|Pic from stylemepretty.com|
Sara from melangeofmusings.com and I have started a new series called "How to Start a blog" to share everything that we have learned from blogging. This is a series we wished we had when we first started blogging.
Today's post is going to cover how to plan and schedule your blog posts.
Before we dive into the nitty gritty of planning and scheduling your blog posts, here are a few things you must keep in mind:
Know your niche:
Before you start blogging, know what you want to blog about. This will help you with not only your content but also the overall look of your blog. Sara has a whole blog post on how you can discover your blogging niche, find out what you're passionate about and how is your blog unique. Click here to read her blog post.
What are your blog goals:
Find out what the mission/purpose of your blog is; think back to that moment when you first decided to start blogging and find out what motivated you enough to start your page. Finding out the message or the information you want to put across your blog will help you create a better plan for your blog. Think long term, about what you want your blog to be in the next 5 years.
How often do you want to post:
Once you know your niche and goals, you will know how often you would want to post. There are bloggers who post one or more than one post everyday, which is a lot if you don't do this full it and can also affect your quality. Find a schedule that is feasible for you and gives you enough time to write, take pictures, edit and then schedule your posts. For example you can publish 3 posts a week or post only on the weekend, make sure that it doesn't over exert you or your schedule. Keep it such that you are genuinely motivated to write.
Learn from the Past:
If you've been blogging for quite sometime now and yet haven't been able to create a proper plan for your posts/content, look back to what your top 10 blog posts have been since the last 6 months or 1 year, depending on how long you've been blogging for. This will give you a idea of what your audience likes, clicks on, and comes back for. You could plan content revolving those posts and generate more post clicks out of what you've already done.
Once you have done these 4 things, you will have a clear vision and be able to plan your blog posts better. Here's what you could do to manage your posts:
Generate Blog post ideas:
Always keep ideating for new content ideas you could bring to your blog posts. If you have a certain skill set that you would want to share with everyone, share a cool DIY idea, a cool new tech out in the market, or even share your daily outfits. Keep ideating and jot down all of the ideas and information you want to share. Listen to your audience by reading their comments and find out what they want from your blog, that's where I get most of my ideas from.
Keep a notebook or Evernote:
Great ideas can come to you anytime and anywhere. Ideas can also evaporate from your brain just as soon as the come; So always keep a notebook handy to jot down an idea as soon as they come. If you are not a notebook person, you can use Evernote in your phone, and jot down ideas there. What's good about that app is that you can sync it basically everywhere, so if you jot it down on your phone, you can view it on your laptop and tab.
Create Categories for blog posts:
Once you have enough ideas for your blog, categorise them. You can divide them by:
- Days in which you would want to share them (based on the schedule you have)
- Topics that are similar, for example: fashion, beauty, travel, tech, business etc.
- Recurring posts and series, for example: product of the day, monthly favs etc.
Create Weekly/Monthly Plan:
Once you have categorised them, plan the posts for the dates that you want to publish them on, for example you want to post your monthly favs every last Saturday of the month, product of the week on every Mondays. Create a plan for the entire week or month ahead. You might find this a little tedious and boring, but trust me you will thank me for this one.
Once you have the weekly/monthly plan of your blog post ready, it's time to start taking pictures. One biggest tip I could give is to take pictures in bulk. If you have time, and if not take out the time for it, and take as many pictures you want based on the content you have planned for the week. Don't forget to label them appropriately and organise the pictures, will talk in details on this in a future blog post.
Writing and Scheduling Blog Posts:
All you are left to do now is write down your blog posts and schedule them. Depending on how much time you devote time for your blog, write as much as you can and schedule them for the dates that you've planned them to go out on. Every blogging platform has an option where you can schedule your blog posts. You would also need to edit your blog pictures, so make sure you've kept aside enough time for both writing and editing.
This is the most important step for me, and might be for you too if you are struggling to plan or schedule your blog posts. Checklists are a life saver if you are a blogger. If you are notebook person, like I am, go ahead and jot down every thing that you want to do for your blog post. Make a checklist of things like writing the post, taking picture, editing the posts, scheduling, sharing on FB, Twitter, Instagram, sending out emails. I am going to share how I make my checklists with you by the end of this series so stay tuned. You can also create checklists very easily on Evernote.
Do you have anything to add to this? Talk to me in the comments down below.