Recently, I asked you all to send me any questions you had about blogging or design. I was intrigued by everything you asked about! One of the things that came up several times was how I plan blog posts. Today, I’d like to share a bit of my planning and organizational process, just in case it helps you out, too! Here are my top tips for planning blog posts like a pro.
1. WordPress Editorial Calendar Plugin
This thing is my absolute favorite. I recommend it for all WordPress users! Essentially, it adds a calendar to the backend of your WordPress site and makes it possible to see the entire month’s posts in one fell swoop. You can also easily drag posts from one day to another and create a list of drafts/possible post ideas in a column on the right. I love it! You can achieve the same concept by using a monthly paper planner, but I like this plugin because it’s built into my WordPress site, so I can easily edit my calendar online and then begin writing posts straight from the calendar.
2. I carry a notepad with me everywhere
Sometimes I utilize a notepad on my phone and other times I carry a physical notepad around with me, but one thing is certain: I always (always) have one.
I have a hunch that the more time you put into something, the more your mind starts thinking along the lines of that thing. For example, when I was an avid hobby photographer, I started to see the world how it might look as a photo. Different things stood out to me — things I knew would look nice in a frame. Nowadays, I experience things in blog posts. A blog post idea can be born from an overheard conversation at Starbucks or a painting in my dentist’s office. I never really know, but I do know that my mind often thinks in terms of my blog, without me even trying. This means that I’m able to create ideas and pop them into a notepad so that I can turn them into posts later on. I’m also no stranger to taking photos or screenshots of things that could be used as inspiration for future blog posts.
3. I have general themes for my blog and stick to them each week
This organizational tip is a little looser for me, but in general, I try to write about creativity, self-development, business/blogging stuff, and travel. It’s important to me that each week has varied content, so that I’m not posting recipes or positive lifestyle posts everyday. On the right, you can see the categories that I aim to abide by, as well as the sub-categories within them. I like to have one of each every week, or at least a variety of some of them.
4. I keep in mind when my site is busiest
It happens that my blog receives the most pageviews on Tuesdays. Is it the same for your blog? Do you know how to check? I use Google Analytics, which shares everything from how many pageviews I receive to how many visitors are on my site at any given moment. Typically I like to publish posts on Tuesdays that I know will be popular among my readers, since I think it gives them an even bigger boost.
5. I talk to people about my ideas
I can’t stress how important it is to bounce your ideas off of others and get feedback about things you’re working on. I don’t share my ideas with trusted friends to get approval, but rather because they’re usually able to enhance my ideas in ways I wouldn’t have been able to think of on my own. Collaboration is an important part of blog planning in my opinion. Don’t have anyone who “gets it” to bounce ideas off of? I’ve got something in the works that I think you’re going to love!
How do you organize and plan blog posts?
photo via pete o’shea on flickr // cc