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Smart Ways to Use an Editorial Calendar

If you are approaching your blog as a business or are hoping that one day it will become a business, you need to organize your ideas. The best way to organize those thoughts and make sure they end up in a blog post is with an editorial calendar.

Simply put, an editorial calendar is a listing of the days when you plan to publish posts on your blog. For each day, you choose a topic and to work smarter and not harder, you write those ideas down several weeks in advance. You can use a desk pad calendar, post it notes, blog planner, or a WordPress plugin.

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The Complete Blog Planner

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A comprehensive planner for all bloggers. It contains over 30 forms and tips and tricks to help you maintain your blog and better manage your time.


Know when you are posting

Before your can begin planning your post ideas, you first need to decide when you are going to post.

Frequently I am asked how often someone should post if they are pursuing blogging for the purpose of making money. Obviously, the more content you have on your blog, the more traffic you will generate and traffic equals money. So, in the beginning, I would recommend “as often as possible” but three days a week is a great goal. However, if writing three posts each week intimidates you, do less, but whatever you choose to do, do it consistently.

Why post consistently? Two reasons:

  1. You look like a professional. If you were working outside of the home, you would be required to keep consistent hours. You could not take several weeks off and then work for three days straight and then take a month off, only to come back and toss two projects together. No, your boss would require consistent, quality work and your personal standard for excellence as a professional blogger should be the same.
  2. Your readers know when to expect your next post. The fastest way to kill your audience is to disappear for long stretches of time. To be a successful blogger, one of your goals should be to grow a tribe of people who hang on your every word. These readers are your foundation and must be treated with respect. They deserve consistency.

Rock your blog’s SEO with trends

For most of you reading this, SEO is as mythical as the Lock Ness Monster, but hang with me. I promise that you will be able to understand.

What is SEO? I promise. It's not rocket science.

When do you search for Christmas gift ideas? When are you most likely to be searching for barbecue recipes? At what point int he year do you browse the internet for school lunchbox inspiration? If you are looking for particular topics as certain points during the year, don’t you think someone else is looking for those items too? And if everyone is searching for the same thing during the same week or month, wouldn’t it be nice if some of those people ended up on your website?


So, when you are planning your editorial calendar, consider the trends for each month. Create a graphic that communicates that theme and choose your title based on the words you think people will use in search engines. Post the hot topics while they are hot and you will get a traffic boost from Pinterest and possibly Google.

Build a solid foundation with evergreen content

For the first two years of my blogging career, I would just write randomly. I would write “Happy Birthday” posts to my kids (which would not have been bad if I had not been a deal blogger) and rant about a local restaurant… whatever. When I assumed a more professional approach, I had to write within my niche and create evergreen content.

What is evergreen content? Write posts that you can recycle year after year.

An evergreen tree never loses its color. Likewise, evergreen content remains relevant year after year and you can promote that post 5 years later and it will still resonate with your readers. These are the blog posts into which you can breathe fresh life  by creating a new image and promoting the post through social media during seasonal trends. 

Once you have established when you will post, can locate the trends for each season, and plan to write evergreen content, your editorial calendar will become a organized tool for blogging success.

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How to Find Your Blog Niche

When you are thinking about blogging for business, especially if you have never blogged before, the temptation is jump right into a blog and start writing without any real direction. This is perfectly acceptable for someone who blogs as a hobby. However, if your intention is to create a career and build a blog that will make a significant income, you need a plan. You need to pick your niche.

I love that there is never a dumb question in the Inspired Bloggers Network. What is a blog niche?

Picking your blog niche

If you are wondering about the types of blog niches available, they are as diverse as the topical index of books in the Library of Congress. Home improvement, crafts, recipes, parenting, history, fashion, education, fiction, technical… you name it.

When choosing your blog’s niche, first think about the ONE topic that you could write about forever… about which you would never run out of something to say.  For me, I knew that I could talk about our frugal, homeschool lifestyle and never lack a post idea, and on most days, I have more content in my brain than I could ever fit into the editorial calendar for my blog at This is my niche.

Selecting supporting categories and tags

Next, think about your post topics. What are the subtopics that will support your niche?

When I launched my blog, I knew that I wanted to write about saving money, family issues, and educational resources. All of these issues are important for a frugal living, homeschool family, and I used those ideas to create my blog’s navigation menu.

Under my categories, I have more subtopics I use as tags to help further organize my categories. As an example, within my frugal living category, I have tags for coupons, income boosting ideas, and money saving tips.

Relating every post to your niche

Now that you know your main topic and the supporting subtopics, create a “family tree” for your blog so you can picture how every topic relates.

Trying to find your blog niche? Great advice here.

Your main theme (niche) creates the parents for your tree. Next,  list the five to eight subtopics (categories) as the children and four to five subtopics for the categories (tags) as the grandchildren.

Keeping it real… A mistake I made early in my blogging career was to stop the flow of content related to my homeschool, frugal living blog to post about “how to blog.” In my mind, I was helping other bloggers learn, but in reality, I was confusing my readers with no desire to blog. These posts would have been better suited as guest posts on blogs within the “how to blog” niche.

By having the “family tree” visual aid, you can weigh your content ideas and see how they fit your niche, tossing ideas that do not fit. Avoid the mistake I made. If you have a parenting blog and suddenly want to write a post about politics, dismiss it. If an idea for a fashion post pops in your brain and you are a recipe blogger, submit it as a guest post to a blog where it fits.

Keep your blog’s topics within your niche and you will find success.

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How to Set Office Hours as a Blogger

Hopefully, you have taken the time to track the amount of time you spend working on blog-related business during the week and have an awareness of any time that you are… cough… wasting and maybe even found a way to focus using the Strict Workflow extension for Chrome.

Help setting office hours for bloggers

So, now that you know how much time you need in a week to blog, you can decide when you are going to place those office hours.

When to work on your blog

Depending on your family structure and whether or not you have another job, your hours are going to vary. For me to tell you exactly how to set up your office hours would be useless because I don’t know the details of your life or what type of support you get from others.

Talk to those in your life

My husband and I frequently talk about how many hours I am spending at the computer and what type of impact that is having on our family. For me, it is important to maintain the balance we have found and to keep him as the supportive spouse that he is. I never want my business to be an unfair burden on him or our children. So, we work together to fit my blogging into our lives.

My week looks something like this…

  • Sunday evening – After the children go to bed, I work on writing posts for the week and scheduling social media.
  • Early morning – Before my feet hit the floor, my hubby brings me coffee and I try to get as much accomplished as possible in one hour.
  • Weekday afternoons – While the kids give me “peace and quiet time,” I check social media and respond to email.
  • After hours – Before bed on most nights, I do a final check to make sure everything is set to run for the next day.
  • Monday nights – My hubby watches the children after dinner while I lock myself in the bedroom to work on writing posts, checking social media, and plugging through long-term projects.

If I have an intensive project on my calendar, I will have a bonus work night on Thursday evenings.

Know when your readers are online

The second part of setting your office hours really has more to do with scheduling your posts and social media. You can work at any time during the day or week as long as your posts and updates are being published at times when you target audience will see them.

I have watched my analytics enough to know that Sunday nights are big for publishing a post. Sunday is also a prime time for pinning to Pinterest.

On Monday through Thursdays, I know my readers are coming through Facebook during the day between 7 AM and 6 PM and I try to consistently publish posts and social media updates at those same times.

Fridays and Saturdays are much more laid back. I post on Friday morning but then you probably will not hear from me again until Sunday evening.

Again, this works for me but the attention you receive from your readers will vary greatly depending on your niche and location.

When NOT to work on your blog

While I cannot tell you when exactly to establish your business hours, I can tell you when you should not work on your blog.

  • Don’t blog over holidays. Use Instagram to autofeed to Facebook but let your blog rest. Since Christmas is so important to our family, you will notice that I take a two week break during that time to focus on my family and to pray over my goals for the next year.
  • Don’t blog during stressful times. If your feelings are hurt or if your family is going through a difficult time, blogging can be an unnecessary burden. Let it go. Your readers will be there when you get back.
  • Don’t blog when you need to focus on your family. If your children are small, don’t spend your days on the computer. Work when they are busy playing or sleeping. I admit that I need to take my own advice here because I don’t want my children to grow with the memory of mommy always being on the computer.

Setting your office hours is about finding the balance between what you can do (structure of your life) and what you need to do (attention of your readers) while remembering what you should not do (working when you need to ficus elsewhere).

What tips do you have for setting office hours?

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The Importance of Office Hours for Bloggers

Recently on the TODAY Show, the anchors created a new word – DIGIN. The exact definition of “digin” is vague since everyone had some fun interpreting how it could be used but my interpretation is:

DIGIN – di-jin (noun) A person who is always typing into their phone, involved in social media.  (verb) The act of constantly being online and active in social media.

Instantly, I identified myself as a Digin. Oh yes, I spend many, many hours online each day. As a matter of fact, being perfectly honest, I probably spend more time on my computer than any other activity. Gulp… including having meaningful interactions with my family.

time management advice for bloggers

When you don’t have office hours

Since I blog as a business, I think it is important to have hours set aside where I can concentrate on my blogs and social media accounts. When I don’t have a definitive time for social media or writing, I just sit with the laptop or iPad and get drawn into the ultimate time sucks of Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Without office hours:

  • I lose the spontaneity of playing with my children because I always think, “I need to be working.” My home stays in a shambles because I am “working” so much. I will have dark shadows under my eyes because I am staying up late to “work.”
  • I am unavailable for my husband and unwilling to listen to his stories and concerns because I am focused on what I need to do.
  • My home stays in a shambles because I am “working” so much. I will have dark shadows under my eyes because I am staying up late to “work.”
  • I will have dark shadows under my eyes because I am staying up late to “work.”

Ask me how I know? Because I lived in that constant state of mind where “work” was defined by always having the laptop in front of me and thinking that time wasted did not matter as long as I was doing something online.

But, is it work or is it an excuse? Worse than that, is it a habit, laziness, or an addiction?

Why you need office hours

As a professional blogger, I need structure to: 1) keep me from being a workaholic; 2) help me focus on the most important business within the hours I set; and 3) give me unstructured time with my family to watch them grow because the days are short.

Avoid working all the time

I am a workaholic. Honestly, I am a perfectionist and can easily become addicted to anything because my inclination is to seek a self-esteem boost from my performance.

While I could write an entire post about why you should not seek to find self worth through your business, let’s suffice to say that working all the time is not healthy.

I need office hours to provide a healthy boundary for where my business belongs.

Prioritize your to do list

When I know that I have a set number of hours and a list of things to do, I am forced to prioritize my agenda based on what has to be done first.

By creating a list and then setting a priority to the list, I can overcome the overwhelming feeling that I have something to do but have no idea what to do first.

>>READ: Learn more about overcoming the overwhelm in your day.<<

Stay on task

I am also easily distracted. I can go to Pinterest looking for a specific post and an hour later find myself wondering what I was looking for in the first place. Same deal for me with Facebook.

When I am on the computer, I have to designate what I am doing and when. I use a handy Chrome app called Strict Workflow to keep me focused during my writing time. When active, Strict Workflow does not allow me on social media.

Using the Chrome extension Strict Workflow to help abide within your office hours.You can change the defaults to work with your timing and you can edit the list of banned websites if you have an inclination to… I don’t know… stalk movie stars on TMZ or something that is not set by default.

>>READ: Find more practical resources to help you focus<<

Focus on your family

Most of us are blogging as a business in order to improve our family’s situation.

I am painfully aware that when I am sucked into the abyss of social media that I am creating an entirely new set of issues within my family that is working against my ultimate goal.

A Time Management Challenge

As you carefully consider whether or not you need office hours, I want to encourage you to do what I plan on doing this week…

Keep a journal of your time online.

I’ve created a printable time log so you can have it next week when we decide how many office hours we really need to blog as a business and when to designate those hours during our week.

Free printable time management logSubscribe and receive this time log to track your hours.

Let’s be honest about what is truly necessary in our businesses and be accountable to our family and to one another.

Are you a Digin? What is your biggest time management struggle as a blogger?

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Time Management Tips for Bloggers

Being a mommy blogger is not as easy as it looks, is it? How do you find the balance between family, home, business, and all the other items that are vying for a spot on your to-do list?

Lots of time management tips for bloggers from the bloggers of the Inspired Bloggers Network

The bloggers of the Inspired Bloggers Network have shared their best time management tips and encouragement to help you find a better way to control your day.

As you read through their advice keep this in mind: Balance is not universal. What works for one person might not work for another because we are all unique. Our families are different just as we ourselves are different. You have to create a daily habit and office hours that work for you, and once you find that groove, stick with it.

Best tips for managing your time as a blogger

My best tip for balancing motherhood and blogging is to avoid procrastination! Like the boy scout motto, “Be prepared.” It never fails that when I am behind, unprepared, and have a million blogging things to do, that’s when the kids need me or something goes wrong and I have to try to juggle everything at once. When I plan and prepare, those little mishaps are far less devastating to the schedule.

Crystal at Serving Joyfully

Break your day up into 3 parts- morning afternoon, and evening. Break your to-do’s up and add what you can reasonably do into those slots with a reward for yourself and/or your children when you complete the tasks in each portion of your day.

Suzette at The Joy of Homemaking

First…TRAIN your children in chores they are capable of, and expect nothing less than THEIR best. Then delegate, and do chores together, get them done. I have kiddos that can do laundry, animal chores, and cook. I don’t expect them to do it all, all the time, but if I have a promo to work on or something urgent, I ask them to help out.

Betty at Peace Creek on the Prairie

Meal plan. With the right planning you can have meals all week and only have to actually “cook” two or three nights. Bake a chicken for quesadillas, chicken and rice casserole, and chicken salad for example. It’s a lot of work the first day and a snap to throw dinner together the next two days.

Trixie at Just Trixie

Designate different days for different tasks. Monday is shopping for the week and snack/meal prep. Tuesday is bathrooms. Wednesday is dusting and vacuuming, etc. After a while it becomes routine and things are broken down into easy to manage steps and while it may never be perfect, it will be done.

Lara at Lara’s Place and a Cup of Grace

Planning and starting our “day” the night before. Making sure we’re ready from the inside out with whole foods and essential oils and Jesus in our hearts! Keeping up with Bible study and prayer time. Family first.

Jennifer at Royal Little Lambs 

Meal plan, use of the slow cooker, pass chores to children early (such as teaching them to do their own laundry at 7), designate a certain day for town errands, and most importantly… honest talks with your hubby about what he most desires in your homemaking. You might be surprised to find what really signals a happy home to him.

Laurie at Our Abundant Blessings

Buy a crock pot! Chop and bag everything into the recipes you plan on using and freeze that way when you are putting the groceries away. In the morning toss one into the crock pot on low and dinner will be done on time.

Jennifer at Upside Down Kids

The best tip I have for achieving balance between family and social media is, sometimes we simply aren’t supposed to be juggling all we do. When our children are young, we have this incredible blessing and opportunity to invest into their lives. The test for me is to think how I will look back on this time and if I will regret any of my choices. It might mean a major rethink of our priorities!

Victoria at Homemaking with Heart

Block out a period of time every day that is sacred for your homeschool and chores. Don’t even open your laptop or check your iPhone notifications during that time. Give your older children (10 and up) permission to request 30 minutes of your time uninterrupted every day. Just for the two of you. Use a crockpot. Cook double batches of seasoned ground beef, soups, chili, and shredded chicken and freeze them for quick meals.

Marcy at Ben and Me

Life first, blog second with a list for everything so the bunny trails don’t trip you up! I have office hours and try to stick with them as best I can, but life always trumps blog because without it, I wouldn’t have anything to blog about.

Amy at Raising Arrows

I guess I just quit trying to make it all look perfect: my kids, my house, my parenting…and as a result we had more room for joy and increased time for laughter.

Allison at The House of Hendrix

I try to remember that we all have to find our own personal balance and it might change often. For example, with two young children I don’t clean nearly as much as I used to. Yes my house gets messy, but it’s always to a reasonable standard within 24 hours and that is my standard. I just don’t pick up every 2 hours like I used to because it would be never-ending if I wanted it 100% clean all the time. With that time saved from not constantly cleaning, I am able to do other things. Every so often, I try to find balance by considering what I am okay with doing/not doing; it changes by what season I’m in and what season my kids are in. But I know for sure that I cannot do it all.

Chelsea at Moments a Day

Don’t compare yourself to any other blogger. EVER. She might look like she has it all together, but in reality she struggles just like you. Do your best. Keep your priorities in line. Your family must come first. Make a work schedule and stick to it. Your children will understand that Mommy has specific work times, but if they constantly see you attached to a laptop, tablet or phone, they won’t respect those work times because they will feel like they are competing for your attention.

Heather at Upside Down Homeschooling

Women in our generation have unprecedented opportunities. Any ‘humble homemaker’ with enough initiative and creativity can build an online business or blog that reaches thousands. However, any opportunity can be a blessing or a curse! Like every other blogger, I get distracted by the details and carried away by the desire to succeed. I like to remind myself that the CAREER I have chosen is MOTHERHOOD. Everything else (blogging, writing, making money) can take the back seat at a moment’s notice.

Kristy at Little Natural Cottage

Large family logistics is a life saver! You don’t need a lot of kids to use it in spite of the name since it really just refocus’ priorities without long, poetic chapters. Short, sweet, ‘get your butt in gear and honor God’ stuff.

Jenn at Planet Mommyhood

Make sure your priorities are in order: God, family, others. Ask God to give you Kingdom eyes to be able to work with the end game in mind. Pray for God’s direction and guidance and commit your ways to Him (Proverbs 3:5,6). And then act based on what you feel He is saying to you. Remember that we only get a glimpse of someone else’s “real” life; don’t compare yourself to someone else. Act on what God is telling you to do.

Becky at Journeying Outside My Box

I have found that the key to being organized in my blogging is to be organized in the rest of my life. I’m obviously still struggling with balance and as organization does not come naturally to me, I fall off the wagon more often than stay on, but I am slowly inching towards success in this area. Meal planning, freezer meals, homeschool planning, delegating, scheduling, and using technology to my advantage are all tools that I am using to this end.

Sharla at The Chaos and the Clutter

I try to remind myself that taking time away from blogging to enjoy other things, such as family, household tasks, and life in general, usually provides new ideas for blogging. Is everything perfectly balanced, probably not, but placing my focus on other things helps generate new ideas and viewpoints.

Robin at Be Social Get Success

All this is easier said than done. Don’t get caught up in a mom competition…even within your own mind and heart…with others who homeschool, blog, etc. Each of us has our own struggles and our own triumphs. No two families are alike in their needs and you need to keep focused on what’s best for your own family. Again, I struggle to remind myself of this constantly over the course of our family homeschooling journey.

Chris at Campfires and Cleats

I like to prepare supper first thing in the morning. I work during nap time, but often it is hard to get off the computer and start supper if I am in the middle of working on something. If supper is already prepped we can still eat a healthy meal and I can keep powering through my work.

MaryEllen at Imperfect Homemaker

If you enjoy your work, do household chores before sitting down to blog. If not, time gets away from you.

Alicia at Extreme Christmas Savings

What is your best time management tip as a blogger?

Drop us a comment.

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How to Link to Another Blog

Sometimes, I forget that what I consider as basic link coding is new to another blogger. Recently, I received an email from a sweet lady asking me to explain how to “link back” to a blog.

Great tutorial for linking to another blog. Includes instructions for Blogger and WordPress as well as a lesson in link building HTML. VERY informative and perfect for new bloggers.

Honestly, one of the best compliments you can give another blogger is to link to one of their posts, giving them credit for a job well-done. Also, in some linky parties, it is required. But, how do you do that?

The EASY Way ~ From Blogger

Type up your post and then highlight the words from your post where you want to insert a link. Then, click in the toolbar where it says link.
A box will pop up that already has the words in it that you have highlighted and then it asks you for the URL. That is the website address. 
Then, it is up to you whether or not you click for the URL to open in a new window. My strategy is to have links pointing away from my blog open in a new window (because I want a window to remain open with my blog) and have links within my own blog open in the same window to increase my page views.
Next, click OK. That should do it.

The EASY Way ~ From WordPress



Very similar to Blogger, type up your post and then highlight the words from your post where you want to insert a link. Look for the hyperlink icon in your menu and click it.

The box comes up and asks you for the URL and title. Again, it is up to you whether or not you click for the link to open in a new window. Again…

My strategy is to have links pointing away from my blog open in a new window (because I want a window to remain open with my blog) and have links within my own blog open in the same window to increase my page views.

Basic HTML Link Code Language

Regardless of whether you are on Blogger or WordPress or whatever, you really should start learning to read the HTML language.

In order to type into the HTML format, you would need to switch from COMPOSE  or VISUAL to the HTML language on your post. You will need to know where you want the link within your post. Find that spot and put in the correct code:

<a href=”INSERTWEBADDRESS” rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank” >WORDS YOU WANT YOUR READER TO SEE</a>

The “href” directs to the link you want. The “rel=nofollow” tells the search engine robots that you want them to stay on your blog. [Know when to use rel nofollow links.] The “target” tell the link to open in a new window.
As an example, your link might look like the image below (colors added for clarity):

Enhancing SEO with Link Code

Here is an important tip that will help your blog and those to whom you link… Instead of using the blog’s name as the text link, use the keywords describing the link’s content. Keyword-rich text links give you an added boost of SEO juice.

Learn More about SEO and Links