Goooood mornin’! I hope you had an excellent weekend.
I had a pretty low-key weekend: date night in on Friday, lunch date Saturday, errands, and just bumin’ around, and then serving at my church Sunday before prepping for today.
The weekends are my time to take a break from the routine and just chill, but in order to keep things running smoothly during the week, I usually try to set some time aside to buffer up a few posts. I know many of you have been curious and asked questions about the post calendar that I use.
I haven’t said too much about it, other than that I can’t live without. So I thought I would give you guys the full scoop of how that works and how to use one for yourself!
Firstly, I’m sure there are many WordPress plugins for post calendars. I am going to go over the post calendar I use, which is called WordPress Editorial Calendar Plugin. It’s free to download for anyone to use. 🙂
After downloading & installing the plugin, the actual calendar can be found under the “Posts” tab and then in the drop down link, “Calendar.” It took me a little while to figure that out, so I thought it was worth mentioning where it’s located.
When you first log in, you should see a calendar of the current month. If you’ve posted anything so far, your previous posts will show up.
The main features of this plugin are:
- Being able to add new posts as drafts from the plugin
- Drag & drop posts to change the date they are scheduled
- Move posts from published to draft, scheduled to unscheduled
- Scroll through the months (using your mouse scroller) for easy use
Once you take a little time to play with the calendar, I’m sure you’ll find that it’s very user-friendly. I’ve had zero technical issues using this calendar. It’s very easy for anyone to use.
Now that you have a basic understanding of what the calendar can do, how do you use it for your blog? There’s a lot of benefits for using a post calendar, but I know note
The main reasons I use a post calendar are to…
- plan posts in advance
- easily reschedule or move posts around
- use the visual element of a calendar to better understand my blog as a whole
- have better overall organization of my blog
Plan Posts in Advance
Before I even begin about this one, I know that some of you are inherently against planning posts in advance. But please, hear me out!
I know planning posts in advance can seem like cheating. In a way, it is. You get to do the work a head of time and then (if you schedule social media in advance) you get to sit back and watch your blog work all on its own like a well-oiled machine. And let me just tell you – that is priceless to me. If that’s not your deal, though, I totally understand.
I know for a lot of writers, the writing has to come at that time – not ahead of time. Obviously, all of my posts cannot be scheduled in advance because then my blog would basically sound like a robot all the time. And nothing would be current.
One way to still “schedule” posts while still maintaining the real-time aspect of blogging is to at least plan the subject matter for a certain day’s post and put it on the calendar. You could, say, schedule a post for Thursday about a new smoothie recipe that you have yet to even create. Simply create the post for Thursday, title it “Smoothie Recipe,” and leave it as a draft. If there’s anything you can write in advance, do so. But if not, you can at the very least use the post calendar to make a rough draft post plan for the week or month.
Easily Reschedule Posts
If scheduling in advance doesn’t work out – guess what? None of this is set in stone! The best part about the calendar is that all the posts are easily moved by dragging & dropping and you can delete on the spot as well.
However, this feature is also really useful for “evergreen” posts, or posts that you can post anytime. Say you get some recipe posts buffered up and you plan to post one this Friday. But then you remember that Friday is the Faith in My Friday link up and you would really rather post about that instead.
No problem! Move your recipe post to another day. Or if you can’t decide when to post it next, drag it into the unscheduled drafts to use at a later date.
Better Understand Your Blog
I like using the calendar just for the visual aspect alone: being able to see what I’ve blogged about in the given month in a visual way is better than my blog can do on its own. The visual aspect of the calendar is the biggest appeal to me, helping me better understand what I’m blogging about and when.
This is useful for me to see how often I post blog tips, recipes, or workouts. I don’t like to post more than one of those type of posts a week to keep variety here. So when a new workout pops in my head, I take a look at the calendar to see when an ideal time would be to post it. If I just posted a workout last Friday, maybe I’ll wait until this Friday to post another one so they’re not posted right after one another.
Overall, the post calendar has greatly increased the organization in my blogging. Scheduling posts was quite a nightmare before I had this tool.
If you think this tool isn’t for you, that’s okay. But I would urge you to try it out just for a week. Even if you never use it to schedule much in advance, I think it’s still helpful to have around to glance at now and then.
Questions for You:
- What are your thoughts on writing blog posts ahead of time?
- What helps you stay organized with post writing?
This is not a sponsored post. I just really like this plugin. 🙂