Posts tagged ‘editorial calendar’

March 3, 2014

A week away from blogging.

I’ve just accidentally had a week away from blogging and for the first time in ages, felt completely fine about it. No anxiety. No little voice inside my head telling me I must write a blog post. Perhaps it was because I was so busy learning new things and enjoying myself, or perhaps I needed a break.

What I have come to realise is that the busier and more excited I am about my ‘real’ life, the less anxious I am about blogging. And the less time I spend on social media, with the notable exception of Instagram. When I’m busily doing stuff (instead of just talking about doing stuff, a bad habit of mine), I have things to photograph even if I don’t have the time or inclination to write.

During the week off, I’ve concluded that my daily blogging is too much for me, at least until the day that blogging becomes my full-time job! I knew that I was probably setting myself up for problems when I started it but, to quote Edison, I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work…

The other thing I’ve started doing this week is analysing my survey results. These have been really helpful; thank you so much to everyone who has completed it. There’s still time if you’d like to get involved. I’d love to have more feedback and I promise it only takes two minutes. The link is at the bottom of the page.

Based on the survey results I shall be blogging on the subjects you’ve said you like the most, and reverting back to blogging several times a week. The other, bigger changes to the site are still under construction and I hope to unveil them in the next few months! I’m glad that I’ve got to a point where I’m more comfortable with combining my blog with the rest of my life and I’m really excited about what my future plans might bring, it feels like a good place to be.

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Margot and Barbara is changing! I’d really appreciate your feedback. Click HERE to take part. Thank you 🙂

January 20, 2014

Editorial Calendars: do they work?

Trying to wrestle my blogging timetable into some kind of manageable shape has long been a battle of mine. I’m continually torn between wanting to create good quality content, which takes time, and trying to ensure that I write enough posts to maintain a regular readership.

Slow Blogging; the creation of content that is considered, as well written as I can make it and not created purely for page rank is important, but I’m currently enjoying the discipline of writing a post to a given theme each day. Having it all laid out in a spreadsheet helps me to see at a glance what subjects I’m covering each week and reduces the panic about want/must/should/need to write something. All of those feelings are obviously self-imposed, but they are real, and this is helping me to banish them.

By forward planning, even though I have to find the time to write a post to publish each day, knowing in advance what that post will be about means that I need less time to create each one. I’m also finding that it helps me to ensure that I’m not covering similar topics too closely  together. Spending some time thinking about the seasons, special days and events and determining what I can write about that will tie in with those subjects, whilst remaining true to the Margot and Barbara themes, has also resulted in lots of ideas!

My method of creating an editorial calendar is simply a spreadsheet, with the dates down the side and the days of the week across the top. I’ve added in special days (such as Mothering Sunday) so that I know what’s coming up, and then started to populate it.

One thing that I’ve realised is important (and was raised by Kay in the comments of my blogging schedule post) is retaining enough flexibility to move posts around if I get invited to an event, or a product to review. Having a combination of posts that are time-limited and those that are not, means I can move things around if necessary.

Elizabeth at Rosalilium gives great advice here about different tools you can use to create your own editorial calendar. But for the moment, my simple spreadsheet is working really well for me, helping me feel as though I can fit my blog around my work and life. I highly recommend you try using one for your blog too!

January 13, 2014

My Shiny New Blogging Timetable

New year, new blogging schedule! I know, we’ve been here before, but I’m spending the month of January doing the Rosalilium Big Blogging Bootcamp and it’s fired up my enthusiasm for Margot & Barbara and so I have huge, ambitious plans for the year. Expect more changes to come…

Yes, yes, undoubtedly it’ll all come crashing down around my ears some time around March, but let’s be optimists, shall we?

Part of what I’ve been working through is trying to get a better grasp on themes for Margot & Barbara. At the very core of my blog is my scanner-type nature which means I’m interested in pretty much everything and that has always resulted in a blog that’s all over the place. And I’ve always thought that was fair enough, because at least it’s genuinely me. BUT – I’ve realised that for my own sanity and so you know what to expect, a bit of a schedule might help. It would help me to stop feeling stressed about ‘I should/could/must blog’ and put me back in control, using (for the first time) an editorial calendar, because I can plan in advance what I’m going to write about so will spend less time in a last-minute panic!

So, here goes.

Monday: LEARNING:  Challenges, scanner and multipotentialite writing, things I’ve learnt about blogging, and lots of writing about happiness. Because that underpins everything else I write.

Tuesday: GREEN: It’s ‘Barbara’ day. Including cycling and recycling, natural, organic and ethical beauty, my allotment and other gardening topics and any other green-themed posts.

Wednesday: THREE GOOD THINGS: A weekly post about three good things in my life that I’m grateful for. As before, I’d love you to share in Three Good Things and write your own posts to link up.

Thursday: LUXE: It’s ‘Margot’ day on Margot and Barbara! Here I’ll write about travel, fashion and beauty, restaurant reviews and lovely hotels. Where I can, I’ll focus on the environmental aspects. I call this eco-luxe. ‘Light’ green, if you like. I’ll also write about the arts, and Leeds based events here; going out and having fun definitely belongs on ‘Margot’ day… And yes, I know that ‘green’ and ‘luxe’ are polar opposites and I make no apologies for that. It’s who I am. Read my About Me page, if you want to know more.

Friday: HOME-LIFE: Including books, films, cooking, family, my attempts at crafts and the birds I see out of my window; today is all about staying in and living slowly.

Saturday: THE WEEKEND PAGES: A weekly round-up of the best things I’ve found on the web. Articles, blogs, life-hacks, online stores, everything is open for inclusion here.

Sunday: PHOTO OF MY WEEK: One photo that sums up my week.

Ta-da! What do you think? Feedback is very welcome from you, my lovely readers. Only be kind, I know it’s ambitious, but that’s what January is for, isn’t it?  And do let me know what kind of posts you like the best. 

November 30, 2013

The End: #BEDN 30

Well, it’s the last day of ‘Blog Every Day in November’ and time for a few reflections. Clearly I’ve not blogged every day – it’s a real struggle for me to manage that – but I’ve written slightly more frequently than usual. And that’s been reflected in my statistics, which has been a really pleasant result.

Overwhelmingly, BEDN has been a blogging learning curve for me. I’ve really enjoyed writing a post from a prompt, meeting new bloggers and reading new blogs and trying to find the time to write more often. I’ve realised that I really need to make an editorial calendar (as recommended by Elizabeth at Rosalilium, founder of BEDN) in order to keep on track.

The first time I missed a day, I was quite anxious, thinking that I’d somehow ‘failed’ the challenge, but I came to realise that I should just be enjoying the process when I could. One of my favourite mantras comes from my lovely friend Jo – ‘Don’t use your plans as a stick to beat yourself with’ – and, remembering this helped when I felt like I wasn’t doing enough. And then came my usual up and down feeling about my blog anyway; the feelings that make me question the future of my blog. They’re usually enough for me to go quiet for a few days, before making the inevitable decision to stick with it!

Having spent a bit of time thinking about an editorial calendar, I’ve then spent some time thinking about content. As ‘Margot & Barbara’ has such a variety of content, it can often feel a bit disjointed, and I was wondering if a regular schedule of content might help that. One thing I’ve decided to do is bring back my ‘Three Good Things’ post for Wednesdays and then find a regular time for blogging each week, which should help me to balance that and the rest of my life.

I’m also going to tidy up my categories, so I have fewer, more coherent categories that should hopefully clearly show both the ‘Margot’ and ‘Barbara’ sides of the blog, and perhaps try my hand at a few more fashion and beauty posts, as I’ve enjoyed the few that I’ve done previously. I especially like the challenge of writing fashion and beauty posts that are both luxe and green at the same time, which is a win-win for this blog!

So, lots to do, changes to make, and hopefully a fresher, new and improved Margot & Barbara. Huge thanks to the inspiring Elizabeth at Rosalilium for creating ‘Blog Every Day in November’, it’s been a really fun challenge. I’d definitely try it again.