Never think of your writing blog posts as merely scribbling down another article like everyone else does and hoping that readers other than you actually read it…as if it were another Facebook post…
Your blog is a magazine written by yourself for yourself…you are its most faithful reader…you are its most dependable subscriber…you are the editor, writer, photographer, budget analyst, and whatever you wanna call yourself…
Think of yourself as the editor-in-chief…
Think of the couch or recliner you’re most likely sitting on as a real office…
Think of your blog as a major monthly publication…
Now think of those things that must be done month after month after month…to get this major monthly publication to news stands and subscribers on time and in perfect reading condition month after month after month…
1. Content—Imagine that you are a well-heeled magazine editor at your favorite magazine sitting in an editorial meeting.
Plan ahead with an editorial calendar, preferably a yearly editorial calendar and a monthly sub-calendar…(is that even a real word(?!))…
An editorial calendar helps the team stay accountable to the work and makes the posts being published more predictable for your audience.
- Schedule timely pieces.
- Set a rotation of topics.
- Plan for in-depth material.
Create comprehensive themes between these three different types of content—timely pieces, rotated topics, and in-depth material.
Step back every now and then to look at the big picture. Is your vision becoming a well-put-together package, or a basket case…
You can always scratch that last idea, delete that last post, delete your blog altogether and start all over…but never quit…you just rented that domaine name for another year…remember?!
Timely Pieces for September
- Better Breakfast Month
- California Wine Month
- Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
- Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month
- Food Safety Education Month
- Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month
- Hydrocephalus Awareness Month
- Leukemia and Lymphoma Awareness Month
- Month of the Holy Cross
- National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month
- National Bourbon Heritage Month
- National Chicken Month
- National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month
- National Cholesterol Education Month
- National Honey Month
- National Mushroom Month
- National Ovarian Cancer Month
- National Papaya Month
- National Potato Month
- National Preparedness Month
- National Prostate Health Month
- National Rice Month
- National Whole Grains Month
- National Wild Rice Month
- National Yoga Month
- Pain Awareness Month
- Reye’s Syndrome Awareness Month
- Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Month
- Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month
- National Gyro Day
- Goals for September
- International Bacon Day
- National “Grits for Breakfast” Day
- The best book I read this summer was…
- National Baby Back Ribs Day
- National Welsh Rarebit Day
- National Macadamia Nut Day
- Labor Day
- National Cheese Pizza Day
- National Coffee Ice Cream Day
- National Read a Book Day
- National Beer Lover’s Day
- National Date-Nut Bread Day
- Grandparents’ Day
- National “I Love Food” Day
- Carl Garnier Federal Lands Cleanup Day
- National Hot Dog Day
- Grandparents Day
- National Hot Cross Bun Day
- National Suicide Prevention Week
- National Chocolate Milkshake Day
- National Peanut Day
- National Cream-Filled Doughnut Day
- National Double Cheeseburger Day
- National Creme de Menthe Day
- National Linguini Day
- National LGBT Awareness Day
- Constitution Day
- National Cinnamon-Raisin Bread Day
- National Peach Pie Day
- National POW/MIA Recognition Day
- Clean Up the World Day
- Cow Harbor Day
- National Apple Dumpling Day
- National Monte Cristo Day
- Von Steuben Day
- National Play-Dough Day
- National Cheeseburger Day
- National Butterscotch Pudding Day
- Respect for the Aged Day (Japan)
- National Punch Day
- Rum Punch Day
- National Pecan Cookie Day
- Business Women’s Day
- National Ice Cream Cone Day
- First Day of Fall
- National White Chocolate Day
- Native American Day
- National Cherries Jubilee Day
- Gold Star Mothers Day
- National Food Service Workers Day
- National Good Neighbor Day
- National Key Lime Pie Day
- National Chocolate Milk Day
- National Strawberry Cream Pie Day
- National Drink a Beer Day
- National Coffee Day
- National Mocha Day
- National Mulled Cider Day
In addition to the calendar of “timely topics” listed and suggested by the above calendar, my editorial calendar should also include…
Rotating Topics…Regular columns or features create a structure that helps keep you writing, even when feeling uninspired or overwhelmed, and attracts a loyal following by setting expectations for your readers who may want to return for the next update in the series.
- Sweet, Sweet Sunday
- Magnolia Monday
- Tech Tuesday
- Writing on Wednesday
- Thankful Thursday
- Foods on Friday
- Wardrobe Weekends
In-depth Material—Ultimately my post was going to talk about…
- Muffins (and other breakfast foods)…
- Magnolias—“Steel Magnolias”…Magnolia Monday’s
- Muffins and Magnolias—future bed and breakfast we’re planning upon retirement in Oxford, Mississippi
Finally…more ways to start thinking of your blog as a real-life magazine…
- 1. Add a subscription sidebar to your homepage to encourage people to “subscribe” to your “magazine.”
- 2. Adopt a set writing style—tone, grammar, and punctuation. Define your style and then hone in on it.
- 3. Aim for a cohesive design for your blog.
- 4. Be consistent in the overall design, color palette, and branding scheme of your blog and any other social media.
- 5. Create a “formal” research, planning, and writing process that works for you.
- 6. Learn from other blogs and trending topics.
- 7. Link any claims, stats, and sourced quotes to credible resources.
- 8. Make understanding your audience a top concern.
- 9. Set post format, headline, and image expectations.
- 10. Spend time actually doing research on your topic so that you end up presenting a quality piece that will be highly valuable to the reader.
- 11. Study and use different online tools, apps, and plug-ins.
- 12. Track your best posts to see what topics resonate with your audience.