Before you quit your job and start searching for home business opportunities as a crafter, there are few things that you need to have in place. This post is aimed at craft bloggers but really, if you want to start working from home, 8 of these items will be relevant to you.d Working from home is the ultimate dream for many people. It’s my passion to try and help women release themselves from the rat race where they are miserable; your happiness is always going to be worth the risk.
When I was growing up, I remember my dad leaving the house at 6 am to sit in a car for an hour, not getting home until after 5 pm, and he didn’t enjoy his job. Back then I couldn’t understand it and part of me now still can’t. Quitting a job you hate is especially pertinent when we live in the age of the internet where opportunities are bountiful you can earn great money working as a freelancer or full-time blogger. So, we got on Amazon, we did everything below and we got to work!
How To Create An Editorial Calendar With 7 Possible Tools To Use
Are you overwhelmed at the idea of having enough content to fill your brand new blog? Or how you’re going to keep it all organised?
Have you ever wondered how all the pro bloggers manage to do it? Spoiler alert, they use an editorial calendar. Which is why I decided to teach you how to create an editorial calendar for your blog.
For Heart Handmade, I use CoSchedule as my editorial calendar, but for StartACraftBlog I’m using Trello as my editorial calendar for now.
Trello is my absolute secret weapon for staying completely organised in all aspects of my life, and now, I’m using it for my biz.
Keeping all of my To Do lists in trellis keeps me on top.
I use a desktop app for my Mac called Pomello, which uses the Pomodoro technique to keep me as productive as possible.
I’m skipping ahead though.
Let’s go back to the beginning.
What is an editorial calendar and why do I need one?
We know that the number one way to get traffic to our blog is by being organised.
All editorial calendars will be different and tailored to how you work and what you’re working.
An effective calendar will contain:
Social Media Posts
Guest posts (for other sites and your own); including details of post author and location
Sharing schedule for other websites (linky parties etc.)
End goal of posts and how you will measure success
The best way to get started with an editorial calendar is to look what other bloggers are using effectively in their businesses.
If you’re struggling to start out, using a paper editorial calendar is a great way to help you get into the habit of using one.
Eventually, you’ll realise that using paper and converting to digital is wasting time as you’re inputting details twice.
I love to use paper and find that I write better on paper, but I’m wasting time when it comes to writing and then having to type it out.
How To Start An Editorial Calendar:
CoSchedule advises that a good calendar creation process is a three-step process:
1. Start with an annual review
2. Begin collecting ideas
3. Plug the content into monthly calendars
The reason being is, so you think about the big picture.
What is your end goal?
Knowing your end goal allows you to create content accordingly that will help you reach said goal.
If your goal is to make more affiliate sales for different programs, then you would divide your content into the various tools you want to promote.
Make sure the content is scattered, so you aren’t posting too much of the same content in a short space of time.
What are my options?
If you want to start with paper, coschedule have printable editorial calendar templates available.
Several solutions are:
A WordPress plugin
Web based app + Premium Plugin like CoSchedule
Obviously, each of these options has pros and cons. Let’s explore them together.
The Paper option:
Sometimes the best tool isn’t the most expensive or complicated.
You can get free printable editorial calendar templates almost everywhere.
It’s easy to get an at a glance view of your content.
You have to input your information into post drafts manually.
It’s not possible to get an ‘at a glance view’ on the computer once you have typed them in
It can be hard to stay on top of if you don’t make a habit of checking it regularly
No group usage capabilities unless you scan or take a photo and use Evernote and Skitch (to annotate)
WordPress integration is possible but it looks terrible
See how to integrate Google Calendar with WordPress via Elegant Themes
WordPress plugins are useful because they integrate with software you’re already using, and they usually include a calendar view. Functionality is typically limited.
Did you know, there are ten things you could do for your blog today, that would mean you see hardly any growth in traffic for about two years?! Do not follow this post as a step by step guide. Maybe a ’10 Step Program That Could Lose Your Hundreds of Dollars!’ That sounds like a terrible idea right?
You might have noticed the title and thought one of two things;
What the fudge is a niche?
Isn’t my niche ‘Crafts’?
A niche (pronounced neesh or nitch if you’re American), is the overall ‘category’ your blog would fall under. Some people have the belief that a ‘niche’ is a set of demographics. It’s actually both.
defintion: “denoting or relating to products, services, or interests that appeal to a small, specialized section of the population.”
Technically yes, but today I’m going to explain why you should narrow your focus even further.
What are the Niche Choosing Strategies?
Should I create a personal, niche, or general blog?
Thanks to Jeff Goins, my basic rule of thumb for blogging now is this:
The more you narrow your focus, the more you broaden your audience.
Jeff Goins also wrote an article that said “Why finding your niche is bad advice” which you can read about here. Generally, I agree with most of what he writes in that article, except the title. I aim my content for a customer avatar (read about how you can do that in this post), but my audience is broad. Not a set of strict demographics. Just under one category, liked by a lot of ages in a lot of areas.
According to my most popular content, which I wrote two years into my crafts blog, my blog should be about handwriting. Doesn’t sound too handmade to me (for a blog called heart handmade uk). My biggest regret with my craft blog is that I did not define my niche early on and I didn’t define my target reader as much as I should have. It has been a complete nightmare to create content for one person because I now have a large audience that is tricky to monetise with products.