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Have you considered having a plan for your blog and social media channels? Ever thought about a blog calendar or a Social media calendar? You may ask what the purpose is and I am here to tell you that nothing else can boost your productivity, your output and your regularity as a blogger than a well-structured calendar.
As bloggers, most of us are managing the roles of multiple people at once. We are writers, marketeers, PR agents, advertisers, digital and graphic artists all rolled into one. And I get that it can become incredibly overwhelming if you look at it this way.
Think about it. You not only have to write a blog post, but you also have to format it, add images, proofread it, work on the SEO, promote it, add fresh images, tweak it, continue to promote it and more. Seen like that, it can almost seem like it’s not worth all the effort.
But it is.
Once you see that the content you create is resonating with people, being shared and appreciated, you feel a sense of satisfaction that makes all the hard work worthwhile.
Also, don’t miss my post on Time Blocking Tips for Bloggers!
Today, I am going to share my personal weekly schedule for my blog and how you can design a similar one for yourself. And I am going to show how long each of these steps take and at the end of it,tell me what you think.
Step 1: Determine Posting frequency
Decide, based on your niche, your Google Analytics and the time available, how often you want to post on your blog. Since I personally have two blogs , I opt for writing once a week on each blog.
Some of us have full-time jobs and the blog is a side hustle. Between my blog and my client work, I can afford to blog twice or thrice a week. Any more and I risk fatiguing myself and my readers too.
Once you’ve decided how often you will post, look at your Google Analytics for the last 30 days. Check to see when your audience is most active. For me, those are Sunday nights and Wednesday nights, IST.
(It’s ironic that I am posting this on Tuesday night, but just go with me for now). 😉
So I plan my posts to go live late on Sunday night. This usually involves about 2 to 3 hours of work, including creating the post, adding images and checking if the SEO is up to standard. That’s also because my posts are about 1500 words long (or longer).
Time taken per week for the blog post: 3 hours
Step 2: Share the post on social media
Depending on how many networks you’re on, this can take either 15 minutes or 30 minutes per week.
Confused? Don’t be. It doesn’t matter how many networks you’re on, if you know how to automate your content and share strategically.
For instance, I have an active presence on Facebook, Twitter,Pinterest and Instagram. I also have an account on Linkedin and Google Plus. *Pinterest is a search engine but for the purposes of the calendar, let’s club it with the social media platforms.
- The minute the post goes live, I share it on Pinterest using the Social share icon, to my Main blog board.
- I then use Tailwind to schedule the post to my relevant category boards and high-performing group boards with an interval of one day between shares. With Tailwind, this takes exactly 3 minutes, no matter how many boards you have.
- Then, I use Buffer to schedule my post to my Facebook page, my Facebook profile, my Twitter account, my Google Plus page and Linkedin profile (if it’s relevant to the platform). On the free plan of Buffer, you can link up to 3 social media accounts. This takes 10 minutes with the custom scheduler.
- Once a week, I also use Canva to design different-sized images for Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and re-share the post to those platforms. This can take up to 10 minutes for each platform.
Time taken to schedule the post on social media per week: 30 minutes
Step 3: Blog Hop and Reply to comments on your blog
A lot of bloggers don’t realise this but one of the best ways to build quality back links to your blog is through commenting on other blogs. Leave a meaningful comment instead of link dropping and you will observe that you will build an engaged community and audience that will appreciate you and your content.
Bonus: They may turn into subscribers and that’s always the best return on your investment as a blogger.
I typically have days dedicated to visiting blogs and replying to comments. It makes it easier for me to fit it around my client work, my chores and my daily routine. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays are the days I dedicate to either blog hopping or replying to comments. Usually, I try and visit about 10 blogs at a time.
So I need about 3 minutes to read the post and another 2 minutes to leave a comment. That works out to about an hour , thrice a week, dedicated to this activity.
Time taken for blog hops and replying to comments per week: 3 hours
Step 4: Make New Pins for Blog Posts
This really appeals to the creative side of my brain and I thoroughly enjoy making fresh pins for posts that are doing well. It’s the best way to drive consistent traffic to your blog and it is absolutely free! Why wouldn’t you do it, am I right?
Use Canva to instantly make templates and replicate them. This will save tons of time. I usually make about 3 or 4 pins at once.
Time taken to make fresh pins per week: 30 minutes
Don’t miss the calendar snapshot below. I made it using Canva. Neat, right? 🙂
Step 5: Analyse your traffic
It’s one thing to create content. It’s another thing to track how it’s performing.
Why is this important? Because if you know exactly what content strikes a chord, wouldn’t it make sense for you to focus on creating similar content for the future? Your readers are your best feedback machine. Use the analytics features in Google, Pinterest and Tailwind to learn which content is doing great.
Focus your energy on doing this just once a week. Any more and you risk getting upset by the fluctuations in numbers. Believe me, it’s not worth it.
Time taken to study Analytics per week: 15 minutes
Step 6: Research and Read
As bloggers, a lot of us like to write. But many of us don’t make the time to read.
Without research and insights from the experts, we’d be stuck in the same groove, plugging away at something that has no chance of growing out of its comfort zone. Dedicate an hour or two a week to listen to podcasts, watch YouTube videos and study newsletters in depth.
Pick from the experts in your industry and listen to what they are saying. Take copious notes and apply their strategies. See the difference it makes to your blog’s performance. Again, there’s a lot of content out there. Be judicious in your subscriptions and where you spend your time.
I usually club podcast listening with my daily walk so that it doesn’t eat into my blogging calendar. Try it!
Time taken to research and read per week: 2 hours
Step 7: Design Freebies and Lead Magnets/ Take a blog backup
This is particularly useful if you are looking to build a subscriber list. Spend an hour a week thinking up ideas for lead magnets and opt-in freebies that your subscribers would enjoy.
Initially, this could take a while to design but once you’re comfortable with it, the whole process won’t take more than an hour.
Definitely ensure that you are taking weekly backups of your blog. Schedule that into your calendar.
Time taken to design freebies and lead magnets/take a backup per week: One hour
Total time taken for the blog per week: 10 hours and 15 minutes
If you notice, that means even with a day off (maybe Saturday), I only spend about two hours per day on the blog, maybe less! Isn’t that amazing?
Now tell me, how do you plan out your weekly calendar for the blog?
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In December 2018, I bought a copy of Meera Kothand’s CREATE Blog and Editorial Planner and it’s transformed my approach to digital marketing and planning. Get your copy on Amazon!
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