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Are you always scrambling to get your blog posts up + out into the wedding universe?
If you said yes, then the scramble stops today. We’re going to talk about EXACTLY how to plan + schedule wedding blog posts.
The solution for EVERY wedding pro is an editorial calendar. If you are not familiar with an editorial calendar, it is a plan put to dates for the topics of your content. When you create an editorial calendar, it eliminates the need to scramble because you know in advance what content you need to produce + schedule.
How to Plan + Schedule Wedding Blog Posts
Schedule one day on your calendar to plan your editorial calendar. (No time like the present!)
Sit with a calendar + any information you need on holidays or events going on in your business or in the world in general. Decide how far in advance you want to plan.
I’d set your sights on planning 90 days at a time, but pick a frequency that feels right for you.
(Maybe 30 days at a time. Maybe the entire year all at once!)
I create my editorial calendar for the entire year, so toward the end of 2018, I sat down + wrote out my editorial calendar for all of 2019. When it’s the end of 2019, I’ll be working on the content for 2020. An editorial calendar is a guide, so it can change + be moved around as necessary.
This is how I schedule my content for an entire year in about 1 hour.
Pull Out the Calendar
First, pull out your calendar. I use a paper + electronic calendar. You can also use blog planning sheets. Essentially, you can use any system that works best for you.
The main reason I pull out my paper calendar is that I like to see the dates for each month + so I can make note of any holidays that I might want to cover in my posts.
For wedding pros, holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s + Valentine’s Day are HUGE because it’s engagement season — so you want to write content that covers these holidays, engagement planning + wedding planning that revolves around these festivities.
It also allows you to pick out a publishing schedule for your content. Pick the day or days of the week you wish to publish new content. I plan to publish one new blog post each Monday. I find this is the most popular day for wedding pros because they’re typically in their office after a weekend of events + they’re reading emails (+ apparently my blog posts).
Weekends or weekdays during lunch might be primetime for publishing posts that reach brides + grooms. You can figure out what a good publishing day or days is for the wedding couples you’re trying to attract. This might require some testing on your part but don’t worry too much about it during the planning process.
Grab a Headline Cheat Sheet
I have a running list of headlines + headline templates (a headline cheat sheet). I put this on the right side of my computer screen while I am content planning.
This allows me to run quickly through the list as I start to create content topics that I want to cover.
Create Content Draft
As I think of a topic, I add a new blog post directly in WordPress. I grab the headline cheat sheet, decide what the title is going to be + type it right into the headline of a new post. Then, I save it as a draft.
I can run through + do this 51 more times so that I have one new post per week.
OR…here is where the magic happens.
I can recycle, repurpose + reuse content that I already have to fill in the other 51 (or even all 52 weeks of the year).
Recycle, Repurpose + Reuse Content Like a Boss
The easiest way to create new content is to use old content. For example, I have tons of guides, ebooks + workbooks on my computer that I’ve created over the years.
Let’s say these guides have seven sections. I can easily break down these seven sections into seven blog posts, which means I now have seven weeks worth of blog posts ready to copy + paste into my blog.
If the sections of the guide are long enough, it may even be possible to turn these seven sections into 14 blog posts.
Now, you have over 3 months worth of blog posts all from content that you already have right at your fingertips.
Maybe you have video content, where you recorded videos on some wedding planning topic for brides + grooms that you posted to YouTube.
You can watch these videos + transcribe the information you’re sharing into a blog post.
Add some formatting, such as title, sub-headers, an intro + closing. Now you have a blog post for each video you have.
Let’s say you guest posted articles on Huffington Post. Say these are long articles (over 2,000 words). Break these articles down into 500-word chunks + do some rewriting of the existing content to create four or more blog posts.
The point is that you do not have to start from scratch every time you need to publish a blog post. It is likely that you have content that is ready to share or that with a just a few minutes of work on your part can be ready to hit the publish button in no time at all.
You don’t have to decide that at the time of planning. Just know what content you have to pull from so you can add the title to a draft post that you can come back to later to turn into a post + then hit the publish button.
Some of the items my editorial calendar contains are my webinars, blog posts + the weekly emails I send out to my list of wedding planners. First, I plan all of the dates for all of these events. Then I add in the individual content pieces that pertain to each item.
For example, for the webinars, I write out the topics for each month + then schedule the dates I need to write the script for the call, each email blast that goes out to invite attendees, autoresponders that go out to registrants with the log-in information, the press release + each of the follow-up emails for the registered attendees.
After the calendar is complete, then you have to schedule time to write the content. Again, how you schedule this is up to you.
I schedule every Wednesday as my day to write content for my own business. It’s my batch writing day so I write as much content as possible while two of my kiddos are at school + the baby is napping.
Mondays, I write client content + schedule all of my social media posts, but Wednesday is my day for working on stuff for my own business. Every Wednesday, I pull up my editorial calendar + write all of the content for the following week (or as much as I can write before it’s time to pick up kids from school or the baby wakes up).
Scrambling to write content at the last minute tends to come through in your message. Not only does it cause your message to be off, but the timing of getting your information in front of your dreamiest of dream clients may be off too.
When you create an editorial calendar, you remove the need to scramble at the last minute + you’ll find that your messaging + delivery becomes much more effective (as in booking more weddings).
You can DOWNLOAD an editorial calendar to help you get started.
Plan + Schedule Wedding Blog Posts with a WordPress Editorial Calendar
Another option for creating an editorial calendar for your blog is to use an editorial calendar plug-in for your WordPress site.
This creates a calendar layout so you can plug + chug when it comes to scheduling your blog posts.
You don’t have to plug your entire blog post in yet (I haven’t told you how to write those blog posts yet, but it’s coming), but you can put in the headline or the topic + any notes you want to add for now on the date you want to post the blog post.
Then, you can come back to it later when it is time to write!
Here’s how to download the Calendar Plug-in:
- From the dashboard of your WordPress, click on plugins along the left side.
- Choose Add new plugin.
- Type “WordPress Editorial Calendar” the keyword search box in the upper left corner.
- Click the Install button next to the WordPress Editorial Calendar plugin.
- Click activate + the calendar is installed.
To access + use the Calendar, click on posts + choose the Calendar option.
Decide on a Posting Schedule
You can post as much as you like. DAILY posts are divine (for SEO purposes + for sharing info with wedding couples that are information hounds).
The best practice in choosing a posting schedule is choosing one that is right for you + for your dream wedding couples. The best way to determine the best days + times to post your blog posts is to test it.
Post once or twice a week for a while. Post on the same one or two days a week. Check your stats to see how your traffic is doing.
Either increase your posting schedule or switch the days you post. (Don’t change both at the same time or it’s not a true test.) Check your stats. See if you’re receiving more traffic, less traffic, or the same amount of traffic.
I did this with my own blog. I posted on Mondays for over a year. Then, I switched to posting on Wednesdays. I have the same amount of traffic for either day, so I can either continue to post on one of these days OR post on both days of the week.
More recently, I am choosing to post one day per week + to make it an EPIC blog post–meaning that I am making it an ULTIMATE GUIDE to whatever the topic is at hand.
Once you decide which day(s) of the week you’re going to post then decide on themes for your posts. It’s probably easiest to choose monthly themes, but, again, choose what works for you.
You can start with broad themes + then narrow down the focus of the theme for each post.
For you, it might look something like:
January: Organizing your wedding planning
February: Wedding venues
Narrow Down Topics to Match Themes
Once you have your themes, then slot in topics for each posting that match the theme.
Let’s say your February theme is wedding venues. You’ve decided to post every Saturday + Sunday. Assign more specific topics to each Saturday + Sunday for the month.
Week 1 Saturday: 5 Secrets to Finding Wedding Venues that Fit Your Needs (+ Wants)
Week 1 Sunday: 10 Questions Every Wedding Couple Should Ask Their Venue
Week 2 Saturday: Wedding Venue Comparison Chart: How to Compare + Choose the Right Venue for Your Wedding
Week 2 Sunday: 25 Ways to Make Your Wedding Venue Your Own
Weave Your Content
While this blog post is about blogging, I’ll give you a BIG HINT. You can expand your editorial content to include columns for your social media accounts + newsletter/emails you send to your list.
We’ll talk more about promoting your blog posts in another post. So adding these columns to your editorial calendar (if you use a spreadsheet like the one I shared earlier) can help you weave the theme you’re blogging about into your social media updates + the info you’re sharing with the wedding couples on your list.
It might look something like this:
Once you have your editorial calendar ready, you no longer have to scramble for a topic to cover on your blog post that day. You just whip out your calendar, go to the date you’re writing content for, find out your topic + start writing.
Now that you have topics galore, it’s time to actually write the blog post. Stay tuned for an upcoming blog post that covers the step-by-step process of writing your blog content.
Are you like, Kristie, pump the brakes, I don’t even have a wedding biz blog yet?
Check out How to Start a Wedding Blog (Do it now. Seriously, stop what you are doing + start your blog right now).
I’m Kristie Lorette McCauley. I have a word addiction and I’m not afraid to use it (or admit it).
In my past life, I was a certified wedding planner. In my current life, I am the wedding planner content + copy writer.
I use my writing + wedding planning experience to turn your thoughts into words that land you DREAM brides + grooms + book your calendar solid.