Happy Wild Wednesday!!
We’re continuing on with our Pro Blogging mini series today & I am going to cover a little about blogging platforms & I want to talk to you a bit about one of my blogging essentials – my editorial calendar!
There are three main blogging platforms (Blogger, WordPress, & Typepad), and which one you want to use really comes down to a personal choice. I have not used Typepad so I am not going to cover anything on it. I have used Blogger & WordPress so I am going to give you my opinion of each & kind of talk about each of them. Blogger vs. WordPress seems to be a hot debate among crafty bloggers so I thought I would share my 2 cents since I’ve used both.
Blogger is a great basic blogging platform and the great thing is that it is free to start a blog on blogger. All you need is a google account & you can get your blog up and running in a matter of minutes! Their sign up form is super easy to use. All free blogger blogs have a URL that ends in .blogspot.com . Free accounts offer you a certain amount of space for free. Once your photos/data exceed the allotted amount, then you have to start paying for hosting space.
If you want your own .com rather than the blogspot part being in there, you need to purchase a .com and pay for hosting somewhere else.
And their blog editing tools are pretty easy to use too. Blogger all around is just a really user-friendly blogging platform for the everyday blogger. I started my blogging journey using Blogger & switched to WordPress near the end of 2013.
Wordpress is an open-source blogging software, which means that the software is freely available to use – if you have a website, you can add wordpress to it for free. WordPress.com also offers a free hosting version & all free WordPress blogs hosted through wordpress.com will end in .wordpress.com . Like with Blogger, the free blogs only offer you a certain amount of space & after that, you have to pay. When signing up for WordPress.com, you have the option of choosing a .com right then and there & they charge $18/month for that. You also have the option of purchasing your .com elsewhere & paying for hosting elsewhere.
WordPress has A LOT of functionality, but I found it to be a much more complicated & less user-friendly experience than first learning Blogger. I feel like the learning curve for WordPress is pretty big.
What makes WordPress so neat is its use of what are called “plug-ins”. Plug-ins are things that other coders/developers make that you can add to your blog! In the admin section of your blog, you can search for plug-ins and add them to your blog and you have to know little to no coding at all!! There are thousands and thousands of plug-ins available to do pretty much anything you want a blog to do.
Learning about certain features of WordPress made me decide to switch over.
FOR THE BEGINNER
If I were just starting out, I would definitely stick with Blogger. I had a lot of trouble initially trying to use WordPress. I found it was not very intuitive even after knowing how blogging works. If I was a brand new blogger, I think I would still stick with Blogger. The good news with that situation is that if you ever want to switch over to WordPress, it is pretty simple to get your Blogger blog posts imported into a new WordPress blog!
The same is not true. It is much more complicated to move from WordPress to Blogger. I’ve personally never tried it, but I have heard folks having to hire someone to get their WP blog posts imported into Blogger.
All in all, I feel like Blogger has plenty of functionality for most bloggers out there so it is definitely a great place to start or even stay. I just happen to like a lot of bells & whistles on my blog so I found WordPress to be better for what I wanted to do with my blog.
Now, let’s switch gears a bit:
THE EDITORIAL CALENDAR
Simply put for blogging purposes, an editorial calendar is a calendar you plan out your blogging schedule. This can be an actual calendar with the squares for each day or it can be a numbered piece of notebook paper to represent the days of the week. You can make your editorial calendar any way that you want, but I have found my editorial calendar to be invaluable!
Whether you plan on blogging once a week, a couple times a week, or every single day, it is great to plan out your blog posts a little bit. I’ve found that having things on a calendar REALLY comes in handy to keep my blog posting on track.
When I was suffering horribly from chronic migraine (now being treated with Botox for prevention), having a calendar helped me keep my blog running smoothly even when I was sick many days of the week. Even when I’m not sick (haven’t really been sick for the past 3 years or so thankfully!!), my calendar helps me stay on track! Having a plan lets you work ahead so that you have more time to fine tune & edit your blog posts.
Since I know what’s coming, I am able to work here and there on blog posts that are more involved than others (like this post! lol).
MY EDITORIAL CALENDAR
Over the 6 years of my blogging life, I have graduated from a notepad to an actual calendar. My system has evolved over time & my current system is working out really well for me.
If you’ve watched the My Planner mini series from earlier this year, you will have seen my most recent editorial calendar before the one I am using now. I used a list style printable that I had made. This printable is available currently in the SP Digi Shop. I plan on probably using this same printable next year, but I actually switched to the smaller spiral bound Walgreens planner at the end of February because I was tired of having 2 planners.
Now, I am just using the calendar with squares inside my Walgreens planner. I tend to move blog posts around a bunch so I write all my ideas down in pencil so I can erase & move things around. I used to go back and write things in pen once they were set in stone, but I got lazy & thought it was a waste of time & ink. Now I just leave everything on my editorial calendar written in pencil.
I like to work ahead when possible so when I have a blog post in progress, I add a little check mark on that date to signify that the blog post is in progress.
When I complete a blog post, I give myself a sticker! LOL. It sounds so juvenile, but it is incredibly satisfying for me to add that sticker to my calendar!!
Here’s a look at last month’s editorial calendar:
And here’s a look at some of April. I’m actually writing this blog post on 4/8 so you will see there are unfinished blog posts earlier than today’s (4/16) date 🙂 You can also see lots of erasing lol.
One of the great things about planning out your blog schedule with an editorial calendar is you have the ability to skip around & work on whatever subject tickles your fancy at that moment in time.
So as you can see, my system is VERY VERY simple. For me, it just has to be kept simple because I just know I wouldn’t stick to an overly complicated system. And I find giving myself a sticker to be a fun little extra that keeps me happy with the system.
And that’s everything I wanted to tell you about blogging platforms & editorial calendars. I hope that these ideas inspire you. If you aren’t blogging yet, but want to, I say go for it! When I first started blogging, I had NO IDEA where it would take me. I just did it purely for fun & I had no intention of it being something so important in my life 6 years later!! And I have you to thank for that so THANK YOU for stopping by!
In case you missed any parts in this mini series:
Have a fun-filled day!