printable editorial calendar // get organized

when i started this blog, i said it was to share my inspiration and to document my journey to starting a business. i'm not sure that i have ever shared any looks into running my own business.. but i totally should. i'm sure there are plenty of people reading that are working towards or doing the same. it's only been a little over a year since i became a full time, "business owner" (sounds so weird and not at all correct, but i guess it is!), and i am not even close to being an expert. to be honest, i've learned a lot along the way, and the hard way at that. there are little things that i do or try to implement though that i thought i could pass along to you and maybe make your life a little easier on your journey!

between going to alt in january, taking my share of alt classes via the internet, reading books and reading lots of blogs, i can't tell you how many times i've heard "have an editorial calendar". this totally scared me at first. how on earth was i going to come up with content, days, weeks, even months in advance? i pretty much thought that was impossible. but if you are like most bloggers, you have stacks of tear sheets from magazines, overflowing pins that have inspired you for a project, and lists in notebooks and scraps of paper that need to be put into action. i realized all i needed to do was go back to this stash and pull ideas. so easy!

to keep myself organized, i created a monthly and weekly editorial calendar and a copy here for you to download and get yourself organized!

one thing i learned in an alt class on getting your content organized was to start with the big picture and plan for the year ahead. in each month, assign yourself a sort of "theme" that you'd like to focus on that month. so for example, if i were planning for february, my theme might be valentines day, love, red and pink projects, etc. obviously holiday months are going to be easier, but also think about seasons. for june, i will most likely be planning around summer trends and outdoor entertaining. not every single post needs to be focused on that theme, but you can plan your big projects and posts based on it.
once you have your theme or direction, pick 4 things that you know you want to post about, make those posts the ones that your readers respond to the most. for example, i would have at least one post each month that was a printable, a diy, a real party, and a recipe... posts i think my readers love. brainstorm ideas that fit into those 4 categories and post one a week. decide how many times a week you'd like to post in addition to those four bigger posts and fill in the blanks. they can, but don't have to, relate to your bigger posts. so if i posted a real party, that week i can also show you how to get that look on your own by creating a shopping list, or an inspiration board preceding the post to get readers excited, or even a sneak peek one day and talk about your progress.

after you have a loose direction on your monthly content, go into more detail each week and plan on what you need to do to get there and how long before the actual post you have to do that. use the weekly calendar to finalize posts for that week and break out tasks for the next. my goal is to have content ready to go 2 weeks ahead of time, a far cry from my 1 day to a few hours! the word on the street is when you plan ahead, you have more time to come up with even more amazing content for the future. i believe that, but haven't been able to get past my procrastinating ways. as always, i try and post stuff here though to keep me accountable... hopefully it works this time?

[i found this calendar recently and was inspired by her design but needed something to fit my style. i was inspired by her use of the bottom to jot down ideas. love this area to keep all of my ideas for the future in one place! after the week is over, transfer the unused ideas to a notebook and keep them on file.]

how many bloggers do i have out there? how do you guys plan ahead?

you totally don't even have to be a blogger to use this though, pin a copy up in your place to plan your days or meals.. it's too pretty not too ;) oh, and if you love the polka dots, they are the same that i used on these matchboxes. not sure why you would need matching matches to your editorial calendar.. just saying.