Plan Ahead – Editorial Calendar And Marketing Planner For Creatives, Artists, Bloggers and More (Free PDF)

Plan Ahead - Free Editorial Calendar

Creating relevant content for the upcoming months, means to be up to date on major and minor holidays. But it gets more complicated, when you add to these often celebrated holidays those minor and less often remembered celebrations, such as National Pancake Day or the Summer Solstice.

This information can be not only useful for bloggers, who can plan their content around those holidays, but also adds a volume of potential marketing possibilities for Product on Demand Artists, Photographers, Writers, Affiliate Marketers and other creative people who have an online presence.

dog toys

In order to make it easier for you to plan your marketing strategies for this year, I have combined a list of strategies and lesser known holidays and celebrations, as a gift for you. Simply click on this link: Editorial Calendar And Marketing Planner Year  and download it, to print out to build your own strategies for the upcoming months.

Please do not alter this pdf  in any way. You may share the PDF with your friends, in a non-commercial setting, but only un-altered.

Download it now!
Editorial Calendar And Marketing Planner Year

 

Because it is Friday, which on this blog means, it is time to talk about gratitude – I wanted to share with you what I am grateful for this week:

  1. I am grateful that despite the fact that my husband was stuck in snow this morning, while traveling in Dallas, he was safe due to the fact that he had snowchains with him. Apparently everyone has been driving safely, because he has not seen an accident. That is a very good thing.
  2. I am grateful that instead of being in snow, I am in Las Vegas to 85 degree weather. I will cherrish every moment of warmth today.
  3. I am grateful that my daughter is feeling better after having had a cold. She was invited to a picnic last weekend, and got promptly sick, due to the fact that it was still a little bit more windy then everyone expected. But she is on the mend now.
  4. I am grateful that it is Friday, which means it is bill paying day. It might seem a little weird to be happy about paying bills, but I am grateful that I can, when I know how many have to make decisions between eating and paying the electric. I am blessed in every way, and I am grateful for that fact.
  5. I am grateful for the abundance of items I have on my list this week. I am exited to share with you those wonderful new products, and some special deals, which I have carefully weeded through. More on that over the next few days. (Some of these are for you pet owners out there)

What are you grateful for this week? Share with us here, or write a blog post, and join the many blogs that are participating in the following blog hops:

Color Caddy

Thankful Thursdays

No Rules Weekend Blog Party

Winter Is Leaving

Share With Me Blog Hop

Be Inspired 

Celebrate The Small Things

Friday Gratitude: Family, Friends and Favorites

Friday Gratitude: Family, Friends and Favorites

 

This blog post  contains affiliate links. See my disclosure page for more information

Do you have an attitude of gratitude? If you do, congratulations. If you are still wondering how to get one, and you own your own blog, I suggest partaking in the many wonderful blog hops that foster weekly listing of gratitude. Just check out the following list of blog hops that happen every week, connect with us, via their link and post your very own list!

What am I grateful for this week?
I am grateful for having such supportive and well-behaved children. Both of them are kind, loving and self-disciplined individuals who are slowly growing toward adulthood. I am proud to be their mother.
I am grateful for my husband, who work hard to make sure that no matter what happens, everyone is taken care off. He was not given anything by anyone, rather often neglected as the youngest in his needs and pursuits, yet he is the one with a thriving family. That is a testimony to his strength and commitment to us.
I am grateful for all of the friends I have had along the way. The friends who were there to laugh and cry along with me, some of whom are far away, as we have moved and traveled not only throughout this great country, but also overseas. We made connections as far as Europe and as close as Las Vegas, and we cherish every single one of them. Oh, and I should not forget to mention those who I count as friends, even though we never met in person – from a Wedding Organizer in Dubai to a Kindle Publishing Writer in India.


I am grateful for my favorite things: coffee, thumbprint cookies, enthusiastic dog licks, vegan chocolate peanut butter, hiking shoes, flannel bed sheets, soft blankets, and books, always books.
What and who are you grateful for this week? Share in the comment section below, post your own blog post, and link up with us, or write it in your journal. Whatever you choose to do, be grateful!
Blessings!
Claudia
This blog post is also a part of the following blog hops:

Gratitude And Tea

 

It is really cold out there! Perfect time to sit indoors, with a hot cup of tea, a couple of cookies and in front of the computer, contemplating.

I am always contemplating on what-to-do-next. While this habit leads me to be goal oriented, it also has the downfall of creating anxiety, especially when not everything goes they way it was planned, or when the list becomes so large that it is overwhelming.

So taking my time to stop, make myself a cup tea, and focus on gratitude is not only a good idea but a necessity. Exactly that concept of mindfulness and the fact that I need to be mindful in order to function with clarity changed the direction of the book I am working on. Which brings me to the first thing, I am grateful for – the progress I am making with my tea book.

Working title “Happy Tea”, this book demanded to take on a different direction this week, completely unexpected. I thought I would write a book featuring tea traditions, rituals and recipes, but the Universe had something else in mind. Instead, I will focus on the mindfulness of tea, the connection of this beverage within meditation, gratitude and positive living. It seemed like this aspect of tea would serve you better. There are many wonderful books out there, who focus upon the technical aspects of the subject, so I can focus on this direction.

Another thing I am grateful for is the holiday season is almost over.  Yes, celebrations are nice, but they also mean extra work, so I am looking forward to having more time to write.

I am grateful that my daughter gets to see Star Wars with her boyfriend tonight. I am not a fan, but they are, so I am happy for them. I am sure they will have a great time.

I am also grateful for the decorations I have been seeing in the neighbourhood.While people do not seem to decorate as much here as in Tampa, the few who have did a great job. Almost made me want to join in. Then I looked at my to-do list and decided to just enjoy everyone else’s decor instead.

What are grateful for this week?

How do you deal with the holiday stress?

Blessings!

Claudia

This blog post is a part of the following blog hops:

Celebrate The Small Things

Reasons To Be Cheerful

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday Link Up

 

 

Planning, Goals, Progress and Coffee

If you were coming over for coffee, I would greet you with a hug and some chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven. It has been a while since I posted on this blog, but I have been pretty busy. The fact that my computer has a nasty virus did not help either.

December is usually my busiest month, not only do both of my children have birthdays, and of course, there are the holidays, but it is the time where business picks up, and also the time to plan for the next year.

Which is exactly what I am working on this weekend: Goal and Action Plan for 2016.

I don’t believe in New Years resolutions. Of course, they can be beneficial, but why wait until a particular time to make a change? Yet I do plan the year, but not in a resolution kind of way.

There are overall goals to work out – that has to be the first step, never forgetting that there has to be a why, a reason behind each goal, otherwise, I am fully aware that I will not follow through on it.

Willpower can carry you far, reasons will carry you further.

Then there are the monthly goals – smaller steps that together build the picture of a successful year. Those are flexible, meaning, I can adjust those goals throughout the year to fit the progress I am actually making. The trick is to set these goals high, but not so high that they are not attainable. Otherwise,  the frustration of not reaching them will keep me from going further.

Next are tangible action steps. I ask myself, what do I need to learn to make this happen? How much time am I willing to invest into this goal? What do I need to do to see progress? Those answers will be based on the overall goal and the monthly  goals.

This leaves me with a framework for the entire year.

What I am questioning this year is about how public I should make these goals, and when. I have seen many bloggers and marketing experts, who put all of their goals and their achievements out there – that is wonderful, as it motivates me. But being an artist first, a creative, who might not see monetary results in such a profound way every month – while other months soar – I am not sure, I am going to do that yet. What do you think? How public do you make your goals?

If you were here with me, I would tell you that another year end practice I enjoy and intend to employ this year:

Expressing my thanks to those who inspired me.

Now, some of these people – some of whom are famous, some are very successful might never respond to my email, Facebook message or tweet, but some might (hey, I have had Brendan Brazer, the creator of Vega, and the author of Thrive, acknowledge my tweet the other day, where I was praising his mission, products and words), but that is not the point. It does not matter how successful you are, I am sure that it can not be a bad thing to hear something positive from someone who learned from you, or was inspired by you. Spreading a little kindness through expressing gratitude at the end of the year – and throughout the year benefits the receiver as much as the giver. It simply feels good all around.

So these are the questions I have for you this week:

Do you plan your year? Do you make resolutions? If you do, what steps do you take to allow yourself a better chance of success? And, how public do you make these goals and plans?

I am looking forward to hearing from you!

I hope you enjoyed the cookies. I enjoyed your company as always

Much love

Claudia

 

 

This blog post is a part of the following blog hops

Celebrate The Small Things

Weekend Coffee Share

Thankful Thursdays

Thankful Thursdays 2

No Rules Weekend

 

Disclaimer: The above blog post contains affiliate links.

 

The #1 Writing Tool

Anger And Gratitude

the anger behind
that sweet smile you always show
is reserved for me

Domestic abuse – a reality many women – and men – experience in their relationship. The fear of those who supposed to be caring for us, making our homes a nightmare, instead of a safe haven is real, and never the fault of the abused.

Why am I choosing to write about domestic violence in a blog post that usually features “Celebrate The Small Things” and “Thankful Thursday”? Because I am thankful to be one of those women who do not have to live in fear, but I am also aware that this puts me in the situation to choose to ignore the plight of others, or do something about it.

While donating to organisations that assist domestic violence victims might not seem a lot, it is something many of us who live a comfortable and safe life can do. Just because we do not experience this type of environment, does not mean we can let ourselves be numb to those who suffer.

Anger And Gratitude

But, I am going to add this for my most eager readers, you should NEVER get directly involved. Domestic violence perpetrators are violent and dangerous, making anyone in their way a target just as much as the actual target they desire. If you suspect anyone you know being abused, or know that they are in need of help, look for local resources they can contact, or call them yourself, and ask them what actions they suggest for the abused to take. Those professionals are trained to assist victims and keep them safe, something that you and I are not.

If you are looking for organisations that help battered spouses, check out the following links:

Women helping battered women
 National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
 Leaving Abuse

This blog post is a part of the following blog hops:

Thankful Thursdays

Celebrate The Small Things

Thankful Thursday (Pepi Smart Dog)

Reasons to be Cheerful

Reflect

 

The above art piece “Anger” is available on RedBubble, and I am donating 20 % of profits of this digital art piece to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Thank you for your support.

 

Releasing Anxiety – Learning To Say No

Releasing Anxiety - Learning To Say No

Overwhelmed, and over-stressed, not just something must of us only suffer throughout the holiday season, but rather all year long. No matter if you are your own boss, an artists trying to create on your time off, or work in your dream job, stress catches up with everyone of us at least every once in a while.

I am not an exception. But I am thankful that I have come across a little trick to keep at least some of this stress at bay – saying no. Not just to what others want me to do. Yes, that is important, because the demands of others upon our time and energy can be draining, but I am also saying no to myself.

There are always so many things I want to do, accomplish and create, that it  can feel like I am drowning in want to do lists, and should do lists. But there is no way I could ever create EVERYTHING I have on those lists, so I learned to tell myself no.

Floral - by Claudia H. Blanton

Floral – by Claudia H. Blanton

I gratefully said no to the following items on my want-to-do list

1. Post every day on this blog (heck, I had the Flu, work almost full-time, and run my own business, there is simply not enough time in the day)
2. Participate in NaNoWriMo.
3. Bake multiple batches of cookies during the week – I limited myself to once a week baking.
4. Have all holiday shopping done by end of November. No one will care when I bought them their present.
5. Work on multiple book projects simultaneously. I am finishing up my Flash Fiction book, publish it and then work on the next project.
6… and many more

This was an important decision to make, one that kept me from re-living those anxiety-filled moments, where I constantly worried about not doing enough. Those moments stole my sleep, and any type of ability to relax, and stay focused upon the most important aspects of my life – my family. It is hard to enjoy someone’s company, I realized, when their attention is on what he or she should be doing instead, making those around us feel like they are not as important.

Taking charge, and saying no to myself allowed me to make that healthy shift from anxiety to true productivity.

Do you feel overwhelmed with responsibilities at times? Are there any items on your list you could let go off?

Christmas Cheer Postcard

Christmas Cheer Postcard

One thing I do not let go off, are my gratitude lists. And because it is Friday, I am adding 5 things I am grateful for right now, to this post:

1. My thick red favorite sweater. That piece of clothing has become my best buddy over the last few weeks. I just wish I had multiples of the exact same one – warm, soft and cozy.
2. Coffee – of course. I am always cold – see above – so a hot cup of coffee is always by my side.
3. The loudest cat I have ever met, but who happens to have chosen us as his family. My goodness, I have had many cats, but never one as demanding and loud as this one. He talks. To me, the dogs and whoever is willing to listen.
4. Sleeping in – I was actually able to sleep in a little yesterday, which has been rare lately. That felt good
5. Silence – at this very moment, it is absolutely quiet in here – no barking, no talking cat – he is asleep – the kids are quietly busy, and the phone is not ringing. Ahh, this is nice!

I hope you have a lot of things to celebrate and be grateful for as well.
Today’s post is part of the following blog hops:

Friday Finds

Share With Me

What Are You Doing – Blog Hop

Inspire Me

Celebrate The Small Things

Traditions, Skills And Gratitude

Tradition, Skills And Gratitude

While as a child, having a parent who is very detailed oriented and almost OCD about their space, is not a fun person to grow up around, I did learn quite a few useful skills from my adoptive father’s very exact personality. From how to cut an onion in precise and extra small pieces to careful and detailed gift wrapping, I am grateful for this knowledge and am often asked to teach those little skills to others.

Getting ready for the Holiday season, which in our family happens to be also the season where everyone seems to be having a birthday, I go through tons of wrapping paper and ribbons.

If you are like my friends and family, you probably think a lot less about the wrapping of those presents then the content of them – but I thought you might appreciate a little tutorial I found on youtube that shows a quick and easy way to make your presents more beautiful.

Speaking of gift giving, have you began to plan your shopping for the upcoming holidays yet? No? Me neither, but at least I have a plan in place for everyone on my list. Do you plan your holiday shopping in detail, like I do or are you waiting for whatever is on sale on days like Black Friday (which I do not participate in). I am not I would be able to get everyone a thoughtful gift without this planning ahead – which, by the way, I always do, throughout the year, and make a rule that it has to be done before Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Floral Magnet
Thanksgiving Floral Magnet – Personalize It!

Another tradition, albeit one that was a lot more fun to learn, was making Christmas cookies. I am grateful that both of my Grandmothers were avid backers and usually provided us with at least a dozen varieties each. This year I have to add some vegan varieties to the mix, so my daughter can eat them as well. I, on the other hand, will for that occasion not restrict myself and stick with tradition.

 

Do you have any favorite holiday skills and traditions that you enjoy? What skills did they teach you, even if at the time you might not have appreciated the learning process as much as you do that skill now?

I am looking forward to hearing from you.

And check out the custom designer Christmas wrapping collection, I created for you. It includes the most beautiful wrapping papers for this holiday season, I could find on Zazzle.

 

This blog post is a part of the following blog hops:

Celebrate The Small Things

No Rules Weekend Blog Party

Share With Me