Over the past couple years of blogging, I've learned a thing or two about organization. Simply put, being well organized leads to better blogging. When you're organized, you can spend more time creating awesome content rather than scrambling at the last minute to publish a post. Today I'm sharing with you my top 5 tips for staying organized as a blogger… so let's get started!
TIP #1: KEEP AN EDITORIAL CALENDAR
Blogging is much easier when you have your content planned out. I keep a HUGE monthly calendar (from Target) hanging on my wall near my desk that is solely dedicated to helping me plan out blog posts for the month. At the beginning of every month, I'll mark down the days that I have committed to posts (for example, if I'm partnering with a boutique, I'll write down the specific day that the post will go up). An editorial calendar also helps me plan around holidays. Halloween is coming up at the end of the month, so I've already marked a few days for dedicated "Halloween" or "Fall" posts. These calendars also help you make sure that you don't commit to doing two blog posts on the same day. Another tip: always write in pencil! (Things change often and I like to be able to erase!)
TIP #2: PLAN WEEK BY WEEK & DAY BY DAY
Every Monday morning, I like to sit down and make a plan for the week, which includes writing down what I'm blogging about each day and what needs to be done to accomplish that. I start by looking at my monthly editorial calendar to see if I have any posts that must go up on a certain day. This blog planner notepad has been tremendously helpful in my weekly planning (although a regular sheet of paper will do, too!). This particular notepad has a space for each day of the week, as well as a checklist that includes writing the post, adding images, editing and scheduling the post. It makes it super easy to see the whole week in one glance.
I also like to plan daily as well, so I'll write down a list of "To Do's" that must get done that day. I usually include everything on this list, not just blogging stuff! A typical day of To Do's may include a photo shoot in a new outfit, grocery shopping, paying a bill or responding to a specific email. This notepad is great for daily planning.
If you're looking for a planner in notebook form that you can carry around in your purse, I would recommend the Design Love Planner. Not only is it really cute (and it has fun prints inside!) but it's extremely functional, featuring a weekly checklist, weekly schedule, and a page for budgeting and To-Do's each month. I've owned both the Kate Spade and Lilly Pulitzer planners, and I think this is the best. You can see more features of the Design Love Planner here.
TIP #3: ALWAYS KEEP A NOTEPAD WITH YOU
Blogging inspiration can strike at any time… when you're at work, at the grocery store, shopping at your favorite boutique or just laying in bed at night. I carry around a small notepad with me that I use to jot down blog ideas when they come to me. This is a smart practice because if I don't write down my ideas, I always forget them! Sometimes it's an idea for an out-of-the-box blog post (like a new recipe or a YouTube video on my makeup routine) or sometimes it's an idea for a new way to wear a leather jacket. Whenever inspiration strikes, write it down!
TIP #4: SCHEDULE AHEAD OF TIME
If your blog is run through Blogger or Wordpress, you have the option to schedule your posts. For example, I usually write my posts at night and then schedule them to go live in the morning. This feature makes it really easy to write all of your posts ahead of time… You could write a blog post on a Sunday night and then schedule it to publish the following Wednesday at 10 a.m. (without actually having to be at your computer on Wednesday at 10 a.m. to hit "publish"!)
Something else you can schedule? Your social media posts! Social media management is a large part of being a blogger, because social media contributes to your branding and helps drive traffic to your blog. However, no one can be online 24/7 (for example, if you have a full time job its hard to tweet all day about your newest blog post!). The good news is that there are several free programs out there that allow you to manage your social media and schedule posts in advance. My favorite free service is Hootsuite, because it allows you to see your Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus (and more) accounts at one time and schedule posts ahead of time.
TIP #5: SET REALISTIC GOALS & CELEBRATE MILESTONES
This may seem like a boring one, but I think it's essential! To keep your blog growing, you must determine where you want it to go and have a means to analyze your success. For example, when I first started my blog my goal was to reach 100,000 page views per month. When I reached that goal, I celebrated, and then I set another goal. People measure their success in different ways. You could set a goal for the number of Bloglovin followers, social media followers, etc. Just make sure that you are setting realistic goals for yourself and not setting yourself up for failure. Setting goals and striving to achieve them is something that has kept me motivated to blog!
I hope this was helpful, and if you have any other questions about how I stay organized (or blogging tips in general), I'm happy to answer them! Just email me or leave them in the comments below. Happy Friday!
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