How I Plan and Create an Entire Month of Content for My Blog in Advance + Free Monthly Blog Planner
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How I Plan and Create an Entire Month of Content for My Blog
When you plan out a large amount of content for your blog in advance rather than posting as you go, you are able to see the bigger picture of your business. Thus providing your readers with consistent, cohesive, and high-quality content!
Planning out your content ahead of time also takes the mystery out of what you will be writing, and instead allows you to proactively plan ahead and work more efficiently.
When I am planning out my content for my blog I like to stay at least one month ahead. Meaning I plan, write, create, and schedule all blog posts, emails, and social media posts for that month in advance. It’s a lot of work in the beginning to get a whole month of content created and scheduled but once you’re a month ahead it’s pretty easy to stay there!
Use a Blog Planner! (Free Printable one here!)
The first thing I do when I’m planning out a month of content is print off my monthly blog planner pages. You can get my monthly blog planner here for free and join my community for exclusive freebies and blogging resources!
1. Brainstorm Blog Posts
Once I have my planner pages, It’s time to brainstorm!
Sometime’s it can be hard to come up with blog post ideas but if you actually set aside a time to do a brain dump and get into a flow, you’ll be surprised by all the ideas you come up with!
Set aside 15-30 min in your morning.
I find I have the best ideas first thing in the morning rather than when my brain is dead at the end of the day so set aside 15-30 minutes first thing in the morning!
Separate post ideas into categories.
Get a pen and paper, sticky notes, or the post brainstorm page in my free monthly blog planner and write down each of your blog’s categories in the boxes.
Now start adding in post ideas to each category. You can choose to work on one category at a time or jump around as the ideas come to you.
Here are some types of posts you can write to get the ball rolling:
- All about you or your blog posts
- Collections of products posts
- How to/Tutorials
- Things that inspire you
- Freebies (one of my favorites)
- Reader Questions
- Things you’ve learned
- Advice on…
- Interview yourself
- Give opinions on new or controversial topics in your industry/niche
- Roundup posts
- Interview other people
After 15-30 minutes, I’m sure you have some great post ideas!
2. Plug Your Ideas Into Your Calendar
Now that you have a bunch of post ideas, it’s time to plug them into your blog’s editorial calendar.
Determine Post Frequency
How often do you post to your blog? Once a week, twice a week, more? Right now I post every Monday and every other Friday, so about six times a month.
I would suggest posting at least once a week to keep your content fresh and your readers interested. On the flipside, I wouldn’t suggest posting more than three times a week to avoid burn out, unless you have just started your blog and are trying to build your content.
So, how often are you going to post to your blog and on what day(s) will you publish?
Plug in 2 months worth of posts
Grab a calendar page and start writing posts into the boxes. Using a calendar page allows you to visually see all your blog posts for the month and helps you to strategically plan which posts to publish what day.
Consider alternating categories to keep a well-rounded blog. Instead of planning a bunch of posts from one category in a row, mix up your categories from post to post.
Push yourself and plug in blog posts for two months! I like to have posts planned for two months ahead and have the first month’s posts actually written and scheduled while the second month’s posts are only planned. That way I always have a buffer month of completed content to allow myself time to really think about and plan the type of things I want to include in the second month’s posts. So get plugging!
You can move on after plugging in your blog posts, but I also mark which days I plan to send out my newsletter, and which days I will post on my different social media accounts. If you don’t have a schedule for those yet then don’t worry about it and move on.
3. Create Your Content
Now that you have your posts planned, it’s time to dive in and actually write and schedule every post for the first month.
For the next few days after planning, I put my nose to the grindstone and write every single blog post for the month. If you only post once a week this should only take you a few days of hard work however if you post more than once a week I still suggest to try to finish within 10 days, maybe 2 weeks at the most! You can do it!
Try to finish your posts as fast as possible without compromising the quality, so schedule a week to two weeks to focus on writing all of your planned posts for the month. This is a lot of work but once you have the whole month of posts done, you only have to keep up posts week by week!
I use a worksheet like this to plan out the outline of my posts and things like my category, keywords, and which email opt-in to use. Get it here!
Don’t forget social media posts and newsletters!
While I am writing all my blog posts for the month, I also create Pinterest pins and social media posts for every post and schedule those out as well.
(If you’re a subscriber to my email list, this is when I use my Promote Your Post Checklist to make sure I’ve created everything I need for my social media. If you’re not a subscriber, you can get the Promote Your Post Checklist along with the Monthly blog planner free here!)
I also write up my weekly newsletters for the month and get them scheduled.
This means that my entire month of content from blog posts to social media posts and weekly newsletters is all done, ready, and scheduled!
Once I have my entire month of content including blog posts, social media posts, and weekly newsletters done and scheduled all I have to do is keep up with it week by week. So if I post once a week, then I will continue to write one posts a week to stay a month ahead.
The rest of my time can be spent working on engagement, promotion, or other aspects of growing my blog!
I Fill out my Month at a Glance sheet.
At the first of every month, I like to fill out my Month at a Glance worksheet so I have a visual of what my blog is going to look like that month.
Here’s how I fill it out.
- First I circle the month
- Write in the date numbers on the calendar
- Write in all my blog categories in the category box and assign a different highlighter color to each.
- Fill in the blog posts and post dates on the dotted lines and highlight them with their category color.
- Highlight the date box on the calendar with the category color of the posts published that day. (you can use more colors or other symbols to represent social media posts)
- Write in my goals for the month.
- Fill my email list and social media stats as they are on the first of the month so I can track growth month to month.
- Fill in my blog stats from the month before so I know where my blog traffic stands.
- Finally, fill in any other notes for the rest of the month.
I then put this sheet somewhere where I will see it often, like the front of a binder to use as a reference sheet as to what my blog looks like that month and what I want to be working on.
That is exactly how I plan and create a month of content for my blog in advance so I never feel lost or burnt out. This helps me to keep an eye on the big picture of my blog/online business without getting stuck in the trenches!
Keep on hustling!
P.s. Don’t forget to join my blogger community and get my free monthly blog planner sent right to your inbox!
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After becoming a stay-at-home mom, I felt like I had lost myself. I had no control over my life, no interests or hobbies and my husband was out progressing in life while I was at home stagnant.
After starting my blog, I was able to take my life back and still be the mom I want to be. I realized that you don't have to choose YOU or motherhood.
Now I'm focused on helping moms just like me create their dream lives without sacrificing motherhood.
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Cassie, I want to thank you for not only your calendar but this post explaining how you use it. I’m launching my first blog in the next couple of days and this resource took my great but scattered thoughts and organized them. I feel more at ease with organization and scheduling.
Cassie ScrogginsSamantha M
You’re welcome Samantha! It really helps to have a plan in place so you can be a consistent and reliable resource for your readers. I’m super stoked for you to start your own blog! You’ll have to send me your URL when you go live, I’d love to check it out!