25 January 2013, 07:06
I love this heart wall decal!
Hey, blogger babe: this is part two of a ten-part series, in which I tell you my top tips for kickstarting your blog & pushing it to the next level. You can read the other posts by clicking on the blogging tag!
As with all things in life, when you’re organised, it’s easier to get things done. This goes double for bloggers, who are commonly juggling a few million things at once.
Here are a few things you can do to keep on top of your blog!
Schedule your posts ahead of time
I feel like polishing my blog halo when I have more than one day’s posts organised ahead of time. As well as an overarching sense of satisfaction, it really takes the pressure off. This is also one of those things that encourages you to get out of the house & enjoy your life, since after all, that is where the best content comes from!
Having an editorial calendar is a golden weapon against the “what am I gonna post?!” tremors. There are a multitude of ways you can do this, & I’ve experimented with a lot of options.
A whiteboard: Stick it on your wall & divide it up into a calendar month using some cute washi tape. You can see what’s planned at a glance, & easily wipe things off to start again if you change your mind!
Google Calendar: This is a life-saver when it comes to posts that have a specific deadline, such as any collaborations or sponsored content. It really keeps you on track. I use Google Calendar to schedule my entire life, but I also have an editorial calendar that I use for the aforementioned time-sensitive posts.
Daily planner: I use a page-a-day Moleskine (a purple one, don’t you know) which is great for daily to do lists. Often these to do lists include items such as “finish x article”, or “take photo for y” — it’s an easy way of keeping track of your little tasks. Using this Moleskine in addition to planning my appointments in Google Calendar is a great combo for me.
Draw a paper grid: I’m a bit old school when it comes to planning, & as much as I love Google Calendar, I really prefer to put it on paper. I like to buy big Post-It Notes, divide them up to make a month, then start filling the gaps. I did this when I was planning my content for my European jaunt, & it’s all worked pretty well, hasn’t it?!
Image from 91 Magazine.
Develop regular features for your blog
As well as giving my readers something to look forward to, one of the reasons I have features like Things I Love Thursday, Carousel & Daily Outfits is because it helps me to flesh out my week of content.
When you know what you have to post every week, it only gives you a few more gaps to fill. You can go further than that & have themes for each day, too. At the start of this year, I decided I’d start doing a radical self love-themed post on Mondays, a style-related post on Tuesdays, & a lifestyle post on Wednesdays. I haven’t started putting that into practice yet (!!!), but as soon as I’m back in NYC, I’m going to get right back on it.
Picking these themes actually makes it easier to create content. Sometimes when you’re faced with a blank page, it’s overwhelming. Being able to write about anything can make writing really challenging, but if you give yourself guidelines or themes, it’s much easier.
Having these regular features definitely helps to keep me accountable & on-task.
It’s okay to change them up from time to time, too. I’m not doing Carousels at the moment because I’m away from home, & not spending enough time online to compile them. Instead, I’m doing this ten-part series on blogging (which I’m really enjoying!).
One of the things we did at The Blogcademy was encourage our students to brainstorm regular features for their blog. Coming up with these items can be surprisingly helpful when it comes to defining the direction or shape of your blog.
Divide your day into sections
Slicing your day up into segments can really help you get your productivity on track. This is even more important if you’re not blogging fulltime. You need to know when you’re going to get all your work done! Maybe you sit down every Sunday to sketch out the week’s content, & then every morning before work you put on the finishing touches before making the posts live.
If you are a problogger, start to define set times when you do email, when you write original content, when you use social media or when you go out to take pictures. It will make such a huge difference to your workflow. If you don’t, it’s very easy to find yourself trying to multitask ten different items.
Kat just said to me, “Remember to schedule in things like going to the supermarket, things you’ll put off because you’d rather be blogging… Otherwise you end up only going down there when there’s nothing left in your fridge but a block of mouldy cheese & half a bottle of tonic.”
She is totally right! Be sure to add your appointments, errands, gym time, & anything else that is important to you into your schedule.
One of the most difficult things about blogging is that you are your own boss. Some of us are wonderfully self-disciplined, but for others it requires a bit of effort to get to that point. Getting yourself organised — & sticking to it! — is definitely a shortcut to blog happiness!