Top of Your Blog Content Calendar
May 2018 // By Natalie Jean
So many blogs I read have posts about creating an easy content calendar. I love everyone's different points of view, ideas, and printable calendar templates. Seriously, you all are lifesavers. The trickiest thing for me however, is staying on top of it all. I can fill one out, draft up post titles, and even set a reminder on my phone to get the post written, but if I'm not proactive it will never actually make a difference.
Its great to have one, but then what? Let's chat about staying on top of our blog content calendars.
Today I want to share a few tips that I've discovered to be pretty helpful in keeping me on track with my content calendar. Whether I am using a print out, my planner, an online organizer, or simply a pad of paper and pen I've realized that creating due dates for yourself is key!
When you make a content calendar, its a little different than a to-do list but I think in order to get things accomplished, and accomplished well, you need to have both. When you write a list of everything you need to complete it will give you a visual on how many tasks you have. When you give them due dates and specify which task gets completed on which day, however, you give yourself more of a motivation as well as an idea on how long it will take for those things to happen. Here's an example: I could have a list of things to do, some more urgent than others. When I give myself due dates like "shoot an outfit for this blog post on Monday," and "write an email to Aaron before Thursday," I am more likely to get it done ASAP rather than just keep checking a general list and thinking "Oh... I need to get that done."
It also really helps to designate certain days to certain projects or types of work. If you work a 9-5, it might be easiest to get blog posts written on Sunday evening and content photographed on Saturdays, whereas if you work from home, blog full time, freelance, etc. it might work best to do your emails in the morning and your content creation on Tuesdays and Thursdays or something like that!
Printing out a content calendar or a posting guideline is the first step, and the next step is sticking with it. It can be super discouraging when you fall behind on due dates and content creation, as well as pushing things off to the last minute and then delivering crappy quality. But you need to stick with it.
Another tip that I would give is to make sure that what you give your time and attention to is worth it. Are you sure you have enough time to write the blog post, shoot the content, manage your own social media, run that account, moderate that facebook group, do 5 sponsored content posts, take care of yourself, spend time with friends and family, and nurture your creative spirit? If not, maybe start narrowing your calendar down.
My next tip to stay on top of your content calendar is to not let yourself get overwhelmed. If you feel like you're falling behind, don't add things until the items on your calendar are completed. If its inevitable to add things, maybe you need to take a step back and evaluate your process. Are you sticking to your time table? Are you creating realistic goals and giving those goals enough time to be completed? Should you start saying "no" to some opportunities?
Finally, learn from past experience. If getting up in the morning and getting dressed helps you start your day off on a productive streak, then do that! If you need coffee to function (yes, please!) make sure you get your morning cup right away. If you focus better late at night, then schedule that time for your work. Find what is best for you, because chances are thats what you need to stay on top of things! Not everyone can wake up at 6am and get ten things done before lunch. Some people work best late at night or mid-afternoon, some with music or tv in the background and some in complete silence. Some people work better in a communal work space and others at the kitchen table. You can't succeed if you're trying to be like everyone else. You need to find what work environment, time table, and content calendar work best for you!
Have any personal stories or tips for staying on top of your blog content calendar? Share them in the comments below!