by Katy Kauffman @KatyKauffman28
She has taught the Bible to women and teens, and has two published Bible studies for women, 2 Timothy: Winning the Victory and Faith, Courage, and Victory which won the 2016 Selah award for Bible studies. She is an editor of Refresh Bible Study Magazine and the designer of Broken but Priceless: The Magazine. She makes her home near Atlanta, Georgia.
A new year means 52 new blog posts for us who are weekly bloggers. Some writers may be more adventurous and post more often, but I’ve found I need to blog just once a week to keep up with my schedule of writing, editing, and marketing. (If you can blog more, like Edie, I am rooting you on!)
When I plan what to write for my blog, I don’t worry about the number 52. Fifty-two posts is a lot to plan at one time. I focus more on the number 3. What can I write about in the next 3 months?
Some weeks will have obvious topics—celebrating a birthday or a book release, remembering fallen heroes and the birth of our nation, and honoring the Lord at Christmas and Easter. For all of the other weeks, I’d like to give you some steps for filling in your blogging calendar. I use a weekly/monthly planner to keep up with my blogging topics. Although I write down everything going on in my schedule in this calendar, I put brackets around my blog topic to help it stand out. So in each Tuesday’s box in my calendar, I see brackets around my blog topic and who is writing it. (Recruiting guest bloggers is a great idea that I’ll talk about a little later.)
10 Steps to Mapping Out Your Blogging Calendar:
- Write down holiday posts on the appropriate weeks, and fill in other meaningful dates.
- Pray about a series. I like these because I know what I’ll be writing about for weeks at a time. Pray about a subject and write down ideas for posts once you know your topic. Fill in your calendar based on the number of weeks you need.
- Plan “random” posts. I recommend giving yourself 3-4 weeks in between series for this type of post. This will let your brain rest and be creative with spontaneous ideas.
- Recruit guest bloggers. I especially need this while I am designing magazines, but it’s a good idea for anyone. Featuring guest bloggers gives you time to rest, and it gives your guests a new or broader audience. I try to have only two guest bloggers in a row since I write weekly and want to stay in touch with my readers. If you plan a series for your blog, consider asking trusted writers to join you. It will likely prove to be a lot of fun.
- Write about a sermon series. If you know that your pastor is planning one, give yourself one or two weeks to talk about something from his series. Give him credit in the post(s), and use at least one quote from his sermons.
- Remember your travels. If you are taking a trip, plan a week after the adventure to write about it. Remember to take good pictures while you are gone, and share something that God showed you or a special moment that you relished with your fellow travelers.
- Schedule a book or movie review, perhaps once a quarter. A great network of bloggers who review books and hold giveaways is the Blog Spot Network (also known as BlogAbout on Facebook), run by the Blythe Daniel Agency. I’ve enjoyed being a part of this network as I share my reviews with readers. Promoting the books with a giveaway is even more fun, and perhaps the best part of the arrangement is that reviewers receive a copy of the book to keep. (I’ve even reviewed a leather Bible.)
- Keep past posts handy. If you know a certain time of the year will be extremely busy, plan to share a popular post that is six months or a year old. Change the picture and update any wording you need to. Also, this is helpful when you have an emergency and don’t have time to write something new.
- Blog about writers conferences. If other writers are a big part of your audience, plan a few posts at the appropriate times of the year. Many conferences happen in the spring and fall, and if you’ve been to one before, you have some wisdom to share with “newbies” or some good memories to pass on to veterans.
- Keep your eyes open. Not just your physical eyes, but your spiritual eyes. Some of the best blog posts I’ve written were gifts from God—a yellow butterfly with broken wings in the backyard, a crepe myrtle branch who became a tree, a sunset that caused me to sing “Midnight Cry” in the car. Although you can’t “plan” for these things to happen, you can give yourself room in your calendar to capture the tiny, the magnificent, and the unexpected in words.
Don't get caught without a post - tips to fill your #blogging calendar @KatyKauffman28 (Click to Tweet)
Katy Kauffman is an award-winning author and a co-founder of Lighthouse Bible Studies, a ministry which seeks to connect people to God through His Word.