As a genealogy blogger, are you ever at a loss for ideas about blog posts? As a would-be genealogy blogger, does the fear of running out of ideas keep you from setting up a blog? One solution taken from newspaper and magazine publishing world is the use of an editorial calendar.
What Is An Editorial Calendar?
An editorial calendar not only allows you to designate certain days of the week for certain types of blog posts, but it can also be used to capture ideas, especially during those “aha” moments. How many times have you come up with a good idea for a post (while watching television, riding the bus, etc.) only to forget when it comes time to write?
You can use any format for an editorial calendar:
- a text file on your computer desktop
- a Microsoft Word document, perhaps with the calendar template (click here for a sample you can use)
- a Google Calendar (access the GeneaBloggers public calendar on Google)
- a calendar on your favorite e-mail website or application such as Gmail, Hotmail or Outlook
The most important thing is to use a format which works for you and is easy to access and maintain.
Daily Blogging Prompts
Don’t forget to check the GeneaBloggers calendar for upcoming events including Daily Blogging Prompts and carnivals. Note the events in which you plan to participate and jot down the ideas for each post.
Set Your Own Weekly or Monthly Themes
Many genealogy bloggers also build their own weekly themes which keep their readers engaged and looking forward to the next week’s installment. Some great examples from genealogy bloggers:
- Amaneunsis Monday by John Newmark at TransylvanianDutch
- Memory Monday by Professor Dru at Find Your Folks
- Saturday Night Genealogy Fun by Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings
- Shades of the Departed by footnoteMaven has so many weekly features including Twice Told Tuesday, Friday from the Collectors and Weekend with Shades
- Weekly Events by Diana Ritchie at Random Relatives
Tip: if you do create a weekly or monthly blogging theme make sure you not only create a tag or label for the posts, but also a quick access link on your blog’s sidebar so readers can access the posts easily.
Get A Jump Start On Posting
Once you have a blogging editorial calendar in place, you’ll find it easier to compose draft blog posts and even schedule posts for future publication (most blogging platforms such as Blogger and WordPress have this feature). This is also handy if you are planning a vacation and won’t be able to post while away.
© 2009, copyright Thomas MacEntee