Some handy tips for blogging
Quite a few people starting new blogs have asked me in recent months for some tips. I generally tell them all the same thing; it’s all down to hard work, well written pieces, exposure and above all else, organisation.
Behold, my trusty “Blog Box”
In this pretty little storage box lies almost everything I use to get organised and create content for my blog.
You’ve got your notebook, your sharpies, your big post-its, medium post-its, pencil case full of multicoloured pens for optimial colour coding, washi tape, a ruler, hole puncher (largely unused, but just in case!) and camera. Also used in the process of organising this blog are: a smartphone, a tablet (occassionally), more post-its and organiser. And yes, they are all necessary and all lend to what you see before you! So how do all of these things combine to help stay organised and consistent when running a blog? Well, first things first…
Schedule your Time
When I first started blogging (a million years ago) I did so sporadically. I would blog whenever I was at a gig, or anytime some new music was brought to my attention. That was it really. It didn’t really go anywhere and it wasn’t until I launched musicandeverything.com with a stronger plan in place that I experienced success, or at least what I call success. I completely put this down to scheduling time to write blog posts and therefore becoming consistent.
Whether you allow yourself set days to plan and write posts (every Monday and Tuesday for example) or you sit down at the end of week and plan what days and evenings you are going to write so it doesn’t fall by the wayside or take over your life. I opt for the latter, prefering to sit down on a Sunday morning and plan out the days I’m going to create content.
This is where the organiser comes in. I found it too messy and hectic using the calendars on my phone and tablet for planning when I was going to write certain posts, so I went back to my old reliable paperchase organiser for writing down when I was planning to publish certain posts . I simply write it down, check it frequently, mark off particularly urgent ones with a little post-it tag that I have clipped in the front of the organiser and tick it off when I’m done. It’s also a good move to pick an evening/day out of the week when you take photographs for your upcoming blog posts.
Plan your content
This is so important if you want to run a consistent blog. I always make sure I have a number of ideas to feed off which I update every month in the big pink notebook you can see in the Blog Box picture.
I draw a line down either side of the page, write down all my ideas, mark an S on the left hand column if I have it schedule to write in my organiser and tick it off on the right hand side when it’s completed. I don’t just mean planning for the week, I mean planning for the month, maybe for two months and always having on hand some intriguing ideas that you can publish when you experience a content lull. If you find you are low on money and can’t buy products to review, or you’re not going to a lot of interesting events to talk about, it’s handy to refer back to this list to see what kind content you can produce out of your past, untapped ideas.
Schedule your posts
If you’re pressed for time it makes sense to bulk prepare a number of engaging blog posts that you can schedule to go live over the week. This helps keep things flowing at a consistent level, and it also means that you’re not writing every single day; unless of course you have the time to. To the best of my knowledge all popular blogging platforms have a scheduling tool whereby you can delay publication. This is especially handy if you work or go to school/college because it means you can schedule posts to go out at optimum readership times: Morning time, Lunch Time, Evening Rush Hour and late at night, without worrying about how you will fit in the time.
Keep a small notebook handy
Yes, another notebook. I always have a notebook in my handbag and a pen close by to jot down any ideas that spring to mind, to take note at events and to simply scribble down any blog related thoughts I have. I even use it to plan out blog posts on the go so I can just type them up when I get home. It is your best blogging friend!
I use it so often that it has become somewhat of an accessory so I always make sure I have a nice one, usually purchased in Paperchase.
Have a blogging system in place
Finally, a system that works for you has to be in place. There is no sense scheduling time and writing down your ideas if you don’t have a solid system in place. Find one that works for you, with the equipment you find will help you navigate through your plans clearly and productively.
Here is my system (I have no super secrets that I wouldn’t be willing to reveal!):
Write down my ideas in Le Gran Pink Notebook
Plan keywords and SEO content for those ideas (that’s a whole other post that’ll write if you’re interested, let me know in the comments.)
Schedule the posts in my organiser
Mark key posts with a post-it
Mark blog series and competition runs in the organiser with washi tape and a sharpie.
Plan social media content, normally using my little notebook
Schedule social media non-specific to posts
Make to-do lists on Google Keep and in the organiser for particularly hectic times
Write and schedule posts
So there you have it. There is a lot to organising a blog effectively and I am sure that various bloggers will all give you their own hints and tips that work for them. This structure is likely to evolve further down the line as you find your feet in the world of blogging.
To the comments!