Writing & Blogging with Passion: Create a Flexible Editorial Plan & Calendar | Theresa Christine | Skillshare

Writing & Blogging with Passion: Create a Flexible Editorial Plan & Calendar

Theresa Christine, Freelance Travel Writer + Blogger

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14 Lessons (2h 5m)
    • 1. Welcome! And What to Expect

      3:25
    • 2. Lesson 1: Let's Focus on You

      9:50
    • 3. Lesson 2: Examining Your Blog (Pt. 1)

      8:19
    • 4. Lesson 3: Examining Your Blog (Pt. 2)

      5:47
    • 5. Lesson 4: Remember Your Reader

      9:45
    • 6. Lesson 5: Your Next 3 Months

      8:17
    • 7. Lesson 6: Future Content

      8:26
    • 8. Lesson 7: Tools to Organize

      8:34
    • 9. Lesson 8: Sample Editorial Plan

      6:30
    • 10. Lesson 9: Sample Editorial Calendar (Pt. 1)

      18:52
    • 11. Lesson 10: Sample Editorial Calendar (Pt. 2)

      14:45
    • 12. Lesson 11: Incorporating Flexibility

      14:48
    • 13. Lesson 12: Tips to Make it Work

      5:47
    • 14. Some Words of Encouragement

      1:42
31 students are watching this class

About This Class

Have you ever made an editorial plan, only to fall behind and stop using it a few weeks later?
Are you looking for a plan of action with your blog that will allow for those bursts of inspiration but also support you when you don't have time to sit down and write (or just don't want to)?
Do you want to look ahead for the future of your blog but feel like anytime you do, it hinders your creative spark?

Having an editorial calendar is an essential part of running a blog, but from a writer's perspective it's sort of a drag. It sounds so much sexier to sit down and furiously type something out in a couple hours than to plan posts in advance. So how can you plan out your blog posts and run things properly while also keeping that fire burning?

The answer is not merely an editorial calendar, but an editorial plan - one that works for you and not the other way around. This is so much more than looking at your schedule and randomly assigning some posts to certain days. In this course, you'll learn how to lay the foundation for a solid, successful 3 months of blogging ahead, which starts with looking at your current life and habits, examining the factors that affect your blog, and diving deep into balancing what your readers want and need with what you feel passionate about, too.

This course will go through practical advice to achieve a blog you can plan and be proud of while still allowing for flexibility and the little things in life. I'll even show you how I use this plan myself, so you'll not only get all the info but you'll get to see me put it into action in a task and calendar list.

If you have a clear vision for your blog and a good grasp on who your ideal reader is, this class is perfect for you. Access to Google Analytics is recommended, but not required. Otherwise, come prepared to take notes and do some serious, honest examination to create an editorial plan you'll look forward to incorporating into your blog, every day.

Transcripts

1. Welcome! And What to Expect: Hi and welcome to the class; writing and blogging with passion, creating a flexible editorial plan. My name is Teresa Christine, I am a freelance travel writer and a blogger. In my experience, as I'm sure with you as well, it is so much easier to blog when you have the post planned out, at least someone in the future. The problem that you get into then is if you plan too much and you are not able to meet those expectations that you've set for yourself, then suddenly you feel like you're not doing this whole thing right. It also doesn't leave a lot of room for when you are feeling some mood to write and you just want to sit down and create something that feels passionate and that you're really just feeling in the moment. So, it's really a tricky balance and that's what this course is going to be all about; balancing, writing what it is that you're excited to write about, giving your reader what it is that they need and what they're looking for, and creating a plan and a calendar that is going to help you achieve it. This is a great class for those of you who have been blogging for a little bit or are really sitting down and wanting to set yourself up for success. You should have a clear goal in mind with what you're trying to achieve with your blog and you should also be really familiar with who your ideal reader is. Now, these are new concepts for you. I definitely encourage you to check out some of my other skillshare classes first, just that you're on the same page as everyone and you can go into this class and really get the most out of it. What this class is going to provide you with is the tasks and the tools to create an editorial plan. Basically, this is more than just an editorial calendar, we're not just looking at our calendar. We're actually going to be doing a lot of work into looking at our blog, looking at our industry, things like that, to create an editorial plan, something that's actually going to work with our lives. Because so often, when people create their editorial calendars, they don't create it with themselves in mind, they simply create it so that it's something in the calendar and they've got something that's going to be published. This is going to, again, find that balance, it's going to be something that will be accessible and attainable for you, it will take your life into account, and it will also help you set goals for the future. For this course, you're going to need a way to take notes. I would love it if you show your notes in a project that you have here and skillshare as well. You will also want access to Google Analytics, if that's possible. When we do talk about Google Analytics, I can give you a little bit of advice, if you, for whatever reason, don't have access to it. So don't feel like that's required but it's definitely a big plus. Then, aside from that, you're just going to need a calendar, something that you can look at so that you are considering your schedule and also your reader's schedule as well. All right. Welcome to class. As always, if you have any questions, please hit the discussion area below, let me know what's going on, any comments or questions that you have. Otherwise, when you are ready to get started, go on and move to the first video. 2. Lesson 1: Let's Focus on You: Hi and welcome to class. I know you are really excited to get started with this editorial plan, you're stoked to get something that will incorporate flexibility and passion into it and you just want to get it started. You want to sit down, look at the calendar and start filling things in. But before we get into that, I really want to set you up for success. I want this to be an editorial plan that actually works for you, not something that ends up failing in two months and doesn't fit into your life anymore. So, in order to do that, we first have to assess our current situation and this is a three-fold process. So, I'm breaking it down in this video and we're just going to focus on you and what's going on in your life right now as well as a little bit of what's going on in your industry because that is sort of intrinsically tied to you and why you'd even started your blog in the first place. Now, you're going to have a couple of questions that I would like you to answer. First, if I were to sit down and write posts each week, how many could I realistically publish? Now, I'm not talking about any posts you might be able to prep in advance. So, don't think so much about that right now. Instead think about okay, I'm going to sit down, brainstorm, write, edit, produce and publish a post. How many times do I think I could actually do that per week? Now people ask me often, how many times they should be posting per week? Now, this sort of ties into a little bit of what you're capable of posting per week if you were to just sit down and do it that day but they also were kind of wondering like when should I be aspiring to something else? How can I get more? Now, there's just no magic number, there is no answer that I can give you. I will say if you want to try and grow your blog, trying to post at least once a week is a really excellent way to keep yourself fresh in your reader's minds. If you're posting less than that, that's okay if that's what you're able to do. I'm going to talk about how we can increase that number in a minute. But if you can post at least once a week, that is perfect for making sure that you're getting yourself out there, being seen and hopefully growing your blog. Now, you might be saying okay well, even doing that once per week just sitting down and writing sounds kind of like a stretch or you might say, "Well, I can't sit down and write three per week but I'd like to get that number a little higher and that is where batch posting comes in. Batch blog post prep is essentially when you do the tasks for multiple blog posts at once or whether I heard this described really well is as if you were comparing a blog post to a cookie, you don't ever sit down and bake a cookie from scratch just a single cookie, that would be ridiculous, you would pull out the tiniest amount of flour and like five chocolate chips, it would be silly. Instead, you make more than one at a time, so you make like a dozen or two dozen. With your blog post you can kind of break it down in the same way. So, we have the brainstorming session, maybe writing and editing, we've got photos, maybe you create your own graphics, you might also incorporate social media into this whole thing, you've got these different parts of what goes into a blog post. Instead of tackling one blog post at a time, you can tackle brainstorming for five posts at a time, riding for five at a time and so that way you kind of allow yourself to get into the zone. I know for me especially sitting down and sourcing photos and editing them is such a pain, it takes me so long. So if I can sit down and just have my collection of 20 photos that I need to edit. If I can do that at once instead of four and then return the next day and do another four, if I can do that all at once, it saves me so much time. Now, aside from saving time, batch posting will also give you more mental energy, it's just going to free up your mind. Think about that feeling when you're like I post two times a week and my blog posts for the next three weeks are all scheduled. Like what an amazing feeling that is to know that you're on top of things, you can have out with blog with batch posting your blogs and I will be talking more about batch posting later on in the course. So, you'll get a little more familiar with it as well. Aside from all of that, it also helps to increase the number of blog posts you can publish per week. So, that original number that you wrote down, let's say you wrote down your number is two and you want to try and do three per week. Well, sitting down and batch posting maybe once per month or once per quarter, that can help you achieve that. Another question you want to ask yourself is what am I genuinely excited to write about? This whole course is about passion, it is about creating a plan that is a good skeleton but also allows you to kind of move with it and do interesting and innovative things, so that when the passion strikes, you can go ahead and incorporate it. So think about what you are really wanting to write about on your blog. If you've been going strong and you just kind of going in the same direction, this is a nice time to reassess why it is that you started this whole thing in the first place but this is also a great opportunity to reassess things and take the opportunity to go in a new direction. So if you've been wanting to reinvent yourself a little bit or you've been feeling like things are a little stale, don't just keep going the way that they're going, go ahead, take this time and say, "I really don't like writing recipes on my lifestyle blog, I don't think I'm going to do it anymore, I really want to focus more on outfits for the day." That is a really good opportunity for you to just say this is like I'm excited about this thing. You have to remember you are not going to ever take the time to sit down and write something, you really don't look forward to writing, it is going to be a pain and eventually you're just going to dislike it so much that you sort of stop doing it and then you think well, I'm a terrible blogger and I can't do this and you'll have all these terrible negative thoughts. When really it's just that you weren't listening to yourself from the beginning. All right. Now, last question you want to ask yourself is what is going on in my industry as a whole. I know this doesn't feel like it's necessarily intrinsically tied to you but this is the industry that you are working in and this can also be tied into what interests you. So, it's important for you as an authority in this industry to stay up on the latest and there are a few ways you can do that. First of all, the news obviously. Aside from these reliable outlets, you can also sign up for Google alerts and you will get the news sent directly to your inbox each day. Blogs are also a great source. See what else is going on in the DIY realm or in the tech realm and you can use Pinterest in blog 11 to find a lot of good blogs and of course online communities. I'm not a particularly big fan of Facebook but Facebook groups are kind of awesome. It's such an amazing way to connect with people who have the same interests as you and also have the same interests as your reader. Now, taking all of these things, these sort of current trends will help inspire you, they can help spark ideas for new content. So, we've sort of assess the current situation of what is going on with you and what directly is affecting you and your interests. I want you to go ahead and answer those questions. The first one, how many posts can I realistically publish if I sit down and just do it each week and then think about batch posting and how many hours you spend per post. If you were to do instead of one post at one time, try and do three. How long do you think that would take you? Remember you're going to be shaving a little bit of that time off because you are in the zone and doing all of the writing at once, all of the photo editing at once, keeping it compact. You also want to make a note of what you are genuinely excited to write about because that is what is going to make this whole plan fun and then examine what are the current trends in your industry if there's anything new that you should really be aware of. Once you've written all of these things down, you are ready to go on to the next video. 3. Lesson 2: Examining Your Blog (Pt. 1): Hi and welcome back to class. Okay, we examined a little bit about what is going on with you, and now it's time to turn the tables and think about what is going on with your blog right now. We are going to be examining blog posts performance which primarily we're going to be looking at Google Analytics. But if you don't have access to that for whatever reason, I do have some helpful tips that will guide you through that. Now, this can be an eye-opening experience, it can also be really frightening because you are going to be looking at not just the posts that did well, but also the ones that didn't do so well, and that feels scary. But it is so incredibly useful when you move forward and start brainstorming, and creating, and crafting new posts. So, know that that fear is normal, but look at this like a really good opportunity. You want to consider the good and bad, and instead of taking it personally or jumping to any immediate conclusions and just eliminating what didn't do well and continuing to do what did well. I want you to think of this like a puzzle that you're trying to solve, because we want to improve in the future. That means looking at the good and the bad and saying, "Well, why did this do well? Or why did these posts not do so well?" Because there is a reason in there. There's an answer, but you have to find it. Now, first thing we're going to examine is which posts have done well and which posts haven't done well. Pretty easy. In Google Analytics, this is, first of all, I do want to have a little disclaimer, Google Analytics is overwhelming. It is so much content in there, but it is important. I want you to go in there and I just want you to focus on two parts basically. So, we're going to make it less overwhelming. That first part is Page Views. Page views are not everything when it comes to blogging, but it is important, it is something to look at. You will find this under Behavior, Site Content, All pages. I want you to look at some of your most visited posts, some of your least visited posts. Maybe ones that did just average right in the middle, and consider why something was viewed more or less. There are so many different reasons why this could be the case, and I listed a few here. It could be anywhere from social media platform to the title that you use for the blog post. Your assignment is to find the similarities among what has done well, and also what hasn't been well. Because if you can pinpoint those then you can examine which ones you want to continue doing and which ones you want to try and change. A couple of good examples that I've got here you might find that some of your most popular posts are more like personal essays. When you started sharing your posts on Twitter page views did not increase, so it didn't seem to be an efficient use of your time. Post published in the morning performed much better than posts that were published in the evening. When you wrote the title or the headline for your blog post, if you wrote it in the form of a question, that posted much better. The hero image or the header image as the main photo at the top of your blog post, it was clicked on less when that hero image had a person in the photo. You might also find that How-Tos were really solid and received a consistent amount of views on your blog. These are just examples. There are so, so many different iterations of what could be the case behind what is going on with your blog, and it's your job to try and figure out what they could be. Now, as I mentioned earlier, page views are not everything, this is about passion. You do not want page views to be the only thing that you're considering here and have them be the main driving factor, that is not healthy. Trust me if that is what your main thing that you're going after is you're going to just hate blogging. So, when it comes to this part, I want you to come up with a couple of solutions, come up with a couple of answers to why things didn't do so well and then call it quits. Do the work and set it aside. So, 30 minutes, maybe an hour and then move on, because that way you won't get overwhelmed. Now, with analytics, there's also a second part that I would like you to look at which is the page views, rather the average time on the page, and this is in the same location. You want to make sure that people are actually reading your posts. So, take into account the average adult reads 300 words per minute. Now, you might find that you have thousand-word blog posts and people are only reading them for about a minute. Well, that sounds kind of disappointing, right? I would say to, that first of all, people are reading them they're not reading the whole thing though. So, what can you do to make them stick around? Is there a way for you to break up your content with images or headers? What can you do so that you can still produce what you want to make? But you can clearly cater to people who feel a little busier. Aside from creative solutions like that, you might also want to reevaluate how long your blog posts are, as well as who your ideal reader is. I do talk about my ideal reader, about crafting your ideal reader in other classes. So, I do encourage you to check those out if you need to kind of get a little refresher. So, what do you do if you don't have access to analytics, or if you just kind of want to take it a step further? Well, time to look at your blog and check out the comments and also look at your social media. Page views aren't everything. I'm going to say it again, they're not everything. Engagement is actually so, so much better. It can tell you a lot about what your readers are interested in. If there were posts that received a lot of comments, if there were posts that were shared a lot, or if they were posts on social media that got a lot of comments, that tells you a lot about what people were really interested in. So, whether or not you have analytics, this is a great place to look if you're trying to figure out what performed well. Same thing, consider the good and consider the bad. Okay, now this is going to be tied in with a little more analytic stuff which is going to be in the next video, there's just so much information in one. I want you to go ahead and gather any useful data and make note of the similarities that you find among posts that perform well, as well as the ones that don't perform so well. So, go ahead and do that. When you're ready, then you can move on to the next video. 4. Lesson 3: Examining Your Blog (Pt. 2): Hi, and welcome back. The next part that we're going to be diving into is still the part of what's going on with your blog right now. We're still referring to some analytics. If you don't have access to analytics, don't worry, I've still got some really good suggestions for you as well. We already talked about pageviews, and we talked about average time spent on the page. I'd like you to now examine how people are finding your blog, because this is where you want to share. Blogging is so much more than writing posts. You know that already. You might already have a good idea of where your ideal reader hangs out on social media, or the other websites that they're on, and this is a place to connect with them. This might not sound like it ties into an editorial plan per se, and more like a social media plan perhaps, but actually, it gives you energy. I would like you to think about a performer going on stage one night, there's three people in the audience, and how that would feel for that person? Sure, they might give a good performance, but they're not going to get a lot back from the audience. Imagine the next night they go on stage, and the audience is full. Every seat in the house is packed. That is going to be such a different show, than that other one where there were only three people in the audience. It's because you feed off of that energy. You feed off of knowing people are accepting your information, they're reading it, they're loving it, they're interacting with you. That is going to give you energy and in turn, you guessed it, passion. It's going to make you excited to write about something. So, with Google Analytics, this is acquisition. You want to look and see if there are social media platforms that stand out with your readers, also if there are outside sites that are driving traffic to you. This is where your readers are hanging out. It's a great way to connect with them, and also to understand them better. Now, If you don't have Google Analytics, I just want you to take some time and think about your ideal reader really carefully, and maybe even hop online to some of these sites, hop on those social media platform, s and just make sure that that is the correct place for you to be. Last, but not least, and this is really getting into the calendar part of our editorial plan. What days are popular on your blog? Basically, what times do you get the most traffic? You'll find a chart, basically on our analytics homepage, It is called, "Users by Time of Day." You will see, kind of color-coded, when are the most popular times on your blog. You want to be prepared with the new content before that rush. That's important. If Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, for whatever reason, are the most popular days on your blog, you don't want to post in the middle of that. You want to post before that. Additionally, it's good to keep in mind, if Thursday is the start of the rush, why not post Thursday morning, or maybe even Wednesday? That can allow you some flexibility. If you, for whatever reason, can't post Wednesday, you can still get something out before the rush. Now, bottom line with all of this Google Analytics talk, if you can pinpoint the problem, you can avoid it in the future, and that feels really good. Same thing, if you know what is happening, and why things are going well, and what is successful, you can keep that up. You can pull from those elements and you can then create a fun and functional editorial plan. Something that makes you feel good and something that gives your readers what they want. I will also add that I know all this talk about Google Analytics is kind of boring and not very exciting, and you just want to get going, I totally, totally understand that, but you really want to try and hang in here because it will get better. This is laying that foundation. Remember, we want to set ourselves up for success, and we're going to get to the whole passion part of this, later. Remember, I have that analogy of the performer on a stage, so someone performing to an empty house, versus a full house. You want to be performing to a full house. Continuing from the last video's task, I want you to think about how are people finding your blog, not just social media, but also websites. Also, take a look to see what days and times are the most logical days and times for you to be publishing. Try to set something that is before those most popular days. When you've done this, you are ready to move on to the next video. 5. Lesson 4: Remember Your Reader: Hello and welcome back. We've examined two of the pillars so far about the current situation. First, with you, and what's going on with you, and then also your blog. Now, it's time to go ahead, and look to the reader, and figure out what's going on with them. Now, at this point, you should already have a really good idea of who your ideal reader is, so I don't want to dwell on that, but I do want to point out that this is about balancing what your ideal reader wants and needs with the content that excites you. So, it's not just bending to every whim, and interest, and request of your reader. It's not just looking at the demographics in your Google Analytics and saying, "Well, I need to be doing this." Again, this whole thing is about creating a plan that works for you and that you're excited about. So, that means taking what you know about your reader and it might involve a little bit of tweaking, so that you're providing content they're interested in. It's just not necessarily what they expected. When you find that balance of what your ideal reader wants and needs, and what excites you, and fills you with passion, that's when you have your unique blog and that's what makes it so special. Now, think about if your ideal reader loves a certain type of post and you really hate writing that type of post. What in the world are you possibly able to do about that? Well, you've got to get creative. So, it's time to think of, what it is that they like about this thing? So, for example, this type of post. How can you turn that into something that works for you? Now, let's just say, your ideal reader really likes top 10 lists. Instead of just writing a bunch of top 10 lists and hating it, think about, what this says about your ideal reader? What did these type of posts provide? Well, it could be your ideal reader likes content broken into smaller pieces or that a long-form editorial-style post is just something that wouldn't really interest them. They might like knowing what the end goal is and having an idea of what that commitment is when they sit down to read a post. So, when it comes to a top 10 lists, they know there's 10 pieces and that's it or they might just be really hyper aware of what their time is, and that can be a big struggle for them, and they just feel like they don't ever have enough time. Now, what can you do to create content you're excited about and that's fun for you, but still provides what your ideal reader is looking for? You might want to try and break up your content. For example, using more images. If you're interested in doing some longer-form posts, consider doing interviews with people. You've got the question and then the answer, that is something again, where it breaks up the content and makes it a little easier to digest. I think Medium does this, but you might consider adding the read time to the top of your posts. Elsa know Mark Manson does this for sure. So, just at the top of the posts, it says, approximately a six minute read and that can be really valuable for your readers who are feeling strapped for time. Also, when it comes to time-consuming content, things like videos and audio files of your posts are essentially a podcast that can feel a much easier, less time-consuming way to get that information. So, that can be a really wonderful opportunity for you to expand and still produce what you're excited about. Bottom line is you are creating posts for your ideal reader, of course, but you want to keep the spark alive because that's what's going to keep you going and you want to find that balance because like I said, that balance, that is where you are going to find your unique space. It's almost like your own little niche. You want to find that spot because that is what's going to make people love you. They're going to be like, "My goodness. This blog is so special. There's nothing like it out there." Just to hit it at home again with the ideal reader situation, remember their struggles. You want to be thinking about your ideal reader struggles because that's where you're going to swoop in and help them. Bottom line, if it feels like these solutions are just not matching up to who you think your ideal reader is, then go ahead, take a little time, and research again, and maybe revamp who this ideal reader is because just like you grow, just like your blog grows, your ideal reader might grow as well, and so you want to keep up with that. Okay. Now, this is a lot of deducing. This is a lot of trying to figure out this proverbial puzzle if you will, but there is a way to get this information, and have it be so easy and simple. There's just no trying to figure it out at all and you might be wondering, "Okay. Well, how can I get this information? How can I know what's going on with my ideal reader?" The answer is you ask them. Creating a reader's survey is so incredibly valuable. I know a lot of bloggers who do this every year because it just again, it keeps them updated on how their ideal reader is growing. So, you might be able to ask, how people are finding your blog? What some of their favorite posts are? What day or maybe days that they come to read your blog? Their biggest struggles? Why they like your blog in the first place? What they like to see more of? You can ask any wide range of questions in this survey, but these are some really, particularly useful ones to try and get answers to. So, how do you do this whole reader survey thing? It's easy. You hop online. There are a few different options. I highly recommend Typeform. It's free. There is an upgrade available, but you don't need it for a basic survey and it looks beautiful. It's so easy to get through. You then want to create multiple choice answers to your questions. So, avoiding fill-in-the blank. I'll go into this a little bit more, I've got an example to show you of what I mean. You want to try to stay under a certain amount of time. I mean, I usually think two minutes is about as much as people are willing to spend. You might know your ideal reader is willing to spend a little more time and that's great, but you don't want this to be something that goes on for 10 minutes and has no end in sight. Then, once you've got the reader survey ready, you share it in a blog post, on your social media, in your newsletter, however you like. Now, when it comes to the questions you want to ask, the reason you want to do multiple choice rather than open-ended is because it's just so much less intimidating. So, I want to ask, what kind of content would you be most excited to see in the next few months? Okay. Well, that line there, I don't know, I'm not sure. But instead, I could go ahead, and provide answers for them, and these are answers I've preselected, and said, "I'd be happy to do any of these." But which ones are you most excited about? So, that way, again, you are balancing what it is that your reader wants as well as what you're excited about. Okay. You probably guessed it. You are going to be making a reader survey now. Go ahead, and just stick to four or five questions that's going to keep it short, and set those predetermined multiple choice answers. You can also leave in "Other" option at the bottom and let them fill something in, but you do want to have those other choices for them just because it's so much easier for them. You have many different options. You can hop online and find them, but again, my favorite is Typeform. Then, when it comes to asking for an email address, that is totally up to you. It can be useful in the future if you are going to offer sales, figure to offer any kind of products or courses. But remember, if you were planning to add this email address to a mailing list, you need to let them know in advance. So, you can't just like sneak in and put all those email addresses that you got from your survey into your newsletter. You need to let them know before they put their email address down. When you have gone, and done all that, and shared your survey, go ahead and you are ready to move on to the next video. 6. Lesson 5: Your Next 3 Months: Hi, and welcome back to class. Okay. So, we got through that preliminary work. I know it felt a little bit tedious, but it has built the foundation upon which we are going to be building everything else and building this flexible editorial plan. We're going to be focusing on the next three months. We will take the next 12 months really into account, but the next three months is really the most manageable and realistic amount of time that we can consider for a lot of things because a year from now, who knows what's going to be happening in eight months? So, this is a way to break down your year and essentially look at things quarter to quarter. A flexible editorial plan which is like an editorial calendar except more, it allows for scheduling and for passion. These are really important because you do want to look ahead. You want to plan out your blog posts. This is essential to running a successful blog, but you also want to have room for that creativity. I totally get that, and when you have a really strict editorial calendar, it can feel like you don't have room for that and it's not enjoyable. So, go ahead, and you're going to pull out your calendar. We're focusing, like I said, on the next three months, but we will be keeping the next 12 in mind with a couple of different parts of this. Essentially, what you're going to do is hyper-focused on the next three months, and then once those three months are done, you will sit down and do this again for your following three months. As I said, we've built the foundation, and now we're just building things up, and this will keep you going along the way. This is like the little bits of repair throughout the year. You want to again be asking yourself some questions, and the first one is what kind of a timeline your readers might be on? This can indicate some important dates that you want to highlight in your calendar. Let's say that you're a parenting blogger. Back to school is a big one, also graduation. If you're a food blogger, then you might want to make a note of the change of the seasons because different foods are available at different times. Do you have restaurant week where you live? There's also Thanksgiving which I think is a big food holiday if you're in the States. Also, travel. If you've got a travel blog, think about spring break, summer vacation, winter getaways. Those are all things that people who read a travel blog will have in their mind. So, you want to make a note of those different parts of the year. Holidays, also, are just, in general, a really big one because you want to at least ask yourself, does anything change for your readers? What are they looking for at that time of year that might be unique to that time of year that might be they're only looking for it then? You want to provide that for them if you can because that is going to be something they'll look at, and say, "Oh, wow! She or he is really paying attention." Another question to ask yourself is what's going on with you in the next three months. This is super important. You also do want to consider the next 12 months because you might know some of these things in advance, but definitely the next three. Even the smallest of things can really affect how much time you have to dedicate to your blog. So, all these different things, from moving, to getting married, to planning a vacation, this will affect how much time you can spend, and if you don't build in time around that, you're going to feel like you're failing even though you're really not. It's just like life is happening, and you didn't plan for it. So, that's what we want to do now is we want to plan for it. If you know these things are happening, go ahead, and build the breaks around this, or build some time that you either take that time off or you plan to prepare your content in advance. I also want to point out that you can, and you definitely should take time off. Blogging breaks are essential to avoiding burnout. One thing that I want to point out is you never have to apologize to your readers for taking a little break and taking some time to regroup. They understand that you need to take that time. You need to go on vacation. You need to be with family. All of that stuff, they get it. They're people too. So, I highly recommend not apologizing to your readers. This is your space. It's your blog, but just owning and planning for the time that you won't be blogging or when it is maybe that you're queuing things up in advance. As I mentioned, life happens, and luckily, we've got a flexible editorial plan that we're working on. So, you won't have issues moving things around when it does. Now, it might seem a little bit cryptic yet how this whole flexible editorial plan is going to come together. I'm actually going to create a fictitious blog, and create the editorial plan for this blog, and show you how all of the pre-work and how all of this work goes into creating it. So, we will get to that soon, I promise. I want to also stress taking the time to look at scheduling and look at the future before just jumping into filling up your calendar. This is an overlooked step. So, you want to be realistic, and you want to be honest with yourself. If you know that you are moving in July, go ahead, take two weeks off. Take that break. You need to focus on you. If you know that you have a wedding that you're attending, whatever it is, you want to build the time around that, and it's perfectly okay to. Okay, so, for this task, I want you to take a closer look at your calendar. Examine first if your readers have a timeline. Think about the holidays that play an important part of their lives, and take a look at the next three months to decide any of that time that you might want to pay some special attention to. That might be important to say, "Oh, hey. This holiday's coming up." Or that "I'm a mommy blogger and back to school is coming up." These are things to make note of. What is in your calendar for the next three months? So these are things going on in your life that you know are happening. Again, life happens so these things might come up later as well. You don't know everything that's going to happen, but anything that is already down there. Then, also look at the next 12 months for both of these things. So, anything that's a definite in the schedule and anything, with your readers' timeline, that you want to go ahead and make a note of now. This just makes it easier when you go to reassess things because, like I said, you're doing this now primarily focusing on three months, and then in three months, you're going to do it again for three months. So, if you've done the work for 12 months at least filling in some of those holidays and things like that, some of the work is already done for you. Okay. When you've done this, you are ready to move on to the next video. 7. Lesson 6: Future Content: Hello, and welcome back to class. Okay, this is a really exciting video because we're starting to get into organizing and planning our content. Now, you might already have categories on your blog and sort of a good general direction and that's awesome, but I do want you to take a moment if you have already done this or especially if you haven't to think about the kinds of posts, topics and categories that you're going to be covering on your blog because knowing this is going to lead you when you're creating content in the future. Not only that, it can spark your inspiration so that you might just write something on the fly and also, it helps you plan things out so that you are not only leaving room for posts that you sit down and furiously write because you're so moved to but also, you have things that are planned in advance and will keep your blog going. I want to talk a little bit about categories and developing those categories because you do want those to be relatively focused. I was just on Fast Company and noticed they have five categories at the top. Fast Company publishes so much content. I definitely recommend not going over eight because it's overwhelming. Imagine going to a website and looking at the top and seeing 15 different categories. More than likely, you aren't going to know what to pick. You're going to feel a little intimidated. So, same thing for your blog. You're going to want to narrow things down to eight. If you can get it even lower, that's better. When you think about categories, as well as just kind of the topics you cover, make a note of the ones that you know could be planned in advance. Then also, think about the ones that you are more likely to write when you were moved to. So, for example, on my site, a lot of the times with my travel stories that are more personal essays, I write those when I'm really just feeling the mood to do that. But when it comes to photo series, I know that I can plan those out in advance. So, that's what you kind of want to be looking at and making note of. I also want to talk for a second about solo posts versus series. It's something that I had just coined myself. So, we've got categories, obviously. Those are the big ideas and then our post fit into those categories. Obviously, this keeps your posts at an easy to manage number, but what is the difference between solo and series posts? A solo post is something that fits into the category but it's not really related to anything else. So, let's say, you have a home decor category on your blog. The post itself might just be some useful tips for home decoration. You don't do a bunch of useful tips posts, this is just one that you were like, "I really want to write this." And you go ahead and you publish that one. A series post is different because it fits into a category but also relates to other posts that have a similar style or maybe a similar topic or even just a similar type of post. So, if you have a kids projects category on your DIY blog, you might decide within that category, you are going to have a series of watercolor projects. This is a nice option if you don't want to just start a watercolor category, but maybe you're really getting into watercolor and you're batch posting some things, working on multiple watercolor projects at once for your kids. This is a way for you to generate multiple pieces of content and perhaps, spend a little less time on it. Again, knowing that you have this series, you can be sitting around and saying, "Well I've got an open slot in three weeks. What kind of posts could I put there? Oh, well, I've got that series of watercolor post. I could do that." Essentially, you're just making connections with your content and it will make brainstorming, planning and writing just so much easier, whether it's planned out or something that you do on a win. I do want to emphasize, a series doesn't have to be stated on your blog. You don't have to call it, "The Watercolor Series." You don't have to give it any kind of title like that. This is more of a mechanism for you to keep things organized. Like I said, it's to help you plan, to help you when you're feeling passionate about writing posts. Additionally, if you want to keep things flexible, I recommend avoid assigning content to a certain day by giving them that day in their name. So, it's not necessarily bad for you to do this, it might really work well for you. The reason I caution against it though is because we're creating a flexible editorial plan. So, if you have a post that always goes out on Thursdays, but through some of this prework, you've discovered your readers are primarily reading Monday and Tuesday, you might be thinking of changing things around, but if it has Thursday in the name, then you kind of just- you're lost. You're like, "I don't know how I feel about this series anymore and I can't move it around." So, it just doesn't allow for flexibility, change or any kind of growth. Now, a series can happen whenever it works best for you. It doesn't have to be weekly, it doesn't have to be the day of the week and the name at the same time, it can be if you want it to be. But when we're talking about a flexible editorial calendar, that's just something to keep in mind. Additionally, your series can happen weekly. Like I said, it doesn't necessarily mean that day of the week in the headline. I think it's good to try and get creative with your names and I totally understand wanting the alliteration and things like that to try and make things catchy, but you want to leave things open for you to grow and change in the future. Okay. It's time you organize your content. Think about which categories you're going to have, maybe take a look at the ones you've gotten now and see if they're all ones that you like, that you're posting in all of them regularly and try and limit yourself to no more than eight. Also, think about any kind of series that you could create. Take a look at some of your past posts and try and make some connections there or maybe some of the content you're excited to write about. You wrote out some ideas before, that might be something to consider and see if there's a way to tie things together. Then also, if you had to say what ideas you have for content right now, what are those? Would they be solo posts, would they be series, could they be series? It's going to take a little bit of examining and I know I've talked a lot about series posts because it can be a nice way to in a way almost essentially batch post things a little bit, but solo posts are still very valuable. So, don't feel like everything has to be a series. As I mentioned, it's simply a mechanism to help you get through and fill up to that editorial plan and just make it more doable because we're all busy. Life happens, but we want to create that great content. Okay. When you've gone ahead and gone through all of these, you are ready for the next video. 8. Lesson 7: Tools to Organize: Hi, and welcome back to class. How is all the work coming? Okay. In the next video, I'm actually going to be showing you how all of this work will come together with an editorial plan and an editorial calendar. It will all be flexible. So, I'm going to actually show you how I do that in a calendar. But before we dive into that, I do want to show you some of the tools that you can use. So, as you're watching that video, you can follow along and do some of those things yourself as well. I will be honest, everyone is different here. I have just selected a few of the tools that I have tried and enjoyed, but it's going to take trial and error on your part to find what really works for you. With any luck you've already found it, but if not, look to some of these options that I've listed here. These are some that I've tried. I'm not going to go into how to use them. You can definitely find some awesome classes on Skillshare about all of these though. So, Google Calendar, surprisingly, this is one that I returned to recently for my editorial plan and it does what I need and I don't have any extra bells and whistles, and I like that. It's free. It is basic, but like I said, gets the job done. The benefit to this is you probably already know how to use it. You might already use it just for your own personal schedule, and this is wonderful if you are a solopreneur or a blogger and it's just you on the team. Another benefit to this is it combines tasks and a calendar. So, they've got the calendar option, and you also have the tasks there that you can unfurl and assign those dates as well. When you get to have more than one person on your team, that's when it gets a little bit messy and it's not so nice to use. It's still possible, but you really don't have any kind of task tracking there. Also, there's not much customization. So, it's really a bare-bones option. Trello, I really like Trello. I manage a couple of different blogs and use Trello for one of them. Trello's free and has an affordable upgrade option available. It is so great for task management if that is what you're looking for whether it's just for yourself or for a team of 20, whatever it is, it works well. If you like using post-its, this is what it is. It's essentially a Post-it born, abortive post-its I should say, and they call it Kanban style. They have really good support, and I'll say there's a small learning curve. It can look a little intimidating, but it is really quite easy to use and they have a calendar option that is integrated into it. But if you want to sync with Google Calendar, I personally didn't love how that worked. Overall though, Trello is really awesome. One of the ones that I highly recommend. Now, if you do not need a calendar option and you're more organizational focused, this is a really good option for management and keeping everything organized. Either Google Sheets or Excel. Google Sheets obviously is free. So, that's a plus and more than likely you probably already know how to use it. This doesn't have a calendar option like I said. So, if that's something that you'd even minutely think you might need, you will want to combine this with the calendar option or just look elsewhere. Airtable is another Excel spreadsheet thing. Personally, I prefer this to Google Sheets. I think that it just looks so much nicer. It's way easier to organize, too. It's very intuitive. It's free. There is an option to upgrade, and I think once you get past the learning curve, it's pretty easy to use. The software is super intelligent. It's amazing. I was filling things in the other day in one of these, and it practically did the work for me. It was so great. I also like that they have pre-made templates. The spreadsheets, you can see in this image that photos can be attached. So, that's pretty cool. I also think that it's beautiful, but again, if you need a calendar, you're going to want to add onto this somehow. ClickUp is similar to Trello. Its task management. They do have the Kanban option. It is free with the option to upgrade, and it also has really great support. They're a little newer than Trello, and they're really trying to make people happy. So, you will get responses from people on the team very quickly. Subtasks can be assigned deadlines which I love. So, if you look at this image, it says prototype for the landing. You can click on that and open it up, and there will be subtasks in there that can also have a deadline. So, I think that is one thing that I really like about it. Overall though, it is an overwhelming dashboard. It takes some getting used to. You will definitely want to set some time aside to learn how this can work best for you. CoSchedule is an incredibly popular option. I would say it's one that I hear about the most. It allows you to track post progress from the idea to when it's published and it also incorporates social media. So, it's a little bit of everything. It is really great. The downside of course, is it is paid only and the pricing starts at $40 which for people who are doing this as a side hustle, that can be a pretty significant amount. So, it's an investment. If you're able to set it aside, go for it. They do have a free trial. I think it's two weeks. Also, I found that it was a bit of a learning curve, but overall they have some really good support and really awesome videos that they've set up. Now, you might be the kind of person who likes to do things in a planner, and that is totally fine too. You can do it old school. This is a tried and true method. If you really like to have your hands busy and that really helps you focus and kind of almost get all those ideas in your brain better, then you should definitely try this out. Another thing with this is you can customize it however best works for you. So, if you like fun colored markers, sticky notes, whatever it is, do it. The downside of course, is unless this is like a tablet calendar situation, if you are doing pen and paper, you won't have a backup and you can't access it from just anywhere. So many of these that I just mentioned have apps, and you won't have an app for your paper planner. Now, as I mentioned, these are just a few. There are so many out there. So, I encourage you to check these out, to look up online what other ones might be out there, and find one that works for you to handle an editorial plan. I think personally, a combination of calendar and tasks is useful. So, you either want something that's going to do both or, and this is totally fine too, find something that is task-based as well as calendar based and put those two together. As I mentioned, there are new ones popping up all the time. Just make sure that you research them thoroughly so that you don't have any issues with a company that just goes under and you lose all of your work. All right. For this task, I want you to figure out how you would like to track and plan out your editorial work. Look at the ones I mentioned, see what works best for you. If you're still not sure, check out some YouTube videos, they can really give you a good taste of what might work. Once you've done all this, you are ready to move on to the next video. 9. Lesson 8: Sample Editorial Plan: Hi, and welcome back to class. Starting to get to the point where we're creating your editorial plan and calendar, and quite honestly I think the easiest way to do this is to show you. I'm going to show you some of the prework that I've done for a blog that I just made up. Then, I am going to actually do a screen share of me putting some of this work into a calendar and then also showing you how I move things around and how things will remain flexible. I will plan on using Google Calendar and Google Tasks for this. The reason being it's easy and it's simple, and it's really the most basic of basic. I don't want to be focusing in this video on how to use Trello or what you can do in CoSchedule, instead I just want to focus on the calendar and the plan so this is the best way to do it. I've decided to create a dessert blog because I love dessert. Some of the prework that I did, you'll see these questions on the left are the ones that match up to the ones that you've been answering throughout this entire course. I've decided I can write one post a week but I'd really like to increase that to at least two. So I'm going to try and do that with batch prep once a month. I really want to write about Italian desserts especially gelato. I just got a gelato machine so this is a great opportunity. I want to try and get into video but I might not really be sure how to do that so that's something that I'm interested in. Trends that I've noticed are healthier desserts and also Tasty-style videos, the ones that you see on Facebook. More of the questions that I went into. I noticed that well-lit hero images did really well especially when they were on a light counter top. My recipes that were accompanied by a short story did well as well as any of my posts that had the word recipe in the title, and Q and A's with bakers, posts that had image collages in them, and anything I posted on the weekend, that didn't do so well. It looks like most people are finding my blog through Pinterest but I do have a small following of people on Facebook, and Wednesday or Thursday are the best days for me to post because most people are hopping on my blog Friday and Saturday to bake. Now, I put together some questions I wanted to ask my reader. First of all, I want to know how they find me. Obviously I can seal off from analytics that it's Pinterest, but I'd love to know if somebody recommended me so that's one of the options I would put in there in the responses. What dietary restrictions do they have, if they have any? This could be an interesting thing to explore if I notice a lot of people coming to my blog are gluten free, I might want to provide more of that kind of content for them. What length of time is good for you to make a dessert? This is useful because I don't want to be putting all this time and effort into deserts that are three hours to prep if most people just want to spend 30 minutes on a dessert. What's your biggest challenge when it comes to baking and making sweets? This is a good opportunity for me to examine how I can swoop in there and say, "Hey, this is so difficult when you make desserts, but I can help you with this." And I also like to ask them what they want to see more of on the blog and one of the responses I will preselect is video. I'm going to put that in there and see how they respond. When it comes to my reader's timeline and what's going on for me, I know that holidays are huge. Also in the summer, cooler desserts are really popular and warmer desserts are better in the winter. And also I plan on taking vacation in March. I will be vacationing in September and I just want to take a blogging break in December. When it comes to categories, I've noted down I want to do Italian desserts. I want to focus on holidays and just have that be a section because that's a big timeline for my readers. Quick deserts, evidently through the reader survey I did, most people want to spend a very small amount of time under their desserts like under an hour. I'm even going to have a section for quick desserts that are really short and sweet. I will also divide things up by the main ingredients so maybe it's chocolate or fruit, that way people can find what they're looking for and really wanting to make. And then also How To's so not just recipes but little how to's that will be helpful in the kitchen. Some series that I thought of would be cinnamon. Any kind of desserts that incorporate cinnamon, that's obviously not a main ingredient because that would go in the main ingredient if it were in fact the main ingredient in that category. But cinnamon is just an accent and it's something I used, but I could focus on that and make a series from it, and I might also want to focus on some healthy desserts. Some ideas that I have for content right now are what to look for in a gelato machine and or making gelato like a how to. Right now, the time I'm making this video, it's January so I'm looking ahead towards Valentine's Day and then also grapefruit is in season so this is a great time to incorporate that. All right. It's time to do this. We're going to dive into figuring this out on a calendar. So you are going to now head on to the next video and I'm going to show you how all this comes together. Make sure that you have your calendar as well that you've pulled up whether it's Google Calendar or whatever else you've decided to use and go along with me and we've got a couple of little tasks that we'll be doing together. All right, when you're ready move on to the next video. 10. Lesson 9: Sample Editorial Calendar (Pt. 1): Hi and welcome back. Okay. It is time to do this, it's time to create this editorial planning calendar. I'm going to show you the calendar that I'm going to create with my fictitious desert blog. From there, I will show you some questions at the end and that will get you going with your own. So you can work alongside of this video and do the same things I'm doing as we go and just hit pause as you need or you can go through this whole video and I'll have some things for you to do at the end, some tasks that will just keep you on track. Again, we're focusing primarily on three months. We're going to be looking at 12, the holistic 12 months but really the next three months are key and we're going to be looking at not only putting things in a calendar but creating tasks for us so that we can stay on track and keep working towards that big goal which is improving and writing blog posts we love and having things planned out so we're not stressed. Okay, so this screen should look a little bit different for you. We are going to dive into how we can put our editorial plan into action in our calendar. So this is going to include working with the calendar and also working with a task list. As you can see, I've enlarged by now so you should be able to follow it a little bit closer. I have my desert blog which I've created the calendar over here that's the only thing that you're going to be seeing on the calendar everything is going to appear in red and then on the right is where Google keeps a task list. So we'll be adding some tasks in here as well and assigning dates to them so that I can stay on track. Okay, first thing I want to do is, you can see I've written in posts here already. Don't worry about that so much right now because the first step that I already did was go in and put vacation and holidays. So one of the big vacations and holidays for my readers is going to be Valentine's Day. I know I have my vacation in March, so I wrote that down in there. That continues into the middle of March. There's Easter here on April first and then fast forwarding a few months to July we've got July fourth and I went and also included some vacation that I have as well, at the end of August here. Halloween down at the bottom is going to be a big one for my readers and then this gets into thanks giving on the 22nd of November, and in December is the holidays, I'm going to give myself a little blogging break, the 25th to the first as well. So those are the dates that I marked first. That was what I went in and did first. I was looking for everything in the next 12 months basically. Now, as I go in and start filling stuff in I'm really just going to focus on the next three months. So and just staying focused on these three months. I'm going to say just for the sake of making things easier that today is January 1st. So I'm looking at all of January and all of February and all of March, so that's what I've got going on. Now when it comes to my categories I have five of them. The first one which is a big focus for me is Italian desserts. So that's one that's going to pop up a little more often here when I am filling these things out. Right now what I have are just placeholders. So, I haven't written anything in here, you can see it just as post for all these. Another category I have is holidays. That's one that I want to try at least one time per month, to have some holiday post. There are all these really obscure holidays do that happen. So during one of my brainstorming sessions that I fill out in my task list I'll probably look for some of those that might be good for my blog. Ideally though, I'd like to do at least three holiday posts that will go with for example, Valentine's Day. Then I've got a quick desserts category, that's something that's going to be really good for me that I can just do on the fly. Because not only is it going to be quick and easy for my readers but it's something that's quick and easy for me to put together as well. Then I have my category from main ingredients so chocolate, fruit things like that and then I also have general how to use and that's a post, that's a category I want to try and do at least two times a month. That would be ideal for me. Already, considering that Italian desserts is going to be once a week that's going to be a big focus for me. I'm going to have a couple of holiday posts, quick desserts can be really easy filler, main ingredients as well that will be something that I can put in as I need to and then knowing that I want to try and use some general how to use at least twice a month, that's going to really fill this calendar out very quickly. You'll notice I chose Tuesday and Thursday to dedicate times for my posts and my readers come to the site primarily on the weekends. Starting on Thursday nights into Sunday. So I thought Wednesday and Thursday might be a good time to post but I sort of wanted to spread it out. So by spreading it out I'm going to do Tuesday, Thursday. I'm hoping maybe that this might generate a little more midweek traffic as well, so it's a bit of an experiment but just something that I want to try out that's what I decided to do. Now, we're going to get into how to make this flexible with your schedule. As you'll see we get into the end of February here beginning of March I've got vacation, and a post happening at the same time. In the next video i'll show you how this whole thing can work with flexibility, but right now we're just trying to fill it in and get an idea of what it's going to look like. The first step of that is filling in the things that I know and primarily just focusing on the categories right now. So what I'm trying to say, "Oh well, on the fourth, what post I'm I going to do?" I don't know yet. It's so stressful. So first thing is if I can just fill in some of the categories and get an idea of what's going to go where, that's already going to make everything so much easier. You'll also notice I didn't put something for Tuesday 2nd. That's just because this is a new editorial plan for me and I'm not wanting to jump right into it and do two posts this week without having anything prepared. Okay, so let's focus on categories. I want Italian desserts to be a big focus for the blog and I'm going to go ahead and say starting next week that I would like instead of just having a general post here, I'm going to have this be my Italian desserts post. I can fill in what that Italian dessert is going to be later. I'm going to have this alternate, I don't want Italian desserts to just exclusively be on Tuesdays. You might decide if you were in my position doing this exact same blog you might say, "You know what? I'd really like to just keep things easier on myself." Or "It just makes more sense to do only Italian desserts on Tuesdays." That's fine too. It's totally up to you. I'm really just doing this to highlight how we can make this a little bit more flexible for us and probably a little more dynamic with the posting if you so wish. So I'm going to go ahead and add in alternating Italian desserts categories. All right. I'm in March here. This is the first quarter that I'm working with. I am changing this last one that says post to fill out that Italian desserts category. So, I've got all of my Italian desserts posts here in March. If we go back one month here in February, I've got some of them filled out as well, alternating between Tuesdays and Thursdays just like I wanted. Going back to this month that we're looking at here, also again, alternating Italian dessert. So, we've got some stuff already filled in there. The next thing I'm going to be thinking about are holidays because holidays revolve around these set dates. The next holiday coming up is in February. I've got valentine's day here. So, I'm going to want these three posts. So, I wanted to try and get three posts per holiday, that was my ideal minimum one but let's go ahead and try and aim for three. So, I'm going to change this just like I changed the other one to be holiday post, and I'll specify that it's for valentine's day, and I'm going to do those for the other two as well. So, I open in here. The part that is before the colon, I just put what the category is and to make things easier, I'm just writing the holiday in there as well, but we will get more specific once we get a little bit closer. So I'm flushing this completely out. So, I've got holidays in there, then I also have Easter that's going to be happening. Not exactly this quarter, it's going to happen in April, but, I've got some posts before then that happened in March that I'd like to fill in. So, I'm going to go ahead and fill those in as well. Already looking really good here, I'm going to go back to this month today. So, I've got some general how to that I can fill in, the main ingredient that I can also fill in and quick desserts. So, the quick desserts one is also kind of a filler as well. So, I'm going to go ahead, I had an idea for a how to that I had written down. I'm going to say this first post since I'm already thinking about it is going to be that how to. So, that one's going to be a how to. So, I've got a how to for January and let's go ahead and see what we can fit in with February. So, we've got a lot of valentine's day leading up to valentine's day obviously. Let's go ahead and get a how to right in here. Now, when I chose this date, I didn't necessarily, there wasn't any particular reason I was like oh well it should be that one in particular as opposed to this one on the 27th. Really, this can get changed and moved around and it will and I'm going to show you how to do that. Like I said in the next video we're going to work a bit more on how to make this work for you. Then, let's go ahead and we'll do another how to here as well. So, we get one how to per month. Great. So we've got a how to in March. We've got one in February the month before it and if we go back to January the month we're dealing with now, we've got one that's going to be our first post. So, already even if I were just looking at this month without having to do too much work I already know the skeleton of what I'm looking at. I have the Italian desserts that alternate between Tuesday and Thursday, I've got some holidays already getting started at the end of the month and then I also have that how to that I'm starting with. My last categories are main ingredient and quick desserts. So, I'll go ahead and let's do a main ingredient one here. Main ingredient and we'll do a quick desserts for this one, and that leaves us with one more post that's not determined yet for January. Let me move forward to February and just take a look and see what we've got here. So, we have one post here. Let's go ahead and do this one as a quick dessert and then looking ahead all of this is already filled in, great. Now, this is also nice because let's say that I am focusing maybe almost too much on Italian desserts. So, let's say I get into this and I realize doing this much Italian desserts is really exhausting, it's too hard. That's when I can start pulling in more of those main ingredient posts, those quick dessert posts, things like that if I want to give myself a little more variety in that regards. I'm going back to this month, we've got January. Now, we've filled in the categories in the next three months. So, we have an idea of what we want to do but that's right. We've got one more here that we did not do. Let's do a main ingredient post because the quick desserts are really just like fast and easy ones where maybe I'm not really feeling up for it but I want to get something out. So, now everything is filled out, everything has a category for the day. Before I start filling in what I want these posts to be, I'm going to work on tasks. So, that's going to be over here on the right. I had originally said I can only write and schedule posts once a week, like I could only sit down and write one post per week, there's no way that I can really write two per week. So, that means I'm going to have to set aside some time for some batch posting and I'm going to say that that's going to happen this Saturday. I'm going to make this a task. So, I'll say some brainstorming, so that's on there and some batch hosting and let me just make sure that that is a task actually, batch posting, there we go, that is a task. So, as I added those here on the calendar you can see that they're just over here and written. So, this would be tasks that I could check off once they're done. So, that's going to be Saturday, I'm going to do some brainstorming and then I'm going to do some batch posting. So, probably because I have so many Italian desserts that I'm working on, maybe I'll get a couple of gelatos knocked out and just do like a couple in one day, get the photos for them and write up those recipes. Things like that, and then that way I don't actually have to sit down and write each of these Italian dessert recipes each week, they're just done and ready to go. That's an advantage to having this category of these B1 that I'm so excited to write about and have it be such a big focus for me going into this editorial plan. Now, I do also want to focus on some more of these tasks from four weeks from this point. So, that would be at the beginning of February. I'm going to make sure it's a task again. I want to get into some more brainstorming and then I want to get in some more batch posting. So, again, that's there on my calendar. Going into February, that's the beginning. Now, you can see here if I were to go another four weeks out that's my vacation, so I definitely don't want to schedule anything then. So, I'm just going to leave the week before. I'm going to do the same thing, a couple more brainstorming, and remember brainstorming doesn't have to be some long thing, just 30 minutes is good just to get your mind on it. The batch posting is obviously going to be a little more tedious, especially depending on how many posts per week you're doing. For me, since it's just I'll be preparing maybe four at a time, it shouldn't be too bad. So, I've got my brainstorming and batch posting here at the end of February and then I want to go ahead and do some more here. So, last time, and this is also going to be the day that I'm going to want to set aside a little more time for looking ahead to quarter two or the next three months basically. Oh! I'm sorry, I made that as not a task. So, looking ahead to quarter two or the next three months, however it is that you want to phrase that. So, I've got that on there and then I'm also probably thinking about it now that's going to be a lot of work for one day. So, I'll do a little bit of batch posting this day instead and I'll probably do a little less than I normally do and set my next batch posting session maybe two weeks out or three weeks out instead of four. So, that way I'm not overwhelming myself on one Saturday and feeling totally overwhelmed. 11. Lesson 10: Sample Editorial Calendar (Pt. 2): Okay. So, I've got those tasks in there. I'm going to go back to Today. Got my tasks in. I'm looking good. I've got these categories going. So, now it is time to fill in some of those headlines. Okay. I'm going to start with the Italian desserts that I've got going here. So, I have a couple of ideas for some gelato posts, because I have the gelato machine. Then, I also have ideas like Cannolis, Tiramisu and Panna cotta. I don't want to overwhelm my readers with just gelato all the time, so I'm going to try and spread that out a little bit. So, this first Italian dessert, I'll make that one be a gelato, and we'll just have that be chocolate gelato. Okay, great. The next Italian desserts is going to happen here. I don't want that one to be gelato. Like I said, I want to give my readers a little bit of variety. So, I'm going to go ahead and say that this one is Tiramisu. Then getting here, another gelato one. Let's do mint gelato, and then down here again, we'll do Cannolis. So, another Italian dessert that I know I'm wanting to put on the blog. Then, I also know I want to do strawberry gelato and I thought strawberry might be a really good one to do in February, because of Valentine's day. So, I'm going to see, let's see. We've got one here. So, yeah. This would be the Italian desserts before Valentine's Day. So, we'll do strawberry gelato. I'll just put it in there. Maybe when we're writing it up, we'll mention something about Valentine's day, because it is a good timely one to do. Okay. Now, already, I'm past this batch posting and brainstorming session. I'm also past the first one that I'm going to be doing this coming weekend. So, I don't know how much more I really want to fill out yet, simply because I may come up with some great ideas in these sessions. Now, I do have some ideas. I'll go ahead and fill in a couple of things in, just so that I have them down on the calendar. But they might end up moving later, and that's totally okay. So, I have one more Italian dessert that I'm thinking would be good, and that's Panna Cotta. So, Panna Cotta dessert. Okay, great. So already, until the middle of February, I've got my Italian desserts figured out. This might feel a little stressful, because you're like, "But I want to know what's going to be happening with the rest of these Italian desserts." Like I said, I've already got two sessions of batch posting and brainstorming to do before I even reach this point. So, that is definitely going to affect those things. When I sit down to brainstorm, that's when I'll go in and fill in a little bit more of this calendar. It won't be so overwhelming at all, because all of these categories will already be here. It's really just going to be filling in the little dots there. Okay. So, now let's look to the holidays. I put in some holiday specific ones. I have three for Valentine's Day. So, I'll start with this first one at the end of January. So, this is a holiday, Valentine's Day. I'm just going to say Valentine's Day cookies. You can tell I'm clearly not very experienced with baking, I'm not getting too specific here. You, of course, might be more specific, because you will be more familiar with the industry you're working in. I'm going to do some holiday Valentine's Day cupcakes. The day before Valentine's Day, what should I do? Let's do some truffles, some chocolate truffles. Those are great gifts. Great. All right. February looking really good. The other holiday that I have going on is Easter. That happens here on the 1st, and the three holidays, or the three blog posts that precede that happen on the 27th, the 22nd and the 13th. So, let's start with the 13th. Sorry about that. Jumped forward. We're going to start with the 13th here. This is just going to be Easter cookies, some Easter cookies that I'm thinking of. Another Easter dessert that I'd like to do would be some chocolates that are shaped like eggs. Then, I'm going to do some specialty, like Easter cake. So, something that I decorate, Easter cake. Again, I'm being a little vague here, because I am not too terribly familiar with all of these terms and the different options that I have. But for you, you can get a little more specific with your titles. You will know exactly what it is that you're writing about, or even in my case, let's say that I do have this dessert blog and I know that I want to do some Easter cake, I just don't know what yet. This is far enough out that designating it as the Easter cake post, that's a great place to start. Then, when I reach that brainstorming session beforehand, I'll look at the calendar and I'll say, "Oh! Easter cake. Well, what do I want that cake to look like? Oh! A funfetti cake." Then, I'll get a little more specific. So, it's up to you how specific you want to get with these titles. When you're at least looking that month out, and up until that next brainstorming session though, it's good to get a little bit more specific, so that you're never caught last-minute thinking, "Oh my gosh. What do I post about? I have no idea," and then you just end up not posting and feeling bad about it. Now, we're going to get into the How To's. So, going to go back to Today. The How To that I had the idea for initially was, how to choose a gelato machine. So, that's one that I already had on my mind and wrote down in my planning note. So, that's going to be a great first one to start, because I'm really excited about writing that one. Another one I thought of, looking at my calendar here, let's see here. Where's our next How To? Okay. Next How To is in February. So, how to pair wine with chocolate. Now, that's what I'm actually thinking might be good, to end up switching, to go before Valentine's Day. So, in the end, I might feel like I want to move this one up here, so that how to pair wine with chocolate on the 22nd might end up going where the Italian desserts cannolis one is, and then Italian desserts cannolis one will move down there. I haven't decided that 100 percent yet, though. So, I'm just going to leave it where it is. Then, let's see where is my next how to. Okay, I've got one here, and I don't love this idea, but it's an idea that I have right now. So, I just want to put it in the calendar. How to separate egg yolks. So, that's an easy how to for me to put together, too. So, I'm going to put that in there. It might end up changing. Again, in the next video, I'll show you how this can all be kind of flexible based on what you're feeling, and what you've actually got in your arsenal right now, and everything. Okay, so that fills up our how to, as it looks like. I couldn't go back to two days or in January again. Okay, so the main ingredient one. We've got a main ingredient here on the 25th. I mentioned that grapefruit's in season, so I'm going to do something with grapefruit. I'm thinking grapefruit bars, and I'll put that in a question mark. I just want to try and do something with grapefruit, because that is in season. All right, moving on to the next one. Just want to make sure I don't miss any. Okay, there's none in February. Then once I get into March, let's see. Looks like that's it. So, I'm good with the main ingredient ones right now. I am thinking a little bit that I'm going to have that cinnamon theme. So, if I do want to go ahead and remove one of these, any of these posts, and make it a main ingredient post, I can go ahead and maybe rely on that, and do a main ingredient with something that has cinnamon in it. So, something like apple pie that has cinnamon. Something like carrot cake that has cinnamon. It's not the main ingredient. It's the theme, so it's an overarching thing, but it's something that could help me spark some inspiration, and get some things going. Now, the last thing that I haven't filled out yet are quick desserts. So, I don't really know yet what I want to do with my quick desserts for the following months. So, right here, in February, I've got one. I might have one in March as well, but I am not sure, I am not thinking too far ahead, because like I said, the quick desserts are ones that I'm just using as filler. It's just something easy for me to put together. It's easy for the reader, but I do want to get this first one that's coming up this month, kind of thinking about that one. So, I'm thinking. Again, going back to that theme with cinnamon, I'm going to do baked cinnamon pita chips. So, that's a quick one for me to put together. It's got cinnamon, like that's how I got the idea for it, and already, as you can see, we've got this calendar filled out. I'm just seeing now, I missed this main ingredient one here, so I will go ahead. I was talking about the cinnamon theme. I'm going to do carrot cake. All right, so here we are, this is January. I've got, looking forward to this one, but I kind of want to have a pretty good idea of what I'm doing. Again, here, like on the 25th, I'm thinking I'm going to do something with grapefruit. It might be grapefruit bars. I'm not sure, but grapefruit is there, so that it will help me remember that. Then, I'm going to move forward to February here. Again, everything is filled out, but once we get here with the Italian deserts, I'm going to need some help, because that is a big focus for me, and I don't have all of those Italian dessert ideas yet. So, this batch posting and brainstorming session, that's going to happen on the third. That's going to help me out. That's going to help me fill that one out, and also with the quick desert one. The quick dessert one might be one that I even figure out this weekend before, and do that. Then, going on into March, ignoring the fact that there's vacation. Not going to worry about that right now. That's going to be in the next video. We've got, still these Italian desserts that need filling out, but we do have all the other stuff, especially with the holidays coming up. We've got that figured out. Over here, on the right, you can see we've got the brainstorming session, we've got sitting down, and spending some time looking ahead to the next three months, and then, some batch posting the next day. All right, so this is a lot. Let me know how it goes for you. I think the main thing to note is that this was created with the idea in mind that you're only posting one post per day, but you can absolutely post multiple posts per day. If you are using something like Google Calendar and you want to keep things organized, you might set specific, times to those, as to the time that they're being posted that day. Otherwise, I just like seeing it stand out like this, so that it's nice, and big, and bold, and I notice it right away. Okay, now that you've seen this in action, it is your turn. So, go ahead. Pull up your calendar. Pull up your task list. You're going to be doing this for yourself and for your blog. The first thing you'll want to do is mark in the important dates for your reader and for you. Those holidays, vacation days, the reader timeline, whatever it is. You then want to put in place marker posts, and fill in whatever you can. So, focus on the next three months. If you want to go ahead and do for the next 12, or at least put in some of those key, like, let's say that you have a DIY blog, and you know around Halloween, you're going to be wanting to do some things, then you can come forward. But again, we want to keep this manageable, and not too crazy. So, focus on the next three months. Remember, you want to add in that brainstorming time, as well as time for batch post production, if that's something that you want to do. Okay, once you've done this, you're ready to move on to the next video. It is going to be even more of diving into this calendar works, so that you can see how it works to be flexible, and how it will work with your own schedule. All right, see you then. 12. Lesson 11: Incorporating Flexibility: Hi, and welcome back to class. Okay, we're continuing to work with the editorial plan and our editorial calendar. This is a section that I like to call Life Happens. We've already talked a little bit about how that just is an inevitable part of life, and we need our editorial plan and our editorial schedule to be flexible. We need it to work with us, because when it's stiff, then it sort of sets us up for failure. So, how can we make things flexible? I want you to focus on how you can make this plan work for you, and not the other way around. So, what I'm going to do is walk through a couple of scenarios, while looking at the calendar, and show you examples of what I will do when certain situations pop up. So this way when you encounter those same situations in your life, you'll know exactly how to handle it, and it won't stress you out, you won't think, "Oh, my goodness, I'm a terrible blogger, because I missed this deadline or because I posted this on the wrong day or whatever." Don't worry, we'll figure it out together. So, first thing, I think that's the big one I need to point out, is vacation. So, here at the end of February, basically, at the beginning of March here, I got two weeks when I've got vacation. I'm wondering, "Am I going to be posting while I'm doing this?" or "How am I going to make this work?" So, the good news is, I've got a quick dessert here, and the quick desserts are really easy for me to put together. Sorry about that. Quick desserts are easy for me to put together, so, that's good. Then, I've got these Italian desserts, three of those Italian desserts that I'm just not sure about yet. Now, with vacation, obviously it might be an option for me to sub in some easier desserts. So, if I really didn't want to cut back on my posting at all I would consider doing some batch posting with this Italian dessert that I've got going on, because there's three that happened during that trip. I would probably focus on one of my big ones which is gelatos. So, I would just do three gelato posts here because I could do those pretty much all at once in the kitchen. I just pull out the machine, do a couple of different batches and show those in those posts. So, that could be an option, and the thing about that though is, I'm going to want to go ahead and add in a little bit more batch posting time before that. So, I'll probably spend a little bit of time here and I would do some more batch posting if that is what I wanted to do. Now, I didn't even mention I'm picking Saturdays as my day for batch posting. Any day that works for you it doesn't have to be the same day, each month, each week, whatever, that's just for me where I operate best with, but you can do whatever works well for you. So, I want to do some batch posting here, and I want to make a note on this one, that this is for gelato during vacation. So, I definitely want to make sure I get that done because I've got three posts while I'm gone that are really going to make or break if I can publish during that time. Okay, now, let's say, that I get sick one week, so, we're here back in January beginning of the month and I get sick one week, essentially, what I would do is, I would look forward to content that I've got already scheduled and I would try and sub things in. So, the actual date that I'm filling this here is the 14th. So, I'm sick. Let's say that I'm sick this weekend, I'm not feeling good, I really don't feel like getting this quick desserts one ready, but I do have this Italian desserts one ready. Well, I'm just going to go ahead and switch that one over. That's an easy switch for me, because I've already done the batch posting and some brainstorming for this month. So, this quick desserts one was going to be the one that I was going to prepare this weekend and I just didn't have the time to do it, so I can push it back, and same thing, if I still continue to be sick this week, this coming week, I would just move one of these around. It's really not a big deal, that's why I say it's nice if I had attributed my quick desserts to only ever happen on Tuesdays, because I put Tuesday in the name, that would be a little more difficult for me to do. So, keeping it flexible like that makes it so that when my Life Happens and I get sick I can easily move stuff around and just move those other things that are scheduled. Okay, so, let's say, that I'm sitting around and I have a really great idea for a new post, maybe there's something that's really newsworthy that happens, what could I do then? Okay, I'm just going to go ahead and move towards February. So, let's just say, I'm here on the 19th, it's Monday, something really big just happened, but I've already got my Italian desserts post that's going up that next day, it's already scheduled and ready to go, so, should I write about this new thing? Should I push this thing back? What can I do? Well, first option is, if I really want to I could publish two things that day. I could go a little crazy and publish twice. If I still want to just keep that schedule going then give my readers a little bonus. So, that's cool, too, I could do that, or of course, I could push something. So, I've got this Italian desserts going and if I just want to go ahead and post in that newsworthy piece, let's say, it's some big how-to thing that's going on in the dessert community, and I'm going push this Italian desserts one back. So, I'm looking ahead and this Italian dessert's on schedule, so, I'm just going to move it here, where the quick dessert one is, and I can move that quick dessert one that's here to what's going to happen after my vacation, because I'll probably be a little wiped out and a little tired. So, I got this Italian desserts when that's still lingering here and I can go ahead and move that one, actually. We'll just move that into April and get that going. So, it's happening right now on the 20th, so we'll just have it happen on the third, so we just pushed it back a little bit. All right, going back to today. So, that's what I would do if I really felt compelled to write something right then and there, and publish it quickly. Now, let's say something bad happens and I have to go and visit and care for my family for a little bit and I'm really feeling overwhelmed. So, I think in that situation especially when it comes to something that is very important and serious like that, I would not feel any issues whatsoever about going to one time a week. So, let's say we get into March here, I get back from vacation and then my parents are very sick. I would just move my Tuesday dessert posts, and I would move them to all be on Thursday, and then I would just kind of focus my editorial calendar to just be on Thursdays. Now, another option would be to add in some more batch posting if I feel like I'm able to do that. That might be a bit of a stretch though. Another good option that I could think about if I really want to go ahead and get those posts out still, I would consider more quick desserts because they're quick and easy for me to do. Those are posts that I can do on the fly or if I'm really just not able to do it, I would look towards other people in the community and see if people want to guest post on my site. So, that way I can get one guest post per month and I can do my one post, I'm sorry, one guest posts per week and I could do one as well. So, I have a couple of different options base options based on what it is that I'm feeling like I want to do. Okay. Now, if I suddenly feel a surge of productivity, let's say, we're here on Saturday the tenth I feel really productive or maybe on a Sunday I'm feeling really compelled, I would go ahead and I'll just add that it there. I would say, "You know what? I'm batch posting this day." Or if I wanted to, I could just move this batch posting over here if I don't want to overwhelm myself. It all really depends on how much time you're putting into your blog, and it's not necessarily that if you can dedicate all of your time ever it's going to go into the biggest blog ever. It's really quality over quantity here, but if I'm able to do some batch posting on Sunday and some on that following Saturday, I could spread out what I wouldn't normally do in one day and just make it a little less overwhelming overall for myself; and then also I get to kind of feed that creative part of me where I'm like, "Okay. I'm ready to go." Or if I'm just wanting to brainstorm, I could add a brainstorming session on the 11th, that day. Now, let's say that I get into this and then end of January here and I'm just realizing this is not an attainable calendar for me, it's just not working out, what could I do? So, I think in that case, I would consider cutting down not necessarily to one post a week but I could do one post one week and then two posts the following week and kind of alternate that. So, that would mean my strawberry gelato. That would potentially be one that I'm going to go ahead and move to, let's see, where would I want to move that one? I would go ahead and move that here. Want to get that holiday truffles one out, the panna cotta one. I'm going to go ahead and move that as well. I'm going to move that down here for just a moment. So, I've got two this week, one this week. I'm able to do two this week. So, I'll go ahead and put the how two up there and then we want to do just one this week, so let's move this gelato down. So, again, we're just kind of sort of pushing things down. I might also say, "You know what? Doing this many Italian desserts is really tough." And at that point I could say, "Okay. Well, let me just go ahead, I'll delete that one." So, I've got that there. So, we've got one here. We don't really need another one there, and then I want to keep this quick dessert because that's an easy one for me to do. So, I will go ahead and move that one down here, and then this Italian dessert one I'll move that here. So, this week here will have two per week, this will have one and it just spreads out my Italian dessert. So, I'm still doing a lot of Italian sort of stuff but I'm just spreading some things out. So, then that gets me to a much, much easier to handle. Every other week is two and then I have at least one per week. The other option of course, as I think I mentioned, would just be if I just wanted to do one per week. Let's say I just wanted to focus on Thursdays and that would just be the day that I post, I could go ahead and do that as well. Now, let's say that I get into this and I decide that I'm really able to do more. So, here, and at the beginning of January, I've got two posts per week and it's going super well. I do this batch posting and brainstorming session on Saturday, I get lots of stuff done and I'm like, "Okay. I can definitely do more." So, what I do? I would want to go ahead and add in some content, but I'm going to want to do this slowly because I'd be going from one end of the spectrum to the other. So, instead of just adding in an entire new day each week, I'm going to do the same thing that I kind of did just previously and have it alternate and I'm going to do Wednesdays. I'm going to add in a post here. So, I'll just add a post and then I'll add in a post here as well, and then I would continue into February and March and I would just try and see how if I alternate every other week and add in one extra day, how does that affect my time. The other thing that I have to make sure that I do when I'm upping the amount of content that I'm releasing is to add in a little more batch posting and brainstorming time. So, I want to add something in here. And batch posting, it doesn't have to be a whole day affair, and it looks like this task is taking the whole day, but just setting aside a couple of hours to try and get those posts done. Alright. So, your task for this video is a little difficult. It's really something that you're going to learn through experience. So, you're just not going to know how to handle these situations until you encounter them yourself. I will say if you haven't already, it's good to schedule a 30 minute block in your calendar for three months from now, and this is kind of your opportunity to take a look at things and just reflect and say, "I was really too ambitious when I thought I could do five blog posts a week." And that's a great thing to know, but again, only time will tell. It's a matter of experience. Okay. When you are done with this, you're ready to move on to the next video where I'm going to show you some tips with you to help all of this come together. 13. Lesson 12: Tips to Make it Work: Hi, and welcome back. Okay. So, you got a little chance to put things in your calendar, you've developed a really solid plan, you've seen how flexibility and how life can happen and work with this plan rather than work against it. So, you might still be left with a couple of questions. I wanted to just give you a couple of tips for generating really good content and practical advice for making it all work. First thing which we've already talked about is that you have readers and you can turn to them when you need help or when you have questions, so these are really great way to do this. We already talked about this. As I mentioned, multiple choice not open-ended. It is so much easier for them to wrap their heads around. So, none of those long lines where they have to fill something in and figure it out on their own. Pick those preselected answers that you've got and figure out what is best for them and let them select it. You are familiar with your ideal reader so you should be able to fill in some of those blanks. It's really just a matter of fine tuning what it is that you know about them. You might consider dedicating a theme to each quarter. So, this is something that will help you alternately guide your content. It's not something you need to advertise. It really just guides you when you're stuck and you need to think of some new content you might not be feeling totally inspired. A couple of examples of themes for example tech, future-focused tech solutions. Politics. You could focus on women in politics. Pets. You might focus on life longevity. I know, I'm going to go a little deeper into this because I know it's a little confusing, you might be wondering, wait, aren't these categories, wait aren't these theories? And they certainly could grow into that. But in general, themes are broader and they're really just intended to give you a little spark. So, it's just going to give you a little seedling to something that is going to grow into something more specific. I think, themes are something that all of your categories can fit into in some way or all of your series can fit into. So, let's go back to those examples. We've got tech future-focused tech solutions, women in politics, life longevity. For four life longevity with pets, that could be food that, could be exercised, those might be the different categories you have in your blog but it could fit into all of or any of those, same with future-focused tech solutions. You might have categories based on the different products that you review. So, maybe you reviewing cell phones, tablets, computers. Well, future-focused tech solutions might fall into all those and not as more of a theme. So, it's really all encompassing. Again, revisiting the idea of writing your post in batches. This saves time, it saves mental energy, it's so good, it's really useful with series, as I mentioned, but it can be done with any posts you'd like, it doesn't really matter. This is a diagram that I showed you before. Just think about the different parts that go into your blog posts and break those down and try and calm things together and it will save you time, it will just make things a little more streamlined. It also allows you to ride the wave of creativity when it comes to you. So, when you were really in the zone and you were really writing some great stuff, you can continue doing that and keep that going. Very importantly, you want to brainstorm new posts regularly at least once a month. It doesn't have to be for a very long period of time, just half an hour. But is the funniest part of blogging is thinking up those new ideas. So, you want to set aside time to do that. It's going to keep things fresh for you. Free writing is really good for this. I highly recommend just keeping all of your ideas in one place so you can always refer back to them for inspiration. Also, you want to reassess your schedule every time you do this, just five minutes and make sure that everything is still fitting into place. Okay. For this task, I want you to do the following, think about four potential themes you could use in the next 12 months. You do not have to put this into action if it's not something you're really intrigued by, but if you start finding yourself in a position where you're struggling to come up with fun content. Then pull one of these themes that you've chosen, and put it into action for the next three months and see what happens. You should also pick a date to set aside some time to prepare multiple posto ones and put that date in your calendar. Then, also look ahead a month from now and mark 30 minutes for a brainstorming session in your calendar. If you want to, you can do that for the next three months or even 12 if you're really feeling ambitious. All right. Once you've done this, you are ready for the next video. 14. Some Words of Encouragement: Congratulations, you've made it to the completion of this class. I know this is a lot of information and it is a lot of work. So please, let me know what I can help you with. There's a discussion area below. Ask any questions. Leave any comments. I really I'm here for you and I want to help you out. I want you to keep in mind this is a process. This is something that you were going to get better at as you continue to do it. It's not something that's going to happen in the matter of an hour or two. It is going to take a little bit of sitting down and piecing things together. Again, keep in mind, it's like a puzzle you're trying to solve with all of this not just with looking at your blog post and analytics, but the whole thing. You're trying to figure out what is going to work best for you, because like I said, you want an editorial plan and an editorial calendar that is going to work for you and not the other way around. Now, I would love to see some of the work that you've been putting towards this class, so leave some notes in the discussion area below. Let your fellow students know what it is that you've been up to. What kind of categories do you have? What does your blog cover? How many times do you post per week, and also, you know what are the tools that you're using to organize things, because it's different for everybody. Now, if you like this class, I would love if you left me a review. Let me know how it helped you, and also check out some of my other classes on Skillshare. I talk all about writing and blogging. All right. Thank you so much for joining me, and I hope to see you in another class very soon.