Planning your blog posts

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Now I’ll be the first to admit that this isn’t exactly my strong point.  If you look back through my last six months worth of blog posts you will notice that they are just all over the place.  Lots here, then not too many.  Then consistent for a while.  Then chaos!

Now being more structured and organised with my blogging is something that I really want to achieve, not only for my own sanity and stress levels, but also because I think that consistent posts is a great way of building up a relationship with your readers (Hi there!) Plus, I believe that planning leads to better writing, which is pretty important when you are trying to market yourself as a writer. Go figure!  So I have been working on perfecting my blog planning skills over the last year and I’m definitely getting better at it (which is definitely good!)

I follow a variety of different bloggers and I’m always interested when they share the ways that they plan for their blog posts – particularly when they sometimes have multiple blog posts with loads of amazing images that go live on the same day.  (And on a side note, I always feel a bit robbed by bloggers like that because they’re either (a) full-time bloggers and so have time to be putting together lots of posts, (b) there are lots of people working on the same blog, or (c) they’re like an octopus with arms going everywhere to get things done!)

Today I want to share three different, but great  ideas to plan out your blog posts that I think are both really flexible and really practical (and hence, could really work for you!)

1. Elise Blaha and The Stendig Calendar

I absolutely love Elise’s blog (I know, I know – I say that all the time, but it is totally true!) and a while back I came across a post where she talks about how she plans out her blog content using a large Stendig calendar and mini post-it notes.  It is a pretty simple system and it is one that I’ve been wanting to try out for a while – but do you think I can find a Stendig calendar anywhere here in Australia?  Nope! So I kind of gave up on trying it as an idea.

When I was researching this post, I was reminded of Elise and her calendar and I decided that I still really wanted to try it out for myself.  So I printed off an A4 page with the numbers 1-30, another with 1-31 and a third with 1-28 on it and ran down to Officeworks where I blew them up to A3 size and bought some mini Post-It notes.  I took a quick photo of what I’m calling my faux Stendig this morning (and it is now the photo at the top of this post).  I’d suggest you read more about how she uses it.

I’m loving it so far because it is really flexible – I’ve planned out two months worth of posts, but because they’re on sticky notes I can move them around to come up with a combination that I’m really happy with.  The only kind of annoying thing is that I haven’t lined up the dates with any day of the week, so I’m constantly having to count on from the first page to work out the days of the week (as I’m aiming to post on Mon-Wed-Fri).  If I were to do this long-term, I’d totally have to buy a proper Stendig or take the time to make another faux one labelled with the right days and months.

2. Elsie and Emma  and their two-week whiteboard

I haven’t tried this one myself, but Elise & Emma over at A Beautiful Mess do make blog planning look easy with their marker board.  They’ve just bought a whiteboard and divided it into 14 sections (two rows of seven) with black tape, then used lettering to mark out the days of the week.  At their blogging meetings, they can then talk about what they are going to post about and where it is going to fit into the coming week.  A pretty simple idea and, again, very flexible – if something isn’t going to work out for whatever reason then just rub it out and put something else in their place.

I haven’t tried this one myself, but it looks well organised and function, both of which are important elements of whatever blog planning technique you choose.

3. My free blog planner

Back when I first launched Frankly Books, I made a blog planner to giveaway to new readers.  I still regularly use this blog planner to help me to plan out my blog posts and it is still really functional. What I’m thinking about doing in the future is to combine the weekly three posts aspect of the planner with Elise’s planner on the wall, as I really like to be able to see what is coming up without having to leave my desk or hunt around for my blog planning folder. You can watch this video to how it works and then download your free copy to make your own.

Have you got a tried and true method for planning your blog posts?  Share it now –  I’d love to hear from you!

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3 thoughts on “Planning your blog posts

  1. First, gee, I’m still getting started on April 7 and here you are on the 8th!

    I just wanted to say I am totally blown away at the idea of blog planning 🙂 Until I tackled the A to Z Challenge (and actually do have a calendar with most of the days sort of planned) I hadn’t really thought much about planning at all. I have a list of some writing topics I want to hit eventually, and then I review books as I finish them, and. . . gee. Organization. What a concept (if you could see my house, you’d know it’s not my strong point!).

    • franklybooks

      Thanks for dropping by, Rebecca! I’ve decided that it is one thing to be a blogger and another thing entirely to be an organised blogger! I’m slowly getting through all of the sticky notes currently stuck to the calendar on my wall and I’m really finding it to be a great system for me so far. Now if only I was an organised with writing my new book!

  2. Hoo, boy! Tell me about it! I’m totally demoralized and disorganized just because we took a long weekend and the boys were off school all week. And just when I need to get on top of some deadlines.

    Tomorrow.

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