Hey everyone! Happy Saturday! So a little while back on my Instagram stories, I posted about a social media calendar that I created for my blog and various other platforms. Within the last year I’ve become enthralled with social media marketing and learning about different strategies that will help you grow authentically online. One thing I kept noticing was social media calendars. I had never made one before but soon realized how truly useful they really are. As a blogger, consistency is extremely important but probably one of the most difficult aspects to master. With work, school, or whatever else happens to pop up in your life, consistency tends to be the first thing to suffer. With that being said, I wanted to find a way to keep myself accountable and with my new knowledge of social media calendars, I decided to put my own strategy to the test. In this post, I’ll be sharing with you guys how I made my first calendar (in a cheap and easy way), how it’s gone so far, and what to expect from it.
How to Start Scheduling
First off, starting a calendar is absolutely the most difficult part. I had no idea where to even start or even what kind of content wanted for that month. It was helpful to start with the days I wanted to post on. When I made my first calendar, I wanted to post on Wednesdays (on this blog) and Fridays as well. However, the Friday posts would also include a new YouTube video. It was a lot to take on, and I stuck to it for a little while.
I’d also like to mention that sometimes things do come up in your life. I personally try to stick to my calendar as close as possible, but if something happens I can easily move things around or switch what needs to be done. Calendars are meant to be helpful, not stressful so if something needs to be adjusted, don’t sweat it! *Also, please don’t mind my chicken scratch handwriting.
Once you’ve chosen the days you want to post, now it’s time to fill in the content. I’ve personally found that it’s beneficial to start at the end of the month and work backwards. Yes, I know this sounds a little crazy or confusing but bear with me. Here’s an example: I wanted to start posting monthly favorites (which will include beauty, fashion, or lifestyle favorites) so that will definitely go at the end of the month. Then begin working backwards. That specific post will need a day or two to write and take photos for. So on your calendar, mark out the days you will need for preparation. Use this procedure for every post, making time for photos and editing so that content will be ready.
I also mark out dates that are specifically meant for Instagram. This platform has become so pivotal in the blogging world that it’s hard to imagine a time without it (which may be a good and a bad thing). From aesthetically pleasing feeds, to stories, to engaging with your audience, Instagram comes with a lot of amazing opportunities. However, that’s not to say it’s easy. Being consistent on Instagram is just as important as consistency with your blog. Including days on your calendar specifically meant for photoshoots will make your life so much easier. Whether that’s a couple times a month or once a week, it’s important to try and create a library of photos that are ready for posting. I personally try to prepare photos for Instagram once a week and edit them the day they’re shot. It also helps to schedule out the day an Instagram photo should be posted. I like using a highlighter or some sort of colored pen to block out those days.
I’ve found that posting an Instagram photo on the day a blog post goes up is most helpful. The photo can promote whatever blog post went up that day, making a broader audience aware of your content. It’s best when your content all ties together or can link back to other pieces you’ve created. Being well rounded on social media definitely isn’t easy but is beneficial in the end. So now you’ve got all your blog posts scheduled out on repeating days of each week and Instagram posts that will support your blog. But what’s the best way to keep all of this organized?
Cheap Ways to Create a Calendar
Okay guys, so here are some simple tips and tricks to get your calendar going. Find any sort of journal around your home, whether it has lined paper or one with completely blank pages. Next, head over to Google and search for “March 2019 Calendar” or whatever month you so happen to be in. Click “images” and a whole array of calendar options will pop up. Some are more decorative and other are much simpler. It’s totally up to you with how you want it to look aesthetically. Print out your chosen calendar and fit it to one of the pages of your journal. Finally (you guessed it) tape or paste in the calendar to the journal. Yep, simple as that! You spent no money and you can finally start up that social media calendar. I suppose this can be thought of as a bullet journal. It’s extremely straight forward but being creative with your calendar will spark your creativity and motivate you to do more.
The first time created a calendar, this is exactly the method I used. I made sure to tape the calendar to the left side of my journal. On the right hand pages, I wrote down every date and went into detail about what needed to be done on that specific day. There isn’t a ton of room for details on the actual calendar, so it helps to use the extra journal pages to express exactly what you need to get done.
The second option is to simply go to Target and buy a calendar. I ended up doing this to save a bit of time and energy. Not to mention, the planner I got simple and exactly my aesthetic. Within the last few years, Target has had some very good looking stationery. It’s not the average elementary school planners or journals. They’ve gotten much more mature and are products I actually want to use year round. Luckily, these planners come with a full calendar for each month but also have various pages that go day by day. You can take the same approach as your homemade calendar by going into detail about your posts everyday. (Refer to the photos if any of this sounds confusing).
I’ve noticed throughout my life when anxiety creeps in or if I’m feeling overwhelmed, it always helps to write things down or make a list. I especially did this during college and never went anywhere without my planner. Creating a social media or simply a blogging calendar will undoubtedly make you feel a little less anxious about when you’re supposed to be posting. That is the effect it’s had on me and I actually enjoy writing out and planning my posts for the month. It’s made me a more effective and accountable blogger. I hope any aspect of this post was helpful to you guys, since it was so requested on Instagram! Let me know your thoughts about it down in the comments or if you’ve ever made a social media calendar yourself! Talk to you all soon xx