Sticking with a blogging schedule is a huge focus for me this year, and I can’t do that without having an effective method of blog planning. Before I started actively planning out my blog posts, I’d often find myself staring blankly at a screen with an equally blank mind the night before I wanted to have a blog post go live (or worse, day of.) I quickly learned that I don’t do well with blogging by the seat of my pants. Like most things I do, I need some order and a jumping off point to really be productive. Today, I wanted to share the methods I use to make sure things actually get accomplished here on the site.
My utmost necessity is some form of blog planner. Currently, I use two + a notebook. My Passion Planner, and this 2016 Blog Planner by Hilary Joyner from The Cutie Life. I actually won the Blog Planner in a giveaway and I am so happy that I did. It’s been such an excellent resource (plus, a J.K. Rowling quote! Sold!) The sticker-covered notebook is what I use for taking notes during webinars and such, or writing down sites to check out, posts to share – really anything I want to jot down quickly. It lives next to my computer!
I utilize Hilary’s blog planner to organize all my ideas. As you can see underneath the February month spread, I write down each idea I have for a post. Then I highlight the ones I want to have go up that month. I also really like the page adjacent to it, where I can record what I have ready to go; it really helps me keep track of where I’m at for planning the month of blog posts. It also has places in the beginning to write in passwords for sites which is SO freaking handy and some blank lined pages just for notes. I love it! I currently don’t use the monthly spread layout, and here’s why.
I use the monthly spread in my Passion Planner instead! I like having it in my day planner instead as it’s a bigger area and I can use page tabs. Why? Because I often move things around. If I get inspired to write something else, or want to fit another post in, I can just swap around the page tabs. If I were writing them all in pen, and wanted to change something I would not enjoy constantly scribbling things out.
For actually planning and writing the posts, I start by jotting ideas down constantly throughout the month. Then towards the end of each month, I pick a day (usually a Sunday; they seem to be my planning days) and start to write down the posts I want on the page tabs and organize them on the spread. Currently, I’m sticking to a definite Monday, Wednesday, Friday post schedule, with occasional Sunday’s for Life In Photos. I add in more posts if necessary if I feel like I have more content I want to write and share!
Sunday nights are also when I write out posts for each week, and sometimes for farther ahead if I have the time! It’s SO nice having posts ready and waiting without the stress of needing to get them done to go live. Remember how one of my goals was time management? This is freaking crucial to that. With blog stuff done on Sundays, I get to dedicate each weeknight to art, which is amazing (or you know, the occasional social life engagement/Netflix & chill with the hubs.)
When it comes to blog planning, I know I couldn’t do it without planning ahead of time. It doesn’t matter what method you use – digital, paper, a planner dedicated to it, or just a notebook – if you find yourself struggling to come up with content or keeping track of what you want to post, find some form of blog planning that works for you!
How do you plan out your blog? Do you use a specific method, or just wing it with what works?
FOCUS is my One Little Word for 2016. This series shares the ways that I’m applying it each aspect of my life, personal and professional.