Guest post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess
In my last Blogging For Beginners post, I posed five questions you needed to ponder before adding your voice to the blogging conversation. If you hadn't answered those questions, you should pop over, take a look at them now and jot the information down.
To truly be a success in blogging — or as a writer in general, in any medium — you should have a notebook or document on your computer in which you answer these questions and use that notebook/doc as a gathering point for all Blogging for Beginners-related info.
I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume that you've answered the five questions posed and now you're wondering… now what!? Well, the "now what" is to start blogging. Okay, you aren't confident enough to do that so you should at least make yourself an editorial calendar. Yes, you heard me right, an editorial calendar.
Believe me, this calendar will make your blogging life easier. You will want to set aside a few hours (and the hours you spend now will save you numerous hours of grief and head banging later) to pencil out your calendar. Let's assume you're reading this in January so your calendar will go through to December of 2012.
Will you be blogging once a month or once a week, or more? This will predicate the number of items you will need in your blog/editorial calendar. You can have over-arching editorial theme for a month, for example: January can be about pet care for dogs in winter month (you could write about how to keep them warm in winter, protecting their paws from rock salt, road trips with Fluffy and Fido in winter, etc); February, gifts for the pet and the pet lover (pet health gadgets, benefits of microchips, invisible fencing pros and cons, etc); March, getting your pet ready for spring; and so on.
If you give yourself a Theme-of-the-Month your weekly posts may fall into place more easily than you think. Don''t fall into a panic at the idea of putting together an editorial calendar — as a former magazine and newspaper editor, an editorial calendar is your best friend.
We installed an editorial calendar plugin a few months ago, and I don’t know how we lived without it before. Easy way to keep track of what’s coming up and plan ahead. -Dave