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.
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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.
This post contains Affiliate links. What that means is if you click on any of the links and make a purchase, I get a commission at no extra cost to you. Read my complete disclosure policy here.
[easy-tweet tweet=”7 Steps to creating a Weekly Blog and Social Media Calendar” user=”shyvish”]
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
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 group, my Twitter account 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
Reply to comments on your social media channels
Write a meaningful comment instead of link dropping/expecting a reciprocal visit 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 other social media profiles/blogs and replying to comments on my own content. It makes it easier for me to fit it around my client work, my chores and my daily routine. There are days I dedicate to replying to comments. Usually, I try and visit about 10 business pages on social media 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.
P.S. Here is why I no longer recommend blog hopping because it’s a colossal consumption of valuable time.
Time taken for netcaring and replying to comments per week: 3 hours
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? 🙂
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
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
Do Admin work/ Take a blog backup
Ensure that your plugins are up to date. Also try and see if any pages on your blog need to be changed. Pay specific attention to sales pages, among other things. Initially, this could take a while to design/update 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 work on admin tasks/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 (Sunday), 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!
*FREE DOWNLOADS FOR YOU*
Would you like a template for a weekly calendar? Click here to see what I use on Trello and make a copy for yourself. 🙂
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*Featured and pin images courtesy: Shutterstock
I post twice or thrice a week, if I count the art post. I have learned to post at night (from you) prior to my posting days. After I share my post at various blogging communities, I create images on Canva (on laptop as well as on phone) to promote my post on Instagram, Pinterest and now Twitter. And after sharing the post, I read 4 to 5 blogs above and below mine.
I read on two days and then write a day prior to posting so I am ready with my post. And after this A to Z, I have realised how I can write every day, even if I am not in the mood, or prepared for the post.
I started making a monthly timetable where I decide days when to post which topic and make sure all my categories are included. At least most of them.
Making a timetable and making a list of topics I can write on makes blogging easy for me. I just need to stop checking the Pinterest analytics on an every day basis!
So, what do you say? What do I need to work on? ❤
I think you’re pretty much sorted Shilpa I’d say fix a time for the checking of Analytics each week, say 10 am on Wednesdays, for instance. Putting it down to a specific time really helps keep me on track. Otherwise i end up checking obsessively. This helped break that habit. And also knowing that I could be doing other and more valuable things in that time. 🙂
You know, Shy, since the past two days, I have been diligently avoiding the Pinterest analytics! It’s a good thing re, coz it can sure give you sleepless nights!
I too have a sort of schedule for my blog.
With all the things one has to do in a day, it’s always good to have a routine. And since I’m kind of OCD with routines and lists, it creeps into my blogging as well.
As always a very useful post, Shailaja.
Yes being organised really helps in the blogging space. Thanks for the appreciation, Naba 🙂
I love the way you have made a calender for blogging. So neat and organised. I do have something similar, but in a different format. I maintain a journal and plan for the week first, and then every morning spend five minutes jotting down what intend doing. At the end of every month, I jot down my achievements and also make a goal list for the next month.
That sounds perfect Ramya! Breaking it down into small, actionable goals is the way to go. This calendar will also help you get an overview of the week, best times of day to work and segment your work as well. Thanks for the appreciation 🙂
I love how organized you are. I have a schedule and a calendar but I am working on making it better. I have work calls after I reach home so I can write only on evenings that are free. Since that keeps changing , I prefer to make a what will I blog kind of calendar. The promotion is usually on the go :/ Love your tips and will try out. Shailaja – you are so good!
Thanks Parul. I know that it’s even tougher with a full time job. Hopefully with the calendar it helps you identify the pockets of time available and get the most benefit out of the same 🙂
This is God-sent! I’m going follow each of these tips step by step. That is what I’m going to do the first thing tomorrow. Thanks, Mam.
That’s great to hear! All the best and show me what you’ve got soon 🙂
This is so neat, Shailaja! I try to note down the posts I want to write and the days I want to publish on a weekly basis. But I am hardly following it. Nothing seem to be working with my little one whose day starts at 5 in the morning. So I’m taking a break from schedules and lists. And write and post whenever I can. Promoting part is also messed up, I can see my traffic has reduced a lot due to not being able to spend my reading time on blogs as much I used to. I will bounce back, won’t I, when my toddler needs a little less of my attention?
I love reading your posts p, Shailaja. They help me to take one step more toward my goal however difficult it is. ❤️
You will definitely bounce back 🙂 The one reason I can afford to dedicate time to the blog is because Gy is grown up and can manage a lot on her own. You need time. Give it time 🙂 Do only what you can.
I am glad my posts help you. Thank you! 🙂
Excellent tips Shailaja. I too post once a week else it does become a bit too tiring. Canva is such a blessing. My pinterest would have looked so ugly without it. I am yet to analyse my traffic and find suitable times, but sometimes I just go with the flow
Thanks for sharing these
I know. Most often we go with the flow. And that’s perfectly fine too. I just find that structure helps me personally 🙂
Bloggers are always taken as granted, but blogging requires lots of talents. I completely agree when you say that bloggers are writers, marketeers, PR agents, advertisers, digital & graphic artists all rolled into one.
Clarity of what one wants to do and proper planning are very essential for success. Your idea of blog & social media calendar make the daunting task easy by breaking it into smaller tasks with assigning a time with each task.
Thanks, Shailaja, for sharing your insights with us. 🙂
I’m so pleased that you found it useful and relevant. Blogging is fascinating and I keep looking for ways to simplify the complex so that everyone can start doing it. Hopefully that comes across in the posts as you mention. 🙂
I love tips, hope to use them to get more organized. Thanks
Thanks Indy. All the best for getting organised 🙂
Fantastic. I work full time so only have time to blog once per week and it’s all a bit chaotic so this is just what I need. Thanks
That’s great Jill. Once a week is perfectly fine if you ask me. Good for the blogger and the reader too 🙂
Isn’t Canva the best? I use that for every single blog post and post every one of them now to Pinterest. This was a great post as I love reading how other bloggers keep up with everything we have to do. You are sooo right, we are everything with our blog! My downfall is I don’t have a schedule or a calendar b/c I am horrible at keeping a schedule. I need to get better!
Aww canva is the absolute best and so much of it for free!
Thanks Angela. I’m glad you enjoyed reading the blog 🙂
This is soooo comprehensive, Shy! I want to ask you, aren’t you “afraid” of sharing your trade secrets?
Thanks Cookie. You’d be surprised. The more you give away, the more you earn in terms of trust, credibility and loyalty. That means so much more than anything else 🙂
Very neat tips, Shailaja. I have a blog calendar that I follow basically one post per week for each blog. I do time blocks for social media sharing. I am not on paid Buffer but I do use the free version. And Tailwind is a real breeze but I’ve noticed that one needs to do daily manual pinning as well. It helps to be organized especially as I don’t really have much time for blogging these days. Except for deadlines for paid collaborations, if blogging gets too intense, I let go of the schedule once in a while.
Thanks a ton, Rachna 🙂
I do manual pinning too but not everyday. Especially after the Pinterest video which confirmed that there is no significant benefit to paid vs manual pinning.
Organization is the only way I can get anything done, especially in the client work domain. I do agree that blogging takes a back seat over paid content and collaborations. That’s why this week’s post was pushed to Tuesday night instead of Sunday. 🙂
I’ve said it often enough you’re amazing in the way you organise your blogging. What’s even more amazing is your generosity in sharing all your learning so freely. Thanks a ton Shailaja. I am taking baby steps this year and have downloaded a calendar of sorts. I have been trying to stick to it however, since blogging isn’t top priority for me many things come in the way and then the planning goes haywire. Sigh!
I am glad to share whatever I know, Tulika 🙂 I have learnt so much from the generosity of others that it is only fair that I pass it on 🙂
Super glad to hear about the calendar! Yay!
I know blogging isn’t top priority for many and that’s perfectly fine. A calendar does help though, no matter how serious or relaxed you are when it comes to the blog. Try it and let me know.
I used to have a system and a routine for tackling the tasks related to blogging, but eventually what happened was that my tasks increased significantly, and I did not adjust my schedule to accommodate those tasks. And that meant an eternal state of backlog, which basically sucked the joy out of blogging for me.
So during this break, I reevaluated my tasks and time and I now have a temporary weekly routine. I say temporary, because I am keeping a close watch on what works and what doesn’t work for me and I’m tweaking the schedule constantly. Hopefully I will find my groove soon.
This post is a precious treasure! I’m going to save it, book mark it and also print it out and keep a copy handy. You’ve taught me so much this weekend Shy.
First a Pinterest workshop, now this post.
I’m really going to try to work my way through these in the coming week. I hope I can get as organised and focused as you are. Even if I get there 50% I’ll be grateful☺️
Thanks so very much for this gem of a post. ❤️
This post is such a precious treasure Shy. I’m going to book mark it, save it and also take a print out that I’ll keep handy.
This weekend I’ve learned so much from you. First a Pinterest workshop and now this eye opener of a post.
I’ll start my week by implementing these tips I’ve learned and even if I manage fifty percent of it, I’ll be grateful. I hope I can be as organised as you Shy.
Thanks for this gem of a post. Much gratitude.❤️
Pardon the typo and the double comments. Thought the first one didn’t go through
Hey Shailaja, on clicking for the calendar it’s taking me to the newsletter subscription page.
Yes Rashi. That’s a landing page to get the social media calendar. Will send you the direct link via Twitter.
This was a great post. Yes, blogging definitely requires work! I like the way you broke everything down into manageable steps.
Thanks for the finest quality work done for me and i will try your instructions,.,.,.