I spoke about the need to be organised in my 15 things I’ve learned from blogging
post and thought I would go into a little more detail about how I plan posts for this blog. I know how hard it can be juggling a blog alongside a full-time job. Blogging alone can be a full-time job (even with only posting 3 times a week) so when you add another 40 hours a week at a regular job it can be very overwhelming. One of the ways I deal with the amount of work I have to do is to plan my blog posts in advance, so I know exactly what needs to be done each week. I try to spend a bit of time at the beginning of every month to plan out my blog posts for the upcoming month. I’m going to sound like a total geek here, but I quite enjoy the process of planning so probably do more than necessary. Here are the steps I take to plan out my blog posts for the month ahead.
Reviewing the Previous Month
Before I start planning for the month ahead I find it useful to look back at the month just past. First I check my Google Analytics to see which posts have been the most popular. I will also check on Blogger to see which posts received the most comments and G+s. I will then think to myself what it is about these posts that I think people enjoyed. As well as finding out my most popular posts, I’ll also check my least popular posts and ask myself why these didn’t do as well.
At the beginning of every month, I sit down for a brainstorming session. I try to do this away from the computer (normally with a glass of wine) so I’m not distracted by emails etc. I take a blank sheet of paper and write down all my ideas. I like to create a couple of spider diagrams, one for capsule wardrobe related posts and another for more lifestyle posts.
Once I have enough post ideas, I then go back to my computer and create a content schedule. I use a spreadsheet to plan out my posts (let me know in the comments if you’d like to see the spreadsheet), I like to have my diary open as I do this so I can see when I have a busy week planned and events on. For example, I have a holiday coming up later this month so have planned some content relating to the trip.
After I have created by content schedule, I then open a new word document and start my to-do list for the month. I split by to-do list into weeks and work out exactly what needs to be done for each post planned for example do I need to take any photos or do any research for a post. I try to include everything in my blog posts, even if it seems obvious as you never know what you’ll forget (especially after a day at work).
Create Action Plan
Once I have my to-do list, I then open up my diary and work out when I will be able to fit everything in. Because I based my content schedule on my diary I should have slightly easier posts (less research, pictures etc) on my busy weeks and the most intensive posts on quieter weeks. For example, I might plan to take the photos for the week on a Sunday afternoon, I’ll write this in my diary so I don’t make any other plans. I also write down what posts I have planned for the week and when I will have blogging time in my diary. I have very flexible working hours and may finish at 4pm one day and 8pm the next so I find it helpful to plan to blog around this. As my husband works away from home I like to get as much done as possible when he’s away so we can spend more time together when he’s home.
That’s my process for planning everything out at the beginning of the month. You may think it’s a bit excessive (especially for a hobby blog) but as I said earlier I enjoy the planning process and like to be organised. I think with my husband working away, I want to make the most of having time alone in the house, so try to plan for that. When I write this all down it seems like it would take up a lot of time, but all of this only really takes a couple of hours at the beginning of the month.