How do you come up with ideas for blog posts? Need an editorial calendar worksheet to help you plan?
I’ve got one to share with you today.
Have trouble planning blog posts?
I tend to go through two phases when I’m planning out my next blog posts:
- Either I have ALL of the ideas and fill countless sticky notes that I will inevitably lose
- Or I can’t think of a single post idea and begin to question why I started a blog in the first place
Sound familiar? I needed a tool that would help me record my ideas (so I can get rid of the sticky notes) and prompt me to brainstorm when my creativity needs a boost.
But I also wanted to be able to plan for seasons and schedule around a theme, rather than throwing up the next post that came to mind.
And because I have the unique ability to overcomplicate EVERYTHING, I needed it be simple. One page, two prompts, move on with life.
You need an editorial calendar worksheet
I came up with a streamlined editorial calendar worksheet to help me brainstorm my posts each month.
It’s extremely simple, and if you get in the habit of filling it out when you plan the month, you’ll soon have an abundance of post ideas to choose from, AND be in tune with seasonal events like holidays or your own sales.
Download your own editorial calendar worksheet:
1 – Plan for events
Every month is different, and it’s not a fun feeling to wake up and realize, “Hey! Today is National Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day! Wow, I really missed a great opportunity to write a blog post! Drat.”
Ok. Bad example. Even though that is a real holiday (August 8, and I wish my neighbors observed it.)
But every niche has seasons, even if you set them yourself around sales or your own themes. When you’re planning out your posts, it’s helpful to remember in advance the dates or topics you want to focus on.
2 – Plan by category
Does your blog have that sadly neglected category that you always forget to write about? If it makes sense to keep that category around, it makes sense to plan some content for it!
Use the second section of the editorial calendar worksheet to jot down as many ideas as you can for each category. Look back at the events and themes you want to write about, and let that fuel your brainstorming.
Don’t edit your ideas here. Write down anything you can think of, and we’ll choose the best ones later. A not-so-great idea can lead you to think of a fabulous topic, so write, write, write!
3 – Schedule out your posts
Now it’s time to plan out your month!
Look back through your ideas and star the best ones. Choose the topics that fit two criteria:
- It solves a problem for your audience
- You’re excited to tackle it
This is where you can edit out the weaker blog post ideas, or the ones that just don’t jump out at you right now. If you’re not excited about a blog post, that has a way of seeping into your writing – your audience can tell! So choose the ones that you enjoy AND that help your target person.
Grab a calendar and begin to schedule in your posts for the month. I like to write mine on flag sticky notes so I can move them around. Find what works for you, and start laying out the month.
Don’t obsess here – your plan can always change!
Get started now with your own editorial calendar worksheet!
I love it when a plan comes together!
There’s such freedom and energy in mapping out your next steps, especially when you’re excited about diving in! And because this is your plan, it can change to suit your needs. That’s the beautiful thing about pencil – and sticky notes.
PS – Keep your old editorial calendar worksheet when the month is over! You can always look through them for ideas that you haven’t used yet.
PPS – Grab a printable Calendar here – free!