Let's Talk Blog Planning...

Happy 2014!

I am excited to share my organizational secrets for keeping it together! Organizing a blog is a LOT of work. Do these few things monthly, and you will stay on top of it like a pro!

So, when it comes to blogging, I like to follow a semi-written schedule. I like to know what is coming, and what I am going to say. {I usually always pre-schedule posts!}

I purchased Martha Stewart's Avery system, in the BIG disc bound binder version.  I just LOVE it. I have tabs for each topic, check lists, and a monthly/daily calendar to pre-plan posts.

This teal color makes me SO happy! The black is pretty, too!

These dividers are beautiful! Love the colors.

Spending some time each week or month to brain storm blog posts is a great way to get your typing fingers going. One topic is thought of, and many follow suit after! Maybe even resulting in a Blog Series that will keep your readers coming back.

If you are planning for the month, take half an hour {set a timer!} and think of anything and everything you can think of to write about. Crafts you've seen on Pinterest, but have yet to try. Recipes you'd like to make and photograph. Fashion and Business how-to's. Etc.

Love Staples. Love them! And Martha!

Next, take all these topics and plug them into a date on your monthly calendar. If you are in October, you may want to feature some Halloween of Fall themed crafts or recipes at the beginnning of the month, giving your readers time to make their own in time for the season. Or, since Valentine's Day is next month, you may want to plan Pink and Sparkly posts for this month, giving your readers time to create whatever it is you are showcasing.

Yep! It's screenshot! You think I would show you my REAL plans?! 

After plugging my topics into my calendar, create a weekly schedule of how you will tackle this major to-do-list. Take each day, and schedule enough time to make the craft and photograph it. Maybe it's a fun item you can drop in your Etsy site?? I also like to plug all these topics into "drafted posts" - typing several paragraphs to get my mind going about the topic. Then, all I need to do is plug the pictures in and schedule the post!

Dividing your time into small increments makes blogging a bit easier. Not so daunting... You know, those mornings you wake up without a blog post and think "Oh! I'll make a craft tutorial today and have it posted by 10am!" Then, it's taking longer than you thought...yielding no blog post for that day... The next thing you know two weeks have passed without posting and you've lost the connection with your readers! Not that I know anything about that.

Here is the over view of steps to take at the end of each month (I like to do this mid-way through, just to be sure I have posts for the coming beginning of the month... Once again, I am little overboard..)

1. Blog post brainstorm - I have an entire tab devoted to this.

Write as many blog post ideas as you can. If one topic can be broken up into mini-posts, make it a week long series. Plug all these items in to your topics list, if this applies to you.

2. Plug posts into the monthly calendar.

Be sure to include series, or making sure you don't have one topic per week: I write about 4-6 different topics, so having 5 fashion posts in one week (not in a pre-planned series) is not a good idea!

3. Plan post actions according to schedule. - This is a tab itself, too

If you are doing lots of food, plan your meals around this schedule! Write the post in drafts, then when you cook the food, photograph it and plug the photo(s) in! If you are making your recipe for dinner, save a plate. And use it the next day for photographing in better light. Have you heard of Tasty Food Photography?? Bjork and Lindsay have created a fabulous product, divulging all their secrets to the best food photography! I have read it, and refer back to it almost every time I edit a food photo.

Tasty Food Photography eBook.

4. Be sure to include one "growing action" each day

I like to follow at least 5 new blogs everyday, along with their social media sites. Usually, I will stalk their Twitter followers, and opt to follow 5+ more there.

5. Plan your work, and work you plan! Follow you calendar closely. If you decide to move a post around, be sure you either put it on another day, or add it to a post list idea.

Jen, from iHeart Organizing, has a lovely printable blog planner & calendar that fits right into the Martha Stewart Discbound System. You will need to invest in Staples punch. While it isn't from Martha Stewart's line, it will work perfectly with her discbound system. You may want to jaunt over to Staples Arc section and check out their accessories.

Here are a couple print outs you can add to your Blogging Workbook.

I haven't been following these…. But, maybe that should be a 2014 goal/intention.

Here is a link to download my TO DO DAILY sheet. It's meant to be on a 5x7 sheet of paper, so if you need to cut it your 8.5x11 down, go for it! It may also be handy to laminate before putting holes into it?

Here is the link to this sheet - with a break down of times you can plan your posting around. You don't have to do this! This timeline posting schedule is a good guideline for your needs! I have followed a few other bloggers posting timelines, and this is close to what I see them doing. And, no, I'm not copyrighting! I followed these bloggers for a week, and watched what they posted and when, then came up with my own schedule.

Hopefully this is not too overwhelming! Take time this week to make a plan for your blog for January/February!

Have any questions or comments? Do you plan your blog? If so, how? I would love to hear from you!

Cheers to 2014, Friends! And making our blogs better than 2013's!

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