Are you wondering how bloggers manage to create and share content so consistently? It’s harder than it looks! I’m sharing everything you’ve wanted to know about my content calendar by breaking down my schedule into planning, writing, and publishing blog posts and social media content. This post gives you a behind the scenes look at how this website I call abbysaylor.com remains updated with a steady stream of fresh material.
First and foremost, here are answers to a couple questions I frequently get.
“How do you come up with new content?”
Lots and lots of brainstorming. I keep a running list of content ideas either on a piece of paper I carry with me every day or in the Notes app on my phone. I find ideas popping into my head at the most random times, so having something nearby to document those concepts makes revisiting them later super simple. I also keep holidays and events in mind and incorporate those in my content as I see fit. This list is so great for me to refer back to as I draft and schedule upcoming blog posts, and it helps prevent me from feeling stuck.
“How do you make time for blogging?”
It’s not easy and you’ve got to want it — and I mean really want it. I write, edit and schedule blog posts and social media content whenever I can, and utilize any spare time I’m given (lunch breaks, all of my evenings and any unexpected time, like waiting at the doctor’s office or getting off work early). When you’re dedicated to it and it makes you happy, it’s much easier to find time to make it happen. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to sugarcoat this by not admitting a lot of my nights are late ones and my weekends “off” are work days too. My blog fuels me and I’m always excited to use any extra time that I have to keep it moving and growing.
THE ANATOMY OF A BLOG POST
WRITING BLOG POSTS
I’d say on average it takes me two days to write a post, but keep in mind I also have a full-time job, so I work on writing blog posts for a few hours each day depending on what my schedule allows.
Here’s what each blog post includes:
- An intriguing, accurate, SEO-friendly and “clickable” title
- Introduction paragraph saying hi, introducing the topic and how it can benefit/entertain the reader
- Body copy, typically broken up into small paragraphs with highlighted text and various text sizes, bold and underlining to make it easier to digest
- Closing paragraph proposing a question and referring the reader somewhere else, such as another blog post or my social media accounts, sometimes sharing what my next new blog post will include
- Coordinating tags (i.e. fashion blogger, style inspiration)
SCHEDULING/PUBLISHING BLOG POSTS
If you haven’t noticed, a new post goes up on my blog every Monday, Wednesday and Friday (this schedule only changes when necessary like brand collaboration requests, illnesses, etc.). To keep this schedule up, I try to be at least one blog post ahead of schedule so I’m not rushing to finish a post the night before it goes up.
I schedule each post using the WordPress scheduling system and have each one automatically go live at 6 a.m. on its designated day. To go along with the post, I create and schedule a post notification email through Mailchimp that goes out to everyone on my email list around 10 a.m. the same day. This is another way to bring in more views and inform frequent readers of new content.
As for how I choose what to write and when to share it, I like to maintain variety the best I can. For example, I typically don’t like publishing more than two consecutive posts within the same category (fashion, beauty, blogging, etc.) — although I will share multiple lifestyle posts in a row since it covers a wider variety of topics.
THE ANATOMY OF A SOCIAL MEDIA POST
WRITING SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS
I always strive to post on all of my social media accounts once every day to keep my accounts active and . These posts are directed toward promoting my blog posts if it’s a posting day. I always try to include a question for my followers to engage with. I try to make each social media post (images specifically) include:
- Information about a new, current or upcoming blog post
- Something that’s unique from my other content, usually life or interest related
- A question for followers to engage with
- Coordinating hashtags published in a comment (Instagram only)
THE ART OF HASHTAGS
I don’t find hashtags to be very fun since the Instagram algorithm forces you to always use new ones, but they’re necessary for getting your content seen. I strive to draft unique hashtags for each post that’ll help draw in people who may be interested in the image. Lately I’ve been storing these in an email draft where I can easily edit them and copy and paste them into my latest Instagram post as soon as it goes live. I’ve been really liking this method and I think it helps get my account and photos seen!
SCHEDULING/PUBLISHING SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS
I do research to see what times are best for posting on each individual social networking platform, and what times people are most likely to log on and click links. Below is the schedule I typically stick to.
- Facebook: 9 a.m., 12 p.m. and after 5 p.m.
- Twitter: typically around 11-11:30 a.m.
- Instagram: 12 p.m. and after 5 p.m.
- Pinterest: any, usually just throughout the day or whenever I have time
- Google+: morning
- Email: 10 a.m.
After my social media posts go up, I set aside time to respond to comments if need be, which I usually like to do as they roll in if possible to maintain engagement. Reading and replying to comments is so fun for me, so I always look forward to doing it!
Sounds like a lot of work, right? It is! What does your content calendar look like? Are you able to keep up with it, or do you find yourself falling off track? If you have any questions or would like advice, I’m happy to help! I’m always up for any excuse to talk about blogging and lessons I’ve learned.
If you’re craving more blog talk, check out my other posts here. Thanks so much for stopping by and check back for a new post on Friday!